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Twelve large islands and numerous smaller ones with crystal clear waters, sandy or pebbly beaches, significant archaeological sites, imposing Byzantine and medieval monuments and unique traditional settlements make up this most fascinating of cruising grounds. If you are seeking lesser-known, unspoiled destinations visit Leros or Pserimos, and for something more cosmopolitan, there are Rhodes and Kos, larger islands with well-developed tourism itineraries and attractions.

This cruising ground is often divided in to two itineraries: northern and southern with Kos in the centre. They are close to Turkey and here are a few of our favourites and a luxury yacht charter offers you the ideal opportunity to explore them::

Northern: Samos to Kos

Samos

Samos is the birth place of the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher, Epicurus. This large island is a fertile, verdant place, with pure white sand beaches, picturesque villages, quaint fishing harbours and famed for its own variety of sweet wine.Blessed with natural assets and an abundance of historical sites spread all over the island, Samos has a unique atmosphere which captivates and transports visitors to the ear of myths, legends and philosophers.

Patmos

Known as the Jerusalem of the Aegean because it was where St John wrote the Book of Revelation Patmos has a strong religious character and is designated a "Holy Island" by the Greek Parliament as well as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its main attraction is the the Holy Monastery of the Apocalypse which was built as a castle in 1088. Charter yacht guests can follow the narrow streets all the way from the monastery down to Skála, the island's port, and discover restaurants, cafés, shops and traditional bakeries. The local delicacies include cheese pies, and sweet pastries decorated with honey and nuts.

Leros

Just off the Turkish coast between Kos and Samos, Leros is a latecomer to tourism, but is rising in popularity, largely because of its unspoilt natural beauty, excellent harbour and remarkable dive sites. Not overly developed, Leros' natural assets include hidden bays, hills, pine forests, olive groves, and natural springs as well as locals who go out of their way to be friendly and are not overly commercialised.Tiny shops offer authentic handcrafts not tourist trinkets. For charter yachts, the main harbour, Port of Agia Marina, is known as one of the largest and best natural harbours in the Mediteranean.

Southern: Kos to Rhodes

Kos

The second largest island in the Dodecanese group, Kos abounds in Greek ruins and history. It is the birthplace of Hippocrates and visitors can marvel at the Asclepeion, Hippocrates' ancient health retreat, or the tree under which Hippocratic Oath was composed, as well the island's spectacular fortress. Kos is rich in archaeology including Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian sites. Despite the influx of tourists in the summer you can still find peaceful, meandering streets and quaint sidewalk cafes on Kos.

Nisyros

Nisyros is a volcanic Greek island with a mountainous interior. Its coasts are rocky or pebbled, but there are also a few sandy beaches (mainly in the north eastern part). The volcano is currently active (but not erupting), and fumaroles are found at the craters. The slopes of the volcano are coveered in beautiful wild flowers expecialy in the spring. There are a number of lovely Orthodox churches and monastries for a yacht charter guest to explore as well as a medieval castle erected by the Knights Hospitaller who conquered the island in 1315. A traditional product of Nisyros is soumada, a non-alcoholic almond-flavoured drink.

Symi
Symi

While approaching the port of Symi, one has the overwhelming feeling of entering a perfectly painted image of a scenic traditional village. The colourful houses climb up into the slopes of the surrounding hills. It is a town of impeccable architecture – all of the buildings there have been listed - with cobbled courtyards, pebbled mosaics and trailing bougainvillea flowers. The beauty of Symi is unique and the rich mythological history captivating. On the southwest coast, the 18th-century Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis is a major Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site with a Byzantine museum.

Rhodes

Known as the "Island of the Knights", Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese and an island which is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for an action-packed charter yacht vacation. With its lush green hills and valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly blessed. Rhodes is fertile not only in the valleys but also on the higher slopes: pine, orange, olive, lemon, fig and pear trees thrive in these conditions. The villages are lush and colourful with hibiscus, jasmine and bougainvillea, which explains the many butterflies, and indeed, Rhodes is often called the butterfly island.

For more details about these and other islands in the Dodecanese please contact us. We have a lot more information that we are happy to share.

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