Kastelorizo | Authentic Greek Island Bliss
The Greek Island of Kastelorizo is one of the smallest Dodecanese islands and part of the Rhodes regional unit. It is located halfway between Rhodes and Antalya and only about one mile off the south coast of Turkey. The island was often called by its ancient name Megisti.
Kastelorizo was the only safe harbor for the numerous sailing vessels between Makri and Beirut. Coal, timber, rice, coffee, and sugar were traded. (Today, Kastelorizo harbor is said to be one of the safest in the Mediterranean.) In addition, the fishing industry, especially sponges, was of great importance.
Locals joke that Kastelorizo is so close to Turkey that you are able to smell the kebabs being grilled there on a good day when the winds are right.
The island of Kastelorizo has a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry. In the winter, the temperature is mild. The average annual temperature is 21°C, with about 297 mm of rain in a year.
- Megisti, also known as Kastellorizo, is the harbor and capital. Find cobblestone alleys and neo-classical homes with beautiful wooden balconies and colorful facades here.
- The Cathedral of Agias Konstantinos and Agia Eleni. The church presents enormous pillars, exquisite icons, and interior decorations.
- Palaiokastro is 2 kilometers away from the village and has remained unaltered since Byzantine times. Panagia tou Kastrou and Agios Stefanos churches are within the castle grounds.
- The rocky, tiny Isle of Ro gained importance during the Nazi era when the sole inhabitant, Lady Ro, Despina Achlatioti, raised the flag of Greece every morning for forty years until her death in 1982. It was an act of resistance to the Nazi occupation.
- A narrow staircase leads to The Castle of the Knights of Saint John, built on Castello Rosso in the 14th century. From here, you’ll have a magnificent view of the surrounding areas.
- St. George of the Mountain Church sits high on the hills above Kastellorizo and requires climbing quite a few steps. However, the view from there over the island and across to Turkey is well worth every step. Inside the fortified monastery is a small church, Aghios Charalambos.
- Blue Grotto/Blue Cave (Galazio Spilaio), called Cave Parasta or Fokiali, is the most famous cave. Reaching it requires a small boat, calm seas, and steady nerves since the entrance to the cave is only about one meter high.
- Explore St. George’s Castle: Hike up to St. George’s Castle for breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the Aegean Sea. This medieval castle is an iconic landmark and offers a glimpse into the island’s history.
- Swimming and Diving in the azure blue Blue Cave or from cliffs and platforms on the Isle of Ro or Strongili into the crystal-clear waters.
- Hike. Kastellorizo offers numerous hiking paths.
- Snorkeling and Spearfishing in the crystalline water surrounding the island.
- Go Scuba Diving: Kastelorizo offers excellent scuba diving opportunities with its underwater caves, reefs, and diverse marine life. Dive centers on the island provide equipment and guided excursions.
For authentic food, visit the traditional taverns and cafes in Megisti. Savor the local specialties like revithokeftedes (croquettes with chickpeas), giouvarlakia (goat stuffed with bread), or the desserts, katoumari, chalvas, or strava.
For more far-flung islands and fantastic yacht charter destinations, visit our pages on Greece or the Mediterranean. Or you can contact us to find the yacht and itinerary to suit you and your group best.
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