Now we're sailing towards the Dodecanese, another chain of lovely islands in the southeasters Aegean. Our first stop is Astypalaia, off by itself in the middle of the open sea. This is where to come if you really «want to get away from it all». With its Venetian castle perched above its glistening Hora, Astypalaia seems more Cycladic in style than most of the rest of the Dodecanese.
Rhodes, on the other hand, is where to go if you want to be where the action is. One of the other hand, is where to go if you want to be where the action is. One of the popular tourist spots in the country, Rhodes is equipped with the best in hotels, all sorts of entertainment and recreation possibilities, plenty of beaches and a pretty interior. But what makes it really special is its relics from the past. The modern town of Rhodes with its imposing hotels and even grander municipal buildings surrounds the medieval city, where you can wander fascinated for hours. Enclosed within its massive Crusader - built walls, you'll find the palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights the Archaeological Museum, the bazaar, Turkish mosques, a Jewish quarter, charming tavernas and of course endless souvenir shops. Outside the walls, the gardens and Mandraki port contribute additional colour.
A trip round the island will take you to a variety of resorts and beaches (Faliraki, Lardo, Afandou, among others), but it will also allow you to visit the ruins of the three ancient cities: Lindos, Kameiros and Ialyssos.
Kos, a green and gentle island, has its own ancient and medieval monuments. Right in or near the pleasant capital you can walk around the Castle of the Knights, the ruins of the ancient city, and its most famous site, the Aesclepion, where Hippocrates taught his students and healed his patients. Beautifully laid out, with broad, palm-lined, streets, mosques and minarets for atmosphere and restaurants, bars and cafes for fun, Kos make an art of catering to its many tourists. As for the countryside, there are lovely beaches at Psalidi and Agio Fokas, Marmari, all within easy reach of town.
The last stop on this mini-tour is Chios, the large historic islands opposite the shores of Asia Minor. The capital, also called Chios, is a bustling market town with a spacious port, a ruined Genoese castle, and some worthwhile museums. Other sights are the exquisite Nea Moni (New Monastery built in 1042!), the ruined mountain fortress - village of Anavato, he medieval villages of Pyrgi, Mesta and Olympos the black sand beach at Emborio.