Kos is the second largest island of the Dodecanese and lies just oﬀ the coast of Turkey, just a short hop from Bodrum. Kos is synonymous with the forefather of modern medicine, Hippocrates, who was born on the island in 460 BC. and who went on to teach many disciples the philosophy and science of medicine. His disciples in turn, built the Asclepeion, a centre for healing. Understandably, this is the best archaeological site on the island, and we recommend you take in a short visit to appreciate one of the Western world’s ﬁrst true hospitals and medical schools. There is a large fortress of the Knights to visit, along with two small museums and a cultural centre. If you are in Kos overnight, there is no shortage of places to dine and be entertained in both the harbour area and city centre.
Bodrum is one of Turkey’s prettiest and most popular coastal resort towns - but it is more than just a sun-drenched tourist destination; Bodrum is also a busy port with private yachts, Turkish gulets and cruise ships coming and going over the course of the summer months. White-washed houses clad the sides of the hills leading down the harbour, where the magniﬁcent Crusader’s Castle stands proudly on a rocky promontory overlooking the marina. This is the heart of Bodrum, where tourists ﬂock to witness the town’s famous nightlife - as much as to experience its impressive history. In fact, the father of history, Heredotus, was born here during the time that Bodrum was known as “Halicarnassos”.
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassos was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and it is possible to visit the remains of this monumental tomb today, along with the “Myndos Gate”, the antique theatre and the Castle of the Knights of St. John. It is a good idea to set aside at least an hour to explore the castle, which houses one of the largest museums of underwater archaeology in the world -- full of interesting artifacts which have been recovered from various ancient ship wrecks. Stay overnight in Bodrum for the opportunity to gain a better appreciation of this most colorful and cosmopolitan of Turkish towns, with its endless array of shops, bars, clubs and restaurants. For party-goers, Bodrum hosts one of the largest outdoor discos in the world, the Halikarnassus.
Ancient Knidos At the tip of the Datca peninsula lies Cape Krio and the windswept ancient city of Knidos - one of the most impressive sites on the coast in terms of size and variety of ruins. Knidos was a Carian city and ﬂourished as a Hellenistic trade center. It was a popular stop-oﬀ port for trade ships journeying near and far and became renowned as centre of art and culture in the 4th century BC. The people of Knidos pledged their allegiance to Rome during the Roman Period and the city continued to grow in size and importance. During the Byzantine Period, Knidos was home to what appears to have been a sizable population and had two theatres, two harbours and a large number of residential homes. Praxiteles’ famous statue, “Aphrodite of Knidos”, stood ina temple at the city and was something of a tourist attraction insofar as ancient seafarers would come to Knidos speciﬁcally to see it. The remains of this temple are visible today, as are those of the agora, the theatre, an odeum and a temple of Dionysus. Also of great interest is a sundial, developed by yet another of Knidos’ sons,the great mathematician and inventor, Eudoksus.
As you wander past a temple dedicated to Apollo or admire the mosaic ﬂoors of a church, you cannot help but imagine how life must have been in city fortunate enough as to be positioned at the convergence of
Datca is a fastgrowing Aegean port town with a growing reputation as a summer travel destination. It is close to some amazing archaeological sites, a choice of pretty beaches, an old Greek town complete with artisan’s street, an upmarket spa, a huge variety of nature walks and a kaleidoscope of quirky shops, restaurants and cafes. It is also home to a very good “home made ice cream” shop as well as shops selling local produce - mostly almond nuts and diﬀerent types of honey If you are keen to see more of the local culture, you may take a short overland trip to the "Olive Farm" and wander about the olive groves, see the on-site olive mill and vinegar house and sample some of the local wares. At the "Elaki Restaurant", set within the courtyard of the Mehmet Ali Aga Mansion - you can dine on Ottoman cuisine in a truly authentic setting. No visit to Datca is complete without a quick stop at “Old Datca”, the original settlement of the area, located in a valley slightly inland from the sea. Wander the cobble-stone streets of this former Greek settlement, with its charming old stone houses, carved wooden gates, and carefully laid out courtyards shaded with profusions of purple bougainvillea.
Selimiye is a farming and ﬁshing community, situated along the shores of a large bay and oﬀers yet another dramatic backdrop for swimming a watersports. As the sun drops low in the sky, well-rounded hills that descend through olive groves and almond orchards to the shore cast long shadows over one another and it’s all picture perfect. There are a number of ruined Hellenistic castles on the hills around Selimiye, and the town itself is a collection of the old and the new, with quaint farmhouses nestled alongside seaside cafes, boutiques and small artisans shops. If you wish, you can take your evening meal at a shoreside restaurants and try some of the local dishes.
Bozburun; Seemingly barren and craggy slopes descending to a quiet little harbour, nestled at one end of a large and picturesque bay, can only mean you are in Bozburun! Add to this, 4,000 years of history, evident in the abundance of ruins encircling the tops of islands and lying along the shoreline of the bay and you have discovered the next highlight of your cruise. Bozburun, situated on a peninsula of the same name, was once the sponge-ﬁshing capital of the area and today is primarily associated with boat building, thyme honey and the “Blue Voyage” - the local name given for the type of cruise that takes one from port to bay to island around the Aegean. Bozburun has plenty of charm and a laid back, ﬁshing village kind of atmosphere, so it does well with local and international tourists alike.
There is a small bazaar and the waterfront is lined with interesting shops and cafes. Bozukkale is home to one of the most fabulous ancient sites on all the Aegean coast: ancient Loryma. Although the local name means “ruined castle”, this is actually quite a well-preserved site. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, however, as the hike up to the ruins of ancient Loryma follows a narrow path over rocky ground. The view from the top, however, is well worth the eﬀort -- you will be standing upon the walls of Hellenistic citadel enjoying a bird’s eye view over the this entire area, admiring the expert workmanship that went into creating these massive stone walls. Glancing at the land-locked harbour below, it’s easy to imagine it as an ancient naval base providing protection for trading ships! To ﬁnish your day on a high note, ﬁnd yourself a comfortable place to sit and watch the spectacle of the sun setting over the Loryman Peninsula and the islands of the Aegean.
If you have ever held a fascination with the ancient world, you would likely know where “The Colossus” stood. And even if you didn’t know, a visit to Rhodes is certainly an excellent adventure, and a great way to ﬁnd out about life in ancient Greece! While there are at least three full days worth of sightseeing to do on this, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, most ﬁnd plenty of interesting sites and attractions in the vicinity of the medieval walled city, better known as “Rhodes Old Town”.
The walled city has been inhabited for centuries and where you could easily wander through its maze of narrow, cobblestone streets for hours on end, we suggest a visit to the busy, shop-lined “Socrates Street”, the bell tower, the Archaeological Museum and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. A stroll down the Street of the Knights is another highlight, as is a walk through the “New Town” of Rhodes with its bright lights and night spots.
Symi is perhaps the most “Greek” of the Greek Islands. If you plan to see Rhodes, it is a good idea to also visit Symi, just a short distance away. The ﬁrst port of call when arriving into Symi from Rhodes is a bay with a seafront monastery known as the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Taxiarchis Mihail Panormitis. It was built in 18th Century Venetian style and is said to have the highest baroque bell tower in the world! Panormitis Bay also has a bakehouse where you can buy some Greek cookies and pastries. It is fun to sail up the eastern side of the Symi and drop anchor in the main harbour, “Yialos”. This is one of the most beautiful Greek ports in all of Greece, with beautiful neo-classical styled houses, a vast array of shops and boutiques, and a fair sprinkling of Greek tavernas. If you have more time to spend on Symi, be sure to visit some of the picture-perfect bays along the eastern side of the island, such as the bay known as “Agios Georgios Disalonas” – with its dramatic backdrop of soaring cliﬀs and ragged gorges. It’s no wonder that this bay was chosen as a location setting for the ﬁlm, “The Guns of Navarone”.
Tilos is another stop en route from Symi to Kos. It is quiet and quaint and therein lies its attraction. For summertime tourists looking to escape the crowds, Tilos is a great choice of destination. The harbour of Livadia is busy and bustling with many a waterfront cafe and souvenir shop, but there is more to see inland! Take a bus ride to the inland town of Megaro Horio, a pretty village set on the hillside below a Medieval castle, which is now experiencing a revival due to the return of expat Greeks to the island. It is worth visiting the small church and the museum. In the museum, you will see the fossilized remains of a dwarf elephant species which inhabited the island for millennia after it was cut oﬀ from mainland Asia Minor.
If there is time, a stroll through the ruined village of Mikro Horio is a worthwhile excursion. The island is quiet and has loads of charm. Back to Livadia, the whole harbour area is wonderfully busy and bustling, so it is easily to spend a couple of hours enjoying cool drinks at a seaside cafe or just wandering the streets in search of souvenirs.
A distinctly diﬀerent kind of Greek island experience is to be had on this island, which is somewhat oﬀ the beaten track. Here, the main attraction for visitors is the volcano. Hiring a car, you can drive right down to the rim of the crater and then descend to the crater ﬂoor, and shroud yourself in sulfurous mist in what is often described as a “moonscape”. The Spa of Loutra also draws plenty of visitors, although most go to witness the grand architecture of the buildings rather than take a dip in the hot spring waters. For relaxation, Nisyros oﬀers red, sandy beaches, and for dining, the lively centre of the island, “Mandraki” has a selection of tavernas and cafes.
Hikers and history buﬀs will enjoy the Knights castle and museum, the ancient bastion known as “Paleo Kastro” and the Monastery of Panagias Spillanisto. While visiting the volcano, be sure to take a drive around to Nikea, the typical Greek village on the south east of the island, where you can stop for refreshments in a shaded cafe