Kastelorizo

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US

The Remotest Island of Greece

Aristocratic Neoclassical Mansions, Red Fortresses, Phantasmagorical Caves and Sapphire Waters in a Lilliputian Island
On the easternmost edge of Greece, one will have the opportunity to explore the colourful island of Kastelorizo. Kastelorizo is a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Aegean waiting for you to discover it. Just off the coast of Asia Minor, the remotest island of Greece might lack in size, but it replenishes in landscapes and colours; besides they say less is more. Kastelorizo is a true getaway escape. Dive in the sapphire waters of the biggest underwater cave of the country, hop into a boat to visit the isle of Ro, admire the neoclassical houses of the seaside promenade, taste the fresh fish of the fishermen at the seaside taverns and climb up to the Red Castle to enjoy the panoramic views! Kastelorizo will charm you from the first moment, as it is blessed from an atmospheric oasis found in few places in the world. Dare to flirt with this true experience!

Discover Kastelorizo

Best of Kastelorizo

The Capital of Kastelorizo

The Settlement of Megisti, else known as Kastelorizo, is the capital and harbour of Kastelorizo located on the southeast side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of the Dodecanese, the settlement has an aristocratic settlement with neoclassical houses and wooden balconies, colourful facades that spread around the charming harbour. The entire settlement is crowned from the traces of the castle of the Knights of Saint John.

The Blue Cave

The Blue Cave, else known as Azure Grotto, is one of the biggest underwater caves of Greece located on the southeast side of the island The cave is distinguished for its rich stalactite formations highlighted from the reflections of the solar rays.   The second chamber of the cave is a hideaway shelter of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus. The cave can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

The Cathedral of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni

The Cathedral of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni is the most important religious monument of Kastelorizo located above the harbour of Mandraki. Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni are the patron saints of Kastelorizo. It is a magnificent church distinguished for its exquisite icons and rich interior decorations. The enormous pillars of the cathedral were built with materials from the ancient temple of Lycian Apollo from the coast of Asia Minor.

The Isle of Ro

The Isle of Ro is a tiny rocky island located opposite the island of Kastelorizo. The island was known for the sole inhabitant of Lady Ro, aka Despina Achladioti, who used to raise the flag of Greece every morning for forty years as a an act of resistance during the Nazi Occupation until her death in 1982. The isle can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Archaeological Sites

The Acropolis of Paleokastro is the ancient capital of Kastelorizo located on the west side of the island. It is estimated that the acropolis was built in the 4th century BC. Archaeological excavations brought to light traces of the ancient settlement including remnants of cisterns, houses and tanks along with the churches of Agios Stefanos, Agia Marina and Panagia Kastrou.

The Lycian Tomb of Kastelorizo is located on the foothills of the Castle of the Knights. The tomb constitutes a proof of the close relationship between the local people and the people of Asia Minor, known as Lycians as they were worshiping to the God Apollo Lycius. Here, one can admire traces of the columns that have been perfectly preserved.

Castles

The Castle of the Knights of Saint John is built upon the impressive red rock of Castello Rosso. The castle was constructed from the Knights of Saint John during the 14th century. A narrow staircase leads to the bastion offering panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Churches and Monasteries

The Cathedral of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni is the most important religious monument of Kastelorizo located above the harbour of Mandraki. Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni are the patron saints of Kastelorizo. It is a magnificent church distinguished for its exquisite icons and rich interior decorations. The enormous pillars of the cathedral were built with materials from the ancient temple of Lycian Apollo from the coast of Asia Minor.

The Monastery Agios Giorgis Vounou is a deserted monastery located above the harbour of Mandraki. The monastery has a fortified architecture surrounded from the abandoned monk cells. The main church is stone built distinguished for its carved iconostasis and its impressive mosaic floor.  According to the inscriptions, the monastery was renovated from Agios Anthimos from Kefalonia in 1759. The monastery offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Museums and Monuments

The Archaeological Museum of Kastelorizo is housed within the premises of the building of Konaki in the harbour of Mandraki. The museum exhibits archaeological and folklore findings and artefacts from the island including stone anchors, traditional costumes, diver equipment and religious icons. In the courtyard of the building, one can admire an Ottoman fountain and traces of byzantine sculptures.

The Shipyard of Kastelorizo will take you back in time, as you will see the manner that fishing vessels were made with simple tools. The inextricable connection of the island with shipbuilding is visible to the last preserved shipyard.

Natural Beauties

The Blue Cave, else known as Azure Grotto, is one of the biggest underwater caves of Greece located on the southeast side of the island The cave is distinguished for its rich stalactite formations highlighted from the reflections of the solar rays.   The second chamber of the cave is a hideaway shelter of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus. The cave can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

The Isle of Ro is a tiny rocky island located opposite the island of Kastelorizo. The island was known for the sole inhabitant of Lady Ro, aka Despina Achladioti, who used to raise the flag of Greece every morning for forty years as a an act of resistance during the Nazi Occupation until her death in 1982. The isle can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Promenades & Villages

The Town of Megisti, else known as Kastelorizo, is the capital and harbour of Kastelorizo located on the southeast side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of the Dodecanese, the settlement has an aristocratic settlement with neoclassical houses and wooden balconies, colourful facades that spread around the charming harbour. The entire settlement is crowned from the traces of the castle of the Knights of Saint John.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Castle of the Knights, Southeast Kastelorizo

Spot: Church of Agia Marina, Paleokastro Site

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Blue Cave, else known as Azure Grotto, is one of the biggest underwater caves of Greece located on the southeast side of the island The cave is distinguished for its rich stalactite formations highlighted from the reflections of the solar rays.   The second chamber of the cave is a hideaway shelter of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus. The cave can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Boat Trip: The Isle of Ro is a tiny rocky island located opposite the island of Kastelorizo. The island was known for the sole inhabitant of Lady Ro, aka Despina Achladioti, who used to raise the flag of Greece every morning for forty years as a an act of resistance during the Nazi Occupation until her death in 1982. The isle can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Boat Trip: The Island of Symi is one of the smallest islands of the Dodecanese. While approaching the harbour of Symi, you will be overwhelmed from a mysterious feeling. The colourful houses of the village climbing to the slopes of the mountain seem like an image of a fairy tale novel. The rich mythological tradition reflects to the history of the island. The beauty of Symi is a unique spectacle. Neoclassical mansions and abandoned captain houses, cobblestone courtyards and pebbled mosaics give an aura of nobility to the island while the bougainvillea flowers add a colourful touch to the romantic atmosphere. You might even sense the atmospheric air of Symi when you climb the five hundred stone steps that lead to the once most commercial street of the island. Stroll around the kalderimi, the stone bridge that connects the two sides of the village, renowned as the Bridge of Love and you might even feel like you stepped back in another era, and observe the famous shipbuilders of Symi at the small shipyard of Harani who maintain the shipbuilding traditions of the island. An island with strong elements of romanticism, that resembles a colourful canvas, will go beyond your expectations; It will salute you stately, secluded, rocky and wild but above all beautiful.

Activities

Hiking: Kastelorizo hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the route that starts from the path of Horafia and leads to the hill of the Monastery of Agios Georgios Vounou. Here, one will have the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding areas. (2) Another interesting trail includes the one that starts from the village of Kastelorizo and leads to the acropolis of Paleokastro.

Snorkelling and Spearfishing: The crystalline waters of Kastelorizo are ideal for snorkelling and spearfishing lovers.

Beaches

The island of Kastelorizo is not renowned for its beautiful beaches. However, if you fancy diving from cliffs and platforms, you can go to the areas of Faros, Kavos and Plakes located on the east side of the island. The most intriguing part, though, is hop on a boat to the isles of Agios Georgios, Strongili and Ro. There, one will have the opportunity to enjoy pristine sceneries with crystal clear waters.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Meltemi: Breakfast and Coffee, Megisti

Radiocafe: Coffee, Megisti

Gastronomic Delights

Aiolis: Seafood, Megisti

Alexandra: Seafood, Megisti

Lazarakis: Seafood, Megisti

Mandraki: Greek Cuisine, Megisti

Mikro Parisi: Seafood, Megisti

Old Time: Greek Cuisine, Megisti

Paragadi: Seafood, Megisti

Platania: Greek Cuisine, Megisti

Cocktails Inspirations

Faros Cafe Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Megisti

Meltemi: Cocktails and Drinks, Megisti

Stratos Cafe Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Megisti

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include pure honey, soumada drink and spoon sweets.

The local specialties of the island include revithokeftedes,  a dish made with croquette with chickpea, giouvarlakia, goat stuffed with bread and the traditional dessert of chalvas made with semolina, katoumari, a sweet pie, and strava, a type of baklavas.

Events & Festivals

Every 21st of May, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni takes place at the Church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni in Megisti. The feast is accompanied from dance performances with violins.

Every 20th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Prophet Elias takes place in the island. The feast is accompanied from traditional music, dance and food.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour the of Virgin Mary takes place in Kastelorizo. The feast is accompanied from traditional music, dance and food.

Every 13th of September, the Commemoration of the Day of Independence of Kastelorizo is celebrated in Kastelorizo. The feast is accompanied from traditional music, dance and food.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, the name Megisti derives from the first settler of the island named Megisteas. However, the most likely scenario is that it is the biggest island from the small archipelago. The present name of Kastelorizo derives from the Italian world Castello meaning Castle and Rosso meaning red, which refers to the reddish colour of the rocks of the island.

History

Archaeological remains indicated that Kastelorizo has been inhabited since Neolithic times from the Pelasgians, the Minoans and the Mycenaean. During the Hellenistic times, Kastelorizo was dominated from Rhodes and it served as a naval base for the Roman fleet. After the Byzantine rule, the island was conquered from the Sultan of Egypt and flourished as a privileged trading spot owing to its strategic geographical position under the Turkish occupation. Followed from the British and Italian domination, Kastelorizo was totally destructed during the Second World War until its official incorporation to Greece in March of 1948.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Kastelorizo has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts one hour. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (305 Nautical Miles): Kastelorizo is accessible by boat from the harbour Piraeus. The journey lasts twenty two hours. Kastelorizo is also connected with the island of Rhodes. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Kastelorizo

Kastelorizo is the remotest island of Greece located on the easternmost edge of Dodecanese. Else known as Megisti, Kastelorizo is the biggest island of a small complex of fourteen rocky islets and islands. As the size of the island is tiny, you don’t have to worry for your transportation. You have no reason to go away far from the settlement, as excursion boats can take you to the beaches. For emergencies, there is a taxi. Kastelorizo is an ideal destination for those looking for a real escape from the world! Discover Kastelorizo through a photographic journey of Google!

An Excursion to the Isles of Ro and Strongilo

Indeed, you have to visit the isles of the tiny archipelago of Kastelorizo. The Isle of Ro is a tiny rocky island located opposite the island of Kastelorizo. The island was known for the sole inhabitant of Lady Ro, aka Despina Achladioti, who used to raise the flag of Greece every morning for forty years as a an act of resistance during the Nazi Occupation until her death in 1982. On the isle of Strongilo, one will have the opportunity to enjoy the crystalline waters and the imposing lighthouse. The isles can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Dive in the Blue Cave of Kastelorizo

The Blue Cave, else known as Azure Grotto, is one of the biggest underwater caves of Greece located on the southeast side of the island The cave is distinguished for its rich stalactite formations highlighted from the reflections of the solar rays.   The second chamber of the cave is a hideaway shelter of the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus. The cave can be visited through excursion boats that operate from the harbour of Mandraki.

Easter Celebrations in Kastelorizo

On Easter Saturday, the Liturgy of the Resurrection is held in the churchyard of the Cathedral of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni. As soon as the bells start ringing at midnight, the young people let off fireworks and everyone lights his candle from the holy light brought from Jerusalem. On Easter Sunday, the gospels are read and there is a dance performance by women followed with violins in the churchyard of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni. On Easter Monday, everybody gathers in the main square in order to eat, drink and sing!

Observing like an Olympian God

Climb up to the Monastery of Agios Georgios Vounou to enjoy the panoramic views! Although you will have to go through 401 steps to reach the monastery, you will be definitely rewarded from the views!

Participate in the Custom of Amilito Nero

One of the most interesting customs is held in Kastelorizo every 1st of May. The girls of the island carry a jar and go to fill it with water outside of the town. On their way back, they are not allowed to speak. This water, known as the water of silence, is supposed to bring good luck to the family.

Taste the Delicious Fresh Fish of Kastelorizo

The island of Kastelorizo is known for its delicious fresh fish! You can taste them in the seaside taverns of the harbour of Mandraki!

Wandering around the Island of Kastelorizo

The neoclassical houses of Kastelorizo have wooden balconies and windows of the Anatolian type. At the east side of the harbour, one will have the opportunity to see the remnants of the forger Italian Governate, known as Palazzina della Delegazione, that was erected from the Italian architect Florestano di Fausto, who also designed buildings of the Italian period in Rhodes. The Ottoman mosque of Kastelorizo is also located on the seaside promenade of the town, which was during the second half of the 18th century. The central square is known as the Square of Ethelondon, and stands at the midpoint of the eastern side. On the opposite side of the quay, one will have a good view from the vantage point of Pera Meria. Above the quay of the eastern part, there is a path that leads to the Castle of the Knights. Ascending the steps on the eastern side of the town, on will reach the suburb of Horafia with the charming square and the church of Agios Georgios and the Cathedral of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni. Further east, one will find the charming bay of Mandraki, the secondary harbour of the island. On the west side of the town and beyond the summit of Kastelorizo known as Vigla, stands the acropolis of Paleokastro.

Photo Credits

×

Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Acropolis of Paleokastro: Paolo Motta by Panoramio

Blue Cave: Dimitris Katsaras by Flickr

Castle of the Knights: Dimitris Katsaras by Flickr

Kastelorizo Town: Shutterstock

Ro Islet: Dimitrios Touvras by Panoramio

Stalactites of the Blue Cave: Dimitris Katsaras by Flickr

View of Kastelorizo: Erminio Antonio by Panoramio

View of Mandraki: Alljengi by Flickr