The Dodecanese islands: an authentic, unspoilt gem

Discover Greece’s sunniest archipelago

The Dodecanese islands: an authentic, unspoilt gem

Price from : 1800 €
Ideal duration : 11 days –
10 nights

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Welcome to Greece, the cradle of our European civilization, a perfect blend of historical heritage, gentle lifestyle and impressive landscapes. Imagine spending ten days discovering the wonders of the Dodecanese. Pass through islands that are sparsely populated and small in area, yet rich in history and treasures. Swim on the most unspoilt beaches and reach the most pristine peaks. Retrace the myths of Greek antiquity and truly encounter the country’s sacred places. Take time to discover the authentic, peaceful way of life of the locals, and the local creations and gastronomy that keep the Greeks going well into their 100s!

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  • Discover islands steeped in myth and legend
  • The archipelago’s constant sunshine
  • The soul of its islands, marked by medieval, Byzantine and Venetian influences
  • Preserving traditions and protecting nature
  • Vary your activities between hiking, swimming and historical visits

Day 1: Rhodes

Fly from France to the island of Rhodes. Reach the historic center from the airport and settle into an old house in the heart of the old town, revealing just a few rooms and a quiet garden sheltered by the shadow of minarets and centuries-old walls. There’s also an excellent restaurant in the enclosed garden, serving traditional dishes. On your first day, discover Rhodes old town and its strong past, having long been under the sway of the Knights of St. John in medieval times. Visit the fortress of the Palace of the Grand Masters and its many frescoes, stroll through the narrow streets of the center, sheltered from tourists, and take a tour of the city from above, through the medieval ramparts that once protected the city.

Day 2: Lindos

Today, head down to the south of the island to reach the impressive hilltop town of Lindos and its heavenly beaches. Once you’ve discovered the town and its special atmosphere, take the steps to the top of the hill and the acropolis dedicated to Athena, founded in the 11th century BC, overlooking the entire bay and its crystal-clear waters. Spend the night in a small guesthouse opposite Lindos, surrounded by an olive grove and a Mediterranean garden in bloom all year round. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and, if you like, head down to the beach, just a three-minute walk away.

Day 3: Symi

This morning, take an hour’s ferry ride to the second island on your list, beautiful Symi. Set down your luggage in a protected Greek national building in the heart of Symi’s port district. A building entirely restored to its original structure, retaining a refreshingly traditional charm. Today, visit the town of Symi and its Italian neoclassical architecture, its extremely well-preserved and protected buildings, giving the town an unrivalled charm.

Day 4: Symi

Today, we head for the village of Panormitis and its monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis, protector of all Greek sailors. You’ll see 18th-century frescoes, a magnificent bell tower, icons and religious objects that attract many pilgrims every year. If you’re looking for a refreshing change of scene, head off in search of one of the wild, quiet beaches, such as Agios Georgiou, overlooked by cliffs and only accessible by boat.

Day 5: Kos

Take the ferry this morning to Kos, the island of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Visit the town of Kos, its castle of the Knights of St. John and its archaeological museum. Take a bike along the city’s coastline – it’s a very pleasant ride. Then head into the mountainous hinterland to discover the island’s picturesque villages, such as Asomatos and Zia, which are much more authentic and peaceful than Kos town.

Day 6: Kos

Kos is, of course, famous for its many sandy beaches. Today, we’re off to discover some of the most protected areas of the island, in the south of the island, which are still relatively undiscovered by tourists. Deserted pebble beaches, shallow coves – you’ll have everything to marvel at, away from the invading crowds.

 

Day 7: Patmos

Today, we’re heading for Patmos, home to just 3,000 inhabitants. Spared from mass tourism, it is a true natural and historical beauty. Settle into a simple, uncluttered cottage with a balcony and a foreground view of the Aegean Sea, away from the noise and back to the calm, soothing nature. Visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where Saint John is said to have had visions and written the Apocalypse, and where you’ll see frescoes depicting him. At sunset, climb to the top of Mount Profitis Ilias for a breathtaking panoramic view of the town of Chora and the nearest Cycladic islands.

Day 8: Patmos

Discover Chora today, the island’s largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The typical Greek whitewashed houses, set against the blue of the sky, the windows and the sea, are well worth a look. Everything revolves around the discovery of the apostle Saint John, and the monastery of Saint John the Theologian, overlooking the city, attracts travelers from all over Europe. Chora’s three UNESCO-listed windmills, located at the top of the hill, are also well worth a visit.

Day 9: Samos

Take the ferry this morning to your final stopover, the island of Samos. Between sea, beaches and mountains, Samos – the island where Pythagoras was born – is a green island with many forests. Sitting on a gold mine and a wealth of resources, it offers bronze arts and crafts, jewelry, timber, tobacco and vines. Drop off your luggage at a luxurious establishment nestled in the island’s forested landscape, whose ambience is sure to make you dream of an island full of legends. Head to Samos’ capital, Vathy, and stroll through the upper and lower towns. In the second half of the day, take a trip to Pythagoreio, and its Eupalinos tunnels, underground aqueducts dating from the 6th century BC, 1,036 metres long, making it one of the masterpieces of ancient civil engineering.

 

Day 10: Samos

For the last day of your adventure, opt for a hike in the Kerkis Massif National Park, where the Pythagoras Cave is located, or on the Oros Karvouni. Both offer breathtaking views. Or, if you’re in a more lazy mood on your last day, head for Livadaki Beach. This large, white pebble beach is set in a sumptuous and impressive rocky landscape: everywhere, it seems to be surrounded by rock tumbling down to the sea.

Day 11: Samos and Athens

Enjoy your last day in Greece today and fly to Athens for your return flight to France.

Further information

From €1,800 per person. (based on 2 people)

This price includes: outward flight Paris-Rhodes, return flights Samos-Athens and Athens-Paris, airport taxes and fuel surcharges, one piece of hand luggage per person, ferry transfers between islands, 10 nights in a double room in charming accommodation.

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