Kastelorizo (or Megisti) is tiny but very beautiful island at the South Easternmost edge of the Dodecanese islands Greece (South of Rhodes island) which consists of only one settlement, the town of Kastelorizo. The town is actually picturesque harbour with unique architecture and colourful houses. The island itself is mountainous & rocky. Kastelorizo provides beautiful scenery, ancient monuments, hospitable people and peaceful (sailing) holidays to the visitors.
Kastelorizo town provides tourists with local tavernas (well-worth visiting) that serve Greek specialties, easy-going cafes and commercial shops for buying local products.
Since Kastelorizo is very close to Turkish coastline, most of the people may think that it does not belong to Greece. However, this is not accurate! To be more precise, have a look at Megisti map (by wikipedia). Kastelorizo is a must “stop” if you sail the Dodecanese sailing area in Greece & especially if you are near Rhodes island.
The climate in Kastelorizo, as the rest Dodecanese islands, is usually dry and warm. The average temperature varies between 18 (64,4F) to 31 (87,8F) degrees celsius during the summer months. Especially for Kastelorizo island, the prevailing wind is the Meltemi which blows from North-East mainland at force 4-6.
You can moor your boat in the port of Kastelorizo! Refuelling stations for water and fuel are available on the island.
Keep in mind: The old harbour of Mandraki in Rhodos island, the new Marina Kos in Kos island as well as Pythagorion marina in Samos island are the “Galazio Sailing” charter bases for the Dodecanese islands.
Kasterorizo is island with ancient history that can be traced back to the beginning of Neolithic period as cyclopean walls, now in ruins, and other findings have been discovered. The first inhabitants were the Pelasgians followed by the Minoans and the Mycenians, the presence of which we can admire in a great artifact, a gold chaplet, exhibited in the Archaeological museum of Athens. The prosperity of the island led to the colonisation of the Asia Minor. With great naval tradition and commercial activities, Kastelorizo’s history is similar to other Dodecanese islands with plenty of dominants like the Athenians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Knights of Saint John of Rhodes and the Turkish. By the end of the 19th century, sponge diving brought great wealth to the island and many schools such as the famous Santrapia School (for boys and girls) were founded and churches, such as the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, were built. As soon as the island was free from the Turkish, the French invaded Kastelorizo, soon followed by the Italians and the English. During that period, the population was considerably reduced as many people migrated to the rest of Greece, Australia and Egypt. What followed next was considered even more catastrophic as the island was twice bombarded by the Italians and the Germans leaving the castle area in complete ruins. The remaining inhabitants fled the island in fear of new bombings. The final reunion with Greece took place on 1948.
Some of the places worth visiting while you are in Kastelorizo are the medieval castle, the Lycian tomb (church-like grave) and the archaeological museum. Make sure you do not miss the blue cave, with its impressive stalagmites and stalactites, which can only be visited by sailboat in Kastelorizo.
As the island is very small, there are really NO activities apart from some long walks in the well-preserved foot paths. The only places where one can swim in Kastelorizo are in Faros, Plakes and Mandraki. Also, nearby islands such as Ro and Strongili make great swim stops!
Another thing worth mentioning is that due to the fact that there is NO real interference with nature, the island is natural biological paradise that gives shelter to a number of species of the animal vegetable world together with the Mediterranean Monk Seal (monachus-monachus).