Kastellorizo, officially named Megisti, is a remarkable gem among the Greek islands. Nestled in the easternmost part of the Dodecanese archipelago, this island is a dazzling spectacle in the Aegean Sea.
The island is known for its breathtaking landscapes, charming azure waters, and picturesque architecture, all cloaked in a rich tapestry of history and culture. Its name, Megisti, is a testament to its grandeur as the largest island in the small archipelago, standing out significantly among its peers.
Getting to Kastellorizo is part of the adventure. Despite its relative isolation, the island is accessible through various means. The most common route is via a direct flight from Rhodes, a larger neighbouring island in the Dodecanese group. This journey offers a unique aerial view of the Aegean Sea. Alternatively, visitors can take a ferry ride from Rhodes or other nearby islands. This slower-paced journey provides an opportunity to soak in the scenic beauty of the Mediterranean waters.
The island is also conveniently accessible from Kas, Turkey. The most efficient and economical way to travel there is by ferry, with Meis Ferry Lines operating a daily service. The journey is quick, taking just 20 minutes, and offers stunning views of the turquoise sea. The ferry ticket costs about €25 (or $28), making it a reasonably priced option for those eager to explore Kastellorizo’s unique landscapes and culture. The ferry departs from Kas, and the short distance of around 6 kilometres (approximately 3 miles) allows travellers to reach Kastellorizo swiftly. Once aboard, visitors can begin to immerse themselves in the scenic beauty of the Mediterranean, preparing for the rich experiences that await at the destination. The journey from Kas to Kastellorizo is practical, affordable, and a memorable part of the overall travel experience.
The island’s main settlement, also named Kastellorizo, is a labyrinth of narrow alleys adorned with traditional Greek houses painted in vibrant colours. These houses, with their wooden balconies and ceramic-tiled roofs, offer a distinctive visual charm that leaves a lasting impression.
One of the island’s most famous historical landmarks is the Castle of the Knights, a medieval fortress offering panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea. The castle’s well-preserved structure serves as a testament to the island’s rich history.
Nature enthusiasts would find the Blue Grotto irresistible. Deemed one of Greece’s most beautiful sea caves, its crystal-clear waters glow with a mesmerizing azure hue when the sunlight hits the surface. It’s accessible by boat, and the journey offers a thrilling exploration experience.
The Archaeological Museum, housed in a restored mosque, is a treasure trove of artefacts that offer insights into the island’s past, dating back to prehistoric times. The exhibits include a range of objects, from pottery and coins to inscriptions and sculptures.
For a taste of the island’s vibrant culture, visit during their traditional festivals—the Feast of Sts. Constantine and Helen in May and the Navy Festival in June are particularly noteworthy. These events are marked by communal feasting, traditional music, and dance performances, providing an authentic experience of the island’s rich cultural heritage.
Kastellorizo also offers a gastronomic delight. Its tavernas serve various local dishes, with fresh seafood being a highlight. Pair this with a glass of ouzo, a traditional Greek aperitif, and you’ll have an unforgettable culinary experience.
In conclusion, Kastellorizo is more than just a charming island in the Aegean Sea. Its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture make it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, Kastellorizo promises a unique and enriching Greek island experience.