Kastelorizo

The oscar-winning star of the southeast Aegean
Lined with handsome old houses, Kastelorizo’s little harbour could be an advertisement for Dodecanese architecture
Scroll
Today
13°
MON
15°
TUE
16°
WED
16°
THU
15°
Thrace region-id="pin-13";Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
On the fringes of the Dodecanese, this tiny island is fiercely Greek but infinitely hospitable

This perfect gem of an island lies just 800m from the Turkish coast, but it is ineffably Greek. On the map, it appears a mere speck in the Mediterranean, yet for eons it lay on the crossroads of all the major civilisations. It prospered, too, as you will see from the impressively restored mansions that line the port and only town, and from the red castle nearby that gave the island its name. Most importantly, Zeus, the god of hospitality, still reigns here and the locals will make sure your holiday is memorable. Welcome to Kastelorizo!

 

What to do on Kastelorizo

Kastelorizo, the setting for Mediterraneo

This is where the 1991 Oscar-winning film Mediterraneo was shot, catapulting the island from obscurity to world fame. Audiences were entranced, not only with its beauty but with the open-heartedness, laid-back ambience and positive energy that shone through on celluloid. Kastelorizo has a viral power: stories and legends are passed down from generation to generation and then from country to country. And the backdrop is always the same: the deep blue of the Aegean. When you leave, you’ll also want to share your impressions of the island of the Red Rock.

The harbour: a technicolour amphitheatre

Lined with handsome old houses, Kastelorizo’s little harbour could be an advertisement for Dodecanese architecture. Two-storeyed, painted with vivid colours – not white – they climb the hill behind it like tiers in an amphitheatre, with the sea as the stage. Its different neighbourhoods – the Centre, Pera Meria (or Palameria), Kavos – still retain the atmosphere of a century ago. 

Small island, long history

A stroll round to the older part of town makes a fascinating history lesson. In Kastelorizo you’ll find a plethora of significant sights and attractions. Start at Kastello Rosso  where the castle, erected by the Knights of St John on the russet hill, takes you back to the 14th century.

Climb the narrow iron staircase to where the Greek flag flutters for a wonderful view of the harbour. Below the castle is the beautifully preserved Lycian tomb, in haut-relief carved out of the rock. East of it lies the picturesque port of Mandraki and above it is the church of St Constantine and St Helen, the island’s cathedral with gothic features built on the site of an early Christian basilica.

A trip to the Blue Caves

Some say this is the most stunning grotto in the Mediterranean. Arriving here by boat, you may agree. By some magical means, the sunlight reflected at the back of the cave paints the water an unbelievable shade of Aegean blue, which can be neither described nor captured in photos.

 

Hidden gems of Kastelorizo

Wuthering heights up at Ai Giorgi

275, 276, 277... only a few more steps to go. You’re climbing the steep path from Horafia to the top of a high hill for a reason. Not only will you be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view but you’ll also find yourself at the fortified monastery of Ai Giorgi tou Vounou (St George of the Mountain).

The Lady of Rho, a legend in our times

The islet of Rho (also called Agios Georgios or Rhopi) lies to the southwest of Kastelorizo. For Greeks it has special, symbolic importance thanks to a remarkable woman, Despina Achladioti, who lived there completely alone for 40 years. What started as a patriotic act of resistance during the Nazi Occupation continued until her death. Every morning she raised the Greek flag on this remote outpost and took it down every evening as the sun set. Any would-be invader would have to contend with her first.

Ancient Museum of Kastelorizo

You’ll find a remarkable collection of artefacts from ancient and Byzantine times here, as well as samples of local handicraft that will initiate you into the traditions of the island.

  • Archaeological Museum of Kastelorizo
  • The harbour: a technicolour amphitheatre
  • Wuthering heights up at Ai Giorgi
  • The Lady of Rho, a legend in our times
  • Kastelorizo, the setting for Mediterraneo
Highlights

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
The harbour of Kastelorizo, a technicolour amphitheatre

Easter in Kastelorizo

Experience an authentic Greek Easter on the edge of the Aegean Sea
Votsi beach, Alonnisos

Greece’s 10 Hidden Gems

Unexplored islands, with a rich history, secret beaches and rare natural beauty. Discover Greece’s island-treasures and experience authentic moments