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Kastellorizo: A tiny, magical island with a huge history

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history

Kastellorizo is a small, but magical Greek island located in the southeastern Mediterranean.

‘Megisti’ (meaning ‘biggest’ or ‘greatest’) as Kastellorizo was once called, spans an area of 9 sq. km. But don’t let that fool you as it is a peaceful and alluring island that will surprise you with its hidden beauty.

The island reached worldwide fame in 1991 after war comedy-drama film ‘Mediterraneo’, was shot on the island. The film which was directed by award-winning film director and screenwriter Gabriele Salvatore, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992.

Here are our tips for this beautiful and idyllic island:

How do I get there?

  • Olympic Air flight from Rhodes, occurs a few times per week.
  • Ferry from Piraeus (Athens), occurs twice a week.
  • Ferry from Rhodes, occurs three times a week.
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Alexandra’s Restaurant
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Katoumari. Image Credit: Eleni Karavelatzi

Kastellorizo Specialties

When in Kastellorizo, it is an absolute must to taste the most popular dishes of the island including:

  • Salantourmasi Onions stuffed with a mixture of rice and tomatoes.
  • The day’s fresh seafood catch- the fresh taste of the sea is a serious enough reason for not wanting to leave the island. Not to mention, the prices are reasonable.
  • Katoumari- the traditional sweet pie of Kastellorizo.
  • Strava- fried baklava bites.

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Agios Georgios

Beaches

Kastellorizo does not have a single sandy beach, but it does have a number of places residents and visitors can go for an unforgettable dip in the crystal clear waters.

Agios Georgios is another beautiful bay worth taking a sea taxi to. There you will find emerald waters, shade, sun loungers and a cafe selling cool drinks and food.

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Alexandra’s Restaurant

Dining/drinks

  • Alexandra’s Restaurant: If you are after a special or casual meal, this is the place to go. There is a good menu selection available and it’s so easy to fall in love with the elegant fresh design of the restaurant including little olive trees on every table.
  • Ta Platania: Tasty, traditional food with dishes for all diets surrounded by a few of the islands’ most historical monuments.

 

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Ta Platania
  • Mikro Parisi: This restaurant is not only known for its local cuisine, but also the raki that the owner makes herself.
  • Meltemi: Enjoy a cocktail while sitting on one of its waterside chairs.
  • Stratos Café: A nice cafe on the edge of the harbour which makes great quality coffee and alcoholic drinks.
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Stratos Café

Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history

Activities and Adventures

  • The Archaeological Museum: Housed in a monument near the ruins of the Castle, its exhibits include archaeological findings of valuable price, objects dated back to the palaeochristian and byzantine period, frescos of the 17th century as well as objects of folk art.
  • Main Harbour: Walking around the harbour is relaxing and fascinating, especially in the morning or late afternoon.
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Lycian tomb
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*The Blue Cave
  • Lycian tomb: A perfectly preserved tomb of the 4th century with Dorian façade, carved under the castle right at the entrance of the port.
  • The Blue Cave: Arguably Kastellorizo’s premier attraction as it is one of the most beautiful underwater caves of the Mediterranean. 20 minutes away from the main port by boat, once inside the cave, with its stalactites and the odd seal, the magic of light begins. Swimming in this emerald secret lake is a unique experience.
  • The Castle: The fortress of the Crusaders Knights of St. John dates back on the 14th century. It was built at the top of the red rock (Castello Rosso) overlooking the port.
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*The Castle
Kastellorizo: A tiny place, a huge history
*Agios Georgios
  • Palaiokastro:  The most important monument, and the most ancient of the island, is located on the west side of Kastellorizo. It’s an ancient settlement with ruins of houses, water tanks and a Dorian Acropolis of the 3rd century where the sign with the name ‘Megisti’ is saved.
  • Metropolis of St. Constantine and Helen: Built in 1834, the temple of exceptional architecture and unique hagiographies, is located above Mandraki. Its roof is supported by twelve monolith granite columns, carried from the temple of Apollo at Patara of Lycia, in Asia Minor.
  • Agios Georgios: Apart from having a beach, the island also has a small church in the name of St. George, the patron saint of Greece.
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