Kastellorizo, one of the most charming islands of the Dodecanese

Megisti, which is the official name of the island and is known as Kastellorizo, is one of the islands of the Dodecanese. Megisti is the easternmost point of Greece. The island of Megisti is 1.25 nautical miles from the southwestern Turkish coast and 72 nautical miles from Rhodes. It is 328 nautical miles from Piraeus and 150 nautical miles from Cyprus. It has only one settlement, located in the central port and in the port of Mandraki.

The island is accompanied by a rich maritime tradition, with strong signs of the maritime and commercial development it once experienced. It gained worldwide recognition in 1991 when the Oscar-winning film Mediterraneo was filmed there.


Throughout its history, the island has not been immune to the world's historical events of various eras. Geographically located at the crossroads of the development of civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean

These dominations were also the cause of repeated destruction and looting that the island suffered. However, its inhabitants fought and defended themselves with courage, earning the admiration of all.

The people of the island have always been particularly patriotic and have never abandoned it. They were hardworking and prosperous, starting over and accumulating earthly goods, especially gold, after each such disaster.

Savary writes, "The love of the inhabitants for their homeland is so great that they never leave it...." For the prosperity of the island, Stochove writes in 1630, "... many few Greeks live as comfortably as the inhabitants of Kastellorizo..."

Despite their economic prosperity and maritime power, they were never arrogant and did not get involved in pirate adventures. On the contrary, they have always been hardworking and hospitable, deeply rooted in their faith in religion and family.

By nature, they are a peaceful and progressive people, attracting the favor of the rulers of the time, who, through decrees, placed them under their protection.

Customs and Traditions

Kastellorizo takes care to preserve its customs, traditions, and heritage. Thus, Easter, the most important celebration of Christianity, is accompanied by special reverence during Holy Week and culminates in a spectacular celebration after the Resurrection, which can last for days. ω

In Kastellorizo, many festivals and celebrations are organized each year, mainly for religious reasons, full of dance, song, and festivities, such as:

May 21st, Constantine and Helen, the Patron Saints of our island.

August 15th, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a procession with the icon.

A special interest is the celebration of Prophet Elias on July 20th, characterized by an interesting custom where the islanders jump into the sea fully dressed. Another significant date for the island is September 13th, the liberation of the island, a day marked by various festive events."


Kastellorizo is accessible by both sea (2-4 hours) and air (45 minutes) from Rhodes.

The airport is located 4 kilometers from the port, connected by the island's only asphalt road. Public transportation is provided by a taxi and a small bus, the latter only during the summer, which run to the airport.

The rest of the island is explored on foot, through a network of natural trails. For boats, there is a refueling station at the port of Kastellorizo. There is also a post office, a bank, a medical center, and various small stores for basic needs. In the "Chorafia" area, you will find the three-class municipal primary school and the gymnasium with high school classes on the island.


Here you will find the freshest fish you've ever tasted. If you don't believe us, you will see the fishermen every morning distributing the fish to the restaurants while they are still alive! Grouper, swordfish, snapper, and especially the shrimp are in great abundance and incredibly delicious!

Of course, homemade dishes are also part of the local cuisine. Try the chickpea patties, stuffed onions. Don't hesitate to taste the traditional sweets such as katoumari (round sweet pie with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves), halva, and strava (baklava with leavened dough), which are offered as desserts.

Sights and Attractions

The boat is the only means of transportation to inaccessible beaches and caves, as well as to the neighboring islets of Ro, Agios Georgios, and Stroggili. The ancient Antiphellos, the present-day Kas on the Turkish coast, can be clearly seen from the harbor, and daily boats transport tourists back and forth.

In addition to its historical past, the island has several attractions, such as:

Castle of the Knights of Saint John: Built in the 14th century, today only the ruins of the structure remain, located on Kastello Rosso, the red rock from which the island gets its name.

Palaiokastro: Located on the western side of Kastellorizo, it is the most significant and oldest monument on the island. It is an ancient settlement with many buildings and cisterns. On the Dorian acropolis of the 3rd century BC, there is an inscription that includes the term "Megiste." In the area, at the location of Limenari, there are also the Cyclopean Walls.

Agios Georgios tou Vounou (Saint George of the Mountain): From the harbor, 401 steps lead to Agios Georgios tou Vounou (or Vouniou). It is located in the Palaiokastro area and is surrounded by massive natural rocks. Inside the church, there is a hole that leads to a cave with a spring and a wall painting of Saint George deep inside. Inside the monastery, there is a cave, Saint Charalambos.

Lycian Tomb: This tomb from the 4th century BC is carved into the foothills of the Castle. The residents of the region of Asia Minor were called Lycians because their god, Lycian Apollo, was worshiped as a wolf.

Archaeological and Folklore Museum of Kastellorizo: Housed in the historic white building above the restored Mosque, near the Castle's ruins. Its exhibits include archaeological artifacts of inestimable value from various periods of antiquity, 17th-century frescoes, traditional costumes, and objects of folk art..

Metropolitan Church of Saints Constantine and Helen: On the most prominent spot on the island, above Mandraki, stands the Metropolitan Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, closely linked to the social and cultural life of Kastellorizo since its establishment (around 1835). The church is built in the rhythm of a tri-lobed basilica with rich iconography, a marble iconostasis, and a very tall marble bell tower. The roof of this Metropolitan Church is supported by twelve monolithic granite columns, which were transferred from the temple of Apollo in Patara, Asia Minor, on the opposite Anatolian coast. In the pebbled courtyard of the church, there is also the Santorinian Municipal School (today's primary school).

"Cave of Parasta" or "Fokiai Cave": Located on the southeast side of the island, twenty minutes by boat from the harbor, is the Blue Cave of Kastellorizo. Better known as the "Cave of Parasta" or "Fokiai," from the seals that inhabit it, it is the largest of the underwater caves in Greece and one of the world-famous ones for its rich stalactite decoration. It is located at the southern point of the island and has a length of 75 meters and a height of 35 meters. The entrance is relatively low, at the height of a small boat.

Ro Island: To the west of the island, there is the small island of Ro, which can be visited by chartered boat. It is known for the "Lady of Ro," Despina Achladioti (1898-1982), the island's only inhabitant, who raised the Greek flag every morning for decades.

Museum of Riddles (Mousio Grifon): Since August 2020, the island has had the first Museum of Riddles in Greece and one of the few in the world. The purpose of this interactive museum is to inspire both young and old with curious mechanisms and ways of solving riddles. In addition, each guided tour mentions all the existing types of riddles, such as sequential, interconnected, folded, matching, and many more. Kastellorizo has a tradition of riddles, with examples like the magazine "Anamniseis" by Michael Petrides, which can be found in the Folklore Museum and contains enigmas, crossword puzzles, and other puzzles. The museum exhibits over 4,000 riddles, many of which are rare or original.


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