Best for: Intrepid island discovery, traditional Greek life, excellent winds, sailing groups, excellent variety Look out for: Intermediate level winds, less young family orientated area, longer sailing legs
The Dodecanese are a diverse group of 12 main islands and numerous small islets, nestled along the Turkish coast in the south-eastern Aegean. Sailing here offers the opportunity to enjoy the liveliness of Kos and Rhodes and then the greater thrill of sailing away to enjoy the peaceful, unspoilt and diverse outer islands. It is with these smaller islands that you'll fall in love, enjoy their sandy beaches, warm waters, rich history, enchanting character, traditional tavernas, Venetian architecture, Byzantine churches and medieval castles.
Dodecanese Islands at a Glance
A group of 12 'main' islands, 26 inhabited islands and 100 or so uninhabited islands means there's a huge amount to discover
Wonderfully diverse, with sandy beaches, lively islands, picturesque harbours and an abundance of heritage sites and history
Located in the south east Aegean Sea against the Turkish coast, they can be subject to the strong Meltemi wind during peak season
Dodecanese Islands Sailing Itineraries
Bear in mind that above Kos, the islands that include Kalymnos, Pserimos, Lipsi and Patmos are generally laid out north to south, the same as the prevailing wind. This should be noted, particularly if the winds are blowing strongly as they tend to do so during mid and peak season. The islands between Kos and Rhodes, which include Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki and the wonderful Symi are more lateral to the wind, which makes for easier sailing.
This two week itinerary ventures north past Kos before sailing with the prevailing wind back to the base at Rhodes.
How to get here - Flights and Transfers
There are flights to both Kos and Rhodes throughout the summer from several airports around the United Kingdom. To Kos you can fly direct on Saturdays from London Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow and Manchester. To Rhodes, Saturday flights are far more prevalent, with direct flights from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, East Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.
The Dodecanese Islands are subject to more wind than the Ionian and Saronic Islands. The Meltemi is a strong northerly wind that begins to blow in June and then 'powers up' in late July to early September, consistently reaching Force 6 (strong winds) and with Force 7 (near gale) winds not unheard of. Look out for stronger gusts on the leeward side of islands as well.
The weather in the Dodecanese is some of the hottest and driest in Greece. This means early and late season is the ideal time to go, when the winds are at their most manageable. This area is a fanastic place to sail and during this time expect temperatures in the mid-20s, while during the peak months of July and August it heats up to the mid-30s