Kastellorizo – Dodecanese

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And so to another Dodecanese island, as part of my research for the Rough Guide to the Greek Islands.

I travelled from Rhodes to Kastellorizo by ferry.  It took longer than I thought: about three hours. But it’s quite nice to have some downtime, sitting on the deck, watching the sea go by.  And it’s so near Turkey!  In fact, only one nautical mile.

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Alas, Kastellorizo isn’t my favourite island.  Yes, there’s no doubt it is aesthetically beautiful, but there’s only really the port, the castle, and that’s it.  Why else isn’t it?  Read on…

People

Hmm, it’s a shame because in my experience (to date), Greek people have been incredibly giving and friendly.  But in Kastellorizo, it was very much because they wanted your money.

I can’t even get a free frappe, and I am stationed here!

This was a Greek solider doing his National Service.  OK, I’m not here to argue whether they should be getting free frappes or not, but my point is, it’s not just me, a tourist who feels it.  Talking to Greeks who aren’t from the island, they say the same thing.

Hotel

Clean - 'art nouveau' room
Clean – ‘art nouveau’ room

I stayed at the Poseidon Hotel, and although beautiful, it was a little overpriced.  Yes, I was the first person to stay in my suite (it had literally just been finished the day before) and yes, it was lovely – but at over 100 Euros a night – well…

It probably didn’t help that there was a huge Lebanese wedding party there the weekend I was there…maybe prices were inflated for this reason.

But help came in the form of a sculptor!

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Literally.  Yes, I bumped into Alekos Zygouris on the ferry, we struck up a conversation…and the rest is history.  An incredibly humble man, he lives in an old ‘chapel’ like place – no electricity or running water, just the sea and the land.

House and studio
House and studio

After a day of research, I liked nothing better to escape the din of the town square to sit with Alekos in companionable silence.  His studio was situated literally on the sea, in a wooded section.

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My three days have been made memorable because of this kind, gentle person and the Athenians I met there.  And (ironically), the bizarrely small airstrip and the fact my Aegean Air flight back to Rhodes was over five hours late, but then was given a free One Way ticket to use on any of their network!

All opinions expressed here are my own.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I have found this post via a later one about Alekos the sculptor, which was promoted on a Facebook page devoted to all literature with a Greek theme. I wonder what time of year you visited this wee island as I have just spent 4 days there (it is now June 2017), well in mid May to be precise which is probably early or pre- season and may explain why my view of the place differs so much from your own! We though it was delightful. Some wonderful walks are to be found on the island, some of them could be classed as ‘scrambles’! Not for everyone you might say but I’m mid sixties with both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis and I managed the hills and rocky paths with ease. We didn’t find it expensive at all compared to the few other islands we have visited and the people were charming and welcoming as Greeks generally are. The museums (one housed in the mosque)were so interesting and the curator was informative about the history of the island over the centuries. We even had the company of lads doing there national service at the garrison on the island, as they were having a trip to the museum one Sunday morning. We spoke to some of them who admitted that they had no idea the island existed ( they were Athenian)but really liked it and thought they had come up trumps with their first posting. The 2 euros entry fee was not going to break the bank. Our accommodation was a studio room in a traditional house with tiny balcony but use of the shaded roof terrace, which gave a real feeling of eastern Mediterranean life as opposed to European, and for 2 people cost us 130 euros for 3 nights. I’m definitely going to return and not only so I can visit Alekos and see his work.

    • Nice to see you had a positive experience Vicki. Hope you get to return one day and have more adventures on the Greek islands.

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