Perched just off the coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, Kastellorizo is an off-the-beaten-track island in the Dodecanese. Its popularity with tourists has risen significantly since providing the setting for the 1991 Oscar-winning movie “Mediterraneo”. The main settlement, Kastellorizo Town, is designed like an amphitheatre, with its Neoclassical residences cascading down to a peaceful harbour.
Things to do in Kastellorizo
Spend a day exploring the narrow streets of Kastellorizo Town, which is clustered with Anatolian-style, three-storey houses. In the Kavos district, you can learn about the ancient history of the island at the Archaeological Museum where early Christian and Byzantine artefacts are exhibited. Kastellorizo’s more recent history is showcased at the Popular Art Museum, which is housed within an old mosque.
Overlooking Kastellorizo Town is the Castello Rosso, a Knights of St. John castle that’s named after the red rock on which it was constructed. Established in the 14th century, its ruins offer sweeping views towards the Turkish coastline and encompass a rock-hewn Lycian tomb that dates back to the 4th century.
One of the most important monuments on Kastellorizo is the Palaiokastro, an ancient fortress that was built atop the ruins of a Doric citadel and has remained beautifully preserved since the Byzantine period. Wander between its ruined houses and whitewashed churches such as Panagia tou Kastrou and Agios Stefanos, then marvel at the cisterns that were built during the island’s Turkish occupation.
Getting around Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo Airport is around five minutes’ drive from the town of Kastellorizo and has regular flights to Rhodes. Ferries also connect with Rhodes, as well as to Kaş in Turkey and the Athens port of Piraeus. There is one bus service on the island, although the town of Kastellorizo is compact enough to explore on foot.