The Dodecanese Islands
Myths, Legends and History
Explore the Dodecanese islands and experience a feast for all the senses. Start your trip on the more familiar island of Rhodes, head next to the unspoilt harbour town of Halki and then on to scenic and rugged Karpathos - new for Olympic Holidays in 2019 and a gem for keen walkers.
See below for our recommended itinerary. For the best connections, we suggest you start your trip on a Wednesday or Saturday. Available from 15 May until 19 October. Flights are available on other dates. Inter island transfers by ferry are included, as are private car transfers between each hotel and the ferry port.
Visitors to Karpathos fly into Rhodes and then catch a ferry which takes approximately 4.5 hours. Ferries from Rhodes to Karpathos depart on Wednesdays and Thursdays at approximately 08:00 and on Sundays at 03.20. Ferries depart Karpathos on Tuesdays and Wednesdays around midday.
Please note: Ferry timetables and operating days are subject to change.
Rhodes is said to have been blessed by the sun gold Helios, and boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine every year on its secluded coves.
The ancient city was built in the 5th century BC by Hippodamos of Miletos, and was once double the size it is now.
The fortified Old Town is centuries newer! Built by the Knights of St John in the 14th century, it is one of the best walled cities you are likely to see. The Knights began as a religious order, looking after the wounded and sick crusaders but when the Ottoman Empire attempted to conquer the island the Knights formed a military order.
During your island hop take a 30-minute walk from the Old Town up to the remains of the acropolis of Hellenistic Rhodes, on Monte Smith. See the restored stadium and columns of the Apollo Pythios temple – and keep in mind it was from here that the city once stretched to the sea.
Always visit in the early morning or the evening to avoid the heat and enjoy the sunrise, sunset or night-time twinkling lights below and take an Olympic Holidays’ moment to stop and soak up the incredible history of this fascinating island.
Halki has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and, according to Greek mythology, Titans were the first settlers. Over the centuries it has been ruled by the Pelasgians, Caraes and Phoenicians, as well as the Arabs, the Venetians and Genovese.
At Olympic Holidays we can see why this tiny island has always been so desirable – you should also prepare to fall in love with Halki during your island hop!
Emborio is the main port with 19th-century mansions built from the years of fishing wealth. Once an island of 3,000 inhabitants, there are now 300, plus holiday visitors, so enjoy the peace and sleepy setting! There is no beach but locals and visitors simply swim from the quay or rocks.
Keen walkers can hike to Areta Fjord in the north to see roosting seabirds or discover the abandoned village of Horio, capped by another castle built by the Knights of St John.
Get ready to unveil Karpathos’s historic mysteries! The island has seen long line of conquerors who all created its cultural path from Antiquity to the Modern Ages.
Karpathos is also an island of legends and it is said that the first inhabitants kidnapped the Gods from Mount Olympus and brought them to the island. Another myth says that Karpathos was the homeland of the Titan Iapetus and was the place where Athena sprung out of Zeus’s head.
The island’s history during the Hellenistic period has a close link with Rhodes and it was the Romans, Francs, Turks and Italians who took their turns to rule but there are modern local legends, too. It is said that a sea monster lived in the beach of Fysses near Olympos … although we at Olympic Holidays think that maybe the dark sea spooked the locals and they created the legend to justify their fear!
Either way, the island is now peaceful, with dramatic scenery to explore and an exciting choice for keen walkers who can discover coastal caves, including the Cave of Poseidon at the ancient site of Myloi.
Build your Island Hopping trip
- Located in Lindos
- Open plan studios set around pool and garden
- Friendly and welcoming
Kassandra Family Apartments
- Located in Ialyssos
- Five apartment blocks surround two pools
- Five mins from sand and shingle beach
- Located in Kolymbia
- Ideal choice for families
- Daytime and evening entertainment
Esperides Beach Family Resort
- Located in Kalithea
- Great facilities and choice of activities
- All Inclusive
Sheraton Rhodes Resort
- Located in Ixia
- Five swimming pools
- Great for families
Kiki Studios ★★Plus
- Located in Emborio, 15 min walk from beach
- Five minute downhill stroll to harbour, bars and tavernas
- Studios for couples and families
Villa Nina ★★
- Located in Emborio
- Close to the sea
- Just minutes from village centre
Villa Tsandou ★★Plus
- Located in Emborio
- Spacious rooms
- Comfortable lounge with Wifi