Down by the east corner of Greece lies Kastelorizo, one of the loveliest and most picturesque spots in the Dodecanese island cluster, right next to Turkish shores. Few people get to see its beauty, due to its geographical limitation and subsequent lack of transport infrastructure, but yachts and catamarans have been known to moor on its postcard picture port town. Similar to many of its neighboring cousins, like Symi, the town is a cascading avalanche of pastel hued neoclassical mansions jutting down to the sea. If you think you’ve seen beauty, you better get started with picking up your jaw off from the ground. Kastelorizo will have you scrambling for the phone and the nearest estate agent before you can say taramosalata.
Like most Greek islands, there is significant archaeological evidence to suggest a Neolithic presence there. After that it’s Minoans, Dorians and Romans and lastly Ottoman Turks. There’s still fragments of Cyclopean walls and several other artefacts collected throughout the years. The name of the island is in fact derived from the Italian ‘Castelo Roso’, due to the high concentration of red soil.
So what’s so special about Kastelorizo? Well, everything and nothing. The base allure of this place is its cosmic tranquility and serene way of life. The fact that Kastelorizo also happens to have some of the clearest azure waters in the Med definitely helps. And for diving lovers go no further than the famous ‘Blue Cave’; the biggest one of its kind in Greece, with kaleidoscopic stalactites reflecting light on to the waters and sea life teeming underneath.
You won’t find spectacular beaches and amenities a la Mykonos, but if you’re into taking it easy, sitting by the sea on a tavern eating freshly caught octopi and calamari, then Kastelorizo has your name written all over it.