Kastellorizo

Dodecanese Islands

Kastellorizo is a difficult island to reach, which is why it has retained so much of its charm. It is definitely one to seek out for those who like to get away from it all and have a real and unique Greek island experience.

Fewer than 300 people live on Kastellorizo, and almost all of these live in the one village on the island, which is also called Kastellorizo. See it today and it's hard to believe that about a hundred years ago there were some 10,000 people living here. Most left during the Greek-Turkish population exchange in 1923, and more were forced to leave during World War II, ordered out by the British army.

Kastellorizo Harbour

The main reason for the island's previous importance is its magnificent and vast horseshoe-shaped harbour, which takes the breath away if you arrive by ferry. It's one of the biggest harbours in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the island's location just one nautical mile from the Turkish town of Kaş. By contrast, the nearest main Greek island is Rhodes, seventy nautical miles away. 

The amount of trade the harbour generated resulted in some wealthy people here. Many of their mansions fell into ruin after 1923, and others were destroyed during World War II. Some remained however, and a lot of these have been renovated by islanders returning home either to live or have a second home. Some lining the harbour have been painted in bold colours, making for a striking sight.

Kastellorizo Town

 For such a small population, the main - the only - town on the island is surprisingly lively, thanks to returning ex-pats and the more adventurous holidaymakers that get here. There's a good choice of accommodation and of eating places, a bank, post office and several travel agents.

There are several things to see in the town and around the island. In the town itself is an Archaeological Museum and the Megisti Museum. Megisti is an alternative name for Kastellorizo. It means 'biggest', but only in the sense of it being the biggest of this little group of islands. It is in fact the smallest of the main Dodecanese islands.

On a hill above the town stand the ruins of a castle, which is where the name Kastellorizo comes from. Because of the red cliffs on which it stands, it was originally known as the Castello Rosso, or Red Castle.

Other attractions on the island include a Lycian tomb dating from the 4th century BC, and the Blue Cave. You can take a boat trip to the cave from the main town, and from here you can also take trips to Kaş in Turkey.

Getting to Kastellorizo

Flights to Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo does have a domestic airport but the only flights are a few each week from Rhodes with Olympic Air. Be aware that at the time of writing there's no bus from the airport to the main town, which is 1.5 miles (2.5 kms) away, though there is a taxi service on the island. Be prepared for a walk or a wait, although there has been a bus service in the past so perhaps it may get reinstated.

Ferries to Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo is not much easier to reach by ferry. There is only one ferry a week from Rhodes, and that only operates in the summer months, going to Kastellorizo and coming back on a Saturday. It takes 2.25 hours each way. You can also get there from Rhodes on a different ferry service which operates from Piraeus twice a week, year-round. It takes almost 24 hours to get from Piraeus to Kastellorizo.

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Where to Stay on Kastellorizo


Don't miss this read from the excellent GREECE IS website about how one man fell in love with Kastellorizo and now returns every year:

Summer’s Gifts on the Small Island with a Big Heart

Check our other Dodecanese pages...

  • A Holiday on Symi

    Mike Gerrard wasn’t sure what to expect from a holiday on Symi, in the Greek islands, but what he found was lots of local feasting, dancing, and music.

  • Symi in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Symi (or Simi) is a small island in the Dodecanese near Rhodes with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas.

  • Easter on Symi

    Easter on Symi is a wonderful Greek celebration and one of the best times to visit the little gem of an island a short ferry-ride from Rhodes in the Dodecanese.

  • Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Astypalaia in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is a largely unspoilt island with good beaches.

  • Our Feast Day on Astipalia

    Greece Travel Secrets helps celebrate a feast day on Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

  • Rhodes

    Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

  • A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

  • Patmos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Patmos in the Dodecanese islands is famous for the monasteries of St John and the Apocalypse and on this page you can also read about flights and ferries

  • Arki

    Arki is a small island in the Dodecanese close to Lipsi, with beaches and tavernas with rooms to rent and ferry connections with Patmos, Samos and Marathi.

  • Agathonisi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece

    Agathonisi is a small island in the Dodecanese with quiet beaches, a few hotels, pensions and rooms to rent.

  • Wild Abandon

    Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.

  • Tilos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Tilos is a small island in the Dodecanese between Rhodes and Kos with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas and ancient remains.

  • Nisyros

    Nisyros is a unique volcanic island in the Dodecanese and easily reached on day trips from Kos Town and Kardamena.

  • Lipsi

    Travel information on Lipsi in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Leros in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Leros is a sizeable island in the Dodecanese with flights from Athens, ferries from Rhodes and Piraeus, good beaches, restaurants and hotels.

  • Kos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece has good beaches and night-life, and archaeological remains.

  • Kasos

    Travel information on Kasos in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is noted for its traditions, its music, and mountain villages like Olympos.

  • Kalymnos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kalymnos in Greece in the Dodecanese islands is most famous for its history of sponge fishing, and see here information about flights and ferries.

  • Halki

    Travel information on Halki in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Dodecanese

    Travel and vacation information about the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Patmos, Halki, Tilos, Karpathos, Leros, Lipsi, Astipalea.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. A Holiday on Symi

    Mike Gerrard wasn’t sure what to expect from a holiday on Symi, in the Greek islands, but what he found was lots of local feasting, dancing, and music.

    Read More

  2. Our Feast Day on Astipalia

    Greece Travel Secrets helps celebrate a feast day on Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

    Read More

  3. Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

    Read More

  4. Walking on Paxos

    Walking on Paxos is the best way to discover this tiny island south of Corfu in the Ionian Islands, with its wooded hills and terraces of olive trees.

    Read More

  5. Easter on Symi

    Easter on Symi is a wonderful Greek celebration and one of the best times to visit the little gem of an island a short ferry-ride from Rhodes in the Dodecanese.

    Read More

  6. Best Time to Visit Mykonos

    The best time to visit Mykonos depends on if you want crowds or quiet, heat or cooler temperatures, all of which affect when is the best time to visit Mykonos.

    Read More

  7. Flying to Greece? Here’s What You Need to Know

    The rules that all international passengers must follow to travel to Greece have been extended until October 8, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) said on Friday. The rules are part of the H…

    Read More

  8. Delta: Direct Flights from Boston to Athens in Summer 2022

    Delta Air Lines on Sunday announced that it will launch a new service from Boston in the United States to Athens, Greece, in the summer of 2022. Launching on May 27 next year, the new nonstop service…

    Read More

  9. UNESCO Calls on UK to ‘Reconsider’ Returning Parthenon Marbles to Greece

    UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is urging the British Museum to reconsider repatriating the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and to enter talks on the issue, Greek…

    Read More

  10. Mt Olympus Designated a National Park

    The epicenter of an entire religion and of the ancient Greek world, and a spectacular place of natural beauty, Mount Olympus is finally, officially, a National Park.

    Read More