Sailing the Dodecanese Islands
The Dodecanese Islands are located in the south eastern region of the Aegean Sea, stretching along the Turkish Coast. The island group consist of twelve major islands and a vast number of smaller islands: Astypalea, Leros, Lipsi, Nisyros, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Patmos, Rhodes, and Tilos.
Rhodes is probably one of the most popular destinations in Greece, with thousands of package holiday tourists visiting every year. While this may sound initially repellent, Rhodes still has much to offer sailors with its splendid medieval capital city, also named Rhodes, and several smaller coastal villages that retain their authentic appeal.
Take for example the lovely village of Lindos, which is one of the most attractive and beautiful villages of Rhodes.
The beauty of Lindos is due to its location. It sits in a sloping hill, dominated by an acropolis, and overlooking a picturesque bay. Lindos’ village itself has been built amphitheatrically and is full of whitewashed houses with pebble-paved courtyards, narrow alleys and buildings influenced by Byzantine, medieval, Arab and Rhodian architecture.
Kos is the starting port for sailing in the Northern Dodecanese. A touristy island, Kos highlights the benefits of a sailing holiday, where you can visit the bars, restaurants and churches and mosques of Kos town and then set out for the less populated islands of Pserimos, Kalymnos, Leros and Patmos.
Weather and Winds
In the summer months (June to September inclusive), the prevailing wind is the "Meltemi" coming from the NW-W like in the Cyclades islands and the open Aegean Sea. It begins to blow in mid June, powers-up from end July to early September and weakens off in October. The usual force of the North winds is 4-6 in Beaufort scale and may on occasion reach force 7 or more rarely 8. It does not blow every day, but may do so without break for 3 to 4 days and less times 5-6 days. When the "Meltemi" suffles at full strength, mainly in July and August, Attention should be drawn: The gusts off the leeward side of the islands are considerably stronger than those in the open sea or the windward side of the islands - because of the funneling phenomenon of the wind above the hills and small mounts of the Greek islands in the vicinity. Gusts are particularly strong off Patmos, Kalymnos, Kos, Nissyros, Tilos, Karpathos and Astypalea. Even stronger winds and big waves are often seen at the area off Ikria island, while the southern coast of Samos island is considered a calmer place for sailing in Greece and the Greek islands.