The Dodecanese is the group of islands between Samos, Crete and the Asian Minor coast in the Aegean Sea. In reality there are 14 islands: Astypalea, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Chalki, Kasos , Kastelorizo, Kos, Leros, Nisyros, Lipsi, Patmos, Symi, Rhodes and Tilos, but there are dozens of smaller islands that are sparsely populated or uninhabited.
The Dodecanese islands are known for their beauty, history and cultural attractions. The total population is about 190,100 inhabitants and in 2006 the inhabited islands and the smaller islands of the Dodecanese were 27. The earliest inhabitants were the Carians, the Telchines and later the Achaeans and the Dorians. The Dodecanese flourished in the Hellenistic period.
The Dodecanese islands have beautiful beaches, magnificent landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Like all Greek islands, in the Dodecanese you will find great specialties not found anywhere else in Greece. In ancient times the island complex developed the trade of cereal and wine and then dealt with the spices. The sea has always been a basic food source and, hence, some of the most delicious treats of Greece come from here.