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KASTELLORIZON: A Greek Outpost

Approximately 3 NM from the town of Kas is Kastellorizon, one of the most remote Greek islands.  Boats travelling the southern Turkish coast pass between it and the Turkish mainland, and it is said that hoisting a Greek flag is sufficient to make a brief visit there without observing formalties.

We wanted to visit Kastelorizon and considered taking Destiny there “under the radar” so to speak, but also had an issue with our current Turkish visas expiring in mid-June which meant we needed to leave Turkey for the day and get a new 90 day visa upon our return.

A trip to Kastelorizon proved to be quick and much less expensive than traveling from Marmaris to Rhodes as we had previously planned.  A local travel agent was recommended to us who arranged all the passport requirements and the ferry tickets.

Leaving Kas Harbor on the ferry. . .

was a new experience for me. . .we don't have beanbag chairs on Destiny.

The ferry ride from Kas took about 30 minutes.  Arriving in Kastelorizon was like visiting a movie set for a Greek village.  All the houses looked fairly new and freshly painted.  The ruins of a picturesque castle perch over the small harbor which is surrounded by small colorful fishing boats.

Much of Kastellorizon is undeveloped. . .

but the harbor is lined with post card perfect houses. . .

but the harbor is lined with post card perfect houses. . .

and cafes. . .

and colorful boats. . .absolutely enchanting.

Exiting the ferry and with hours to kill before lunch time, we headed off to find the path to the castle.  It turned out that we took the long and steep route, but it took us by a Lycian tomb from the 4th Century B.C.

We followed a seaside walkway. . .

and climbed up. . .

and then walked some more. . .

first to a 4th Century B.C. Lycian tomb. . .

and finally reaching the castle.

The walkway along the sea was impressive, and after climbing various stairs we reached the long set that approached the castle.  Having come that far we were not deterred from the last step climb and were rewarded with panoramic views of the island, its surrounding islets and Kas in the distance.

View of the harbor. . .

with boats arriving at the quay.

From the castle the view of the harbor was impressive.  Several private sailboats were at the quay, but for the most part other than island residents the only people around were those from our small ferry.  The island was lush with flowers, so much so that Kent couldn’t resist playing in them.

Lush with flowers. . .

and petals on the ground.

There were several churches on the island, but none unlocked.  The clock tower on one of the churches did chime during our stay which included a lovely lunch at a restaurant owned by an Australian.  Mousakka every bit as good “as Mama’s” in my opinion—“Mama” being a little Greek woman we met off season at a beachside taverna who served us her family’s lunch.

Lunch at a Greek taverna owned by an Australian whose mother was born on the island.

After lunch Kent decided to try his hand at a traditional Greek past-time.

. . .mending fishing nets.

One sure sign that we were in Greece was the abundance of blue and white–the sea and sky of course, but also

Blue and white on buildings. . .

and boats. . .

and of course the Greek flag.

One of the additional benefits of our day trip to Greece was being able to purchase duty free liquor to bring back to Turkey.  Alcohol is heavily taxed in Turkey, even the local wines. Entering the EU means getting access to liquor that is not imported or can only be had in Turkey at exorbitant prices.  We are now stocked up with gin and vodka that should last until we are back in Greece later this summer.

Leaving the island proved interesting when a mega-ferry arrived just as we were about to depart. 

Kastelorizon has ferries from mainland Greece. . .

. . .that leave little room for a small Turkish ferry to pass.

As we finally squeeze by the Greek ferry we can see Kas on the distant hillside.  Back to Turkey!

Our journey east now ended, we are heading west and then north, possibly as far as Istanbul.  From Kas we will back track to Fethiye where we hope to meet up with friends before returning to Marmaris to say “good-bye” to yet more friends.

 Then we’ll see where the wind blows—but hopefully it will be favorable to go north.

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  1. May 31st, 2011 at 07:15 | #1

    Wonderful pics and stories. You do a great job of weaving together the two. We (Paul) liked Castillorizon as well, and did the same trip for visa purposes.

    We’re in Ekincik, on our way to Marmaris, then to the Datca Peninsula. We look forward to catching up soon.

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