KASTELORIZO - THE ACRITIC ISLAND OF THE AEGEAN
Kastelorizo or Megisti (Castel Rosso) is the easternmost point of Greece that got its name because of the red rocks of the hill where the Castle of the Knights or Castelo Rosso is built. The only settlement of the island is the homonymous Kastellorizo that has been declared protected and is located around the natural port which consists of three districts Pigadia, Chorafia and Mandraki. Kastelorizo belongs to the islands of the barren line, although it remains cosmopolitan with the peculiarity of having a unique road that connects the port with the airport. Around there, are several islands with Ro more famous due to the Lady of Ro who until the end of her life raised the Greek flag every day. In the port of Kastelorizo one can admire her bust. The colorful mansions (yellow, light blue, red and white) are amphitheatrically built facing the sea, creating a mosaic that enchants.
In the port stands the minaret with the red dome of 1755 where the Historical Collection is now housed with rare documents, photographs and heirlooms. The City Hall and the New Market are two architectural jewels of the island with arches, which are of Italian style while the building of Santrapia Urban School with the pebble floor is a faithful imitation of the University of Athens. Mandraki is the back bay of the island with Kavos from where the wide steps start and pass through its central square, Agios Konstantinos and Eleni and the Santrapio School. An alternative route is the path from the sea that passes through the Lycian tomb of the 4th century BC. which is carved into the rocks. The castle of the Knights of St. John built by the Knights of the Order of St. John on the hill, is located at the entrance of the port. It has been designated a Preserved Monument by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Dodecanese and a Tower, the outer Bastion and the church of Agios Nikolaos are preserved.
Paleokastro is the oldest and most important monument of the island built on the top of Bigla hill, in the ruins of the ancient Doric acropolis. This is the ancient citadel of the island that was built around the 3rd century BC. and was used until the period of Italian occupation. One of the most beautiful caves in the Mediterranean is the Blue Cave or Parasta Cave which is one of the rarest geological phenomena in the world located in the south of the island and is an attraction for those who visit the remote island. It is 25 minutes by boat from the port, is 75 m long and contains rich dripping decoration. One enters the cave crouched in a low boat and swimming in this emerald secret lake is a unique experience. On Mandraki dominates the Diocese of Saints Constantine and Helen, a church in the style of a three-aisled vaulted basilica, with a marble bell tower. Its roof rests on 12 granite columns that were transferred from the temple of Apollo to Central Asia.
The beaches of the island are rocky without sand since Kastelorizo is a big rock. For this reason it has no sandy beaches, although the length of the coastline is 18.3 km. The places where one can swim are accessible by boat, sea taxi, on foot or on the stairs to the rocks. The bay of the port is suitable for diving, while you can also swim in Plakes. There are beautiful beaches on the neighboring islands of Ro, Strongyli and Agios Georgios, where access is by boat from Kastelorizo. The traditional products of the island are the chickpea meatballs, goat stuffed with bread crumbs, the wedding pilaf, the "strava" (a type of baklava), the halva of the spoon, the "katoumaria" (sweet pie), the sykalaki, the lazarakia, the buns and soumada. On July 20, the festival of Prophet Elias takes place where the locals have a custom of falling in clothes with the sea.