Where on earth is the island of Kastelorizo? Most people have never heard of this place before. It is about 100km northeast of Rhodes and is part of the Greek Dodecanese Islands. In addition, Kastelorizo is also credited with being the eastern-most island in the whole of Greece.
Given its far-flung location (sometimes it does not even feature in some maps of Greece because it is just too far away) there are only 2 or 3 regular ferry services every week from Rhodes Town to the tiny rocky island. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and they bring essential supplies to the some 200-400 inhabitants who live all year round on Kastelorizo. In the summer months, several excursion boats offer daily trips from Rhodes Town to Kastelorizo.
Although politically part of Greece and the European Union, Kastelorizo is just 2km off the southern coast of Turkey. From Kas, the boat ride across the Aegean to Kastelorizo takes barely 30 minutes on a traditional gulet or caique. Every Friday, most of the inhabitants of Kastelorizo would travel by boat over to Kas and do their shoppings in Turkey. On the return journey the small boat is filled with all kinds of merchandise, even furnitures. Given the distance between Kastelorizo and Rhodes, it is much cheaper for the locals to purchase consumer goods and foodstuffs in Kas then going all the way to Rhodes.
Kastelorizo - Harbour Kastelorizo 港口景色
Until recently, Kastelorizo was not an official point of entry into Greece, which means visitors from Kas were not allowed to travel onward to Rhodes and other parts of Greece from Kastelorizo. However, when we visited the island in February 2008, to our surprise, the Greek immigration officials actually stamped our passports – proper Schengen entry and exit stamps – and this means that technically speaking, it is now not against Greek or EU immigration laws if visitors choose to proceed onward by ferry or flight to Rhodes.