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Anyone been to the Dodecanese Islands or Corfu and could give some advice?

I'm planning on three weeks in the early fall. I originally planned the trip so I could go in September cause I kept reading how crowded both Rhodes and Corfu are in July/August. But now that I'm planning it's looking like going late August, early September is better. The last two flights of the year on Easy jet from Paris to Rhodes are Aug 25 or 29.

Here's my tentative plan:
Paris Aug 21-25 (been many times, mostly just for logistical purposes this trip)
Rhodes Aug 25 - 31 (6 nights, 1 or 2 day trips)
Kos Sept 1-3
Patmos Sept 3-6
Leros Sept 6-8
Corfu Sept 8-14
Italian Lakes and Switzerland Sept 14-27

Corfu and the remaining part of the trip look best if I do earlier, but how is Rhodes the last week in August?

Has anyone been to Kos, Patmos or Leros and can speak to how long you "need" there. Sightseeing and photography are main goals, beach time will just fit itself in and if it doesn't that's OK.

How about the amount of time in Rhodes and Corfu?


Posted by
5634 posts

That looks like a lot of time on Rhodes. Kos looks about right. You’ll want to go up to Hippocrates’ Medical Center, theAsklepeion . Very interesting and it has stunning views from it’s high elevation. We were on Rhodes in early October and it was quite busy with tourists.

Posted by
1803 posts

I like little islands, so for me, 6 nights on Rhodes would be too much. Never been to Corfu so can't comment on that.

I think I already suggested you take a day (or possibly overnight) trip from Rhodes to the island of Kastellorizo. Absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful blue cave.

I can't recall if I mentioned the island of Nisyros? If not, I would recommend adding a day to Kos so you can take a day trip from Kos to Nisyros. It has an active, but not erupting, volcano that you can hike into. Fascinating. Nisyros has essentially one road, which circles the island, so it's an easy place to rent a car and just explore on your own.

I think 2 nights each would be enough for Patmos and Leros.

Posted by
16762 posts

Do you plan to rent cars on those islands--at least on the larger ones? That would speed up your sightseeing. You might not need five full days on Corfu with a car, but if you're trying to get around by public bus, it might be different. Unfortunately, I haven't been to Corfu since the 1970s, and my memories are extremely hazy at this point.

Some time ago one of our posters (British, I think) commented that Corfu gets a lot of tourists from the UK. I think as Americans we tend to think of it as not all that touristy, because we don't know folks who've been to the Ionian Islands. Just thought I'd mention this in case you're thinking of Corfu as a non-touristy destination.

Posted by
2416 posts

A lot of Americans recently saw the PBS TV Series from BBC, "The Durrells on Corfu" which showed a very charming (and dated) vision of what a Greek isle was like in the 1930s .... 90 years ago! I hear that some North Americans are drawn to Corfu now because of the mistaken belief that they can find something like it today... that is like all the people who think Mykonos is still like the island shown in "Shirley Valentine" movie from the 1970s... lovely empty beaches at sunset.

Corfu was under the control of Britain from the early 1800s until after 1900... and so it became a British enclave. In the 1970s on, some areas were developed also as budget "'package-holiday" destinations, with concrete apartment units on a beach, lots of cafes with "full English Breakfasts" and pubs with dartboards. As some have said... a place to be British abroad, with nicer weather. And before we critique, we must remember that Americans don't go to Florida for historical culture... they go for beaches and sunshine. And Britain doesn't have a Florida. I understand also that if one has a car in Corfu, and can stay away from "package resort" areas, there are lots of lovely vistas. Just not the idyllic unpopulated landscapes of "The Durrells in Corfu."

Posted by
5817 posts

Corfu is one of my favourite Greek islands.
Being further north the climate is less extreme and it is a bit greener than most. In my experience it is very much an island of 2 halves. The south of the island is more package tour focused and busier. Yes it will be full of british and German tourists having a good time.
The north of the island is quieter and accommodation is more villa based than hotels. This area is popular with richer/posher British tourists.
Corfu town is worth a visit because of it's interesting history.
I have only been to Rhodes once. Tourism seemed more focused around all inclusive hotels etc but I could be wrong. Rhodes town has lots going on and again lots of history.

Both Islands will be really busy at the end of august beginning of September. August is still school holidays in the UK and people without children will be travelling in September. I imagine the last easyjet flight from Paris is at the end of August because of how French holidays work, "everyone" off in August. This is definitely not how it works in the UK. Basically dont expect either island to be quiet.