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Caretta

Kastellorizo (Megisti) island, Greece

A simple but lovingly run guesthouse, plus 2 gorgeous little cottages, on the idyllic tiny island of Kastellorizo

This is the Greece of Mamma Mia: azure seas fringed by green pines, a horseshoe of pastel houses fronting a tiny harbour where painted wooden boats bob. The film wasn't actually shot here (thank goodness), but it could have been. Kastellorizo - the smallest and remotest of Greece's permanently inhabited islands - is a 10 km² rock sitting in indescribably turquoise waters off Turkey's southern coast. There's only one road, running the 3km from port to airport (a 40-seater twin prop shuttles to Rhodes); and Giorgos, the island's sole taxi driver, has bumped up and down it 5,000 times.

A couple of blocks back from the quayfront, one of the handsome 2-storey houses hides 5 deliciously simple bedrooms, with white curtains wafting in the sea breeze and strings of seashells on saffron walls. This is Monika and Damien's 'pension' - he's an Aussie of local descent, she's a smiling German who came island-hopping 20 years ago and never left. They also run 2 bijou house rentals, a pair of studio apartments and the excellent Olive Garden taverna, a laid-back outdoor restaurant shaded by a rubber tree. Come for lazy days of swimming and snorkelling, reading or painting, fresh seafood on starry evenings, and very little else. We fell in love with Greece all over again here.

Guest Ratings

Room:
92%
Food:
100%
Service:
76%
Value:
88%
Overall:
88%

Caretta: View all reviews


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Highs

  • Kastellorizo itself: if you know Greece, think Symi without the day-trippers or Hydra without the attitude; if you don't, just come - you won't regret it
  • Monika and Damien - a welcoming, sincere, hard-working couple who will make sure you relax and have a great time
  • Their 2 cottages, a 5-minute stroll away in the sheltered inlet of Mandraki, make a gorgeous budget honeymoon escape
  • The studio apartments and family suite (with kitchenettes) are perfect for a couple with one or 2 children; the village is safe, friendly and car-free
  • Boat trips to the Blue Grotto and the islet of St. George were highlights of our all too brief time here

Lows

  • The rooms - especially the bathrooms - are deliberately simple (no A/C, TVs or WiFi) but they're spotless and lovingly decorated, and you do get a fan and fridge
  • The island has no sandy beaches, but that keeps the crowds away and the waters clear
  • It's not easy to get to (that's half the point, of course): a short plane hop or 2-3 hour ferry journey from Rhodes, or a half-hour boat ride from Kas in Turkey, which is 3-4 hours from Antalya and Dalaman airports
  • The quayside can get busy with passing yachties in summer, and the occasional small cruise boat
  • No double beds in the guesthouse, only twins (though they can be pushed flush together)

A collection of budget rooms and studios...        

The GuardianCaretta:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailCarettaThis is the Greece of Mamma Mia: azure seas fringed by green pines, a horseshoe of pastel houses fronting a tiny harbour where painted wooden boats bob. The film wasn't actually shot here (thank goodness), but it could have been. Kastellorizo - the smallest and remotest of Greece's permanently inhabited islands - is a 10 kmē rock sitting in indescribably turquoise waters off Turkey's southern coast. There's only one road, running the 3km from port to airport (a 40-seater twin prop shuttles to Rhodes); and Giorgos, the island's sole taxi driver, has bumped up and down it 5,000 times. A couple of blocks back from the quayfront, one of the handsome 2-storey houses hides 5 deliciously simple [r:GR082:bedrooms], with white curtains wafting in the sea breeze and strings of seashells on saffron walls. This is Monika and Damien's 'pension' - he's an Aussie of local descent, she's a smiling German who came island-hopping 20 years ago and never left. They also run 2 bijou house rentals, a pair of studio apartments and the excellent [eating:GR082:Olive Garden taverna], a laid-back outdoor restaurant shaded by a rubber tree. Come for lazy days of swimming and snorkelling, reading or painting, fresh seafood on starry evenings, and very little else. We fell in love with Greece all over again here.

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