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Southern Dodecanese: Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Tilos, Astypalaia (McGilchrist's Greek Islands, Vol. 16)

Karpathos has the wildest landscape and coastal waters in the Dodecanese. Its northern half is a steep sculpted ridge of mountains that drop abruptly to the sea, while the southern tip of the island is an open landscape of soft eroded sandstone. The monuments of its past which remain today are characterised by a quality of unusualness: the site of Ancient Brykous projecting into the island's northwestern waters is one of the Aegean's most lonely; further south at Lefkos is a unique and well-preserved hypogeum of the Late Hellenistic period; another of the island's ancient cities Arkaseia flourished into Early Christian times with at least two sizeable basilicas with mosaic floors of extraordinary quality. Kasos today is a friendly and unpretentious island, small and easily walkable for the visitor. In the last decade Tilos has distinguished itself from all other Greek islands by concertedly espousing the causes of wild-life and environmental conservation. The island's dramatically varied landscape, rich in water and oscillating from steep mountains to fertile plains by the shore, helps to sustain its diversity of flora and wild-life as well as to provide countless walking opportunities.

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