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Kastellorizo, the island of the "Mediterraneo" film, Rhodes and Kas

A guide to the island of Kastellorizo and the locations of the film "Mediterraneo", a masterpiece in the hearts of Italians. With a trip to Kas in Turkey and a few days in Rhodes.


Mediterraneo is Fabio's favorite movie and one of his dreams was to see the famous island where it was filmed. Like us, we found other Italians who came to Kastellorizo ​​for the film and they all rediscovered the charm of Gabriele Salvatores on this beautiful island.


How to reach Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo ​​is the most remote island of Greece and is the last European belt before the Asian continent. Indeed, Turkey is only 3 kilometers away. Getting there involves several trips but it is absolutely worth it!

We took a cheap flight with Aegean from Thessaloniki to Rhodes; then, you can take another flight from Rhodes to Kastellorizo. We instead opted for the ferry that from Rhodes took us to Kastellorizo ​​in about 4 hours; online we found only one company (Blue Star Ferries) and very few dates per week, while on the spot we discovered that there were more frequent ferries. The port of Kastellorizo ​​is so small that the ferry closes it from one side to the other.

Life on the island

Kastellorizo ​​is an earthly paradise, a true place of relaxation, and one of the most authentic Greek islands. Here you can relive the atmosphere of childhood when the summer stopped and was punctuated by naps, scents of the sea, and pine.

A place where you really detach yourself from everyday life and where you can allow yourself the pleasure of doing - or not doing - things calmly, without a clock, and without stress. Three days seemed like a week to us: timeless and stress-free, here we are happy with the little things.

The magic of Kastellorizo ​​is also due to its inhabitants, who make you feel at home as soon as they get to know you. Just spend a night on the island to become part of the community: everyone greets you, helps you, and is happy to spend time together.


What to see in Kastellorizo

Castle, Port, Mandraki, Turtles

The island of Kastellorizo ​​is small, but don't believe those who describe it only as a road and a village because there are so many things to do. The great thing is that you can do them without a frenzy and enjoy every moment.


Kastellorizo ​​(officially Megisti) means Red Castle and derives from the Castle of the Knights of the Order of San Giovanni, built on the reddish rock typical of the island. Today it is a ruin on top of the hill from which you can enjoy a magnificent view from the top of the village, the main port and the second 'Mandraki' marina, and the Turkish coast.

The village develops along the harbor: in front of it, the neoclassical houses in pastel colors rise resolutely, while behind there is a maze of streets with buildings and huge bougainvillea.

In the center, restaurants and cafes make the island lively, together with an old man who offers smiles and loud music to the people. Stop to eat a plate of freshly caught fish or have a coffee, look towards the water and you will see two magnificent specimens of Caretta Caretta that have lived peacefully in the port for years and nibble on bread and fish pulled by tourists and restaurateurs (they can reach to 10 turtles). We had dinner for two evenings with the turtle pacing back and forth near our table and coming out of the water to eat happily.

At the other end of the port are the Faros beach bar with deckchairs and ladders to jump into the water and the mosque (now a historical museum). From here also starts a nice walk on the cliff that leads to the Lycian Tomb, known for its columns of Doric origin and to Mandraki.


Between the port and the castle, there is the intermediate part of the village with the cathedral of Agios Kostantinos and the tavern Ta Platania which was the location of the film.


Sandy beaches do not exist, but there are several corners with deck chairs for sunbathing and beautiful spots for diving. The water is crystal clear with colors ranging from blue to intense blue .. it seems to swim in color.


Do not miss the Blue Grotto, which can only be visited by boat with the numerous excursions organized every morning from the port (you can do it from 9 to 13, then the sun goes down and you don't see the magnificent blue and turquoise reflections). The cave is much larger than that of Capri and also serves as a refuge for sea lions. The excursion costs 10 euros each: you reach the cave in 15 minutes and you can swim inside (a show!) Then you are taken to the islet of San George where there is beautiful water, a typical tavern white and blue, and deckchairs. You can relax for a few hours and then come back.

We recommend Giorgio's Daily Cruises with his fantastic sailor poodle Harry (at the bottom of the suggestions and contacts).



Another unique experience is to reach and visit the monastery of Agios Georgios Vounou. From the village you have to climb the mountain, with a staircase of 400 steps (the numbers on the steps are marked) .. from below it seems impossible to do it but it is easier than you expect. From above you can enjoy a spectacular view of the island and surprise the valley that opens up. We continue for about ten minutes in nature and we arrive at the monastery (usually open from 6 to 8) where the caretaker welcomes us and explains that the last monk lived there 20 years ago. Inside the church there is a unique gem, you can go down into the crypt carved into the rock .. it is a tortuous and narrow path not suitable for everyone (obviously Fabio went first and I saw that he returned safe and sound, I decided to descend).

From the monastery you can take the road and reach the ancient acropolis and fortress of Paleokastro, this place is not very promoted but it is magnificent. From here you can see sensational sunsets over the sea. To do the whole tour on foot (port - monastery - paleokastro - port) consider 2 and a half hours.


Location of the movie Mediterraneo

Movie locations updated to 2022

“Didn't you live so well in Italy?

They didn't let us change anything. And then ... And then I told him .. You have won, but at least you will not be able to consider me your accomplice. So I told him .. and I came here. "


It has been 30 years since the film Mediterraneo was released and we came to look for the places of Sergeant Nicola Lorusso, Lieutenant Montini, the lover Farina, the nostalgic of the Noventa house, the Strazzabosco mule driver, the Colasanti radio and the Munaron brothers.


CUORISITA: The inhabitants revealed to us that this August 2022 a reunion of the film's interpreters is scheduled in Kastellorizo to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary .. it's a pity we can't come but we will read the news!


Let's find out the locations!


The landing on the island and the wall with the inscription "Greece is the tomb of the Italians"

These two places are located in the second port of Kastellorizo called Mandraki, where there is also the cemetery and the beach.


At the beginning of the film with the abandoned country

From the Remezzo café, take a lane that leads behind the church and where there is a small square and the abandoned house really just like in the film. We were staying right next to it and we could see it from the terrace!


Vasilissa's house

Vasilissa's house can be recognized by the intense blue light and is located next to the Mediterraneo Kastelorizo hotel; it belongs to an inhabitant of Kastellorizo who, like many other fellow villagers, emigrated to Australia. The paintings that were seen hanging inside the house are very popular and we also had them in our apartment.


The town hall where the soldiers are staying and the columns of "Non Zo"

Right in front of the Faros Cafè bar there is a building with columns and a small square, where they shot the scene in which they bring the furniture to arrange the accommodation and the scene in which they smoke together with Non Zo.


The wedding party between Vasilissa and Farina

Above the hill, in the most central part of the village, there is the church of Saints Konstantinos & Helen and the Ta Platania tavern, both places where they filmed the wedding party between Vasilissa and Farina.


The little boat that brings back the Greek husbands and the ferry that brings back the senior lieutenant

The return of the Greek husbands, as well as the view from the ferry with the lieutenant on board are filmed at the main port. The small white house in the first photo is located next to the Megisti hotel and although it looks like a small church, it was an old gas supply for French seaplanes.


Vasilissa's tomb

This is found in the cemetery near mandraki; here the ancient tombs rest among colorful flowers and the scent of incense.


Vasilissa's restaurant, the church ("mia faza mia raza"), the football match

Of these three, we have only guesses! Vasilys restaurant they say is Ta Platania, but we didn't find the owner to ask him. We were unable to recognize the priest's church because they were almost all closed. We think the ball game was in the airport area .. but who knows!



From Kastellorizo to Kas in Turkey in just 30 minutes by ferry

The turquoise coast in Kas

The Turkish coast is very close, but you can't reach it when you want. Turkey and Greece have very subtle diplomatic relations; it can also be seen by the military and the warship stationed in Kastellorizo. To reach Kas you have to take the ferry that runs once or twice a day: at 10 in the morning and at 16 in the afternoon. The ticket (cost 40 euros) can be bought from the only agency on the island: Papoutsis Travel Agency which is located on the port in the central square. The duration is only 25 minutes and when you arrive in Turkey you lose some time for passport and backpacks checks at customs.


Kas is a different town from the typical Turkish ones, here you can breathe the Greek influence (until 1920) and western tourism (there are many English tourists). Near the port there is the lively center with restaurants, bars, hawkers of mussels and ice cream (which fill the cones by juggling with a long stick), markets, shops, music and nightlife. The small street with the Lion Tomb is the most picturesque one with the colorful buildings, the small protruding wooden balconies and the bougainvillea. Near the center there is also the ancient Antiphellos amphitheater.


Kas is one of the most touristic destinations on the turquoise coast and here the water is truly blue. The first establishments are near the center and the marina and are built on platforms from which you can dive. We went to the ones next to the Küçük Çakıl (there is also a public beach) and it was enough to consume to get the sunbeds .. we are in Turkey and now everything is cheap for us Europeans. There are other popular beaches near Kas that can be reached by hiring a moped or taking a boat excursion, such as Kekova where you can swim over the ancient submerged ruins.


The island of Rhodes

Rhodes city, 7 Springs Waterfalls, Lindos, Butterfly valley

Rhodes was a passing destination for us, but we tried to see as much as possible by renting a moped.


The first evening we went to the old town of Rhodes, Unesco heritage, which is truly beautiful and vibrant with its winding medieval streets, the castle of the Knights of the Order of Malta, the entrance with the stone bridge and the long walls . We recommend going through the Amboise gate, to admire the triumphal entrance and a harmonious avenue along the walls dotted with large trees, painters and musicians. Continuing towards the beach, you arrive at the most modern area of ​​Rhodes and the mandraki where there are beautiful restaurants under the bougainvillea, establishments, diving boards and places to drink in the evening (Elli, Ronda, Meltemi become magical in the evening .. choose one for a drink!).

In the mandraki you can also see a monument to the "Colossus of Rhodes", one of the seven wonders of the world, a huge 30-meter statue of the god Helium of which nothing remains due to a strong earthquake 66 years after its construction. It was once believed to be located in the harbor, while now it is supposed to be in the ancient acropolis.


We move to the south coast of the island passing through Faliraki and go to see the 7 Springs Waterfall. In this little gem in nature it is possible to see the 7 springs, relax in the tavern near the river and walk inside the famous tunnel. This tunnel was built in 1931 to bring water from the river to a small artificial lake and attracts many tourists intrigued by being able to walk its 186 meters barefoot in the water and in the dark.


Continuing for another 20 minutes or so you will arrive at the white perched Lindos, which you can already see from the vantage point before the city. Built under the ancient acropolis, Lindos is a maze of winding streets, small shops and taverns to get lost in. Noteworthy is the small bay surrounded by rocks of St. Paul's Bay where you can sunbathe in the morning. While for a panoramic aperitif we recommend the local Rainbird.


We too are curious to see Petaloudes, the valley of the butterflies. Being in May we see only one butterfly (the period in which they hatch is in June) but it is still a beautiful and easy walk in the woods where the river and the trees create suggestive views. The cost is 3 euros.


Last stop before taking the plane is the Sunset beach bar on Theologos beach 10 minutes from the airport, a heavenly place for kite surfer with deck chairs, bar, swimming pool, straw gazegi ... all chic and relaxing. Here it is always breezy and you can see beautiful sunsets.


Where to sleep and eat in Kastellorizo

We stayed at Stefanos - Paradisos appartments which you can also find on booking. The apartments are simple and spartan, but have all the comforts (ours with a balcony overlooking the sea) and the owner is really nice and helpful.

Or if you want a suggestive solution, with deck chairs included and sea view, there is Agnati Studios.

In Turkey the hotel has disappointed us a lot..as they said in the Mediterranean film "never trust the Turks"!


For a coffee we recommend Remezzo while for breakfast or something quick at lunch the Bakery, open every day from 5 to 15, makes the best creamy bougatsa ever .. and many other delicious things.

In the evening we tried Athina for fish and Little Paris for meat and we enjoyed it very much ..



Budget:

On this trip we spent around 800 euros in two, but we got carried away with food, drink and in Turkey we booked a more expensive than average hotel.


Helpful tips:

  • Documents: an identity card is enough but if you have a passport it is better to bring it to go to Turkey.

  • Internet: in Kastellorizo there is connectivity but sometimes it jumps because it takes the roaming of Turkey, where instead we are outside Europe and therefore the internet does not work. By ferry the internet works up to an hour from Rhodes and then you are offline.

  • Currency Exchange: it is not even needed for Turkey, it is so touristy that they accept euros and you pay everywhere with the card. In Kastellorizo there are 2 ATMs to withdraw cash.

  • Boat excursion to the Blue Grotto with Giorgio: Daily Cruises cell +306977855756 or ask for him at the Remezzo cafeteria. It departs every morning from 9am to 1pm with multiple trips during the morning. Very nice, kind and very good .. also speaks a little Italian!

  • The only travel agency in Kastellorizo is Papoutsis Travel Agency, dHere you can buy tickets for Kas in Turkey but get them in time because the agency has a long closure for lunch.

  • For more info: https://visitkastellorizo.gr/

Must places:

Blu Cave (grotto), monastery of Agios Georgios Vounou, Vassilissa's house, center of Kas


Itinerary in map:

Click here to see the map or use it during the trip


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