THAT SPECIAL MOMENT: Check the calendar for when there’s a full moon. Climb up and away from the port to the church of Panaghia Pantanassa. You won’t need a flashlight; the moonlight will suffice. Take time to admire the view: undulating coastlines, islands that seem to have been shaped by hand, and the sea everywhere, shimmering in the silver light. On a clear night, you’ll see the lights of Samos and Ikaria. The locals like the view, too, but they come in the morning and often climb onto the roof of the church.
- Area: 6.7 sq. km.
- Population: 44 (2011 census)
- Distance: 150 (sea miles from Piraeus)
- Highest Peak: 111m
BEACHES AND BEST SWIMS: Tiganakia, in the southern part of the island, is one of the most famous beaches of the Dodecanese. Close to land, the sea here has a distinctive turquoise color which turns deep blue further out. The best time to go is in the morning, when it’s quiet. Another option is Limnari, a beach about 30 minutes from the port. Be careful as you come in and out of the water here – the locals have cleared a path through the rocks so you can walk on silky white sand instead. When the sea is still, this sandy underwater walkway shimmers in the sunlight.
THE PLACE TO BE: Our insider, Manolis, has transformed his taverna into a destination in its own right. Travelers on yachts or day boats come here to eat cuttlefish cooked in wine; baked chickpeas with dill and onions; lamb, braised or with lemon; and fresh local cheeses such as xinomyzithra. Definitely try the salad; a variation on the classic Greek salad, it has slightly saltier sheep’s and goat’s cheese instead of feta. If you’re up for a late night, the taverna turns into a bar, offering all kinds of drinks.