Meis, or Kastellorizo, is a very pleasant day trip from Kas or Kalkan. This tiny Dodecanese island with its population of a couple of hundred, sits opposite the harbour of Kas and in the day time you could be forgiven for thinking it is uninhabited as the port town on the landward side can be a little hard to spot. At night however the lights of the houses, shops and restuarants along the promenade twinkle enticingly across the moonlight bay. Kastellorizo has an interesting history of its own, governed by Rhodes, Egypt, the Venetian Doge and the Ottoman Turks. It`s 20th century history gets much more complicated with the little island passing through the hands of the French, Italians and the British.
The events leading up to and including the 2nd World War pretty much decimated the island and its population and the fact that there`s anybody here at all is a testament to the islanders determination to keep their community alive.
Most people get here by boat, there are ferries from Rhodes and, recently, direct from Athens and lots of private yachts pull in of an evening to lie up in the harbour for the night. You may not believe it but the island is served by Olympic airways from the Greek mainland with its own landing strip built on the island`s central plateau in the 1980`s. The airline shuttle bus is pretty much the only motorised transport on the island. Most people walk most places. The island has a hotel and a couple of Pansiyons but if you`ve come from Turkey staying overnight may not be an option, depending on the prevailing regulations, which are subject to change.
There`s quite a lot to see here. The harbour area is charming with a warren of alleys and houses behind the pretty waterfront shops and restaurants. The churches, dedicated to a variety of St. Georges, provide landmarks to find your way around but you don`t need to know very much to enjoy the atmosphere. For those who like to know what`s what, Marina Pitsonis`s booklet, `Capture Kastellorizo` tells the story of the island and fills you in on buildings of interest and walking tours