Dokos Greece – An Off-the-Beaten-Path Greek Island

Dokos Greece, an island in the Saronic Islands cluster only has a population of about 50 people. Although it is now home to monks, historically, it was a thriving settlement. In fact, Dokos (Δοκός in Greek) was inhabited from as far back as 4,000 BC, and was booming in the 13th century BC, when it was known as Aperopia.

Myti Kommeni and Ledeza were the flourishing settlements of the Mycenaean period. Dokos Islet lies between Hydra and Spetses, at the opening of the Gulf of Argos, and is part of the Saronic Islands. Its location in ancient times, in heavily traveled seas, made it important. It’s believed that the it played a crucial role in communication between the West, Constantinople, and others during the Byzantine period. Numerous archaeological excavations have occurred on the island to uncover the life of the ancient population on the Greek Island.

Dokos is a small, mountainous and rocky island, not far from the Peloponnese. Mostly, its land is infertile. There is no organized tourism on the island, but nature lovers who enjoy hiking and camping in the rough make their way here. The pristine beaches of Dokos Island are generally small and surrounded by unspoiled landscape.

Dokos Castle Ruins – Photo Courtesy Castles of Greece

A trip to Dokos will definitely thrill nature lovers and those interested in archaeology. The ruins of a strategically positioned castle on the island demonstrate its importance in Byzantine times, allowing for clear observation of approaching ships.

Things to do on Dokos Island

One thing is for sure – you won’t hear of many tourists saying they visited this island as part of their Greek Islands vacation. It’s not for everyone, but it can fulfill vacation dreams of some people.

First, there’s there boat ride to the island. From there, it’s about exploring and discovering its natural beauty. Go camping and hiking and make your way to the castle ruins on the hill of Kastro on the eastern side of the island. Judging by the ruins’ appearance, the fortification was extensive and enclosed numerous buildings, some of which were quite large. The settlement that encompassed the fort was large, extending to the harbor on the northern side of the island.

At the eastern tip of Dokos, you’ll find the lighthouse built in 1923 that stands more than 28 feet tall. But there’s not much else to do. Of course, it could just be a simple day trip – a part of your Greek Island hopping escapade.

An ancient shipwreck near Dokos Greece was discoved in 1975 (excavated 1989-1992) not far off the shores of the island at a depth of almost 98 feet. In fact, it was and likely still is the oldest cargo shipwreck ever discovered anywhere in the world! The underwater researcher and his team found ancient pottery vases that date back to between 2700 and 2100 BC! Unfortunately, none of the treasures are on Dokos. Instead, they were all sent to Spetses Museum, on the island of Spetses, also in the Saronic Gulf. Tourists can simply take a water taxi to visit Spetses and its museum that houses these findings near Dokos as described above.