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The Dodecanese (Twelve Islands) are the easternmost holdings of Greece and are set around the shores of Turkey and Asia Minor. Here, classic, Byzantine, and Ottoman architectures blend and multiculturalism is an old idea. Romans, Crusaders, Turks, and Venetians have all left their marks on Rhodes, in the south of the archipelago and the busiest, most populated, and most visited of the 12 islands. Just to the north is tiny, craggy Symi, sparsely inhabited and ringed by enticing coves. Kos, with its lush fields and sandy beaches, lies between Symi and Patmos, the northernmost island of the group, where arid hillsides are occasionally clad in great stands of cypress.
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