The Dodecanese

The Dodecanese islands, just off the Turkish coast, still see their share of island-hopping backpackers, but they’re acquiring a new breed of luxurious boutique hotels, designed to complement local architecture.

On Rhodes, the breathtaking medieval city of Rhodes Old Town – all cobbled alleyways, shadowy spaces and half-buried ruins – comes into its own at night. Here, in a peaceful corner, is the gorgeous Spirit of the Knights, a newly converted traditional home, whose six suites evoke different eras of Rhodes’s history, from the Crusaders to the Ottomans.

The dazzling white village of Lindos, on the west coast of Rhodes, is home to the sumptuous Melenos Lindos. Poised between a Crusader castle and sandy beaches, it’s the perfect honeymoon destination. Opulent rooms boast glorious sea-view terraces, and there’s a top-flight restaurant.

Even more romantic is the ravishing island of Symi, a ferry ride north-east. A harmonious array of neoclassical mansions, painted matching ochre and terracotta shades, rise to all sides of its amphitheatre-like harbour; many can be rented. The exquisite Old Markets is a converted mansion overlooking the bay. Symi is also known for innovative restaurants, its latest gem being Muses in the main village square.

Further north, Patmos was where St John had his visions. In the village of Hora, Archontariki offers four spacious suites, with gardens and courtyard.