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The island of Dokos in Greece

Dokos is a small Greek island situated in the Argo-Saronic Gulf, in between Hydra and the Peloponnese. It is separated from the mainland of Greece by a narrow strait which is on some maps referred to as "the Hydra Gulf". Dokos is part of the municipality the island of Hydra in the Piraeus Prefecture and it had a population of 13 persons at the 2001 census. The island is populated only by some Orthodox monks and a few sheep herders. Most inhabitants live from agriculture, fishing and sheep herding. Dokos is a dry, infertile, rocky and steep island and at it highest point it reaches a height of 308 metres. There are few water reserves on the island. On Dokos island there are small and clean beaches.

Since the ancient times Dokos has been considered to be a strategic location and it was an important port in the ancient times. In the antiquity it was called Aperopia. On the east side of the island you can find the ruins of a large castle that dates from the Byzantine and Ventetian times. During the Middle Ages the island served as a refuge for Albanian settlers' animals. Dokos, according to archaeological studies, was already inhabited in the era of copper, 6000 BC.

In 1975 Peter Throckmorton discovered in Dokos a wreck that is considered to be the oldest wreck of the planet. It is dated between 2700 and 2200 BC. The remains of the shipwreck are located about 15-30 meters underwater off the coast. The remains at the sea floor of a cargo site of hundreds of clay vases and other ceramic items are evidence of the shipwreck. The cargo site consists of one of the largest collections of Early Helladic pottery known.

On the eastern side of the island there is a lighthouse which was constructed in 1923. It is 9 meters tall and built in the shape of a round tower. You can visit the island of Dokos by water taxi from Hydra, Ermioni or Spetses. There are no ferries going to the island. Dokos is popular with nature lovers that like to make hikes and with people that are looking for peace and quiet.

Hans Huisman, 2014
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