General Informations about Rhodes Island
Rhodes is one of the best known Greek islands and holidaymakers have been coming here for many decades as it is known one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Rhodes is located in the eastern Aegean Sea, northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and it is the largest of the Dodecanese islands.
Geographically, the island of Rhodes is 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres and a coastline of approximately 220 km.
The city of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbors. The main air gateway ‘Diagoras International Airport‘ (RHO) is located 14 km from Rhodes city.
Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes which was built the Classic Period, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a statue of the sun-god Helios, about 35 meters high, standing with one foot on each side of the harbor and after an earthquake it fell apart. The most famous period was probably when the Knights of the Order of St. John ruled here, since there are still several buildings from this time .They came in 1309 and stayed until the Turks invaded in 1522.
In 1912 Rhodes was given to Italy which they made a lot of infrastructure to the Island . Rhodes was liberated from the Italians in 1948 and incorporated to Greece.
The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site desiganted since 1988.Rhodes used to be the sun god Helios’ island.
The ancient Greeks used to call Rhodes “the Island of Sun” because of its patron god and other names that the island has had ”the island of the Knights” or ”Ofioussa” (“Snake island”).
Many locals are involved with tourism in one way or the other, but there is also a lot of farmers on the island. Because it is a large island, many also have “ordinary” occupations: civil servants, shop owners, office clerks etc.
What to See in Rhodos town:
The capital Rhodes, is in itself very beautiful. Just walk around in the Old Town and see where the streets take you. Mandraki harbor is a a very nice area, and from the hill of Monte Smith you get a wonderful panoramic view.
At the harbor of Mandraki you can see the two famous bronze deers standing where the colossus of Rhodes once was. The old part of the town is from the Middle Ages , you can visit the the Grand Master Palace as well as walk on the road of the Knights.A worth visiting place is also the Aquarium which situated at the northern tip of the city.
The Acropolis of Rhodesis an acropolis dating from the Classical Greek period (5th–3rd century B.C)it is situated 3 kilometers from the centre of Rhodos.The partially reconstructed part of the site consists of the “Temple of Apollo” below which is a Stadium and a small theater. It is surrounded by a large park called Monte Smith, named for English Napoleonic admiral William Sidney Smith.
Attractions at South Coast
Kallithea Springs:Kallithea is famous for its hot medicinal springs which were built by the Italians. It is found 8 km south of Rhodes town near Faliraki and it is a truly magnificent place with palm and pine trees and beautiful renovated buildings with impressive mosaics (the springs) influenced by the Arabic architecture. The emerald waters of the sea match perfectly with this idyllic scenery, adding one more touch of beauty to the whole picture.
Seven Springs:Seven Springs is one of the most charming destinations on Rhodes situated 30 km from Rhodos town between Kolympia and Archipoli village and offers a cool, magical landscape, a real oasis, even in the heat of high summer, swamped in greenery. Waters come out from the springs all year around, which end up in a small lake. You get to the lake walking through a narrow Tunnel of 186m long. The lake exists thanks to a dam built by the Italians, in order to provide the nearby Kolymbia with fresh water.The area of Seven Springs and the nearby forests are suitable for walking.
Tsampika Monastery(up on the hill):Monastery of the Virgin of Tsambika is situated 27km from Rhodos up on a rocky mountain near Archagelos Village.The Virgin of Tsampika is said to work miracles and young woman having difficulty in conceiving often pray for her aid. If their prayers are answered, they name the child after the Virgin(Tsampika for girls and Tsampikos for boys).Under the hill there is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Island which has taken the name of the Monastery Tsampika.
Haraki :Haraki is situated 38km from Rhodos and it is a small and quiet fishermen village with a beautiful crystal water beach and a lot of tavernas and café.Nearby is the medieval castle of Feraklos and one of the most beautiful sandy beaches Agathi beach.
Lindos:Lindos is an archaeological site situated in a large bay, a town and a former municipality on the island of Rhodes, in the Dodecanese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Rhodes, of which it is a municipal unit. It lies on the east coast of the island. It is about 50 km south of the town of Rhodes and its fine beaches makes it a popular tourist and holiday destination.Above the modern town rises the Acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This makes the site difficult to excavate and interpret archaeologically. The acropolis offers spectacular views of the surrounding harbours and coastline.Worth visiting is also the Bay of St.Paul situated at the back side of the Acropolis.
Prasonisi:Prasonisi cape is a part of the island of Rhodes. It is located 92 km from Rhodes town at the southern-west part of Rhodes.Prasonisi is the Greek word for “Green island“. During summer time, and when water levels are low enough, this island is a peninsula attached to Rhodes. During the winter time, and when water levels are high enough, Prasonisi becomes an island. The southernmost tip of Prasonisi contains a lighthouse.At Prasonisi you can find motels, convenience stores, restaurants, and windsurf rentals which are open seasonally.Prasonisi is noted to be a good place for windsurfing and kitesurfingdue to the strong winds. From one side of the cape there is the Aegean Sea with good waves and views for advanced surfers. From the other side, there is the Mediterranean Sea with flat water which is better suited for beginners.
Attractions at West Coast
Filerimos:The monastery of Filerimos is a hill 15 km away from Rhodos and a place worth visiting .The upper part of Filerimos is a large plateau and most of the buildings are found on the eastern side.In the region around the monastery, there are the ruins of a baptistery in the shape of a cross. From Filerimos Monastery also starts the path to Golgothas. On top of this path, up on a hill with amazing view, there is a huge Cross which you can visit with a internal staircase.
Petaloudes:The Petaloudes Valley (Valley of the Butterflies) is situated 26km from Rhodos townand it is the home to thousands of Butterflies, the Rhodes subspecies of the Jersey Tiger Moth that cover the entire landscape after the wet season (late May) due to the high humidity in the area. The Oriental Sweetgum trees in Petaloudes Valley give off a scent that attracts the moths and creates a unique biotope.
Kamiros:Kamiros is situated 30km west from Rhodos town and 3km west from Kalavarda village .The Ancient city was built on three levels and itwas found by the Dorians.Near Kamiros Ancient City is situated Kamiros beach with the small port from where boats depart for the small island of Chalki.Kamiros beach is the perfect spot for a lunch break since there is a small restaurant by the sea.
Monolithos:Monolithos is situated 70 km from Rhodos and it’s a beautiful quite village.Outside the village is the Venetian Castle, built on top of a 100m rock. This castle was built in 1480 by the Knights of Saint John to protect the island from attacks. In fact, this castle was never conquered. The Castle of Monolithos is widely ruined today but it offers great views of the sea and the two islets opposite to it. Inside the Castle, there are two chapels that are no longer used. Access to the castle is by a staircase cut into the rock.
What to Do:
Rhodes has many options for grown ups as well as children. There are lots of watersports, as well as tenniscourts, golf and horseriding. In Afandou there is a Golf area which is Greece’s third in size. You can also scuba dive in Kallithea. The island is also great for exploring on your own.
Rhodes Nightlife:You’ll find loads of bars, pubs, discos , clubs and Casino here on Rhodes. There is something for every taste, both foreign and Greek. The wildest partying goes on in Rhodes town mainly at the new town and Lindos, but there are also many nice places in the quieter parts.
Food:The local wine and sparkling wine worth a try made from local grapes in Emponas Village . There is also a local drink called Suma made of grapes, as well as a special kind of honey both can be found in Sianna Village. There are taverns all over the island. The real traditional Greek taverns are in the smaller villages such as Psinthos,Archipoli,Appollona,Emponas and many more .In Rhodes town and Lindos there is a wide range of international as well as Greek restaurants.
Shopping in Rhodes :You can get all kinds of things here. There are ordinary shops where you can buy clothes, shoes, books, things for the beach, glasses and so on. Then, there are the souvenir shops where everything Greek can be bought: leather belts, gloves, bags, icons, embroideries, copies of ancient art etc.
Getting Around: The roads on Rhodes are quite good, so you can get around easily with a car or a bike. There is also a good local busnetwork. Bus services are handled by two operators:
RODA: Rhodes City company that also services suburban areas (Kallithea,Faliraki, Ialysos, Kremasti, Airport, Pastida, Paradeisi) and the west coast of the island
KTEL: State-owned buses that serve villages and resorts mostly in the east coast of the island.
Several boats can take you on excursions to beaches..
Outside of the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages and beach resorts
Rhodes Beaches :The best beaches are situated on the east coast. It is not too windy there and most beaches there are suitable for families with children. Surfers prefer Prasonisi in the South. At Cape Ladiko there is a small bay with the incredible name Antony Quinn which is very nice. This is where The Guns of Navarone was filmed. There are also many, many more beaches.
Beaches worth visiting
EAST COAST WEST COAST
Kalithea Haraki Ixia
Faliraki Kalathos Kresmasti
Ladiko Lindos Theologos
Afandou Genadi Kamiros