The island of the Knights
Welcome to Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese island, a truly blessed island,an island which is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for adventures! All the infrastructure of the island is made for luxurious and relaxing holidays and any kind of tourist can find something pleasurable to do while on vacations.
Owing to its strategic position, Rhodes has been an important island since ancient years. The ancient city of Rhodes, the construction of which began in 407 BC, was designed according to the city planning system initiated by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. Rhodes soon became famous as one of the most important trading centre in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. During the Ottoman occupation, new buildings were erected within the Old Town, mainly mosques and baths. It was not until 1948 that Rhodes officially became part of Greece. In 1988 the Medieval City of Rhodes was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As you enter one of the largest medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom,the tourist soon realizes that the Old Town of Rhodes is the crossroad of different cultures that have been developed throughout the development of 24 centuries of human history. The fascinating medieval buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares create a medieval atmosphere. The Palace of the Grand Master is certainly the highlight of the Old Town. The Palace, originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century A.D., was transformed in the early 14th century by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their country; now it has been turned into a museum.
The cobblestoned Street of the Knights, one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, is packed with medieval inns that used to accommodate the soldiers of the Order of the Knights.
Popular cosmopolitan resorts and beaches around the island
As you head down to the east coast, the first tempting stop is Kallithéa, a cosmopolitan holiday resort bustling with hotels lining Faliráki beach. In Kallithéa the place that worths visiting is the Roman baths – a unique example of orientalised Art Deco dating back to the late 1920’s.
Ialissós is a popular cosmopolitan resort; its beach is a favourite destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing fans.
In the area of Afándou you can either sunbathe on beautiful sandy beaches or play golf on a modern 18-hole golf course (close to Afándou beach) that is open all year round and is a place of attraction for golf fans from all over the world!
The area of Petaloudes(meaning Butterflies) consists of the villages of Kremastí, Paradísi and Theológos. Kremastí, one of the biggest and liveliest villages on the island, is famous for its major festival of the Virgin Mary, which takes place on 15th August, while the beach of Kremastí is ideal for kitesurfing and windsurfing. However, the most famous attraction of the region is the Valley of the Butterflies, a habitat of unique value for a specific kind of butterfly. Admire an atmosphere of incomparable beauty with rich vegetation and streams as you stroll along cleverly laid paths. Also well worth a visit in the Valley is the Museum of Natural History.
The ancient city-state of Lindos was one of the three major towns of ancient Rhodes thanks to its great naval power. At the foot of the acropolis lies the traditional village of Líndos with its cubic whitewashed houses, mansions, Byzantine churches and narrow cobbled streets.
In southern Rhodes nature is rediscovered in all its glory: Picturesque beaches stretch from Kiotari and Genadi to Lahania, Plimiri and Prassonisi, the southernmost tip of the island and a popular location for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
How to reach the island
There are daily flights from Athesn and Thessaloniki and there are connections especially during summer with the other islands of Dodecanese.
The port of Rhodes serves its tourists through daily connections with ships coming from the Port of Piraeus in Athens. The trip’s duration is about 12 hours with stops at the islands of Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos and Kos. Rhodes is also connected directly to all the other islands of the Dodecanese and Crete.