Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek Islands, and because of its combination of beaches, archaeological sites, and extensive medieval town, is one of the most visited. The climate is particularly good, with the weather typically sunny and mild. The island is usually counted as one of the Dodecanese, but due to its importance for travelers is considered separately here.
The rock-rose is so prolific here that it has been named the ‘Island of Roses,’ though modern scholars doubt the ancient theory that the island’s name comes from the Greek word for rose. While the northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life.
CITY OF RHODES:
The City of Rhodes is the largest settlement and capital city of the island of the same name . It is famous as the former site of the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. For the traveler, Rhodes City falls into four more or less distinct areas. The most important by far for most visitors is Rhodes Old Town, still enclosed by its medieval wall. Rhodes New Town, north and west of the Old Town, is an extensive and fairly non-descript modern city. The New Town’s eastern waterfront, comprising the Commercial Harbor, the yacht and ferry Mandhraki Harbor, and extensive Elli Beach may count as separate area. Finally, the Acropolis of Rhodes, the ruins of the ancient city, are about 2 km southwest of the Old Town.
Rhodes Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best preserved and most extensive medieval towns in Europe, and is also the location of the excellent and important Rhodes Archaeological Museum, Megalou Alexandrou Square. The museum operates a tour of the city walls Tuesdays and Saturdays at 2:45 pm leaving from the Palace of the Grand Masters. This is not really a guided tour: visitors are simply allowed up on the walls to walk along the top of them at their own pace. This walk offers views of the town not otherwise available and is the best way to get an idea of the size of the town and the variety of its architecture.
TOWN AND ACROPOLIS IN LINDOS, RHODES:
Lindos provides a mix of history, beaches and the marina. It has only 700 inhabitants, who are outnumbered greatly by tourists. The village has many historic houses known as “Captains” houses, often dating from 16th, 17th or 18th century. The village is made up of a network of cobbled streets – all of which is entirely pedestrianised. The only modes of transport allowed are donkeys, mopeds and bikes. The houses are like small whitewashed boxes and sit beautifully on the hillside making it the most beautiful place on the island. The charm of this village is maintained by a preservation order which forbids any unauthorised building work to change it. Visit the ruins of the Acropolis and the reconstructed temple of Lindian Athena. Entrance fee to the Acropolis itself is € 6, but you do have a nice view from there. There is also the remains of an Ancient Amphitheatre carved into the slope of the Acropolis and you cannot miss Kleoboulous’s tomb, a small stone structure at the tip of the bay. You can also see St Paul’s Bay where the saint supposedly crashed on the island and brought Christianity with him.
Lindos has many restaurants, all catering to tourists, and featuring food from every nationality you can think of. All staff are English speaking and menus are written in English. Most bars serve breakfast up until mid-afternoon so there is plenty of variety and choice. In terms of convenience food, there are several snack bars and several ‘crepe houses’ serving both sweet and savoury crepes – made fresh before your eyes – at very reasonable prices. Supermarkets stock an excellent array of foods and lots of imported English food so you will never be stranded without your favourite item.
One of the better Tavernas is the Acropolis View Taverna, where all the food on the menu is barbecued and tastes delicious, using local meat from Rhodes. Also worth a try is Maria’s Taverna.
There is a good variety of beaches on Rhodes. The east side of the island has almost continuous sandy beaches with calm waters. Beaches on the west are mostly more stony. The wind mostly comes in from the west and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the west so that side of the island is better suited to surfing or kite boarding. A few famous ones include the beach in the City of Rhodes, Lindos Beach, just below the village of Lindos, Faliraki, Kalithea, Ladiko Beach, Afandou Beach & Tsambika Beach.