Welcome to Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese, an island which is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination.
As you enter one of the largest medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom, it soon becomes obvious that the Old Town of Rhodes is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations; rarely does a visitor have the chance to stroll within medieval walls and explore twenty-four centuries of history. The fascinating medieval fortress-like buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, narrow alleys, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares make it feel like you have stepped back into medieval times. The Palace of the Grand Master is certainly the highlight of the Old Town.
Outside the walls of the Old Town lies the “new” city, with its magnificent Venetian, neoclassic and modern buildings. Among the most remarkable buildings that keep the memories of the island's Italian period alive are the Post Office, constructed by the Italian architect Florestano di Fausto, the Prefecture of the Dodecanese, formerly the Italian Governor's Palace that resembles the Doge's Palace in Venice, Evangelismos Church (Church of the Annunciation), the Town Hall and the National Theatre.
As you head down to the east coast, the first tempting stop is Kallithéa, a cosmopolitan holiday resort bustling with hotels lining Faliráki beach. Ialissós is a popular cosmopolitan resort; its beach is a favourite destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing enthusiasts. Basking in the lush green of pine trees and cypresses, on the slopes of Filérimos (meaning “lover of solitude”) Hill stands the Monastery of the Virgin Mary and the ruins of an ancient acropolis. In Byzantine times, there was a fortress on the hill which, in the 13th century, became a monastery dedicated to Holy Mary.
The area of Petaloúdes (meaning Butterflies) includes the villages of Kremastí, Paradísi and Theológos. The most fascinating and popular attraction of the region is the Valley of the Butterflies, a habitat of unique value for the reproduction of the Panaxia Quadripunctaria butterfly. The ancient city-state of Líndos was one of the three major towns of ancient Rhodes thanks to its great naval power. The remains of the acropolis of Líndos, a natural watchtower facing the open sea built on a steep rock 116 metres above sea level, bear eloquent witness to its long standing power and wealth. 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 unveiled in all its splendour: sun-drenched bays stretch from Kiotari and Genadi to Lahania, Plimiri and Prassonisi, the southernmost tip of the island and a popular location for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The villages of the area were built in medieval times, or even earlier, and still maintain their traditional colour, just as their inhabitants still maintain their local dialect, traditional customs and even the traditional decoration of their houses.
Don’t forget that while you are on the island you can take the opportunity to go on a daytrip to the nearby islands!
With information from www.rhodes.gr