The town of Rhodes is surrounded by thick walls with 9 city gates that were built by the Knights Order. Entering the Old City through the “Gate of Freedom” you come to the ruins of a temple dedicated to Aphrodite and then to the hostel of the Auvergene. Other significant buildings are the old Hospital where today the Authority of archeology is housed in, the Church “Panagia tou Kastrou” (11th. Century), the hostel of the English, the Hospital of the Knights – today the Archaeological Museum.
The most beautiful part of the Knights city is the, paved with stone slabs, “Street of the Knights” with its magnificent buildings on either side. It ends at the Palace of the Grand Master, a huge building complex with a strong attachment and many beautiful halls.
In another part of the old town lies the Kastelliana Palace of the Admiralty, the St. Catherine’s Hospital, ruins of various Catholic and Orthodox churches and mosques. In the shopping streets of the old town you can see shops with folk art, leather goods, and jewelry, as well as taverns, bars and much more.
The many small spaces are decorated with stone fountains. In the old town are also the most important museums and collections:
- The Archaeological Museum (in the Hospital of the Knights, Tel .: 0241-27657)
- The Pinakothek (in a building on the Simi Square)
- The Folklore Museum (in a building on the Argyrokastro Place Tel .: 27 764)
- and the early Christian and Byzantine collection, located in the church “Panagia tou Kastrou”.
The new town which has developed outside the walls of the medieval city is full of contradictions. One sees Venetian, Gothic and Arabic buildings and between them monumental buildings in Italian colonial style, most of them around the old harbour, Mandraki.
The most important of them are:
- the new market,
- the National Bank,
- the prefecture,
- the courthouse,
- the town hall and the theatre.
There you can see also the Evangelismos Church, Agios Nikolaos Castle with the homonymous chapel and the lighthouse and the two bronze deer, the symbol of the island, which guard on there high columns the harbour entrance. At that location, was, according to history the place of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Near Agios Nikolaos Castle are three Byzantine mill stones.
In the north of the New Town is situated the “House of the Sea”, in the West, on the Agios Stephanos Hill, who is also called “Monte Smith”, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes with remains of the Athena temples, Apollo and Zeus, a rebuilt theatre and a stadium from the 3rd Century. BC. One of the most idyllic places in the city is the Rodini Park.
Located on the east coast are some of the most visited resorts of the island. Mention may Kalllithea with its thermal baths, a spa complex, which was built during the Italian occupation in the colonial style, but it is not in operation today. Then on to the south: Faliraki with tourist infrastructure, Afantou, where there is also a golf course, Tsambika, Archangelos – one of the most charming villages of the island with beautiful old houses, with pottery workshops and shops, Massari, Charaki with its medieval castle, Feraklos and Lindos (46 km from Rhodes town).
The medieval Lindos with its patrician houses, the steep cobbled streets, the stairways, the white tiled walls, the dark terrace roofs, everything is pressing close together cuddled, like an amphora high in to the steep rocky slope. Situated at the top of the hill is the acropolis. You enter through the monumental staircase, passing the administration building, to the old ruins of the Byzantine church “Agios Ioannis” (13th cent.) And to the large Stoa, a building dating from around 200 BC., From its original 42 Doric columns 20 are preserved.
Also preserved are the remains of the monumental staircase, the Propylaea and the Athena Lindia (2nd half of the 4th century. Bc.). The latter is built on top of the rock, you have from there a beautiful view of the other monuments like the Acropolis and the surrounding coves. Near the Acropolis are also the tomb of Kleobolous and various other tombs, the remains of an ancient theater and a small sanctuary, and the small harbor “of the Apostle Paul”, where according to history, the apostle said to have landed, when he arrived at Rhodes to teach Christianity.
Just after Lindos you’ll walk in the coastal settlement Lardos, Gennadi, Istros and finally to Cape Prasonisi, the southernmost point of the island. Equally interesting is the west coast of Rhodes with its many hotel complexes and archaeological sites.
5.5 km away from the coastal town of Ialyssos or Trianta lie the ruins of the acropolis of ancient Ialyssos, the Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus, a cross-shaped Batisterium that belonged to an early Christian basilica from the 5th century. belonged to the rebuilt Gothic church “Panagia tis Filermou”, which was built by Knights of St John, as the small underground church “Agios Georgios tou Christou” and the remains of Byzantine fortification.
Not far from there you can also see a Doric fountain.
The entrance to the archaeological site over begins the so-called “Golgotha Hill”, a paved road with 14 copper reliefs on one side representing the Stations of the way of the Cross. On the way you’ll come through the coastal villages Kremasti and Pradisi, with hotels, retail shops, etc. There is also the International Airport of Rhodes.
A little further you come to a detour that takes in an easterly direction to the magical Petaloudes Valley (26km from Rhodes town). It is a unique natural park where from Mai to September you can see thousands of butterflies, that live there on the trunks of the trees.
The coastal road continues on to Soroni and Kalavarda and finally to the archaeological site of Kamiros. The city was built like an amphitheater on an unpaved hill. You can see remains of houses, a water pipe, the Agora with a Doric portico, a Hellenistic sacred grove, the main road of the city, traces of the peripteral temple of Athena. On the surrounding hills ancient necropolis has been excavated.
In a grave were the famous Stele of Krito and Timariste, one of the most valuable objects in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. The road continues south to Skala Kamirou, a picturesque harbour, to Kritinia and Monolitho with Venetian castles, to Apolakkia, a charming village situated among trees with many taverns, and to Kattavia.
The center of the island with its charming scenery and villages in traditional style is also very interesting, Fountoukli with its characteristic four-aisled Church of Sts. Nikoaos. Prophet Elias with the homonymous monastery in a beautiful location, offering fabulous views. Salakos a charming mountain village, Apollona, Eleousa, Agios Isidoros, Embonas, Laerma, Asklipio, Mesanagros, Istrios, Prfilia, Psinthos, Maritsa among others.
In Rhodes, you can visit many cultural events, Son et Lumiere- performances at the Palace of the Knights, theatre and dance performances in the theatre, which is decorated in a medieval castle moat, concerts, recitals, etc.
In many villages, church festivals are celebrated with feasts and folk dances.
In Rhodes there are also many hotels with the necessary facilities for organising congresses.
Weather in Rhodes
Geography and History
Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese and the fourth largest island in Greece. The land area is 1,398 km2 and the coastal length is 220km. In the west the island is mountainous, with the Attavyros (1.215m) and the Akromytis (825m) as the highest peaks. Rhodes has plenty of water, is very fertile and has a very mild climate.
Rhodes has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. the name of the island dates back to the mythical Nymph Rhodes or Rhode, a daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite. An important phase in the history of the island was the Partnership of the three powerful Doric cities Ialyssos, Lindos and Kamiros and the founding of the city of Rhodes on the northeast tip of the island (408 BC).
The sphere of the island was then expanded significantly, it minted its own coin, had a strong army and a significant fleet and experienced a period of prosperity of art and science. After the 3th century BC. followed a period of decline. 57 AD. the Apostle Paul stayed on the island, taught and baptised the first Christians.
In the Byzantine era, the island was of no significance. In the following centuries it was only under the rule of the Crusaders, the Genoese, of St. John, and finally under the Ottomans. Under the rule of the Hospitallers, Rhodes experienced a significant upturn (1309-1522). At that time, the medieval city was built and furnished a powerful fleet.
Today Rhodes is a cosmopolitan island with an international flair. Visitors will find all the comforts and all possible possibilities for sports and entertainment.
How to get there
- By Plane
- Rhodes has connections to Athens, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Karpathos, Kasos, Kos, Megisti, Mykonos and Santorini. The airport is located 16km outside the city of Rhodes.
- Olympic Airways Rhodos, Tel.: 0241-24571-5
- Furthermore, Rhodes is also served by many international charter airlines.
- By Ship
- With the Ferry Rhodes as connections to Piraeus, the islands of the Dodecanese and the Cyclades with Thessaloniki, Crete and Cyprus. The distance from Piraeus is 250 nautical miles. With speedboats, connections exists to the islands the the eastern Aegean and Dodecanese.
- Port authority Rhodos, Tel.: 28.888, 22.220 and 28.666
- Useful Telephone numbers
- Area code: 0241 ,0244, 0246
- Touristpolice: 27.423
- Cityhall: 23.801
- Tourist info: 35.945
- Tourist office: 23.255
- General Hospital Rhodes 25.555