Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese group and one of the most famous islands of Greece, known for its numerous historical sites, magnificent castles and superb beaches. The old town of Rhodes, the island capital, is one of the largest and best preserved Medieval cities all over Europe, and the Medieval street known as the Street of the Knights is unique. In the past Rhodes bay was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world - the Colossus of Rhodes which stood on the port entrance, rising to a height of 30 meters. Today there are no signs of the the colossus presence but the rest sights on Rhodes fully compensate for this. You will need more than one week to see all the interesting places this island can offer.
Rhodes is much closer to Turkey than to Greece but it is well connected to mainland Greece and the other islands of the South Aegean via a big sea port and an airport. There are also ferries from/to Marmaris and Bodrum resorts in Turkey. The largest settlement is Rhodes town, including the old fortified town and the new part which developed out of the castle walls and around the Acropolis of Rhodes. Most resorts are concentrated in the north and central part of the island, especially on the east coast where some of the best beaches of Rhodes can be seen. The south part is scarcely populated, with long and empty beaches far away from the crowd. The beach of Prassonissi, popular among windsurfers, is also on the south coast.
The Medieval town of Rhodes is in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, built by the Order of the Knights Hospitallers and being the oldest inhabited Medieval town in Europe. It starts from the port and includes the Palace of the Grand Master, the Street of the Knights, the Archaeological museum, numerous gates, bastions, churches and small no-name streets full of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. The Acropolis is 3 km west of Rhodes center and it hosts a small theater and ruins of ancient temples. Apart from these, other interesting places to see on Rhodes are:
- The picturesque village of Lindos
with its impressive Acropolis and the bay of St. Paul (Agios Pavlos) - after Rhodes town this is the second most visited place on the island
- The castles of Monolithos
- The ruins of the ancient towns of Kameiros and Ialissos
- The Filerimos monastery above Ialissos
- The valley of the butterflies, natural park
- The park of seven springs, a cool valley with pine trees and a lake
- Day trip to the islands of Symi
Rhodes island has more than 40 beaches, varying from sandy to pebbly and rocky. Many of them lie on the east coast between Rhodes town and Lindos and almost all of them are organized. Less visited and calm beaches can be found to the south. The most popular sandy beaches are Faliraki
, Tsambika and Pefki
, while the beaches of Lindos and St. Paul`s bay are more visited because of their exotic landscape. Due to its location, Rhodes town also has a couple of beaches - Elli (quite long and wide beach), Akti Miaouli, Akti Kanari and Ixia
. Ixia is a very long beach 4 km from Rhodes port and it has developed as a separate resort.