As it is the largest town in Dodecanese, it is considered the capital of this group of Greek islands. Rhodes is geographically located between Karpathos and Kos and it is, along Santoriniand Mykonos, among the most popular Greek islands. In the ancient times, the statue of Colossus used to stand at the entrance of the port.
The Old Town of Rhodes are among the best-preserved Medieval towns in Europe and impresses visitors with the romantic atmosphere. Walk along the narrow paved streets, visit the Venetian Castle and the Byzantine churches, stroll around the old port and you will have the feeling that the Knights of Saint John will appear at the next corner. Interesting places to visit on the island are also the Acropolis of Lindos, the Aquarium, the Monastery of Filerimos and the Valley of Butterflies.
Beach resorts in the island are large and fabulous. Kallithea and Faliraki are the most popular places with many tourist facilities. Due to the large size of the island, visitors will find numerous beaches for all preferences, even totally secluded places. Prassonissi, Ixia and Theologos are popular beaches for windsurfing and kite surfing. A drive around this Greek island will also bring you to many lovely spots and picturesque villages.
Have a look in this guide of Rhodes and find all the important information about your holidays there. Rhodes can be combined with other islands, such as Kos, Karpathos and Patmos.
Because of its strategic position (on the crossroad between the East and the West), Rhodes has been under constant attacks and dominations from the early times. The first settlers of the island came from Asia and some evidence of a Mycenaean settlement has been found. The Dorians were the next settlers. In 500 BC Rhodes was already a strong power. There were also many temples and structures such as theacropolis of Rhodes built in this time period.
After the naval Battle of Salamis and the defeat of the Persians, the island became a part of the Delian League, an organization of which Athens was the leader. During this period, in 480 BC, the three earliest city-states of Rhodes, Ialyssos, Lindos and Kameiros, combined and formed the modern town of Rhodes. With the reign of Alexander the Great, Rhodes fell under Macedonian domination. After the fall and fragmentation of the Empire of Macedonia, the island of Rhodes fought for its freedom and, after a long siege, triumphed in 305 BC.
It was during this period that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was constructed and straddled the harbour. This impressive giant statue was demolished during an earthquake. In a period of 150 years, the island flourished and showed its great navigation and maritime skills, establishing its reputation as one of the best in these domains. In 70 AD, Rhodes fell under Roman rule which lasted for 300 years. Then, it became part of the Byzantine Empire.
Because of its strategic position, Rhodes was conquered successively by Turks, Persians and Saracens. The history of Rhodes was primarily marked by the occupation from the Venetians in the Medieval times. The Knights of Saint John fortified the City of Rhodes with citadels, castles and built the Palace of the Grand Master. Many Castles were also built in the countryside, such as the Castle of Monolithos and also the Medieval Castle of Kritinia.
In 1523, after a long siege, the Ottomans took control of the island, who remained until 1912. During the First World War, Rhodes was taken by the Italians till 1943. The Italians contributed in the development of the island, with the renovation of important sites and the construction of nice buildings, such as theNational Theatre. In 1947, Rhodes and all Dodecanese islands became part of the Greek State.
Museums - Archeological
Rhodes is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, worldwide famous for its cultural and historical background through the ages. Traces of human presence are found from the Prehistoric times, although the island was greatly flourished during the Mycenaean period, according to the plethora of findings from the ancient cemeteries of Ialyssos and Kamiros. Ruled by the Knights, Rhodes became extremely powerful and one of the most fascinating places in Greece with medieval castles and strong fortresses.
Rhodes is home to some exquisite museums, the most important being the Archaeological Museum that provides a unique insight into the island's heritage. It is housed in the Medieval building and hosts an interesting selection of tombs from the Geometric, Archaic and Classical period. The exhibition is enriched with an extensive set of sculptures and mosaics from the Hellenistic times and a unique attraction are the ancient amphorae.
The Municipal Gallery of Rhodes focuses on a unique collection of 90 famous paintings from the 20th century and some engraving works. It is housed in a medieval building where many cultural events take place during the summer. On the edge of the New Town of Rhodes is found the Aquarium of Rhodes that showcases rare animal species from the Mediterranean sea.
Lindos Beach Limanaki Agios Pavlos, Ladiko, Kallithea, Tsambika, Afandou, Faliraki Beach, Ixia, Prassonissi, Agathi, Akti Miaouli, Casino, Elli, Faliraki Nudist, Fournou, Genadi Beach, Glystra, Haraki, Ialissos, Kalathos, Kamiros, Kathara, Katsouni, Kiotari, Kolympia, Kopria, Kouloura, Kremasti, Lachania, Ladiko Anthony Quinn, Lardos, Lindos Beach Megali Paralia, Lindos Beach Palace, Lothiarika, Makris Tichos, Paradisi, Pefki, Plimiri, Stegna, Theologos Beach, Traganou, Vagies, Vlicha
Religious Monasteries and Churches
Rhodes is strongly influenced by the many great civilizations of the world. Of major interest are the historic castles, imposing buildings and spiritual sites that bear witness to the unique architectural elements from the medieval and Byzantine times. Particularly, the medieval town of Rhodes is a monument itself and visitors can see here many catholic churches and castles built by the Knights.
The most important Catholic Church is the Roman Catholic church of Saint Francisco (St Francis of Assisi) located in the old town. Its high bell tower is the symbol of Rhodes and from there the view is spectacular. Built by the Byzantines, in the 11th century, the beautiful Lady of the Castle is a fine example of stone masonry work made by the Knights of St John. It lies in the city of Rhodes, in Symis square.
Another foundation of the knights is the catholic church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) with remains of beautiful frescoes from the 15th century. Of unique interest is the catholic church of Saint John, the Collacium located in the medieval city of Rhodes. It owns all the characteristics of Gothic architecture and is a famous site. At the center of Rhodes stands the chapel of Sacred Heart and at the cosmopolitan resort of Trianda lies the chapel of St Anne. Both of them inspire peace and a warm atmosphere.
The most famous Orthodox monastery of Rhodes is Panagia Tsambika located in Archangelos village. Although tiny, the monastery lies in two sites, one is perched on top of a high cliff and the other one stands at one side of the road of the settlement. The church is considered miraculous for the women who struggle to conceive. Within the same village, beautiful churches are found like Dormition of the Virgin (18th century), the church of Agia Irini and Archangel Micheal with the most fascinating bell tower on the island.