Address: Ammohostou 18 & Fanouraki, 85100, Rhodes T.+30.22410.23160 GREECE - RUSSIA - CYPRUS - ITALY
The island at first sight
A Fe w Wo rd s a b o u t the Island
Welcome to Rhodes, the “Island of the Knights” and of Helios, the Ancient Greek sun god, a beguiling lady and capital of the Dodecanese. Its cosmopolitan charms, the outstanding natural beauty of its hinterland, the crystalline waters of its countless beaches and its location as a crossroads on maritime trade routes between the Aegean and the Middle East have attracted many different peoples and cultures since the dawn of time; the Knights of Saint John, Ottomans and most recently Italians have all left their mark on the island’s art, language and especially its architecture. The island’s attractions today seduce thousands of visitors from all around the globe who come to enjoy not only the unadorned natural beauty, but also to savour the unique experience of walking through the cobbled streets of the largest preserved medieval city in Europe and of dining in its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre since 1988. Rhodes also boasts modern hotel facilities, a variety of recreational activities and water sports, a range of different cuisines to suit all palates and excellent nightlife in the island’s many bars and clubs. Going south it seems as if time there was frozen several centuries ago. Visitors find themselves enthralled by a romantic ambiance as they stroll leisurely through the maze of picturesque alleys of Lindos - famed for its 17th century mansions - and the other medieval villages in the south, whose traditional architecture has still been retained to this day. Above all else though, Rhodes is an island alive with history embodied by the Rhodians, a polite, unpretentious and warm hospitable people who dwell in idyllic towns and tranquil villages and who take to the streets on religious feast days to celebrate local saints in a welcoming and good natured atmosphere punctuated by the tunes of a local troubadour.
Getting There and Getting Around Travel to Rhodes is either by air or by sea. Many ferries sail daily from Piraeus (the main port of Athens) for the Dodecanese with the journey to Rhodes taking between 13 and 17 hours depending on the number of stop-offs at other Greek islands included in the ferry’s itinerary to Rhodes. Ferries also depart from Thessalonica, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. During the summer months Diagoras International Airport, located 14 km south west of the island’s capital, is well served by scheduled and charter flights from many European cities as well as Athens, Thessalonica, and some of the Aegean islands. The island’s road network is well developed. Although the majority of visitors can easily get around by taxi or by bus, those who want to discover the hidden gems need their own vehicle. Finally, there are boats regularly departing daily for the neighbouring islands and also to many of Rhodes’ otherwise inaccessible beaches.
Rhodes belongs to the Dodecanese island group, comprising 12 larger and 150 smaller islands. It is located some 200 nautical miles south east of the Greek mainland and lies in the shadow of Asia Minor which is only 11 nautical miles distant. It is bordered to the north by the North Aegean islands of Samos and Ikaria, the Cyclades to the west, Crete to the south west and Turkey to the east. To the west of the island is the Carpathian Sea whilst to the north and north west is the Sea of Rhodes. Neighbouring islands within the Dodecanese group are the islands of Chalki, Symi and Tilo lying nearby to the east with the intriguing island of Kastelorizo, officially known as Megisti, some way further to the east.
To p o g ra p hy Rhodes shaped like a spearhead pointing at the coast of Asia Minor, the island has a maximum length of 77 km and is 37 km wide at its widest point. The terrain is especially rich and extremely diverse. The outstanding natural beauty of its rugged and barren rocky indented coastline has been sculpted over the millennia by the combined power of the sea and the prevalent winds. As one heads further inland the vegetation becomes lusher and greener with forests of pine and cypress, natural springs and mountain streams which combine to form an important habitat for a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Climate For most of the year, extending into the late autumn, the island is basked in sunshine. A typical feature of the climate is the humidity which is noticeable in summer on days with particularly high temperatures.
History and Mythology of Rhodes
History The islandâ€™s strategic location at the crossroads of two major Mediterranean sea routes, between the Aegean Sea and the shores of the Middle East and Egypt, has shaped the economic and cultural history of Rhodes. Although its pivotal position along important trade routes facilitated the development of commerce, bringing great wealth to Rhodes, it also acted as a powerful lure for conquering armies as mentioned in the books of the Rhodian author Theofanis Bogiannos. In Greek mythology the original inhabitants of the island were the Telchines, a bizarre race of demon-like people with magical powers. Archaeological finds at Kalythies date the earliest human inhabitation of the island from the Late Neolithic period (6th millenium BC). Beginning in the 17th-16th centuries BC, or possibly even earlier, the Minoans established contact with Rhodes and remains dating from the 16th century BC at Triada are probably those of a Minoan colony. Following the collapse of the Minoan civilisation in the mid-15th century BC the Mycenaeans, whom Homer called the Achaeans, colonised the island. Sometime later in the 12th-11th centuries BC at the begining of the Greek Dark Ages and the sudden decline of the Mycenaeans, the Dorians reached Rhodes. In the Iliad they, under their ruler Tlepolemus, divided into three communities according to their tribes and founded the three city-states of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros. During the 7th century BC the three citystates joined together in an alliance, the Dorian Hexapolis, with Halicarnassus, Kos and Knidos as a response to the Ionian League, allowing them to thrive and establish colonies around the Mediterranean. In the 6th century BC the tyrant Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity to whom the 18
famous saying Metron Ariston (moderation is best) is attributed, is said to have been king of Lindos. With the defeat of Persia at the Battles of Marathon and Salamis, the three city-states joined the newly created Delian League in 477 BC. They mainly stayed neutral during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and finally left the Athenian dominated alliance citing the unsustainable taxes imposed on them before the end of the conflict in 404 BC. In 408 BC the three city-states united and founded the city of Rhodes, which was built using the city plans of Hippodamus of Miletus. The same layout was, according to legend, used by Alexander the Great to build cities including Alexandria in Egypt. Rhodes during this period developed trade relations and on a political level endeavoured using all means possible to ensure its independence, concluding alliances on favourable terms from sometimes with Sparta, sometimes with Athens. Rhodes was later allied with Alexander the Great. His death in 323 BC lead to discord amongst his successors, the Diadochi, who vied for control of his empire. In 305 BC Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, laid siege to the islandâ€™s capital in order to break the Rhodian alliance with the Ptolemy. He brought with him 400 ships and a powerful army numbering 40,000 men and including a large number of cavalry and siege engines such as the Helepolis (literally taker of cities) siege towers, which stood 38 metres tall, and a battering ram 55 metres long. Despite the numerical advantage he was unable to capture the city and abandoned the siege after a year. The Rhodians sold the siege equipment left behind by Demetrius Poliorcetes and with the money raised they constructed the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. An alliance with Rome was concluded in the 2nd century BC, in the framework of which Delos was declared a port free of duties. Later the Roman general Cassius Longinus con-
quered and plundered the island in 42 BC. Christianity came to Rhodes in the 1st century AD brought by Saint Paul and is mentioned in the book of Acts of the New Testament. In 395 AD Rhodes became part of the Byzantine Empire. The Arabs arrived in 653 AD and then in 1046 AD the Genoese occupied the island. During the reign of Alexius I Komnenos in the 11th century AD the Byzantines recovered Rhodes and later granted trading rights on the island to the Venetians. In 1309 AD the Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered the island. They used the island as a military base for raids on the Holy Land. Many buildings constructed by the Knights during their rule of the island remain standing to this day in the medieval city, which in 1988 was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Ottomans took Rhodes from the Knights in 1522 AD. Denied the right to partake in commercial activities by their new overlords, the Rhodians were confined to a rural life. Under the Ottoman dominion the islanders rebelled regularly but inconclusively. Italy occupied Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese in 1912, during the ItaloTurkish War. The Italians undertook many important construction projects including the aqueduct, bringing electricity to the island, the harbour and the aquarium. Italian archaeological missions also unearthed important findings. On the political level, claims by Rhodes and the Dodecanese for union with mainland Greece were seemingly acceptable to the Italians even though in reality they had no intention of allowing this to happen. The Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 saw Italy officially annex the Dodecanese and it was not until 31st March 1947 that union with Greece became a reality when British Brigadier A. S. Parker officially transferred the islands to the Greek military under the command of Vice Admiral Pericles Ioannidis. 20
Dimitriou Themeli 74 Rhodes Town T: 22410 37770 Lindos Village T: 22440 31777 E: email@example.com W: www.lindostreasures.com
Mythology So much natural beauty concentrated in one place could not fail to capture the imagination of its inhabitants and give rise to equally beautiful myths regarding the island’s creation and the course of its history. One of the myths, according to Pindar, says that when Zeus defeated the Giants he decided to divide the earth between the Olympian gods. However Helios, the sun god, was missing at that moment as he was off loafing on his daily journey and so was left without his own piece of earth. Zeus wanting to be just said that he would redivide the earth but Helios the traveller replied that he would own the land that emerged from the sea at sunrise the following morning. As dawn broke the next day, Helios saw the beautiful, verdant island of Rhodes appear from the turquoise water. 22
Enthralled by its beauty he bathed it with his rays. Since then sun drenched Rhodes has been the island of the Sun. On the island Helios and the nymph Rhodos had seven sons, the Heliadae: Ochimus, Cercaphus, Macareus, Actis, Tenages, Triopas and Candalus. Ceraphus, who became king of Rhodes, had three sons Kameiros, Ialyssos and Lindos who inherited the island and split into three parts so that each had their own city to which they gave their name. Naturally these myths were mankind using its imagination in an attempt to intrepret events. For example, geologically the emergence of Rhodes was due to uplift and subsidence of tectonic plates during the formation of the earth’s surface. Similarly, Helios’s great love of Rhodes cannot be seen as chance, when one considers that the island is bathed by the sun’s ray most days of the year. For this reason the island was called the Bride of Helios and was considered to belong to Aphrodite’s who surfaced from the foaming sea.
The Colossus of Rhodes One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes was a giant statue of Helios, the Rhodian patron god, 32 metres tall and was often said to have stood with its feet apart on either side of the harbour mouth. This fanciful conjecture is now disputed as it would have been impossible, the entrance to the harbour was approximately 400 metres wide. It is known that in antiquity the Rhodians were not involved in the quarrels of the other Greek citystates. Although Rhodes sought to safeguard its independence and pursue its commercial activities undisturbed it was conquered many times. During the Wars of the Diadochi, a conflict between the successors of Alexander the Great, in the late fourth century BC Rhodes was besieged by Demetrius Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus. After one year of siege a relief force sent by Ptolemy I Soter arrived enabling the Rhodians to rout the besiegers, forcing them to flee leaving behind much of the siege equipment. To celebrate their victory sold the spoils and with the money raised they erected a stunning statute in honour of their patron god Helios. According to the Roman natural philosopher Pliny the Elder, the bronze statute was designed by the sculptor Chares, a native of Lindos, and its construction lasted 12 years, being finally completed in 282 BC. The bronze coating was fixed onto an iron frame and as it was hollow inside, the workers placed heavy stones in the legs in order to ensure the statueâ€™s stability. For a long time after its completion visitors to the island were greeted by the imposing statue. Fifty six years later, in 227 BC, a major earthquake hit Rhodes, snapping the statueâ€™s knees, toppling over the Colossus which fell on to dry land. Ptolemy III Euergetes offered to pay for its reconstruction, but a prophecy by the oracle of Delphi frightened the Rhodians into believing that they had offended Helios, so they chose not to rebuild it, leaving it lying on the ground for some 900 years. In 654 AD a Syrian general captured Rhodes and the Colossusâ€™s brass plates were said to have been among loot sent back to Syria. These were apparently sold to a merchant who very probably melted these down to make coins.
Sights and A t t ra c t i o n s o f R h o d e s
M e d i e va l C i t y o f Rhodes The heart of the island is the charming city of Rhodes, capital of the Dodecanese prefecture. Located on the northern tip of the island, the city is divided into the modern new town and the medieval town, once home to the Knights of Saint John and still bustling with life to today. In addition to the permanent residents, who are fortunate to live in a setting seemingly frozen in time, the town is a thriving commercial centre and a popular destination on the tourist trail. The imposing Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Saint John, at the top of Odos ton Ippoton (Street of the Knights), dominates the old town. Wandering through the warren of cobbled streets, the enchanting atmosphere intensifies the more a visitor begins to explore the townâ€™s medieval alleys. Crossing though the shadows of an arcade, one might suddenly stumble upon a delightful hidden
stone courtyard, then perhaps a little further on a Byzantine church built into niche within the imposing city walls, a witness to its own little piece in the cityâ€™s history. The old townâ€™s charm is not limited though to its quaint streets and historic buildings and monuments. It is a city which is alive and vibrant with the local inhabitants still going about their daily business intermingled with tourists making their way to the Archaeological Museum, the Art Gallery or the Museum of Folk Art. This magical blend of past and present helps to create a truly dynamic urban environment that is rightly considered to be unique despite the town being largest medieval city in Europe. The charming medieval town of Rhodes cannot be viewed piecemeal as the current layout covers the footprints of those who have conquered and settled the site over the centuries. The city, at the northernmost tip of the island, was founded in 408 BC and was laid out in a grid plan designed by Hippodamus of Miletus, who is considered to be the father of urban planning. Later, a smaller fortified Byzantine city grew
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on the site of the ancient city. The fortified area was later named Collachio by the Knights. In the 12th century AD the walls were extended to enclose an area of 175,000 square metres. Since the fall of Acre, the last major Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, in 1291 the Knights of Saint John had been seeking a base from which to launch a new crusade. Eventually they decided on Rhodes, the city falling to them in 1309 after a prolonged siege. For the next two centuries the city was the political and administrative centre of the Knights’ own state, which included most of the islands of the Dodecanese. Maritime trade flourished during this period bringing great wealth to the island. It was during the rule of the Knights of Saint John, as they soon became known, that the famous Odos ton Ippoton (Street of the Knights) was constructed. Running for 200 metres uphill and 6 metres wide, it is unusual for a medieval street in that it is straight, a legacy of the city’s ancient origins. It was the most formal street linking the religious and the political centres of the castle, namely the Latin cathedral (Our Lady of the Castle) with the Grand Master’s Palace. Along the street 34
the Knights erected the most important of the order’s public and private buildings, including the lodgings of the tongues, the order’s geographic and cultural subdivisions. A visit to the late Gothic church Panagia tou Mpourgkou (Our Lady of the Burgo), dating from the 14th century, is well worth it. Bombed during the Second World War, all that remain today are the sanctuary’s three arches. The year 1522 was a milestone in the history of Rhodes. After a long and bloody siege the valiant Knights surrendered the city to Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. During the period of Ottoman occupation a clock tower was built after the earthquake of 1851 and also served as a watchtower. Today it also houses a small collection of archaeological artefacts discovered there. The most impressive mosque in the old town is the Mosque of Suleiman. The present building was constructed in the 19th century on the site of an older mosque originally said to have been built by the conqueror of the island, Suleiman the Magnificent. In Plateia Dorieon (Dorieon Square) is the Mosque of Recep Pasha.
N e w To wn Outside the ramparts lies the new town whose appearance is in harmony with the city’s architectural past. Bathing in the bright Rhodian light stand fine neoclassical buildings next to aesthetic modern constructions which highlights the town’s cosmopolitan character giving it an air of romance, elegance and beauty - all elements of the island’s unique identity. This is also reflected in the town centre’s
bustling Kyprou (Cyprus) square, which has a wide range of shops that have nothing to envy from those of other modern cities. Strolling along the quayside is a pleasant experience with its grandiose edifices including the Prefecture, the National Theatre, the Post Office and the Church of the Annunciation, all built during the Italian occupation of the island between 1912 and 1943. 36
As soon as the sun sets over Rhodes, a magical atmosphere fills the air, with the sound of music from bars, clubs and live bands intermingled with chatter from the many tavernas - all part of the town’s vibrant nightlife and the perfect climax to the day - ensuring a feel good factor for the day after. In the new town the Mosque of Murat Reis with its very elegant minaret can be visited. Located near the Prefecture, it is built on the site of the church of Agios Antonios (Saint Anthony) and is next to the Knights’ cemetery. Inside the grounds of the mosque is a Turkish cemetery with
378 tombs. The most significant of which are those of Murat Reis the Elder, the 16th century Ottoman admiral and Turkish privateer, and numerous exiled Turks including a poet whose satirical poems incensed the Sultan.
Rhodes Aquarium (1935) A sample of the marine wealth of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean can be seen at the recently modernized Rhodes Aquarium which since 1963 has been housed in the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes. Located at Akra ton Myloni, on the northernmost tip of the island, it is not only an aquarium but also a living museum that contains specimens of the areas endemic marine flora and fauna. The origins of the building date from the Italian occupation; the governor, Mario Lago, ordered the construction of a research station and commissioned his fellow countryman, Armando Bernabiti, to design and
construct it. The architect managed to combine elements inspired by local architecture with Art Deco features, giving the building a maritime appearance. So important is the building, being so remarkable an example of â€œInternational Styleâ€? architecture, that the Hellenic Ministry of Culture has designated it as a historic monument. Inspired by the marine environment, the main entrance has an impressive visitorsâ€™ hall which resembles a sea cave: porous stones and shells decorate the walls whilst on the floor white and black pebbles have been inlaid to create representations of aquatic life. In parallel with the aquarium, the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes is also a research unit of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
T h e Fa l l o w D e e r o f Rhodes (Dama dama) Considered for many years one of the island’s symbols, the Rhodian Fallow Deer, which inhabit the forests and form part of the island’s legends, is one of the few European species of deer that have survived until today. Gracing the entrance to the city’s old harbour, each atop a column, stand two bronze deer atop col, one buck and one doe. There are many folk tales about how the
deer came to be found on the island. Many argue that they were introduced to Rhodes with the arrival of the Crusaders, a theory which is supported by historical evidence. In ancient texts Rhodes was sometimes referred to as Ophiousa, a word meaning having lots of snakes. According to the aforementioned theory, the Crusaders, in order to protect their camps from this hazard, imported the deer and used them to keep the snakes away. Although deer do not actively hunt and kill snakes, as many believe, it is said that the deer’s antlers secrete an alkali substance which bothers snakes and drives them away. Some of these animals escaped from the camps and hid in the woods. Today’s population of Fallow Deer are their direct descendants. An alternative theory says that the deer were imported by the Venetians when they controlled the island. However, in ancient texts Rhodes is also on occasion called Elaphousa, meaning that at that time it had lots of deer, long before any of the medieval invaders arrived on the island. Archaeological finds showing evidence of the existence of deer in the Eastern Aegean supports this theory as they suggests a much earlier date, perhaps as early as the 6th century BC. Known locally as platoni, the Fallow Deer (Dama dama) are smaller than other deer, standing at 1 m, measuring between 1.6 and 1.9 m in length and weighing approximately 40-80 kg. Only the bucks have antlers which are broad and shovel-shaped. Their coats, which in the summer their coats are brown with white mottles, darken in the winter. The tail is between 16-19 cm in length and has a black tip.
the Ancient Stadium (Monte Smith)
From this serene vantage point, far from the urban hustle and bustle, one can see the town of Rhodes spread out below, and also the surrounding Ixia Bay with its glittering azure waters. On slopes of the hill itself are the ruins of the Hellenistic Acropolis of Rhodes which includes the Temple of Apollo and an ancient stadium.
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A rc o p o l i s of Rhodes
Overlooking the city from the west and situated on the cityâ€™s highest point is the Acropolis of Rhodes, which unlike other ancient acropoleis was not fortified. The monuments date from the Hellenistic and late Hellenistic periods (3rd to 2nd centuries BC) and include sanctuaries, public buildings, temples and underground places of worship. The layout of the ancient acropolis first came to light with excavations carried out by the Italian School of Archaeology at Athens during the Italian occupation of the island (1912-1943). Further discoveries have since been made on archaeological
digs under the auspices of the Greek Archaeological Service, which have provided important information on the siteâ€™s history and topography. Today these excavations continue over an area of 3 acres with the aim of uncovering the whole site of the acropolis of the splendid ancient city of Rhodes. Preserved within the beautifully landscaped and verdant archaeological park is the Hellenistic stadium from the 2rd century BC. Here athletic competitions were staged as part of the Haleion Games, an important celebration held by the ancient Rhodians in honour of the god Helios. Right next to the stadium is the small restored marble theatre, where in antiquity and today musical performances are given. In a dominant position at the summit of the hill is the Temple of Pythian Apollo, the cityâ€™s guardian. Reconstruction of the temple was begun by the Italians and then continued by the Greek Archaeological Service after the end of World War II to repair the damage caused by bombs and the weight of artillery emplaced there. Further restoration work was started in 1996.
R o d i n i Pa r k
Just a few kilometres from the city of Rhodes, Rodini Park is a paradise waiting to be discovered and well worthy of a visit. Set in an idyllic location, shady walking trails wind through the landscaped grounds, which follow the course of a tranquil, stream abounding with flowering oleander and dotted with water lily filled ponds. Complementing this relaxing scene are the peacocks that proudly strut throughout the park and the sight of the rare Rhodian Fallow Deer which can be seen in the small adjoining zoo. The park, dating from ancient times, is perhaps the oldest example of landscape architecture anywhere in the world. The reputed site of the famous School of Rhetoric, graced by some of the most famous figures from ancient history, the park was very popular with the Romans who left their own mark, building a system of aqueducts parts of which have remained until today. It was also the site of a Hellenistic necropolis dating from the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC; beautifully decorated tombs can still be seen â€“such as the impressive 28 metre long Tomb of the Ptolemies, carved into a small hill, decorated with 21 Doric columns and dedicated to the honour of Ptolemy I Soter.
A To u r of the East Coast
Koskinou (6 km)
To the north of Kalythies lies Koskinou, which was first mentioned in records during the 5th century AD. Wandering through the alleys of this delightful colourful medieval village, past the fine examples of the local architectural tradition with bright façades of different colours, is like steeping back in time; a quick glance through an open window will reveal a magnificently decorated room. After visiting, enjoy a dip at the bustling sandy beach in Reni or Kavourakia.
Kallithea (8 km)
Close to the town of Rhodes, about 8 km away, is Kallithea, with its exotic beach lined with palm trees that cast elaborate shadows on the sand. Renowned for its hot thermal springs, during the Italian occupation a spa
was constructed in an Arabic style and visitors can still enjoy a relaxing thermal bath in the renovated building.
Kalythies (16 km)
16 kms, south of the capital, is the beautiful village of Kalythies, seat of the Municipality of Kallithea and notable for the cave of Saint George (to spilaio tou Agiou Giorgiou) where the remains of a human presence from the Neolithic period have been discovered (5000 – 3700 BC).
Psinthos (25 km)
Not far from Faliraki is Psinthos, a village where stunning examples of nature’s beauty are hidden behind every little corner, delighting any sightseer, who stops at the Fasoula spring to drink its cool refreshing water. Age-old plane trees, whose shade provide a welcome relief in the summer, are plentiful in and around the village including the square with the impressive church dedicated to the Theotokos (a Greek title of the Virgin Mary). Before leaving, do not forget to buy some jars of the local honey which is noted for its excellent flavour.
Faliraki (14 km)
Attracting thousands of tourists of all nationalities, Faliraki, 14 km from the capital Rhodes, is renowned for its youthful ambiance and the inexhaustible enthusiasm for partying until dawn. The area has very good hotels and a well-organised beach stretch-
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ing for 4 km that is one of the most beautiful in Greece. Besides a water park, there are facilities for water sports and, for the more adventurous, extreme sports. Famed for its exuberant nightlife, the resort is home to many well known nightclubs catering for all musical tastes. A recommended excursion is to the archaeological site at Sarantapihos, adjacent to Kalithies, which is believed to be part of an acropolis (citadel) from the Archaic period (800 BC – 480 BC). Also worthy of a visit is Erimokastro with ruined ancient walls and the old monastery of the Prophet Amos (tou Prophiti Amos) at the top of the hill just outside Faliraki.
Ladiko – Anthony Quinn Bay (15 km)
Amongst the most stunning and popular of the island’s beaches, 15 km south east of the capital and 3 km from Faliraki, is that at Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the star of the 1960s box office hit “The Guns of Navarone”, which was filmed in the region. It is easy to understand why the actor fell love with the area, purchasing land once the filming was complete; set against the verdant backdrop 54
of pine clad hills, the translucent waters lap gently against the rocks. Boats often anchor at the small jetty and, due to the amazing subaquatic topography, the beach is a perfect spot for snorkelling or scuba diving. The small beach of Ladikos Bay is defined by its crystal clear waters enclosed by a bay, carved out by the action of the sea over time. This delightful magical landscape, considered one of the best small beaches on the island, attracts many visitors and is ideal for those wanting to relax after a long night of festivities.
Traganou (18 km)
The atmospheric Traganou beach, with its well-known cave at one end, is only 4 km from Faliraki and 18 km from the city of Rhodes. Sunshades and sun loungers are only available at a certain points along the beach, otherwise the whole beach is yours to enjoy freely, picking a spot to lay your beach towel and relax.
Afantou (20 km)
A mere 20 km from the bustling capital is the village of Afantou. Despite the level of tourism, the residents have retained their
customs and traditions and are particularly welcoming to visitors. The village has managed to retain its charm with buildings in keeping with local architectural tradition. The surrounding area is characterised by its lush vegetation and the great beaches. The nearby fine pebble and sand beach of Afantou stretches for 4 km. As the water deepens not far out from the shore, the beach is relatively quiet and as there are usually not many bathers it is ideally suited for games such as beach volleyball and beach soccer. Within walking distance there is also a good golf course. At the end of the day, head to one of the snack bars for a cool, refreshing drink.
Kolympia (25 km)
The resort of Kolympia, 6 km south of Afantou is an ideal place to spend a simple day of relaxation, to recharge worn down batteries, swimming or fishing in its lovely azure waters.
Tsampika (26 km)
This long beach with golden sand is 26 km south east of the capital and offers water sport facilities. After having a swim, make your way up to the monastery of Panagia Tsampika (the Virgin Mary of Tsampika), sitting at the top of an imposing rock. Local
legend has it the Virgin Mary of Tsampika has the power to perform miracles, particularly for women who have difficulty conceiving.
Archangelos (30 km)
On the way towards the south coast, 30 km from the city of Rhodes, is Archangelos, the islandâ€™s largest village and an important tourist resort. Originating from the Middle Ages, the village was deliberately sited inland as a form of protection from frequent pirate raids. At first glance Archangelos is a stereotypical concrete clad provincial village, but a quick exploration of its side streets soon dispels this preconception. To this day the villageâ€™s buildings still retain strong elements of their local architectural tradition. Even more surprising is that, de-
spite increased tourism and the accompanying exposure to a modern lifestyle, the villagerâ€™s have faithfully conserved many aspects of the traditional island way of life: be it baking bread in wood-fired ovens, practising skills and crafts of bygone eras, following unique customs or even speaking their own local dialect. There are a host of choices for night-time entertainment, whilst during the day - local attractions include a Venetian castle and the church of Archangelou Michail (Archangel Michael). Before leaving the village, consider finding space in your luggage for a hand-woven rug or pottery.
Stegna (30 km)
Adjacent to Archangelos is the simply beautiful Stegna, with its small harbour lined with bars, cafĂŠs and restaurants where delicious local dishes can be sampled. Its pebble beach also has facilities for water sports. For accommodation- apartments overlooking the harbour are available.
Agathi (36 km)
Sheltered by a beautiful cove, 10 km by road from Lindos towards Haraki and 38 km from the capital, is Agathi. Its lovely small sandy 58
beach has a few canteens some of them offering sun loungers and sunshades and is an ideal place for beach games.
Haraki (Charaki) (38 km)
Tucked into a pretty bay about 38 km from Rhodes, Haraki is set in an area of wonderful natural beauty. The fine golden sand beach, named after the neighbouring monastery of Agia Agapi (Holy Love) perched at the top of a rock, is suitable for families with young children. From the village the ruins of Faraklou castle can be visited. Along the coastal road there are cafĂŠs and taverns as well as rooms to rent.
Kalathos (46 km)
Only 5km from Lindos and 46 km from the capital is the small seaside village of Kalathos with an exquisite sand and tiny pebble beach that stretches for 4 km. Although some parts of it are quite busy and organised, in other places you can spread out your beach towel and enjoy a peaceful swim. There are rooms available for rent near the village which also has canteens and a supermarket.
Vlycha (48 km)
A little south of Kalathos is well-known bay of Vlycha, a popular destination for tourists due to the number of hotel complexes. The beach is suitable for families as it gently slopes into the sea and though it draws many visitors from nearby Lindos, its extensive length ensures that one can always find an area of peace and quiet. Vlycha has organised beach facilities including sunshades, sun loungers and canteens.
The Kingdom of Cleobulus
Lindos (50 km)
A visit to Lindos is an unforgettable experience. A mere 50 km south of Rhodes, this is a place where romance is still alive and that time has seemingly forgotten. When wending your way through the narrow lanes, absorb the beauty of the traditional houses, distinguished by the absolute symmetry of their size and building materials. Construction dates are inscribed above the entrance doors to mansions with each mansion telling the salty tales and struggles of the sea captains who once lived there and who wished upon their return from an arduous journey to be immersed in aesthetically pleasing surroundings. Some of these mansions
are now luxury apartments, others are now home to restaurants and bars, whilst some have stayed in the same seafaring families for centuries, passing down from generation to generation. The clear and shallow waters of Lindos Bay are enjoyed every year by thousands of tourists of all ages. The two beaches are amongst the most frequented on the island and have plenty of sunshades and sun loungers. Lunch can be taken at one the local taverns.
The Ancient City of Lindos
Once stood on what is now the site of the modern-day village, extending from the
acropolis to cape Krana. Today it is the most important archaeological site on the island with the acropolis dominating the skyline, literally hanging on to a rock 116 metres high. The acropolis itself is an enduring testament to the power and wealth of ancient Lindos. Traditions say that the ancient city was founded by the Danaides, the fifty daughters of Danaos, who fled from Egypt and came to Lindos, building the Temple of Athena there. According to Diogenes LaĂŤrtius it was constructed in the 6th century BC during the rule of the tyrant Cleobulus, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity. The renowned temple remained a cult centre during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, despite 65
the gradual decline in the city’s economic and political power. Later it was used as a safe haven in times of crisis before eventually becoming a fortress with a permanent garrison. In addition to the ruins of the Temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylaea and the large Hellenistic stoa, there are also the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis and the Governor’s Palace dating from the Knights’ period at the top of the acropolis. Carved into the rock at the bottom of the steps leading up to the acropolis is a unique relief of a Rhodian trireme (warship). In the 14th century the Knights of Saint John strengthened the fortifications and built the large stairway at the entrance to the Governor’s Palace. Also of interest is the exedra, a room with high backed benches opening onto a stoa and used as a place for philosophical discussion, which was carved out of the rock on the western side of the acropolis at the port of Agios Pavlos. Not too far away are the foundation walls of the ancient gymnasium. It was at this location that excavations, carried out by the Danish Carlsberg Institute between 1900 and 1914, uncovered many excellent inscriptions including a chronicle of the temple and a list of the priests of Athena.
A short walk from Lindos is the delightful secluded bay of Agios Pavlos (St Paul), whom legend has it taught Christianity there in the year 57 AD.
A g i o s Pav l o s
The two pebble beaches are partially organised, making them havens of tranquillity in which to relax, with the more adventurous diving into the welcoming waters for a swim from surrounding rocks. Heading up the hill, the eyes mesmerised by the dark blue of the sea, one will find the famed Acropolis of Lindos and the ruins of the Lindian Temple of Athena, waiting to be explored.
Pefkoi (56 km)
Spend a relaxing day on the peaceful beach at Pefkoi, 56 km from Rhodes and only 4 km from Lindos. The area is dotted with summer houses, small hotels and apartments. Inland from the beach there are shops, restaurants and bars.
Glystra awaits weary travellers ready to reveal its beguiling secrets; the varied greens of nature combining harmoniously with the blue of the sea. Located 55 km from the capital, the beach has a canteen and sun loungers are available.
Kiotari (65 km)
This vast sandy beach, which is about 65 km from Rhodes, has well-organised water sports facilities, sunshades and sun loungers. Along the beachfront there are many pretty tavernas.
Asklipio (65 km)
Lardos (51 km)
To the west of Lindos is the enticing beach of Lardos with the transparent blue waters of the bay making swimming so much fun. Make use of the localityâ€™s accommodation facilities and sample the excellent food the region has to offer. Just a short distance from the village, approximately 500 metres, and well worth a visit, are the ruins of the Byzantine castle of Lardos where the foundations of the walls and towers still remain. The convent of Panagia tis Ypseni can also be visited.
Glystra (55 km)
The quiet and charming sandy beach of 68
Featuring traditional white houses overlooking the sea, the village of Asklipio in southern Rhodes reveals a hidden side to Rhodes. The local villagers are unassuming, genuine and generous in their hospitality with no expectation of anything in return. They proudly recount their local history with words flowing effortlessly - highlighting their love of a homeland which has remained so far untouched by the incursions of tourism. Worth a visit are the church of the Kimiseos tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Theotokos), which has the only known murals of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, the folklore museum next door and the ruins of a castle built by the Knights of Saint John in the 15th century.
Gennadi (66 km)
Visitors who choose to stay in Gennadi in the south of Rhodes, will enjoy a haven of peace and tranquility far from the clamour of the city. The roots of the village maybe lost in the mists of time, but the centuries have given rise to customs and traditions that continue to play a natural part in the daily life of the inhabitants. Stretching in front of the village is a spectacular beach, some 66 km from the islandâ€™s capital, which due to its length can cater for all tastes. Some parts have organised sunshades and sun loungers whilst in others there is just the beautiful sea and the small
white pebbles. Accommodation is plentiful, with many hotels and apartments in an area which offers on the one hand an endless beach lapped by azure waters and on the other forests with trails that allow the visitor to discover dreamlike landscapes that refresh both the body and the soul.
Prasonisi (110 km)
At the southernmost point of the island, strong winds propel windsurfers along on their adventures over the waves in front of a superb beach, where in sheltered areas swimmers can enjoy the outstanding waters. In this magnificent setting, 110 km from the capital, 40 km from Lindos and 12 km from the village of Kattavia, the sea at Prasoni seems to mingle with the adjacent land delighting the senses and the wind stirs up the passion for an exhilarating aquatic adventure. The sandy beach is a favourite haunt of
windsurfers, especially in July and August when the summer winds are at their most favourable. Windsurfing equipment can be hired from one of the specialised establishments on the beach and there are also some small taverns and rooms available for rent. Situated at the southernmost point of the island opposite Prasonisi is ancient Vroulia. This is one of the most important early settlements with organised urban planning to have been located in Greece with finds from excavations placing its construction between 650 and 550 BC. The location was not chosen at random, it was selected for military reasons; this was the last Aegean port for ships before sailing out into the open seas of the eastern Mediterranean. Similarly, its was also the first landfall for vessels from Syria, Phoenicia and Cyprus. Danish archaeologist Karl Frederik Kinch of the Danish Institute at Athens carried out digs on the site between 1907 and 1908.
A To u r o f t h e We s t C o a s t
Boasting a well-organised beach, Ixia, in the municipality of Ialyssos, is one of the island’s most popular and cosmopolitan tourist resorts thanks to the hotel infrastructure that blends in with the surrounding environment and the accompanying tourism facilities. Hotel complexes are located along the beach road and offer high quality service. Every year thousands of tourists enjoy the golden sands and blue waters of the beach and indulge in various water sports, including windsurfing and kite-surfing, the great popularity of which has resulted in competitions being organised annually. At the end of these, competitors, spectators and beach goers congregate in the night-time bars and pubs ensuring that the fun carries on until the early hours.
Ialyssos (10 km)
Frequented by the rich and famous, Ialyssos is defined by its luxury hotels, elegant neoclassical buildings and organised glorious pebble beach which, with its waters that deepen immediately, is considered amongst the island’s most famous and is noted for the efficient services offered to tourists. Situated a stone’s throw from the town of Rhodes, a mere 8 km distant, Ialyssos has many beach front hotels, restaurants, mini markets, bars and cafés. Being on the windward side of the island it is a popular spot for windsurfing.
The Ancient Ialyssos & Filerimos Hill
In the village of Triada, the remains of a Minoan settlement have been discovered and excavations in the surrounding hills have brought to light Mycenaean cemeteries. Leaving Triada, a pleasant walk through a pine forest leads to Filerimos hill, containing the site of the acropolis of the ancient city of Ialyssos. The area is of special archaeological interest as it has been inhabited since prehistoric times and it was here that the city-state of Ialyssos flourished in the late 5th century BC. The ancient polis of Ialyssos was one of the three largest on the island and extended geographically around Filerimos hill, the location of the city’s acropolis where today ancient monuments can be seen along with others dating from the periods of Byzantine and Knights of Saint John rule. A well-preserved Doric fountain dating from the 3th century BC is located on the south side of ancient Ialyssos’s acropolis. A wall in the carved rock sports four waterspouts in the form of a lion’s head, two of which channelled water in to the cistern. According to tradition, in the 13th century AD a monk arrived in the area from Jerusalem carrying an icon said to have performed miracles, placing it in a small church that he built to house it at the top of the hill. To this day the hill, Filerimos, still bears the monks name. When the Knights took control of the island they chose to construct a monastery on the same spot opposite whose entrance is the start of the Road of Martyrdom. Crossing the cobbled street, under the cooling shade of the trees, bronze depictions of the Passion of Christ and his ascent to Calvary can be seen on the left and right. During this walk it is not unknown for visitors to come across one of the peacocks and its young who roam the area. At the end of the Road of Martyrdom stands an 18 metre tall cross raised by the Italians (14/09/1930) to replace an older stone cross 30 metres tall. It is worthwhile taking the time to climb the spiralling iron staircase in the cross’s interior to gaze at the amazing view from its top and marvel at the vivid greens of the forest merging with the shimmering blues of the sea. A further attraction is the church of the Panagia.
Kremasti (12 km)
Situated 12 km from Rhodes is the village of Kremasti. Traditionally an agricultural community, tourism infrastructure has been developed because of the proximity to a strange valley called the Koilada ton Petaloudon (Valley of the Butterflies). Those who find themselves in the village around 15th August can join in the celebrations of the Panigiri tis Panagias (feast of the Assumption of Mary), visit the Pan-Hellenic craft exhibition and of course take in the other cultural events organised every year. Amongst the local sights is the impressive church of Panagia Kremasti.
Paradeisi (15 km)
Near the airport, 15 km south west of Rhodes, is the beautiful village of Paradeisi with its traditional houses and a long history. Many visitors, both Greek and from abroad, enjoy the vast sandy beach that stretches for more than 10 km from Kremasti in the north east to Theologos in the south west. On 17th July the inhabitants of the village and the surrounding area organise a big festival to celebrate the feast of Agia Marina (Saint Marina) which attracts large crowds including locals, Greek visitors and foreign tourists.
Theologos (20 km)
The tourist resort of Theologos, or Tholos as it is otherwise called, is 20 km from the islandâ€™s capital and is widely held to be the most well developed resort in the area with numerous hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and organised beach with water sports facilities.
Pastida (15 km)
Anyone planning their holidays in Rhodes, should without fail visit the Bee Museum in the village of Pastida, the only one of its kind in Greece.
Guided tours of the museum, which are available for groups and individuals, give visitors the opportunity to discover a range of exhibits, from up to 200 years ago through to the modern day, related to beekeeping. Additionally, visitors can see a large collection of old tools used by farmers and beekeepers as well as demonstrations of traditional and modern beekeeping methods, including beehive handling, honey collection and the production of bee products such as wax, pollen, royal jelly and propolis. Transparent beehives enable visitors to safely observe the bees inside the hive, whilst audio-visual displays provide detailed information about the lives of bees and their products. There is an outdoor bee garden next to the museum, with its rich flora and picturesque beehives, which is worth taking a stroll through. After a visit, head to the museum shop, where visitors besides buying may also sample a variety of natural bee products, such as honey, pollen, royal jelly and natural cosmetics, along with sweets made with honey, including melekouni and a traditional Rhodian sweet, loukoumia. There are a range of facilities to cater for visitorsâ€™ needs including large covered exterior spaces, a refreshment area and a playground. Access to the museum is easy, it is located on the Faliraki-Airport national road in Pastida and has ample car parking.
Maritsa (17 km)
Maritsa is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages on the island. It is assumed to owe its name to an officer, named Martizas, who settled there during the Middle Ages. However, according to local tradition it was named after a queen called Maritsa who resided in Filerimos. Stroll along the the paved main street and admire the traditional colour of the village with its whitewashed houses and tavernas renowned throughout Greece, then enjoy a walk along the unique trail through Maritsa pineforest.
Fanes (26 km)
The small picturesque port of Fanes, with its flotilla of fishing boats moored alongside the pier sheltering from the wind, is a perfect refuge for travellers seeking a quiet place to spend a relaxing summer holiday. Order fresh fish in the sea front taverns or swim at the secluded beach with more than enough room to lay down your towel.
Kalavarda (31 km)
Based in the village of Kalavarda the ruins of ancient Kameiros can be visited. Local delicacies can also be enjoyed in one of the taverns in the village square.
Kritinia (54 km)
Perched on a hill 54 km from the islandâ€™s capital is the village of Kritinia, whose houses literally hang from the side of the slopes. It offers panoramic views of the sea and a Venetian castle of the same name, which has become a major tourist attraction. Also known as Kastello, the fortress is built on top of a rocky outcrop and was unsuccessfully besieged by the Ottomans in 1480. The castle is well preserved with the coat of arms of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Saint John, dâ€™Amboise (1503-1512) and Orsini (1467-1476), still visible at the entrance. Among other attractions is the church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John) where there are frescoes dating from the 16th century.
Kameiros Skala (45 km)
Descending down towards the sea from Kritinia lies the quaint port of Kameiros Skala, with an ancient tomb monument, several sea food taverns and a beach. Not too far from the village there are several small quiet beaches. Additionally, boats leave from the harbour daily for the nearby island of Chalki.
Ancient Kameiros (32 km)
This archaeological site contains ruins of the Hellenistic and Roman city of Kameiros together with the neighbouring necropolis, which although first discovered in 1859 was mainly excavated during the Italian occupation of the island (1912-1943). Of the classical city, only the faรงade of a late classical fountain and some walls from the agora (market) remain. The settlement was constructed on three separate levels of the hill. At the bottom was the first terrace with public buildings, market and temples, then on the second terrace was the main settlement and finally in a dominant position at the top of the hill was the acropolis with the Temple of Athena Kameirados (6th century BC), a reminder of the former wealth and historic significance of this ancient city. Homer lists ancient Kameiros as one of the three city-states founded by the Dorians (10th century BC), the other two being Ialys-
sos and Lindos. It was an important commercial centre from the Archaic to the Hellenistic era. In this latter period new cemeteries appeared, the most important of which are Fikeloura and Makry Langoni, where the stele of Krito and Timarista, one of the most important pieces of Rhodian sculpture from the Hellenistic period, was found. Findings from the cemeteries and votive offerings from the Temple of Athena reveal that the wealth of ancient Kameiros was derived from agricultural, artisanal and commercial activity. It is believed that the city maintained trading relations with mainland Greece, Asia Minor and the south eastern Mediterranean. Among the important remains of ancient Kameiros are those of a large rectangular cistern for drinking water, whose interior was lined plaster making it watertight. At the bottom were two openings covered with stone lids through which water was distributed to the settlement through a system of clay pipes to meet the daily needs of
the population. It is estimated that it could hold more than 600 cubic metres of water, an amount experts believe was sufficient for between 300 to 400 families. Built into the sides of the cistern’s walls were steps and it is believed to have been covered by a structure that has not survived. Constructed between the 6th and 5th centuries BC, it was knocked down during the Hellenistic period after an earthquake in 227 BC and replaced by a stoa which incorporated the city’s water supply system.
Glyfada (75 km)
On the north west side of the island, 70 km from the capital, is Glyfada beach. Here, in the shadow of pine trees, the sea changes colour from blue to turquoise and the playful wind glides over the rock formations.
Sianna (78 km)
The romantic village of Sianna sits at the foot of Atavyros, the highest mountain on the island which rises to an altitude of 1,216 m. Its delightful traditional houses set against the
backdrop of the striking green vegetation are a feast for the eyes. Visitors will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village and should not miss the opportunity to buy the pure honey produced in the area which held to be the best on the island.
Monolithos (80 km)
A distance of 80 km from Rhodes Monolithos is a town on the south west side of the island. During a stay on the island it is well worth visiting the Knights of Saint John castle astride the top of a rock 276m high which offers stunning views of the sea. Built on the ruins of a Byzantine fortress in 1476 by Grand Master d’Aubusson, whose coat of arms remain visible over the gate, it was one of the four most powerful fortifications on Rhodes and despite being attacked several times by invading armies it never fell. Also of interest are the region’s religious monuments, namely the church of Agios Panteleimon and the monastery of Skiada. For a swim there is the beach of Fournoi 4 km outside the village.
Fournoi (82 km)
For a day of relaxation head to the small pebble beach at Fournoi. It has organised facilities and is just right for those that wish to swim far away from the madding crowds. It is mainly frequented by the villagers from nearby Monolithos.
Apolakkia (92 km)
Named because it appears to have been built in a depression (lakko) in the plain, Apolakkia is located 92 km from Rhodes town. The west facing extensive sandy beach stretches for more than 20 km and attracts many visitors seeking an alternative to the cosmopolitan beaches on the northern part of the island. Here small groups can find a beautiful piece of beach and be alone. Relax and enjoy the crystal clear sea, the thick sand and bright sun in a peaceful setting. Accommodation is available in the region, mainly in the villages a little further inland which are nonetheless very close to the sea. Outside the village is the church of Agios Georgios tou Varda, whilst nearby is the Apolakkia dam which serves the area.
Kattabia (East 84 km , West 108 km)
To travel to the past and experience the surprise that is in store, head south for the village of Kattavia at the southern end of the island, 84 km from the capital. On entering the village, which has maintained its traditional character, it feels as though one has stepped back into a bygone age; like all those of southern Rhodes it was built during the Middle Ages.
A To u r o f t h e M o u n t a i n o u s C e n t re
Embona (54 km) Under the shadow of the highest mountain on Rhodes, Atavyros, lies the picturesque and lively village of Embona. Here the locals really know how to live! At the end of August for the Festival of Wine, they organise celebrations with traditional music, dancing and singing which guests are welcome to join in. The occasion is made all the more lively by the plentiful flow of locally produced wine. Indeed, rumour has it that Embona produces the finest Rhodian wines, cheers!
Profitis Ilias (elevation 700 metres)
The secondest highest mountain of Rhodes, Profitis Ilias, is scattered with small traditional villages. Before reaching the summit, on top of which is built the monastery of the Profitis Ilias, there are two hotels: the Elafos (stag) and the Elafina (doe) which are characterised by their pleasingly aesthetic architectural design. These hotels, named after the fallow deer which is emblematic of Rhodes, were constructed in 1932 during the period of Italian administration. The Italian governor of the Possedimenti Italiani dellâ€™Egeo , as the Dodecanese were then called, stayed here during the summer months to escape from the heat of the city. After the Second World War the buildings were converted into hotels. On the opposite side of the road a traditional kafeneio (coffee house) greets tired hikers. Among the villages clinging to the mountainside are Eleousa, a rural village with many lovely houses, and the stunning Platania, built in the woods and resembling a painting.
Laerma (64 km)
For those interested in religious tourism, a visit to Laerma, 64 km from Rhodes, is a must. The Byzantine monastery of the Taxiarchis Michail tou Tharri (Archangel Michael) has remarkable wall paintings dating from the 17th century.
Apollona (53 km)
Richly endowed by nature, the traditional village of Apollona sits at the foot of Profitis Ilias. The Folklore Museum here houses a collection of traditional costumes and utensils and contains much interesting information about the local inhabitantsâ€™ lifestyle.
Salakos (39 km)
With the Profitis Ilias mountain towering above it and renowned for its many springs, the village of Salakos on the south eastern coast, some 39 km from Rhodes, is a magnet for ramblers who come to quench their thirst with cool water. Another sight worth seeing is the nearby spring of the Nymfis (Nymph), which lies in a landscape of amazing natural beauty.
Dimylia (34 km)
The hamlet of Dimylia is a site of one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island, Agios Nikolaos Fountoukli, whose construction dates back to the 15th century. Inside the visitor can admire the beautiful murals that adorn the walls.
Koilada ton Petaloudon
N a t u ra l H i s t o r y M u s e u m o f Pe t a l o u d e s
Approximately 26 km south west of Rhodes, is a strange, almost mythical valley, the famous Koilada ton Petaloudon (Valley of the Butterflies). In the summer months it is literally flooded with thousands of butterflies. Covering the trunks of shady plane trees and pine trees they are attracted to the area by the scent of Oriental Sweetgum trees and come to the area in search of respite from the heat. The most common is the Rhodes Butterfly, a rare subspecies of the Jersey Tiger Moth, whose scientific name is Euplagia quadripunctaria rhodosensis. This unique habitat, containing rare flora and fauna, forms an almost magical landscape composed of many colourful flowers. The valley is 6 km in length and is landscaped with ponds, bridges and paths making it easier for the thousands of visitors, including scientists, who visit each year to enjoy this rare spectacle of nature. A climb to the top of the valley is very rewarding. On a small plateau on Mount Lefkopoda is the historic monastery dedicated to the Panagia Kalopetra. Tradition says that it was built by Alexandros Ypsilantis, a Greek prince of Wallachia and Moldavia, either after his daughter was cured of tuberculosis by drinking water from a therapeutic spring or after having survived a severe storm at sea guided by a light emanating from the area. By the early 20th century the monastery had become very active in the field of education. It was cenobitic (a monastic tradition that stresses the importance of community life) monastery, with cells accommodating the monksâ€™ living quarters and reading rooms.
Founded due to the need to collect scientific information on the flora and fauna of the valleyâ€™s rare habitat coupled with the intention to raise awareness about its ecological importance and the Rhodians love of the beautiful land, the museum is housed in a building originally constructed by the Italians in 1930. Specially made display cases, replicating the conditions of the natural environment, contain various exhibits, including several endemic and rare species living in the area as well as rocks and mineral. The centrepiece of the museum however is a special incubator where, in a highly controlled greenhouselike conditions, the life cycle of the various butterflies can be observed. The museum also serves to monitor and protect the valley ensuring, through a CCTV system, that the passage of tourists does not disturb the siteâ€™s delicate ecological balance. Additionally there is a library and a valuable botanical and entomological laboratory which assist scientific research and study into the local ecosystems.
( Va l l e y o f t h e B u t t e r f l i e s )
E f t a P i ge s (Seven Springs) (30 km) There is a place in the centre of the island where mother nature has mobilized all its powers to create a relaxing and cooling environment for the senses. Composed of dense vegetation, shady age-old plane trees, crystal clear water flowing from natural springs, an underground waterway to explore and a serene pond, the Efta Piges (Seven Springs) is an earthly paradise that should entrance the sun-tanned visitors. The waters from the springs have carved out watercourses that in one place disappear into a 150 metre long rocky tunnel whose passage can be braved by visitors
who are bold enough to enter it. Just the right size for a man, the passage of the tunnel is not for those who are faint-hearted or suffer from claustrophobia; One walks though it in total darkness with feet in the water and feeling oneâ€™s way only by touch â€“ though halfway along there is a beam of light from a well above that serves as a vent and as a source of illumination. Coming out of the tunnel one is met by a pleasant surprise, a small lake 200 metres long, ranging in width from 10 to 50 metres and varying in depth between 1 and 8 metres. Ideal for swimming, this is the only place on Rhodes where one can swim in fresh water. Besides containing other fish, eels and crabs the lake is home to the extremely rare Ghizani (Ladigesocypris ghigii) species of fish, which is native only to the streams of Rhodes. Also found in and around the lake are ducks, geese, turtles and peacocks.
I t i n e ra r i e s Nature lovers are attracted to the centre of Rhodes where tourism has yet to make inroads and pristine forests and mountains can be traversed. Blessed with ample water reserves, the island is green and fertile. The best time for hiking is from mid-April to mid-October. The routes that can be taken are: • From Filerimos until Triada (a 1 hour walk); a route through mountain villages and rich vegetation. • From the Park of the Butterflies to the chapel of Agia Soula (a 2½ hours hike); a unique path to the Park of the Butterflies and neighbouring sights. • The path to the alpine accommodation on Profitis Ilias (a 2¼ hours hike); a scenic mountainous route through nature offering a different aspect of the island. • From the plateia (square) in Salakos to the chapel of Agios Nikolaos Fountoukli (a 3½ hours hike); a route that combines both nature and traditional architecture along the way. • From Kritinia castle, the best preserved of the Knight’s of Saint John’s castles, to the village of the same name (a 2¼ hours hike); a path that offer glances of the island’s history.
• The alpine route from Embona to Attaviros (a 3¾ hours hike); a mountainous trail with excellent views. • The path to the mountain fields of Akramitis (a 1¾ hours walk); an easy hiking trail and an ideal place for a picnic in the countryside. • Around the Crusader castle in Monolithos (a 3 hour hike). • The path to the village of Asklipio (a 2 hour hike). • Through the forest to the famous monastery of Archangelou Michail in Tharri ( a 2½ hours hike). • From Vlycha to Lindos (a 2 hour hike). • Along the coast taking in Crusader castles from Archangelou Castle to Faraklou Castle (a 2½ hours hike). • From Archangelos to the Monastery Panagia Tsampikas (a 2½ hours hike). • From Archangelos to Epta Piges (a 2¾ hours hike). • The path to Panagia Paramythias near Afantou (a 2 hour hike). • From the village Koskinou to Thermes Kallithea (a 1 hour walk).
GPS-навигаторы для катеров, автомобилей, мотоциклов, велосипедов, для бега,тренировок,пеших походов, для охоты. А вы куда отправитесь?
There is a modern golf course on Rhodes which meets international standards and has qualified staff who are always willing to help players.
Riding is a very popular activity on Rhodes; there are horse riding clubs and throughout the year horse races are held. So if one awakes the inner knight or noblewoman, who runs away with her horse to meet her prince charming, one can take lessons to indulge in romantic fantasy.
Local Products – Shopping
Viticulture has a long tradition on Rhodes the island being famous for its wine. The climate of Rhodes creates perfect conditions for producing fine quality wine. The area around Embona produces the island’s best wines, while the village of Sianna is known for soumo, a kind of ouzo produced by the distillation of grapes. Rhodes of course has its own drink, Coriadolino, the island’s traditional liqueur available in several flavours. On the island of Rhodes it’s a tradition to offer melekouni in weddings or christenings. The relatives and the friends of the couple (which is getting married) are gathered before the wedding and they are celebrating with traditional songs as they make these delicious, traditional sweets. “Melekouni” is a healthy sweet which stands out thanks to its great taste and its high nutritional value. The local people use aromatic thyme honey, natural sesame, almonds, orange and lemon peel and spices. “Melekouni” is soft and releases all its fragrance by the moment you taste it. Before leaving Rhodes do not forget to buy some handmade ceramics or textiles. Ceramic art is traditional on Rhodes and throughout the island there are many workshops where wonderfully decorated pottery 94
is made and painted with unique designs inspired by ancient times and Rhodian life. Lindos in particular is famous for its ceramics. Likewise hand woven textiles are bound to catch the women’s eye. The island’s women are renowned for their excellent weaving and in Afantou and Archangelos a wide variety of unique designs can be found.
Publisher - Editor Stavros Kirkos Graphic Design Badih Tannous Editing Chrisa Bania Sales Manager Nestoras Oikonomou Historical Guide Theofanis Bogiannos Translation English: Damian Lippett Russian: Svetlana Yakubina Photos property of Kirkos Publication Zannetos Mixael Ioanna Hatzidiakou Montage/Printing/Bookbinder Haidemenos S.A. Eratous 16, P. Faliro Athens Tel: 0030210 9811867 email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.rhodestouristguide.com No part of this magazine, including without limitation - maps, articles, listings - may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the publications
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Published on Jul 6, 2012