The island of Rhodes – the pearl of Greece

The island of Rhodes

Rhodes is the fourth largest island in Greece and has a total land area of 1398 km². It is considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. Nature is very beautiful and there are many historical monuments. Stunning examples of architecture and amazing natural treasures are the object of attention of a large number of tourists. The historic city of Rhodes, the center of the island, is listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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Video: Rhodes

Geographical position

The island is located in the southeast of the country and belongs to the Dodecanese archipelago. Two seas meet at the same time, the Aegean Sea in the west and the Mediterranean Sea in the east. The main city of the island is 434 km. from Athens. Geographically, Rhodes is closer to Turkey – they are separated by a mere 18 km. The island is elliptical in shape, being 77 km long and 37 km wide. According to the data for 2011, the permanent population of Rhodes is 115490 people.

Rhodes and other Aegean islands emerged after the destruction of the Aegean continent, which occupied the area from the Ionian Sea to the shores of Asia Minor and southern Crete. The relief here is mountainous, and among the geological rocks, lime and shale are prevalent. It is these that make up the central mountains of the island called Atabiri. They have three peaks – Akramit, Profitis Ilias and Atabiri itself. Their height is 823 m, 798 m and 1215 m, respectively. The uplands gently turn into plains, which occupy a much smaller part of the territory. It is worth noting that the land here is quite fertile. Rhodes has sandy and pebbly beaches.

The azure sea The bay of Saint Paul The city of Rhodes The village of Archipoli in the central part of the island

Climate, flora and fauna

The weather in Rhodes is quite mild, with an average temperature of no more than 18-20°. The warm winters and the fresh summers make it very pleasant to be here at any time of the year. The prevailing winds in this climatic zone are northeasterly. Among other features of the climate – a large number of sunny days and high humidity. The guides advise to travel here from late spring to early fall. In winter, most of the tourist infrastructure does not function.

On the island everywhere you can find conifers, plane trees and oaks. Among the flowers there are capers and cyclamen, as well as a variety of herbs of the field. The most common representative of the animal world is a special kind of deer – Platoni. It inhabits the forested part of the island.

Historical Info

The history of Rhodes begins in the New Stone Age. At different times it was controlled by the Minoans and Mycenaeans and in the 8th century BC the first Doric settlements were formed. Among them were the polis-states of Lindos, Ialisos and Kamiros, the island of Kos, as well as the present-day Turkish settlements of Knid and Halicarnassus. They were called Doric hexapolis, which in Greek means “hexagrad” – a coalition of six cities.

The narrow streets of the historic city of Rhodes

In the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the island was occupied twice after the Persian invasion, but was later liberated. After the first attack, Rhodes was rebuilt by the architect Hippodame. The following centuries are described as a favorable period for the local population. During these years science developed and oratory flourished. Among the famous orators are mentioned the names of Aeschinus and Apollonius of Rhodes. Hipparchus and Geminos were talented astronomers.

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A typical Rhodes landscape The city of Rhodes in an engraving from 1493.

In 164 B.C. the government of Rhodes signed a treaty of cooperation with Rome. About a century later, on the third apostolic journey, St. Paul introduced the Christian religion to the inhabitants of Rhodes. Since 395 the island became part of Byzantium. In the VII century the territory was occupied by Arab invaders, they ruled here for many years. In 1081 the throne of Byzantium went to Alexius Comnenus, who managed to free Rhodes from the Muslims.

At the dawn of the 14th century the Knights of the Order of St. John consolidated their power. They erected an inner city fortress on Rhodes, named after the island. The building held back the onslaught of Egyptian and Turkish armies until 1522. After a long siege of the structure by the soldiers of Suleiman the Magnificent, the religious-military order had to surrender. At that time, some of the indigenous population also left the island. The following year Rhodes began to submit to the Ottomans. Since then the Turkish population gradually moved here, after a few centuries their numbers increased markedly.

The Colossus of Rhodes is a giant statue of the ancient Greek sun god Helios, which stood in the port city of Rhodes, located on the island of the same name in the Aegean Sea, in Greece. One of the Seven Wonders of the World

As a result of the failure of the Turks during the Italian-Turkish War in 1912, Rhodes passed to Italy. The Italians disposed of its territory until World War II. In 1943, the German invaders came to the island. After the end of hostilities Rhodes and all neighboring islands fell to Britain. After 3 years, this territory was finally reunited with Greece on the popular demand of the islanders.

Legends and myths about Rhodes

There are quite a few legends about the origins of the island and its name. According to one myth, Zeus once decided to divide the world among the deities. Helios was absent at that moment, so he got nothing. He began to complain to the supreme god about the injustice, and then asked him to promise to give him possession of whatever arose from the depths of the sea. As Helios spoke, an incredibly beautiful island appeared, which he took for himself. Then the sun lord met the beautiful nymph Rhodes, whom he later married. He named the island after his beloved.

Some islanders believe that the name comes from the word “rose” – in the Greek alphabet it is translated as “rhodon”. This flower is a symbol of beauty and tenderness – no wonder that the magnificent Rhodes has been compared to it.

Cultural development

For several centuries Rhodes was the most important trading port in the eastern Mediterranean. Such an advantageous location played an important role in the development of science, art and literature. The cultural life of the city was concentrated in the central city, Rhodes.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to preserve examples of Rhodesian painting to this day. The activity of the artists is known only from written sources. Parassius and Protogenes worked here; the masters drew inspiration from the colorful subjects of Greek mythology.

Fort of Saint Nicholas in Rhodes Rocky coast of the island Little church

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The art of pottery has been developed since the reign of the Mycenaeans. Its heyday dates from the 7th to the 6th century B.C. The figures of horned animals and their decoration with garlands of flowers are among the typical features of this art. The ancient ceramics are now on display in local archaeological museums.

The gateway to the fortress of Rhodes

Sculpture making was also common in this region. The Rhodes masters mastered a unique technique of working – it was not marble that was used to create the figures but lightweight concrete, which was then plastered over. From the 5th century BC, a school of sculpture even opened here, and during the Hellenistic era it was considered the leading one in Greece. Prominent masters from many Greek cities worked in this institution – their number exceeded 100. The most famous of these were Briaskid of Athens and Lysippus of Sikyon. In 292 B.C. Hares of Lindus, a talented follower of the second sculptor, constructed the famous Colossus of Rhodes, which was placed at the entrance to the city. The statue, dedicated to the god Helios, lasted only 66 years and was deformed by a natural cataclysm. This work of art belongs to the seven wonders of the ancient world. World famous works of Rhodesian sculptors are “Sleeping Eros” and “Nika of Samothrace”. Many creations are kept in museums in different countries.

Writers and philosophers moved to Rhodes to live. Among the notable inhabitants are the poet Apollonius and a disciple of Socrates, Aristippus of Cyrene. The gifted orator Aeschines organized an oratorical school here. In addition to oratory, the philological, mathematical, physical, geographic and astronomical sciences flourished. In the Asclepias, the centers for medical treatments, medicine was studied and developed.

The city of Rhodes and the Rhodes Castle

Famous sights in Rhodes

The Rhodes Fortress is a structure that served as the seat of the Knights of the Order of St. John. In case of enemy attack, it was a refuge for the inhabitants of the town. The fortress was built in the XIV century, it stood for several centuries, preserving its integrity when attacked by enemies and strong earthquakes. In 1856 an accidental explosion destroyed the structure. The restoration was begun by the Italians in the first half of the XX century. Nowadays there are preserved mosaics that were brought from Kos and there are thematic exhibitions that deal with the history of the island.

The Acropolis is an elevated and fortified part of Rhodes city. Here settlements of the ancient Greeks were organized. The structure served as a refuge during the onslaught of enemy troops.

The “Valley of the Butterflies” is a popular phenomenon in the municipality of Petaludes. This area is unique in that beautiful four-pointed bears arrive here in the summer.

“Butterfly Valley” in Rhodes Butterflies are literally clinging to the tree Waterfall in the “Valley of Butterflies

Kamiros – The remains of an ancient settlement with a central square, housing estates and a water system that has been preserved.

Lindos is a coastal settlement with two picturesque harbors. Its acropolis is the second largest in Greece. In its southern part there are the ruins of a small ancient temple of Athena of Lindos.

The ruins of Kamiros The acropolis of Lindos

Seven Springs is a nature park where you can see an interesting structure designed to hold water. It includes a large spring, flowing upward in seven places. The stream flows into the Lutanis River and then enters a special tunnel. From there, the liquid flows into an artificial lake, which is the only body of drinking water on the island. The attraction is located near the village of Kolimbia on the east coast of Rhodes.

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Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a church in the village of Asklipio, which was built in the 14th century. It is decorated with frescoes created by the artist Michael of Chios in 1676-1677.

Medieval castles are located in many towns and are a striking example of the architecture of the period.

Popular Resorts in Rhodes

The island of Rhodes has many places where tourists can stay.

  • Kalifaea. The village is located 8 km from the capital of the island and is famous for its wonderful beaches. There is an opportunity to enjoy the absence of large rocks and the presence of many green areas. This place is ideal for family holidays. Hotels, bars and diving centers will provide your comfort.
  • Filaraki. It is located 15 km from Rhodes town and is popular for its nightlife. The number of all kinds of stores, cafes, taverns and disco clubs will delight the active “party-goers”. Local water park offers the opportunity to engage in all kinds of water sports.
  • Ixia and Yalissos. Only 10 minutes drive separates the administrative center from these popular resorts. They are known as ideal places for surfing – the best waves are only here.
  • Lindos. The famous historic town will appeal to lovers of long walks in secluded quiet places. Here are the best sandy beaches of Rhodes.

How to get to Rhodes

There are several ways to get to the island territory. Throughout the year there are regular flights from the larger Greek population centers. During the summer months, planes also fly from the islands. By air you can reach Rhodes from Athens in about 50 minutes. Some airlines have direct flights from all over the world.

There are also ferry connections to the mainland – the journey from Piraeus takes about 13 hours. In summer, between the islands of the Aegean Sea there is a high-speed “rocket”.

Rhodes: The Pearl of the Mediterranean

Hi my dear friends, summer is in full swing and you are still thinking about where to go for your vacation? Perhaps you should visit the beautiful island of Rhodes? A great place for a beach holiday in summer!

Rhodes is the most visited island of Greece by tourists. Here, as well as on Crete, everyone can find a holiday according to his preferences. Do you dream about beautiful beaches and azure sea? Not a problem! Prefer archeology? As much as you want! Do you like old medieval towns and souvenir shops? And the island will please you with this in abundance.

In translation from the Greek Rhodes means “Island of Roses”, there are really a lot of flowers. But that is not all. Rhodes is a magical place. You will not find so many legends and myths here, not anywhere else. Ready to go on a trip? Before you pack your bags, read useful information about the island, tips on choosing a resort and recommendations for sightseeing.

Rhodes

Island features

The “Pearl of the Mediterranean” belongs to the Dodecanese archipelago. The size of the island is 1,398 km². It is bounded by the restless Aegean Sea to the west and the gentle, gentle Mediterranean Sea to the east.

The southern coast is known for its quiet tourist resorts, a measured life, the northern – more lively, partying. Most of the beaches are pebbly, well-maintained, and excellent for swimming. During the season, Rhodes has a large number of vacationers.

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Rhodes is the sunniest Greek island. The average annual temperature ranges from 20 degrees Celsius. The climate is fresh in summer and mild in winter, with high humidity and a large number of sunny days (at least 300 a year).

Service staff mostly communicates in German and English, sometimes in Russian, Finnish and Swedish.

Watch a fresh video from travelata.ru: Bird’s eye view of the island of Rhodes.

How to get there?

In the high season, Rhodes is connected to many countries by charter flights. In particular, you can get from Perm, Moscow, Kazan, St. Petersburg, Rostov or Yekaterinburg. Tickets cost about 250 EUR, the current price can be found here.

The airport of Rhodes “Diagoras” is situated ten kilometers from the center of the capital. You can get to the airport by cab or by bus. For a cab a tourist will have to pay about 25 EUR to the capital or 20-100 EUR to the resort (depends on the distance).

Rhodes is a well-known seaport, you can get here by sea from Israel, Turkish ports, Crete, Athens, as well as from the Aegean islands.

Rhodes

Transport links

Rhodes has a fairly well-developed public transport network. Many people like to travel independently, looking at the beauty and sights, although many do not abandon the services of travel agencies and buy tours.

I think that traveling alone is a great idea. You can easily get anywhere on the island. There are bus terminals in the capital (that’s a big word for it), East and West, from here you can take flights all over Rhodes. The fare is not expensive – the farthest distance will cost you 20 EUR. Up-to-date bus routes and ticket prices can be found here .

A good way to get from point “A” to point “B” is by cab. For example, a trip from the capital to the Acropolis in Lindos, will cost 50 EUR.

But it is most convenient to travel around the island by car. During the season is better to book a car in advance. The cost of renting a car starts at 30 EUR per day.

Rhodes

What resort should I choose?

In Rhodes you can find resorts for all categories of tourists. There are quiet places for a quiet holiday for pensioners and families with small children. At the same time, lovers of noisy parties and outdoor activities, too, will not be disappointed.

  • The brilliant capital of Rhodes, located in the northern part of the island, is famous for its variety of unique attractions, bustling streets with many cozy cafes.
  • Afandou Beach, the closest beach to the capital, is a great sea and a quality golf sport. In the south of the east coast of the island pay attention to Faliraki, if you prefer an active holiday.
  • Kolimbia beach is not a bad place for snorkeling lovers. Lindos is a great combination of an exciting program and a quality beach holiday.
  • On the west coast there are wonderful resorts, a little wild, uninhabited and little explored. You can have a great vacation here if you’re annoyed by the crowded beaches and the hustle and bustle.
  • To the south of Lindos you will find the best beaches. Although they are not quite developed in terms of infrastructure, they are stunningly picturesque and clean.
  • Along the west of the island all places are comfortable for relaxing on the beach and in terms of history. There are many chapels, monasteries and impressive old castles.
  • For the lovers of respectable rest pay attention to the villages Ixia and Yalissos. Here are the most luxurious hotels.
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Here you can choose accommodation and check the current prices.

Rhodes

What can I taste?

The cuisine is traditional Greek. You can enjoy healthy and delicious dishes to the fullest. Local cooking is based on the traditions of Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes are predominantly made from seafood and vegetables with an abundance of greens.

I advise to try the real “Greek salad” is a must. In it, the pieces of food overflow in olive oil and the taste of spices is unforgettable.

The catering outlets here are incredibly plentiful. From a medieval Greek tavern to an English pub. And the quality is top-notch everywhere.

For two people, take one portion. The food in Greece is served in good conscience. The most popular dishes are vegetable, fish and dairy. But meat lovers will also find a lot of delicious food for themselves.

Average cost for a hearty lunch for one person costs from 13 EUR. You can have a snack for 5 EUR. And do not forget to try the local wine, it is perfect!

Rhodes

What interesting things to see?

The sights of the island are impressive!

  • The most important of them are in the capital, the homeland of famous Colossus of Rhodes. You can admire almost everything: the Knights Street, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the beautiful port with amazing boats, a lot of museums which tell about the historical past of the island.
  • It is worth to visit the ancient Lindos, to see the impressive ancient Acropolis, proudly towering on the top of the mountain.
  • Does your fantasy want something large-scale? Visit the Monolith Castle, perched atop a steep cliff. This medieval fortress has a 15th century chapel of St. Panteleimon. Here you can also buy a delicious moonshine made of Soumou grapes and homemade olive oil.
  • The town of Kamiros has preserved its ancient layout. This is the real pride of Greece which attracts tourists from all over the world.
  • And the Valley of Butterflies is an experience that defies description. Especially in peak season, when thousands of brightly colored insects fly out of the stone jungle and flutter around the happy-go-lucky tourists.
  • The Valley of the Seven Springs is a picturesque forest and an ancient ruin at the same time.

Rhodes is actually rich with many historical, beautiful, romantic places, I will write a separate article about them. Subscribe to the updates of the blog, so as not to miss the most interesting things.

Rhodes

The island of Rhodes is a wonderful weather, gentle sea and comfortable vacation! Every tourist is sure to find something interesting on the island. Terrific charge of energy, a lot of impressions and, of course, fantastic photos are guaranteed to all!

Are you going to go on vacation? Still undecided on the direction. Take a look at these articles:

Perhaps you have vacationed here before, tell us about your experiences, be sure to publish in the section “Travel readers. Read more about it here. Leave comments, share the article in social networks, your activity will help develop the resource very much.

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At this point I’ll say goodbye for a while. I wish you a pleasant stay and get a lot of impressions! More about the island, you can learn from the next posts. Do not miss the publication!

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