3 Places to See in Rhodes
By Sergio Gutierrez |
Travel to the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece, Rhodes Island, and discover the myth of the Colossus, beautiful beaches, and even a medieval castle.
Greece is full of tourist destinations that are rich in history and has a magical touch inherited from its mythological stories. When you tour archaeological treasures such as the Acropolis, delight in Greek food, and fall in love with sunsets in Santorini, you discover why this destination is the birthplace of Western civilization.
Where is Rhodes Island?
Rhodes is a Greek island facing the Aegean. It’s located only 490 kilometers away from the Greek capital, Athens. This beautiful island is covered by a mountain range that runs southbound and whose highest peak, Ataviros, is more than 1 kilometer above sea level. Rhodes, with its extension of 1,398 kilometers, is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and the fourth largest island in Greece. Located 18 kilometers away from the Turkish coasts, Rhodes Island is one of the most popular tourist spots in Greece thanks to its sunny beaches and mythical legacy. DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, takes you to visit it.
How to Get to Rhodes Island
The International Diagoras Airport is located 16 kilometers away from the city of Rhodes. Olympic Airways offers domestic flights from Athens to Rhodes Island. The duration of these flights is 45 minutes. However, if you prefer traveling by sea, take the ferry at the port of Athens. The tour lasts two hours in this case. Of course, a third option is to go on a cruise across the Aegean.
#1 The Medieval City of Rhodes
The city walls protect narrow cobbled streets full of traditional houses, arches, medieval towers, minarets, mosques, byzantine buildings, and classical temples. The street of the Knights of Rhodes, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Hospital of the Knights of Rhodes (better known as the Archeological Museum of Rhodes), and the Suleymaniye Mosque are some of the best architectural icons on the island. UNESCO declared the Medieval City of Rhodes as a World Heritage Site in 1988.
The Grand Master’s Palace of Rhodes
There are many medieval remains in Rhodes Island given that many trade routes crossed it. Without doubt, the most important and visited attraction in Rhodes is the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Its construction ended in 1410, and it was inhabited by the order of the knights of St. John. They were attacked by several enemies including Venetian pirates, Ottoman looters and Turkish and Arab invaders.
In 1522, Rhodes fell under the Ottoman Suleiman the Magnificent. The Turks conquered Rhodes and on January 1st 1523, the knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem fled to Italy and then to Malta.
#2 The Best Beaches in Rhodes
Rhodes has different kinds of beaches, all of them with clear waters, intense blue and green colors, and fine sand. Rhodes has organized beaches with great infrastructure, as well as quiet and solitary beaches.
- Elli Beach is considered the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean, and also one of the busiest. It has all the services such as umbrellas, hammocks and a large number of taverns you can enjoy.
- Lindos is located 31 miles from the Medieval City. You can choose between sandy or rocky beaches according to your preference. Lindos is a quiet bay, perfect for a vacation.
- Afandou beach, located on the east coast, is a very quiet beach. It is the perfect beach to relax and sunbathe.
- Finally, Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the famous actor, is a rocky beach with clear waters. Also, it has a small tavern where you can enjoy typical products such as feta cheese or ouzo, an anise liqueur of Greek origin.
#3 The Colossus of Rhodes, Wonder of the Ancient World
The Colossus of Rhodes is between myth and history. Only its legend remains, since it does not exist anymore. It existed just for a few years. The Colossus of Rhodes was a colossal statue between 30 and 40 meters high, possibly in wood and bronze, which took fifteen years to complete. This statue represented the god Helios, the god of the sun or light.
Colossus of Rhodes History
It was built in 292 B.C. to celebrate the victory of Rhodes against an army led by Demetrius. They asked a local sculptor to build a gigantic statue of the god Helios, protector of the city. When they asked him what the statue would cost if it were 15 meters tall and twice as tall, he replied that, logically, a 30-meter high statue would cost twice as much. What he didn’t consider was that by building a 30-meter tall statue he would need eight times more material! This caused him to go bankrupt and then to commit suicide but his iconic work remained. The Colossus of Rhodes became one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
Colossus of Rhodes Today
Sixty-six years after its construction an earthquake tore down the colossal sculpture. The inhabitants of Rhodes decided to leave it exactly where it had collapsed because an oracle told them it had been the gods’ will. The remains of the statue were kept there until 654 AD, when Muslim invaders took all the bronze elements of the statue as booty. That’s why today there’s nothing left of the Colossus of Rhodes, but the great stories surrounding it will be part of what you’ll be able to learn during your trip.
Other Things to See in Rhodes Island
In addition to our recommendations, the city of Rhodes has many things to offer:
- Only 47 kilometers southeast of Rhodes you’ll find the village of Lindos, one of the most picturesque towns in Greece. It still has paved roads and old houses with tiled roofs that give the fishing village a medieval personality.
- The ancient acropolis is located on the hills of Mt. Saint Stephens, which is also known as Mt. Smith in memory of the British admiral Sir Sidney Smith. The temple of Apollo is one of the few ancient monuments whose remains you can still visit.
- The Street of the Knights houses eight inns where knights used to stay depending on the group or nations that made up the order of the Hospitallers of St. John. The street is 200 meters long and 6 meters wide, and it’s considered a medieval monument in itself. It ends at the doors of the Palace of the Great Master.
- The Hippocrates Square is decorated with a Turkish fountain. In one of its corners you can find the Merchants Market of the 16th century, used as a Court and meeting place. Nowadays it is a Public Library.
- Aristotle Street leads to the Jewish quarter; Socrates Street leads to the Ottoman quarter, and Pythagoras Street will take you to the Hospital of the Knights. The Jewish quarter houses the Square of the Martyrs, as well as a fountain adorned with bronze seahorses.
- Outside the city walls you’ll find the modern city. It’s a contrasting environment full of palm trees, luxurious hotels and high-end stores.
So now you have more information about this Greek island, pack for a wonderful vacation in Greece. There are many things to do in Rhodes, from relaxing on a beach to discovering the stories around the Colossus of Rhodes.