Travel to Rhodes - the island of the Knights

Confined to eastern Greece and not far from Asia Minor, the island of Rhodes, from which you can clearly see the north coast of Turkey, is the jewel of the Dodecanese pearls: the region of twelve islands according to etymology.
  • The streets of Rhodes hide beautiful treasures throughout the city.
    © Remi Dubus
    4,500 years of history

    The streets of Rhodes hide beautiful treasures throughout the city.

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Greece

If you travel to Rhodes you wil enjoy a mild, Mediterranean-type climate and lush green vegetation, compared to its neighbours in the Cyclades. Depending on the season, you can admire the mountain's wild roses, the conifer trees, the eucalyptus and the olive trees (which are in abundance!) and you can breathe in the fragrance of thyme, oregano, brooms and oleanders. A full tour of the island, which stretches 37 miles from north to south and half of that in width, is easily achievable in two days by car.

On the northern tip of the island, a few hundred cable lengths off the coast of Turkey, you will find the Medieval town of Rhodes, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The greatest gift from Zeus to his son Helios, Rhodes has accumulated 4,500 years of heritage from different civilisations. In addition to the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians and the Italians have also left their mark here and this is particularly evident on the northern tip, in the city of Rhodes, one of the oldest Medieval cities still to be inhabited in Europe. The legend of the huge Colossus (under which the boats of Mandraki sailed), its ramparts and its architecture reflect the successive cultural influence on the city from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Do not miss taking a stroll along the old port and passing the Marine Gate, the most beautiful gate in the stone walls that surround the historic centre. From there, walk along the cobbled streets and pop into all the different types of shops. At nightfall, all the bars, restaurants and clubs which are converted period Italian residences and Neo-Greek style hotels, come to life. The multi-coloured lights arranged in the cobbled pedestrian streets, in the squares, courtyards and vaults give the island a unique and timeless look. At the Grand Masters Palace, a sound and light show tells the epic history of the knights of the Middle Ages, and it takes place every day from May to October (price £1.50).

Also worth seeing: the street of the Knights, Mandraki and its marina, the view from the Acropolis on the heights of Mount Smith, the beach stretching from "Elli" to Farapoula, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Popular Art, the Pinacoteca and the Aquarium.

The thousands of small churches and picturesque villages should also not be overlooked, particularly for their stunning views. The breathtaking view from the chapel of Kyra Panayia to Tsambika on the west coast of the island, which overlooks a beautiful fine sand beach and surrounding villages, is just one example among so many others. In the summer, the people of Rhodes flock to the beach to take advantage of this stretch of sand, and it is very crowded on the weekend. There is a reason for this though; it is unique for this island as it mostly has pebble beaches.

A couple of miles from there is the village of Kolimbia, which boasts a number of luxury hotels. The resort of Faliraki, northeast of the island, is the ideal choice for those who want to enjoy the pleasures of sunbathing. The golden sand, which stretches as far as the eye can see, contrasts with the still blue sea - not a wave in sight. However, sports enthusiasts can enjoy sailing on the waves on the west coast. As for lovers of the great outdoors, they will be interested in the northwest point, the hill of Filerimos, (where the remains of the ancient Acropolis and the monastery of Panaghia dominate the region) as the scenery is absolutely stunning, the sunset breathtaking and there are so many opportunities for hiking and a whole host of other activities.
Nearby, in Ialyssos, you will find some small, charming family hotels and if you go down to the east, to Kalithea, you can enjoy diving at the famous spa resort. Farther south, there is the village of Lindos and its white houses perched on the hillside which is also worth a visit. The Acropolis and its Medieval fortresses, as well as the ruins of the temple of Athena are also open for visits before you get lost in the maze of streets and plunge into the authentic lifestyle of Rhodes.

For those who enjoy water sports such as windsurfing, the melthemi wind (equivalent to a mistral wind), which blows on all Greek islands, is particularly generous on the west coast. The island of Prasonissi on the southern tip is also the venue for surfboarders and surfers, so get on your boards!

The lovely people of Rhodes are proud of their island, welcoming to visitors and always ready and willing to help others. It is not surprising then that Rhodes initially belonged to Zeus Xenios, the spirit of hospitality...

Rhodes: what to do?

The island of Symi, some 25 miles from the port of Mandraki, is accessible by boat within 2 hours (5 to 6 ships make the crossing every day). It is still inhabited by fishermen who live off the fishing of sea sponges, just like their ancestors did and it is home to one of the largest monasteries in the Dodecanese: the Panormitis, dedicated to the patron saint of seafarers. It is a real gem.

  • The authentic Greek life has been preserved
  • The mild climate
  • Mediterranean landscape fabulously reminiscent of medieval scenery
  • Beautiful walks
  • The city of Rhodes
  • A sense of security, welcoming people
  • The clientele are mostly German and English
  • The souvenir shops are accessible, even in the smallest villages
  • The hotels generally lack facilities
  • There are pebble beaches along 90% of the island
  • Lack of private beaches for hotels and paid deck chairs

To avoid

Lovers of authenticity and tranquillity should avoid the beach resort of Faliraki. Although it has a good and well-equipped hotel infrastructure, it is mainly frequented by young Brits and it can get a bit lively! For those descending to the northwest, Ialyssos has more charming family hotels.

Rhodes: what to eat?

Situated just a few yards off the coast of Turkey, the cuisine of Rhodes has strong oriental influence. Meals begin with mezzes and a host of different starters (tarama, tzatziki, the name of cucumber yogurt) which are also served as aperitifs in the evening. A salad often accompanies a main dish of meat and vegetables.

Rhodes Reviewedhotels
  • 8.8 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Rodos Park Suites
    Rhodes - Greece
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    At the heart of the city of Rhodes, the Rodos Park Suites is ...

  • 8.6 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Sentido Ixian Grand
    Rhodes - Greece
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The 5* Ixian Grand was built in 1978 and underwent a complete ...

  • 8.5 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Miramare Wonderland
    Rhodes - Greece
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Miramare is an upscale hotel with a good reputation in Rhodes, ...

  • 7.95 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Electra Palace
    Rhodes - Greece
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The imposing 4 to 6-storey Electra Palace Resort is rather alarming ...

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