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General Information for Rhodes

Rhodes Rhodes - the largest by far of the Dodecanese islands and the fourth largest in Greece - is one of the prettiest and has justifiably been called the pearl of the Mediterranean. Its rare charms unfold in every corner. Enchanting beaches, obscure havens, knightly mansions, unspoiled villages with traditional stone houses, stout Byzantine-medieval castle and ancient ruins, make the island a terrestrial paradise, for Greeks and foreign visitors, all year round culminated during the summer months. Take few days and enjoy touring this lovely verdant island of the sun with the beautiful silvershores. The new town-outside and inside the walls - extends inside parks, wide streets, old buildings (from the Turkish and Venetian eras), neo-classical houses with pebbled-yards, starts at the noisy ports - small and large - and the sandy shores and ascends towards the Park Rothini, Pefkakia and the hill of Saint Stephanos. There you encounter the acropolis with the ruins of the temples of: Athina, Zeus and Apollo, the theatre and the stadium. In the heart of Rhodes there is the old town - a network of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin structures. The old town of Rhodes, the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe, is encircled by the mighty fortifications built by the knights of Saint John. Its seven gates are very impressive and one of them the Eleptheria Gate (Liberty Gate) leads to the remnants of the temple of Aphrodite.

The most stately is the gate of Abouaz and entering from the north section of the castle there is an even more majestic gate. Visit the entire part that was called Costello, here are all the buildings of the order of St John’s knights: the palace of the Great Magistros (Grant Master’s Palace), the cobbled Street of the Knights ( Odos Ippoton), the Inn of the Knights of Auvergne, the hospital of the knights, which now houses the Archeological Museum and in another section of the city are: the Kastellania, the Admiralty Palace and more.

The new town of Rhodes extends around the old reaching up to the hill of Aghios Stephanos (Monte Smith - the name of the British admiral whose headquarters were established in Rhodes in 1802) and to all the other hills around it, as well.

In the long harbor arm dominant feature the medieval windmills end up to the Aghios Nikolaos fortress - the defensive spot of the knights against the Turkish attacks - further down the beautiful city shore begins, where at a short distance from there you visit the famous Aquarium, which is unique in Greece and one of the most interesting in the Mediterranean.

The seashore extends to the other side, attracting thousands of tourists to bask under the Rhodian sun. The following museums deserve your attention: the Archeological Museum with significant sculptures and other works of art, the most important one, the statue of the bathing Aphrodite; the Folklore Museum and the Municipal Gallery.

To the east of the old town there is the commercial harbor, for international and large interland ferries, to the north of the harbor there is Manthraki harbor where excursion ferries, hydrofoils and private yachts moor. At this harbor the emblem of Rhodes - the two bronze deer, a doe and a stag, stand on the site where the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, used to be. The old town is off limits to motor vehicles unless specially licensed.

Seashores: At the shores of Rhodes you find whatever your heart desires from well-organized sophisticated beaches to quiet little havens and serene bays. The main beaches of the island in the northeastern coast are the extended shores of the Trianta region, beware of the meltemia (north-easterly winds), however, they can be very hazardous, especially in August.

If you prefer sandy shores, the following are recommended: Faleraki, Kolymbia, Tsampika, Aghathi, Stegna, Kalathos, Prassonissi and Kameros among others for pebble-beach lovers: Kallithea, Spelies, Aphantou, Haraki, Ialyssos Bay, Tholos and more.

The most interesting outskirts of Rhodes: Ialyssos (appr. 6 miles) one of the busiest tourist areas in Greece, extended in an immense bush valley; Kremasti (7 ½ miles) one of the prettiest villages and a tourist attraction; a little further north the village Parathissi and the airport are located.

After the village the road on the left leads you to the famous Valley of Butterflies (5 miles) where you witness a marvellous sight, thousands of incredibly colorful butterflies gathering - from June to September - to mate. Faleraki (about 8 1/2 miles). A vast sandy beach extends in front of you with many hotels and shops in the area; at a small distance there is the village Kalythies, the bay of which is one of the best known nautical stations of the Mediterranean; Koskinou (5 miles), a lovely village, the home interiors of which retain the Rhodian tradition, from the seashore Reni, you see the hotel complex continuing along the shores of Faleraki. Among others, Kameros (21 miles) is very impressive and it is regarded the Pompeii of Rhodes.

Many activities take place in Rhodes especially during the summer months: the incredibly beautiful “Sound and Light” at the Castle garden, from April through October; Anthesteria, at Manthraki, a flower celebration during the summer; many performances and festivals; exhibits, concerts and fairs.