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RHODES

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General Information

Few places worldwide can match the beauty and the cosmopolitan aura of Rhodes. Unparalleled natural beauty is accompanied by rich historical and cultural tradition; there are not too many places that can boast of hosting one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the renowned Colossus. Breathtaking ancient ruins, magnificent beaches, enchanting inland territory and a vivid lifestyle are some of the elements of Rhode's combination, which has never failed to attract countless visitors from the farthest reaches of the globe. 

 

History - Culture

Rhodes is a historical island that has always played a leading role in regional as well as national matters. It was first inhabited in the prehistoric years, and by the time of the Mycenean period it had already developed at least three well organized cities, which participated in the Trojan War with vessels and warriors. Later on the Dorians settled the island and transformed it into a powerful center of commerce, arts, and culture. It was divided into three city-states, whose seafaring and military prowess quickly enabled them to found a series of colonies in southern Italy and along the coast of Asia Minor. As the island continued flourishing through the centuries, it was only natural that Rhodes had a strong army and a most powerful trading position, and meanwhile produced remarkable works of Art and Literature. Among other things, Rhodes is noted for the "Daedalian monuments", the renowned "Colossus of Rhodes", one of the seven wonders of the ancient world which, unfortunately, was destroyed by a devastating earthquake, and for giving birth to important personalities such as Kleovoulos, one of the seven wise men of ancient Greece. An important event that marked the history of the island was the founding of the city of Rhodes in 408 BC, which has been the capital and center of the life of the island ever since. Alas, a devastating earthquake in 155 AD disrupted the magnificent course of Rhodes which, though not totally destroyed, was greatly affected. Later on, the island suffered invasions by the Arabs, the Persians, the Saracens and the Selesians. Sometime in the 11th century, Rhodes regained its role as a significant trading partner, and thus quickly developed strong ties with the Venetians other major commercial and military powers of the west. During this period, many significant buildings and works were constructed. In 1309 the island came under the rule of the Knights of the order of St. John, who did not stop this return to prosperity. Instead, they came to the island and modernized it, triggering another intellectual, financial, and cultural outburst which kept its pace until the Turkish conquest in 1522. The island plunged into a long period of darkness after this sad event. Rhodes finally rejoined the Greek nation in 1948, along with the rest of the Dodecanese.

 

Sights

Every corner of the "island of the Knights" as many call it, is either a captivating sight of natural beauty or an impressive monument of man's feats in past ages and centuries. It is impossible to provide a full list of what is worth seeing in Rhodes without leaving out too much unworthy of missing, and even if one could come up with such a list, it is likely that it would take weeks of non-stop touring to see them all. Each monument echoes its own era and its own particular story as well, and both create its identity. As stated above, it is impossible for one to mention each monument separately, and therefore the ones mentioned here are merely indicative. There are medieval castles, mansions and palaces in the Old City of Rhodes and in other locations, the ancient cities of Rhodes, Embonas, Ialyssos, Lindos, and Salakos, impressive caves in Rhodes, Archangelos, Kalythies, Faliraki, and Salakos, Byzantine and post-Byzantine monasteries, the most important of which are those of "Taxiarchis Michail" in Tharri, "Profitis Elias" in Salakos and "Panagia Tsambika" in Archangelos), old churches and chapels all across the island, lush green landscapes amid natural springs, dense pine forests and enchanting beaches of unreal beauty that stretch their length along crystal clear waters. Furthermore, there are sights that cannot be included in any typical list, as their uniqueness denies categorizing. Some of these are the "Valley of the Butterflies", a heavenly landscape, full of butterflies, ideal for promenades, the "Seven Sources", an area with a lake, a cascade, and marvelous flora, the Aquarium, a collection exhibiting fish of the Greek seas. If this is any indication it is easy to understand why Rhodes holds a special place among the rest of the beautiful Greek islands, making a favorite among loved ones.

 

Entertainment-Sports-Shopping

Rhodes is experienced in accommodating and entertaining large numbers of visitors for decades. It is quite safe to say that Rhodes leads the way in providing tourist services, as top quality facilities and unmatched expertise combine to make an incomparable final offering. The capital of the island offers great variety in entertainment, shopping and sports. There are fully equipped, imposing hotel units all over the island, and the visitor can find quality accommodations in every remote corner of Rhodes. The road network, communications, and the overall tourist infrastructure are in a class of their own. The sense of superb services that the island sends forth is confirmed by the diversity of sporting facilities: diving schools, water-skiing and surfing activities, tennis courts, lots of basket ball and volley ball courts, stadiums, golf courses, football fields, and much more. Rhodes does not lack in traditional festivities and visitors can be captivated by the liveliness and hospitality of the locals. Finally, the island is famous for its local specialties "giagnisto", "pitaroudia" and "melekounia" (a sort of a honey cake) while most tourists buy carpets, embroideries, ceramics, souvenirs, and sweets before leaving the island. International cuisine is also available, though most will revel in a gastronomical tour of the local delicacies.

 

Access

There are daily flights carried out from Athens and Thessaloniki, and ferry-boats departing from the port of Piraeus throughout the year with services being more dense during the summer.

 

Connections

There are flight connections with Athens, Karpathos, Kos, Kastelorizo, the Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini), Crete (Herakleion) and Thessaloniki all year long. Ferry-boats and speed-boats link Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastelorizo, Kasos, Kos, Chalki, Nissyros, Tilos, Symi, Sitia (Crete), Alexandroupolis, Mykonos, Santorini and the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea.

 

Museums

The capital city of Rhodes hosts an Archaeological Museum, a Byzantine Museum, a Folk Art Museum, a Municipal Art Gallery and a Muslim Library. Folk Art Museums can also be seen in Archangelos and Embonas.

 

Alternative Tourism

Ecotourism, agrotourism, congressional, cultural, spiritual, historical, caving, archaeology, gastronomy, sporting (water sports, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, golfing, jet ski, canoe, kayak, water ski, horse riding, parapente, trekking, mountain climbing, mountain bike).

 

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Rhodes Area Code:  22410-

Police Station:   22410-23294

Municipality:     22410-46200

Telecommunication Company:   22410-59500

Post Office:      22410-35560

Taxi Station:     22410-69800, 69600

Port authority:   22410-28888, 28666

Tourist Police:   22410-27423

Tourist Information Office:   22410-35945

Hellenic Tourism Organization:  22410-23255

General hospital:   22410-80000

Pharmacies: 22410-20246, 63036, 39111, 31140

Airport:   22410-91771, 92839, 82301

 

 

Photo Gallery
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DODECANESE RHODES
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