The island of Rhodes, is shaped like a spearhead, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres and an impressive coastline of approximately 220 km. The city of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbors. The main air gateway (Diagoras International Airport, is located 14 km to the southwest of the city in Paradisi. The island is well connected with other major Greek cities and islands as well as with major European capitals and cities via regular and charter flights. A good road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts. The island is served by two operators of bus services connecting several villages and beaches and by 450 taxis.
Today Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The economy is tourist-oriented elevating Rhodes economically, compared to the rest of Greece. The island is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for action and culture. With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches. Rhodes is a blessed place. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. Outside of the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages and beach resorts, among them Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos).
Lindos, with its medieval alleys, its ancient monuments and historic houses is considered by many as the most beautiful village of Rhodes. Spectacular cliffs give their place to picturesque sandy coves, while the views towards the small lagoon of St Paul are simply magnificent.
For food, local specialties include: Avranies, Koulouria, Pitaroudia, Pouggia, Tsirigia, Fanouropita, Katimeria, Melekouni, Pouggakia, Takakia and muchalebi.
The interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely inhabited and covered with forests of pine and cypress. While the shores are rocky, the island has arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables, olives and other crops are grown. In the "Valley of the Butterflies” (petaloudes in Greek), large numbers of tiger moths gather during the summer months.
Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes with the Temple of Pythian Apollo and an ancient theatre and stadium, ancient Ialysos, ancient Kamiros, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes Old Town (walled medieval city which has been declared a World Heritage Site), the Palace of the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalom Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of Kritinia, St. Catherine Hospice and Rhodes Footbridge.
The island’s long history goes back to the Neolithic period, the Minoans and the Mycenaean Greeks. In the 8th century BC, the Dorians,built the three important cities of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros. Rhodes saw on its territory, the Greeks, the Persians, Alexandre the Great and its successors, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, the Arabs and the Genovese. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World destroyed in the 226 BC earthquake.
In 1309 the island was occupied by forces of the Knights Hospitaller. Under the rule of the newly named "Knights of Rhodes", the city was rebuilt into a model of the European medieval ideal. Many of the city's famous monuments, including the Palace of the Grand Master, were built during this period. The strong walls which the knights had built withstood the attacks of the Sultan of Egypt in 1444, and a siege by the Ottomans under Mehmed II in 1480. Eventually, Rhodes fell to the large army of Suleiman the Magnificent in December 1522. The few surviving knights were permitted to retire to the Kingdom of Sicily, from where they would later move their base of operations to Malta. Rhodes was thereafter a possession of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries.
In 1912, Italy seized Rhodes from the Turks during the Italo-Turkish War. Following the Italian Armistice of 8 September 1943, the British attempted to get the Italian garrison on Rhodes to change sides. This was anticipated by the German Army, which succeeded in occupying the island. On 8 May 1945 the Germans surrendered Rhodes to the British. In 1947, together with the other islands of the Dodecanese, Rhodes was united with Greece.
In ancient times there was a Roman saying: "Hic Rhodus, hic salta!"—"Rhodes is here, here perform your jump", an admonition to prove one's idle boasts by deed rather than talk.
Diagoras airport, with terminals old and new (most international flights arrive at the new one), is about 15km south-west of the main town on the west coast. From a stop between the two terminals, a bus into town (6.30am-midnight), otherwise, taxis will set you to your destination.
Rhodes is a major ferry destination from all the o
A walk around the world's best preserved medieval city is essential. The old city, included in Unesco list of world heritage sites, is an impressive complex of palaces, towers and water fountains.
Also visit the archeological sites. See the remains of a Doric temple at the Ancient Acropolis of Lalysos. A monumental fountain dat