Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands, situated in eastern Aegean Sea.
It lies approximately 11 miles (18 km) west of Turkey's shores, situated between the Greek mainland and the island of Cyprus. Its population in 2007 exceeds 130,000, of whom roughly 80,000 reside in the city of Rhodes, the island's capital which is the major economic, commercial, tourist and cultural center of both the Dodecanese and the Aegean Sea.
Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The medieval part of the city of Rhodes is a World Heritage Site. The island is one of Europe's top tourist destinations.
Rhodes is a major tourist attraction for the seekers of sunny beaches. While many of its beaches are gravel, not sand; the island can boast more than 300 sun days in a year. Consequently, you will stumble into tourists and hotels and beaches full of deck chairs for rent, into shops and restaurants that cater to these tourists. It can be overwhelming at times. If this bothers you, Rhodes is probably not for you.
Still, there are some areas where mass tourism has not yet penetrated too much. And there are advantages, too: travel to and accommodation on Rhodes itself can be purchased for relatively low prices, and most of the locals speak at least English and German and often some other languages.
GEOGRAPHY OF RHODES
The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km long and 38 km wide with a total area of approximately 1,398 kmē (540 square miles) and a coastline of approximately 220 km.
The city of Rhodes is located at the far northern end of the island, including the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbor. The main air gateway (Diagoras International Airport, IATA code: RHO) is located 14 km to the southwest of the city in Paradisi. The road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts.
The flora and fauna is more closely allied to that of Asia Minor than it is to that of the rest of Greece. The interior is mountainous and sparsely inhabited, covered with forests of Pine (Pinus brutia) and Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and abundant fauna including the Rhodian deer.
Features include the so-called Petaludes or Petaloudes Valley, or Valley of the Butterflies, where tiger moths gather in summer; Mount Attavyros, at 3,986 ft (1,215 m) the island's highest point of elevation; and the appropriately named Seven Springs area.
While the shores are rocky, arable sandy strips exist where citrus fruits, wine grapes, vegetables, and other crops flourish in the Mediterranean climate.
Outside of the city of Rhodes, the Faliraki resort, Lindos, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afandou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos) are significant.
The economy of the whole island is geared toward tourism; the island's primary source of income.
MAIN CITIES OF RHODES
- Rhodes city - The biggest city on the island and seat of the local government
- Lindos - Small village with an old acropolis. Located around a small hill. No cars are allowed in the large areas of the town.
- Haraki - Small former fishing village located next to Lindos.
- Pefkos - A smaller tourist resourt close to Lindos. Originally started as a small collection of farms and private residences, but has grown into a town in its own right.
- Faliraki - Rhodes' "action resort". Go there to party, everything else is better somewhere else.
- Kalithea - snorkeling and resort hotels.
- Afandou - One of the big villages on the island. The golf course of Rhodes is situated in this area along with a long beach
- Ixia - West coast resort, close to Rhodes city
- Theologos - A traditional village
- Lardos and Gennadi
IMPORTANT HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF RHODES
Some of the most important monuments on Rhodes island include the acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes, Ancient Ialysos, Ancient Kamiros, the Archaeological Musem, the Elaphos & Elaphina and hotel, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes Old Town (Medieval City), Rhodes Post Office and the St. Catherine Hospice. Also worth visiting are the Castle of Monolithos and the castle of Kritinia.
The most famous monument in Rhodes is from the ancient past: the Colossus of Rhodes was a large bronze statue in the harbour, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Completed in 280 BCE, it was toppled by an earthquake in 224 BCE and eventually dismantled.
CASTLE OF MONOLITHOS
If you are staying on the east coast, drive to Gennadi. North of the village, take the road across the island via Vati to Apollakia. The drive can be windy for moped riders, but the beautiful vistas make up for the work. Apollakia is not very special but has a couple of nice tavernas if you feel like having a refreshment. South of the village is a gas station, which you should use in case you are on a moped.
Go on to Monolithos. Behind the village there is the actual attraction, which you will see from the road: The Castle of Monolithos on a 240m-high rock. Do not forget to go to the actual site, which does not offer much architecture-wise, but provides you with splendid views across the west coast. To the north-west, you can see the Castle of Kalki.
The majority of exterior scenes for the films The Guns of Navarone and Escape to Athena were filmed on Rhodes.
RHODES HOTELS & RESORTS
GREECE TOURS & TRAVEL
GREEK ISLANDS •
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Aerial view of Rhodes
Memories of Rhodes
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Windmills, Rhodes, Greece
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Fort St. Nicholas and Mandraki Harbor, Rhodes, Greece
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