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Thanks to its strategic position, Rhodes has been important since ancient times. The ancient city of Rhodes, the construction of which began in 407 BC, was designed according to the city planning system devised by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. Rhodes soon developed into one of the most important seafaring and trading centres in the Eastern Mediterranean. When it became a province of the Roman, and later the Byzantine Empire, it initially lost its ancient glory. But in 1309 the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered Rhodes. They built strong fortifications to protect the island, turning it into an important administrative centre and a thriving multinational medieval city.
In 1523 Rhodes was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and the Greeks had to settle outside the city walls. During the Ottoman occupation, new buildings were erected within the Old Town, mainly mosques and baths. In 1912 Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese, were seized by the Italians. The new rulers embellished the city with magnificent buildings, wide roads and squares.
The Palace of the Grand Master was rebuilt and the Street of the Knights was reconstructed in order to regain its medieval purity. It was not until 1948 that Rhodes officially became part of Greece. In 1988 the Medieval City of Rhodes was listed as a UNESCO
As you enter one of the largest medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom, it soon becomes obvious that the Old Town of Rhodes is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations; rarely does a visitor have the chance to stroll within medieval walls and explore twenty-four centuries of history. The fascinating medieval fortress-like buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, narrow alleys, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares make it feel like you have stepped back into medieval times.
The Palace of the Grand Master
is certainly the highlight of the Old Town. The Palace, originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century A.D., was converted in the early 14th century by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their state; now it has been turned into a museum.
The cobblestoned Street of the Knights
, one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, is packed with medieval inns that used to play host to the soldiers of the Order of the Knights. At the end of the Street, in the Museum Square, stands the Hospital of the Knights, which houses the Archaeological Museum. Across the square is the Church of Our Lady of the Castle, the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes in Byzantine times that became the Catholic Cathedral when the Knights occupied the city. Now it hosts the Byzantine Museum.
leads to a square with outdoor cafés and restaurants. Moving on, you enter Sokratous Street
– always buzzing with life thanks to its cluster of cafés and shops – which leads down from the Mosque of Suleiman
the Magnificent towards the harbour. If you decide to take a detour and head off for Arionos Square
, don’t forget to stroll around the “Turkish district”, where you will find the Mustafa Pasha
Mosque and the 16th century “Yeni Hammam
” (Turkish Baths)
Rhodes has many spectacular beaches and sandy coves. The island offers a large collection of Rhodes beaches with various amenities, including hotels, taverns, bars and water sports centres. All beaches in Rhodes have crystal waters and they are unique in natural beauty. Among the best Rhodes beaches are Tsambika, Saint Paul's bay, Ladiko, Kallithea and others. The southernmost coast of Rhodes, Prassonisi, is ideal for windsurfing and kite surfing.
Lindos Limanaki Agios Pavlos beach
The little bay of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul) lies 48 km south of Rhodes town and close to the ancient acropolis of Lindos. According to a local myth, the bay owes its name to the lovely white chapel standing on the beach which is dedicated to Saint Paul, who came here in 43 AD and preached Christianity. Golden sand and pebbles compose the beach where sun beds are available for rent. Rocks are boarding the beach, giving the possibility to dive into the clean turquoise waters.
The long sandy beach of Tsambika is located 25 km south of Rhodes town, under the imposing rock where it stands the miraculous Monastery of Tsambika. Turquoise waters and golden sands create beautiful scenery, ideal to relax and enjoy the sun. Dozens of colourful beach facilities are available as well as Water sports for the most daring types. The wider region is very friendly and offers plenty of amenities, during night and day.
Ladiko Anthony Quinn beach
The famous Anthony Quinn beach is located 20 km south of Rhodes town between the beaches of Faliraki and Ladiko. The original name of the beach is Vagies. The beach however was made famous by the film The Guns of Navarone that was actually filmed here. Since then the locals decided to name the beach after the great protagonist Antony Quinn. Despite its famous background, the beach was always considered as one of the calmest and most beautiful spots of the island but its excellent waters attracted many tourists since then. It is a rather a small and narrow beach with a combination of sand, pebbles and rocks. It is not entirely organized and the only facilities a visitor can enjoy are a few umbrellas and sundecks. The rocky hills that surround the beach create wild yet impressive scenery adding to the greenery landscape of pine trees. Faliraki is the closest area from the beach, at a 3 km distance, where you can find many services available after a full day under the sun.
Faliraki Nudist beach
Faliraki is the most popular resort in Rhodes for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and modern amenities. It lies 16 km south of Rhodes town and 10 km from the airport. The beach of Faliraki is one of the most organised beaches of Rhodes, offering sun beds, umbrellas, many water sports (water skiing, wind surfing and much more), taverns, restaurants and beach bars. The golden sands of Faliraki extend for 4 km and, along with the crystal blue waters of the Aegean, create a relaxing and attractive scenery. For those who wish to be in a more quiet and less crowded environment, the bay of Kathara (Clean) can be ideal. It is situated right next to Faliraki Beach, near the small fishing harbour. All the area is full of luxurious hotels and other kinds of accommodations.
Faliraki is one of the most cosmopolitan resorts of Rhodes lying 16 km south of the main town and 10 km from the airport. It is well-organized with dozens of colourful sunbeds covering the sandy coast, umbrellas and many water sports facilities like (water skiing, wind surfing and much more. In the wider region plenty of taverns, restaurants and beach bars are found. The golden sands of Faliraki extend over 4 km and, along with the crystalline blue waters of the Aegean, create a relaxing and attractive scenery. For those who wish to be in a quieter and less crowded environment, the bay of Kathara is just the right place for them. It is close to Faliraki Beach, near the small fishing harbour. The whole area is full of luxurious hotels and other kinds of accommodations.
Pefki beach is an overtly commercialized beach and the main street is lined up with innumerable shops, establishments, bars and tavernas to cater to the exacting needs of the discerning international traveller. The peripheral area surrounding the beach has been developed in such a manner so as to provide all the contemporary tourist amenities. Pefki beach has soft sand with many pebbles. Also, it is quite narrow in comparison to other beaches of the island. A series of narrow pathways leads one to the picturesque beach front. There is no dearth of sun loungers at the beach. At the extreme end of the beach one can find numerous rocky coves with which is ideal for swimming as the water here is shallow. The waterfront taverns are great places to indulge in a variety of fresh seafood delicacies. The beach can be reached either by bus or hired taxi from the principal town of Rhodes. Buses from Rhodes operate at an interval of every half an hour.
AMATHUS LUXURY BEACH Resort 5*
Set on the beautiful beach of Ixia, the charming Amathus Beach hotel is a peaceful sanctuary for tranquil escapes offering sweeping uninterrupted views to the dazzling Aegean. Exuding an aura of calm this waterfront family beach hotel in Rhodes Island offers the most idyllic venue for family holidays.
SHERATON RHODES Resort 5*
Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, Sheraton Rhodes Resort is only a few metres from a pristine private beach and just 4 kilometres from the Medieval City of Rhodes, offering global travellers, families and honeymooners alike the best of hotel amenities.
La MARQUISE LUXUTY Resort Complex 5*
One of the largest hotel complexes in Rhodes, perfectly combines the nobility of the past with the luxury of the present. The resort stretches in an impressive area of 120.000 square meters and stands out as an oasis surrounded by water and vegetation, distinguishing it from the unpleasant modern structures with their impersonal concrete floors and packed rooms. Here an exotic, relaxing, quiet and invigorating stay is guaranteed.