Rhodes, the Wonder of the East Aegean

Mythologically speaking, the island of Rhodes is said to have been the result of the union between Helios, the Sun God, and the nymph Rhode. For historical reasons, the city of Rhodes has been categorised as a UNESCO World Heritage City; it is an amalgamation of Italian, Medieval European, Eastern, and Ancient elements.

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The town is divided in two, the Modern and the Medieval areas. The first thing to see in the new city is the ancient port of Mandraki, where the great Colossus of Rhodes, one of the original seven wonders of the world, was erected. Today we are welcomed by two bronze deer; elaphos and elaphina. Nearby are the lighthouse tower of St. Nicholas and the impressive gothic Evangelismos (Annunciation) Church. The coastal road takes us to the Italian building housing  the Government House, the Town Hall, the National Theater, and the Law Courts. Another beautiful site is the Turkish mosque, while of great interest is the Institute of marine biology. 

A visit through the Rodini Park to enjoy a cool breeze is recommended; the streams and paths lead to the original site of the School of Rhetoric, a place visited by famous Greek and Roman speakers, such as Julius Cesar. Continuing our tour, we enter the heavy walls and their ramparts, the elaborate doors, and the Frankish reliefs that surround the Medieval City and follow the shadowy streets up to the Simi Square, the temple of Aphrodite ruins, the National Library, the Decorative Arts Museum, and the Inn of the Auvergne Knights. The Street of Knights welcomes us with gothic buildings, taking us to long-forgotten eras. We can visit the magnificent palace of the Great Magister, and further down, somewhere among the roofs, emerge the Clock Tower and the Mosque of Suleiman, while Sokratous street is a long, busy market. We can enjoy a beverage or lunch on Hippocrates Square, before visiting a museum such as the Archeological or the Byzantine. On the Monte Smith Hill, we can admire the panoramic view of the town and visit the ruins of the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes.

Rhodes also has a notable vinic culture, dating from ancient times. Today Rhodes can be proud of holding two Appellation of Origin zones. These are the Rodos VQPRD wines, comprising the white muscat variety, and Rodos VDQS wines, including the white Athiri and the red Amorgiano; Athiri is a wine with a smooth, fruity aroma, while Amorgiano is a full-bodied red wine with distinctive spicy aromas.


Where to swim:
Rhodes is the island of endless sandy beaches. One can find organized beaches around the city, right by Rhodes Hotel, the Aquarium or the Yacht Club. In the west, visit Ixia and Ialissos, while to the east visit the sandy beaches of Kallithea, Afantos, and the infamous Faliraki.


What and where to eat:
At lunchtime the choices are numerous. Try stewed greens, stuffed tomatoes, lentil “dolmades”, artichokes with minced meat, pastitsio, sweet cheese cakes, and oven-cooked meat in the “gastra”, makarounes, chick-pea meatballs, and pitaroudia. 

The taverna “Palia Istoria” (Old History) is making history in Greek gastronomy; for years now it has been taking excellent care of its customers, while its wine list is remarkable, listing 120 Greek wine labels. A knightly atmosphere and fresh fish are also offered at the also famous “Dinoris” taverna.


Where to stay:
A royal stay is promised at the classy hotels of Rhodes, at Rodos Palace, for example (22410-25222) or at Sofitel Capsis Hotel (22410-25015). One can also stay at the renovated Casa Antica (22410-26206), only 200 meters from the beach.


Where to try local wine:

85100 Rodos
Tel. +30 22460 41208
Fax +30 22460 41209

2nd km Rodos-Lindos
85100 ΡΟΔΟΣ
Tel. 22410-68770-3
Fax. 22410-62575


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