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Rhodes Rhodos Greek islands

information about Rhodes island Greece

Introduction This is one of the best known Greek islands and holidaymakers have been coming here for many decades. It is a beautiful island, but the many years of tourism has definitely taken its toll. Everywhere in Lindos and Rhodes town you will see bars, discos, and restaurants with food from all over the world. On the one hand this might take away a bit of the "Greekness" of the island, but on the other hand you have everything you want here. Struggling to find somewhere to exchange money or trying to communicate through bodylanguage on a small island might be charming, but sometimes it is wonderful to have all the facilities, especially if you are travelling with children, or just want to have a fun holiday by the sea.
Many locals are involved with tourism in one way or the other, but there is also a lot of farmers on the island. They grow grapes and keep goats. Because it is a large island, many also have "ordinary" occupations: civil servants, shopowners, office clerks etc. There is also a large military base on the island.

Rhodes History :Rhodes used to be the sungod Helios' island. According to mythology, he had fallen in love with the nymph Rhodes, and when he shone his light on her, she transformed into the island. The name means "rose" and the island is known since antiquity as a flowery place.

The ancient Greeks used to call Rhodes "the Island of Sun" because of its patron god, and other names that the island has had are Ofioussa ("Snake island"), Asteria ("Star island"), Makaria ("Beauty") and Ataviros (its highest mountain).

The first inhabitants were probably the Minonans, Cretans, followed by Dorians at the end of the 2nd Millennium BC. The first inhabitants probably called the island Telchinia. Rhodes was soon to become one of the most powerful islands with its strong military and commercial fleet.

Initially, the island was forced to fight the Greeks along the Persian side during the Persian Wars in the 5th century BC, but managed to break free and became a member of the Athenian League. The island kept flourishing and had an important school for scientists and philosophers. The astro-nomer Hipparchus worked here in the 2nd century BC.

It was probably during the Classic period that the Colossus of Rhodes was built. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and we only know of its existence through ancient literature and coins. It was a statue of the sun-god Helios, about 35 meters high, standing with one foot on each side of the harbour of Lindos. After an earthquake it fell apart, but when the people on Rhodes wanted to rebuild it, an oracle told them not to. So it lay in the harbour for hundreds of years until the Turks took it

The Romans conquered Greece in the 2nd century BC, and for Rhodes this, and the following Byzantine era was to be a oeriod of decline. Pirates kept attacking, as well as Saracens and Arabs, and the Venetians occupied the island in the 11th century, followed by crusaders and Genovans, and finally the Turks in the 16th century.

The most famous period was probably when the Knights of the Order of St. John ruled here, since there are still several buildings from this time. Rhodes is even referred to as the "Island of the Knights" sometimes. They came in 1309 and stayed until the Turks invaded in 1522.
In 1912 Rhodes was given to Italy, and liberated in 1948.

What to See in Rhodes:The capital, Rodos, is in itself very beautiful. Just walk around in the Old Town and see where the streets take you. Mandraki is a nice area, and from the hill of Monte Smith you get a wonderful panorama view. It is in the harbour of Mandraki the two famous bronze deer stand where the colossus of Rhodes once was. The old part of the town is from the Middle Ages and you can visit the castle of the Grand Master as well as walk on the road of the Knights and visit the Castle of the Knights.

The white town Lindos is well worth visiting. The acropolis here was only surpassed by the acropolis of Athens, and you can still see its ruins.

The healing baths of Kallithea are on the Eastern side of the island.

On the West side of the island there are several picturesque villages. If you like ancient history the "Pompey of Greece", Kamiros, is definitely a place to go. The monastery of Filerimos is also a place worth a visit.

Sianna is often considered the most picturesque village.

The Valley of Butterflies (Petaludes) is full of butterflies and is very pretty.

What to Do: Rhodes has many options for grown ups as well as children. There are lots of watersports, as well as tenniscourts, golf and horseriding. In Afandou there is a Casino which is Greece's third in size. You can also dive in Kallithea. The island is also great for exploring on your own.

Rhodes Beaches :The best beaches are situated on the east coast. It is not too windy there and most beaches there are suitable for families with children. Surfers prefer Prasonisi in the South. At Cape Ladiko there is a small bay with the incredible name Anthony Quinn which is very nice. This is where The Guns of Navarone was filmed. There are also many, many more beaches.

Rhodes Nightlife:You'll find loads of bars, pubs, discos and clubs here on Rhodes. There is something for every taste, both foreign and Greek. The wildest partying goes on in Rhodes town mainly at the new town and Lindos, but there are also many nice places in the quieter parts.

Food:The local wine and sparkling wine worth a try. The Greeks call the latter champagne, but it is much cheaper than the real thing.. There is also a local drink called Soima made of grapes, as well as a special kind of honey. There are taverns all over the island. The real traditional Greek taverns are in the smaller villages, and in Rhodes town and Lindos there is a wide range of international as well as Greek restaurants.

Shopping in Rhodes :You can get all kinds of things here. There are ordinary shops where you can buy clothes, shoes, books, things for the beach, glasses and so on. Then, there are the souvenir shops where everything Greek can be bought: leather belts, gloves, bags, icons, embroideries, copies of ancient art etc.

Getting Around: The roads on Rhodes are quite good, so you can get around easily with a car or a bike. There is also a good local busnetwork, as well as many taxis. Several boats can take you on excursions to beaches..

Getting There :There is an airport on the island of Rhodes where almost all charter flights land. The airport also has flights within Greece to both islands with airports as well as with Athens Greece and Thessaloniki. The island is also connected with the rest of the Dodecannese, as well as Crete, the Cyclades, Pireus and Alexandroupolis. There are also ferry connections with Cyprus and Israel

Facts about Rhodes* Phone numbers*
Size: 1400 sq. km International code: 0030
Population: about 100.000 Local code: 22410
Cashmachine: Yes Hospital: 8000
Internet cafe: Yes Port Police: 28666
Highest Mountain: Ataviros Tourist Information:23655
Airport: Yes  Bus company: 36370
Tour Operators: Argo,Libra, JMC, Apollo, Ving Tourist Police:2241023329
Hotel Association: Taxi:
Airport: 2241083200

*The info displayed may be inaccurate. If changes have been made, please let us know.

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