Reasons Why Everyone Should Visit Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese and the fourth largest Greek island. It is a highly preferred summer destination, as it combines a rich history, an interesting culture and a dynamic nightlife that will satisfy even the most demanding visitors. The picturesque villages, the well maintained monuments and the archaeological sites, the medieval castles and the wonderful beaches are just some of the reasons to visit it, again and again!

Old City

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The Old City of Rhodes with a current population of 6,000 inhabitants is surrounded by medieval walls with seven gates: Gate of the Naval Station, Gate of Agios Ioannis, Gate of Agia Ekaterini, Gate of  the Apostle Paul, Gate of Amboise, Gate of Agios Athanassios and the Gate of the Port. To enter any of these gates is to enter another world. Now it happens to be a world of tourist shops, restaurants, cafes and museums, more like a Turkish bazaar than any Greek city, but anyone with imagination can’t help but be touched by the history of the place where a handful of Knights were the last Christian holdouts in a part of the world that had become completely dominated by Muslims, in particular the Ottoman Turks.When the city finally did fall after a siege that exhausted both defenders and besiegers the remaining Knights were offered safe passage and on January 1st of 1523 left Rhodes along with 5000 of the Christian inhabitants of the island who chose to leave rather than live under the Sultan. In the defense of the city 2000 Christians had died. The Turks had lost 50,000 trying to take it. This is not, however just an old  town filled with ghosts of the past. The old city of Rhodes is a living, vibrant community with many homes and business, not all of them connected to tourism.The Medieval City was divided into three parts: the northern part included the Acropolis of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand Master while the southern part include Hora, were the commoners lived. The Jewish Quarter is the third section and the least developed commercially in terms of tourism and is mostly residential, though the Hora is also residential mixed with bars, restaurants, cafes and shops.

Lindos

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The lovely village of Lindos is one of the most attractive and beautiful villages of Rhodes located south of the capital. It is dominated by a magnificent and imposing acropolis that lies on top. Lindos stands out for its fabulous location beautiful on the slopes of the hill at the top of which lies the ancient acropolis overlooking the picturesque bay. The village is built amphitheatrically and consists of whitewashed houses with pebble paved courtyards, narrow alleys and buildings influenced by Byzantine, medieval, Arab and Rhodian architecture. Apart from the beautiful acropolis that can be reached by foot or donkey, one of the main attractions of Lindos is the old theatre of the town, carved from a rock, and the Doric sanctuary of Athena Lindia which are also worthseeing. Various accommodations of all categories as well as taverns, cafes and romantic bars can be found in the enchanting Lindos.

Butterfly Valley

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The Valley of Butterflies (Petaloùdes,Πεταλούδες) is a natural park located at a distance of 23 km from the capital Rhodes. Belongs to a Natura 20001 protected zone (GR4210006) together with Seven Springs  and Mt. Profitis Elias2. It is the place where tiger moths of the species Panaxia Quadripunctariagather in summer. This species of butterfly is common in the Mediterranean, in Europe and in Western Asia. In Greece it is also found in Crete and other islands, and in the southern part of the mainland Greece.A small river, named Pelecanos, flows down to a narrow valley, ending with a waterfall that tumbles into a green pool. On the bends there is a forest of zitia, a species of tree that excretes an aromatic raisin, which is said to attracts the butterflies. The combination of the valley’s microclimate with its exceptional flora, creates the ideal environment for the breed of a large population of caterpillars, that live on the trees and feed from the tender leaves.During the summer visitors can observe a unique phenomenon that made the valley famous. Millions of months gathered on the trees, in some cases covering entire tree trunks, resting for the night. Aside from the butterflies, the valley is full of lush vegetation and rich fauna. Surrounded by huge rocks, century-old trees and the flowing crystalline water, a narrow pebbly pathway with wooden bridges will guide you through a scenery of rare beauty until you reach the top of the creek. Lower, in the entry of the valley, there is a small but interesting Natural History Museum where visitors can learn more about the valley of Butterflies its unique ecosystem. There is also a souvenir shop and a restaurant.

Prasonisi

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To reach Prasonisi you will have to drive all the way to the most south part of the island. Just after Katavia, turn left  and after a few kilometers more driving, and from the top of a hill, Prasonisi comes into sight: waves to the right, calm sea and shelter from the wind to the left – and surfers everywhere! It is one of the most impressive beaches on the island. Two sandy coves ending in an island that you can reach on foot or by swimming, depending on the weather and the level of the water. This is a paradise for surfers, especially in July and August. There are surfboards and wetsuits for hire. It is well worth a visit even if you are not a surfer yourself, just to enjoy the magnificent landscape and admire the skill of the surfers. All the houses offering rented rooms also operate their own taverna.

Museum of Modern Greek Art

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The Rhodes Museum of Modern Greek Art opened in 1964 with the aim of searching for, studying, exhibiting and promoting visual works of art created in the field of Greek culture or with reference to Greek culture. The works on display at the museum are mainly from the 15th century onward, focusing on the period following the establishment of the new Greek state from 1832 until today. The collections include modern Greek paintings, prints and sculptures. 

The monastery of Tsampika

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A tiny, Byzantine church, dedicated to Our Lady, located on the top of a hill which offers breathtaking views. The road to Tsambika monastery turns off the main road, some meters before the road to Tsambika beach. The road will take you half way up the hill. After this point, you need to walk up the hill, following 350 steps. It’s perched high at 300 m with commanding coastal views, both north over Kolymbia and south over Tsambika beach until Lindos, which makes it worth, to climb up. According to the legend, any woman having problems getting pregnant should go up there barefoot, to pray to the Virgin and she will be blessed with children. The saints day is the 7. September.

 

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