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Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek Islands and is one of the most visited because of its combination of beaches, archeological sites, and extensive medieval town. The climate is particularly good, with the weather typically sunny and mild. The island is usually counted as one of the Dodecanese, but due to its importance for travelers is considered separately here.
The rock-rose is so prolific here that it has been named the 'Island of Roses,' though modern scholars doubt the ancient theory that the island's name comes from the Greek word for rose. While the northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life. 

Settlements

Rhodes, Greece

Destination:
Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek Islands and is one of the most visited because of its combination of beaches, archeological sites, and extensive medieval town. The climate is particularly good, with the weather typically sunny and mild. The island is usually counted as one of the Dodecanese, but due to its importance for travelers is considered separately here.
The rock-rose is so prolific here that it has been named the 'Island of Roses,' though modern scholars doubt the ancient theory that the island's name comes from the Greek word for rose. While the northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life. 

Settlements

  • Afantou

    - One of the big villages on the island. The golf course of Rhodes is situated in this area along with a long beach
  • Archangelos or (Arhangelos) - The second largest town on the island
  • Faliraki

    - Rhodes' action resort. Go there to party, everything else is better somewhere else. Nice beaches, a lot less winds than on the west coast and really good public transport.
  • Ialysos - Blue waters, a seemingly endless organized beach, big hotel complexes as well as smaller friendly ones, shops of all kinds, and many night-clubs. The ideal conditions of the region, important international windsurfing competitions often take place here.
  • Ixia - West coast resorts, close to Paradisi and Tholos, nearby to the airport and Rhodes city.
  • Kalithea - snorkeling and resort hotels.
  • Laerma - inland village near some monuments, contains a few restaurants, inland from Lindos via Lardos. This village has been continuously inhabited since the Pre-Hellenic period. The Monastery Taxiarchis Michail is 4km southwest of Laerma and is the largest monastery on Rhodes
  • Pefkos - A smaller tourist resort close to

    Lindos

    . Originally started as a small collection of farms and private residences, but has grown into a town in its own right.
  • Rhodes city - The biggest city on the island and seat of the local government

Other destinations

  • Asklipio - inland village, site of an old church and a castle
  • 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.
  • Gennadi Around 64 km from Rhodes Old Town and nearby to Prasonisi, attracts several keen surfers. Among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on Rhodes.
  • Haraki (Charaki) - Small former fishing village located next to Lindos. A chain of restaurants surrounds an enclosed beach.
  • Lardos - the market square of that town has restaurants and shops, nearby to Lindos.
  • Lindos - Picturesque village, site of important ancient acropolis.
  • Theologos or (Tholos)- A traditional village

Understand

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 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, accommodation on Rhodes itself can be purchased for relatively low prices. Look for bays, beaches frequented by Greeks and areas at or beyond Lindos. 
Tourist information
The local tourist information office for the Dodecanese Islands is located in Rhodes city at Makariou & Papagou Corner (opposite the New Market). +30 2241 410 44335, +30 2241 410 44336, (Fax +30 2241 026955). 

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Rhodes, Greece: Port Information


Cruise ships dock at the Commercial Port, east of Rhodes's Old Town. It will take you just 5 minutes to get there on foot.

Get around Rhodes, Greece


By bus
All public bus lines radiate from Rhodes town and reach almost every relevant place throughout the island. 
The main bus terminal in Rhodes city is the Nea Agora (New Market). Buses run by both companies stop there, but ticket booths, as well as timetables and prices, are distinct. Rhodes town lines are run by Roda, but have a separate stop, along Mandraki sea promenade, across the street from the new market. One interesting line is n° 5, which goes up to the Achropolis.
Tickets can also be bought in the bus from a cashier or directly from the driver. Keep your ticket until the end of your voyage. The price of a bus ticket will depend on the destination. 
Bus stops on the road are marked by a sign but do not hesitate to signal a bus driver that you wish to board. The buses are often very full and so remember to be actively moving backward in the buses. Sometimes the driver jumps out and peeks in from the middle door to urge tourists to move backward. Only part of the bus stops have the timetables displayed, and the buses are often late. Also, note that most villages and resorts have more than one line passing through and stopping in different places. For example, Faliraki has got three, one along the main street, one at the town center, and one right along the sea promenade. make sure your bus goes to your preferred stop, or you'll need to walk a bit.

By taxi
Taxis on Rhodes are dark blue with white roofs. There is a list of expected maximum taxi charges you can obtain from the tourist information office. Never let the driver turn off the meter. 
You can radio a taxi via telephone number +30 2241 069800. You can book ahead to avoid delays at high traffic times such as weekends.
Within Rhodes city limits, fixed rates are applied. If you get a taxi from one of the taxi stations or stop one in the street. At the main taxi station, close to the New Market (Mandraki), there are hosts that try to cut down waiting time by making sure that the taxis don't leave half-empty - especially if you are going a bit further.

By car
You can rent a car at the airport or via any hotel and at many local dealers. Asphalt highways will allow you to reach the entire island, although roads in the interior - especially the south - may turn out to be little more than dirt paths.

By motorcycle
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go - for example, the twisted narrow streets of Rhodes city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious - it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.

What to see in Rhodes, Greece


  • Asklipio Inland from Kiotari. In the little church, there are fascinating displays, honoring the continuity of the cult of healing from ancient times to a modern midwife and nurse. In Greek mythology, Asklepios was the son of the god Apollo who created the art of medicine.
  • Cape Prasonisi. The southern-most tip of Rhodes. There is a peninsula connected to the main island by a sand bar. Unless you have a 4x4, think twice before driving your car across the sand bar. It becomes progressively less solid and it is easy to get stuck there in the sand.
  • Castle with acropolis over Lindos
  • Castle of Kastellos.
  • Castle of Monolithos.
  • Epta Piges. (Seven springs) and that is literally all there is to see there except for a short forest walking trail. In the hot summer months, the cool shade provides a pleasant respite from the sun.
  • Filerimos Hill. Medieval remains, a monastery and chapel. Good views over the north of the island.
  • Kamiros. Ancient ruins.
  • Tsambika Peak.
  • Rhodes Old Town
  • Palace of the Prince Grand Master.
  • Street of Knights.
  • Fortifications.
  • Valley of the Butterflies. Since the butterflies - which are actually colored moths - in this area need quietude for their procreation and since the area is visited by many tourists, the population of the Petaloudes "butterflies" is constantly on the decline; even to a degree that it does not make any sense anymore to go there, as you will hardly see any of the moths. It is still a beautiful area regardless.

What to do in Rhodes, Greece


  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Diving
  • Surfing and Kitesurfing on the west coast and especially on the south end of the island
  • Many hotels will offer activity programs
  • Most tour operators will offer excursions
  • Climb Mt Attavyros. A challenging 2-3 hr climb to the island's highest point (1215 m). On leaving Embonas on the road towards Siana, drive up one of the agricultural roads on the left and find a place to park. On foot, you continue up through the wine growing area in the obvious direction. There is no explicit marked path but red paint on rocks towards the top marks the best route. It is a steep climb with many large loose rocks. The descent can be especially tricky. It is also possible to drive up the mountain: the approach road comes from the South.
  • Prasonisi Surfing and quiet un-spoiled beaches distant from the main tourism areas. Lately, this coastal region beach is beginning to develop with new hotels and villas belonging to people from Rhodes. The sandy shore from Gennadi to Prasonisi is among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on Rhodes.
  • Kamiros and Mt. Profitis Ilias.
Beaches
There is a good variety of beaches on Rhodes. The east side of the island has almost continuous sandy beaches with calm waters. Beaches on the west are mostly stonier. The wind mostly comes in from the west and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the west so that side of the island is better suited to surfing or kiteboarding.
  • Rhodes Town.
  • Lindos. The stunningly beautiful town beach on the bay. Very trendy, so wear your thong bikini here if you want to fit in. 
  • Kalithea. Just north of Faliraki, this was originally an Italian built spa. It is a very pleasant spot but can be crowded. A number of separate beaches, each seemingly with their own taverna lie just south of the spa.
  • Faliraki. A long sandy beach with plenty of tavernas to choose from. There is also no shortage of people to rent jet skis from or to organize other activities. At the southern end, there is a quieter, more rocky beach but the sea there is inconveniently shallow for swimmers. The only legal nudist beach on the island which has excellent facilities including sunbed hire, toilets and food, and drink outlets are also found to the south of Faliraki.
  • Ladiko Beach (Anthony Quinn Bay). This is a very scenic spot. On one side of the bay is a relatively small beach. The other side is rocky but a man-made platform provides further space for sunbathing and access to the sea.
  • Afandou Beach.
  • Kolymbia Beach.
  • Tsambika Beach. On the far right of the beach near the rocks nude sunbathing is tolerated.
  • Gennadi Beach. This area and nearby Prasonisi attracts surfers. The village resort is peaceful and quiet. Virgin sands, hotels, and beach bars are a feature. Gennadi only began to be developed relatively recently. The main coastal road along the beach is developing with new hotels and villas belonging to people from Rhodes. Unexplored beaches stretch along the sandy shore from Gennadi to Prasonisi. This area is among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on the island.
  • Agia Marina Beach.

What to eat and drink in Rhodes, Greece


The tap water is drinkable and restaurants will serve glasses of ice water upon request. Local drinks include Mythos (beer) and Ouzo. Local wine is cheap and excellent.

Eat

  • Hatzikelis, Solomou Alhadef 9, ☎ +30 2241 027215. One of the best tavernas, serving innovations on traditional Greek dishes. The stuffed, roasted eggplant is notable.
  • Laganis, Solomou Alhadef 16. A more traditional taverna with good mezedes.
  • Mikes (A Greek name pronounced MEE-kehs), Old Town (In a tiny lane by 17 Socratous Street,). A hole-in-the-wall place with outdoor seating in a cozy backstreet tucked away from the tourist masses. Serves fish, salad, and wine, and not much else. Mikes is a very simple place to eat, but it is very pleasant, and the seafood, whilst being simple, is fresh, well prepared and tasty. The dorado is particularly tasty.
  • Pizanias (The Sea Star), Sofokleos 24. A decent seafood taverna with outdoor seating on the square. Fish is caught locally, then cooked on a grill built into the wall which means the smell of grilled seafood wafts over the local square! (Great publicity!) Because it's at the end of Sofokleos, you won't find quite as many people that come all the way down here, but it is worth giving the rest a miss and holding out for. The homemade tzatziki is very good, as is the grilled octopus. 

Drink

  • Bekr Karakuzu, 76 Sokratous. Not open on Sundays. A rare, wonderfully atmospheric survival of Ottoman old Rhodes in the middle of the tourist hordes. Run by a charming couple, it serves excellent coffee and a small range of other drinks. Not much food except for a few snacks.
  • Avalon Cafe (In the courtyard of the Avalon hotel on the backstreet behind the Spanish Tongue Auberge on Ippoton St). Set in the quiet courtyard of an imposing 14th-century town mansion, the Avalon cafe serves great drinks in a corner of Rhodes Old Town that most people don't even know exists. The courtyard is an oasis away from the bustle of Socratous St - make sure you head there when the cruise crowds get too much! Drinks are homemade, and the coffees are great if a little expensive.
  • Socrates Garden, Socratous 124. Coffee shop snack bar with a nice atmosphere in a fake Greek kind of way - but it's not too fake. A good, shaded place to grab a cold drink and rest from the sun and the busyness and the tourist rat race that is Socratous St (so much so that you'll even find Greeks in there...)

Other settlements on the island also have cozy venues to enjoy delicious cuisine.
 

Shopping in Rhodes, Greece


  • Sponges
  • Ceramic
  • Olive oil
  • Bottle of wine - local wines are famous (eg CAIR) and tasty
  • Religious icons
  • Jewelry stores are common, particularly in Rhodes Town
  • Umbrellas - manufactured by the two large industries of the island (there is, though, a popular "joke" souvenir - on an island with 300+ sun days a year, these are rarely needed)
  • Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are actually imported and have no authentic connection to the island whatsoever.
  • Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (t-shirts, towels, handbags, and so on)

Safety in Rhodes, Greece


Rhodes is a generally safe destination. There are a few things to look out for.
  • In the early 2000s, the resort town of Faliraki became infamous for the lewd behavior of young, drunk, mainly British partiers attracted to the cheap alcohol and large numbers of small nightclubs. A string of crimes committed by these young tourists against locals, as well as against other tourists, gained national attention in the summer of 2003; they ranged from vandalism to serious acts of violence. Following this, the local Police increased their presence to successfully crack down on such behavior - zero tolerance of bad behavior is now in place. Expect a night in the cells and some heavy-handed handling from the commando trained officers. For families with young children, the best times to visit would be daytime even up to 10 PM local time when the clubbers tend to come out en masse.
  • Taxi drivers will sometimes turn off their meters and charge an arbitrary amount at the destination. Make sure they don't do this. Also, inquire after the approximate price.

Language spoken in Rhodes, Greece


Greek is the native language of the people of Rhodes. However, due to the high level of tourism English, and to a lesser extent German, is likely to be spoken by most people the traveler comes into contact with. The local dialect can be described as a 'sing-song', with strong Turkish and Italian overtones. Many words used by Rodites (Rhodians) will not be readily understood by mainland Greeks.

LOCAL TIME

8:52 am
June 18, 2019
Europe/Athens

CURRENT WEATHER

24.11 °C / 75.398 °F
scattered clouds
Wed

23.78 °C/75 °F
broken clouds
Thu

24.85 °C/77 °F
broken clouds
Fri

24.75 °C/77 °F
sky is clear
Sat

25.45 °C/78 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

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Latest travel blogs about Rhodes, Greece




The Old Town Of Rhodes. P.2


We continue walking around the city of Rhodes... Near the Old Town, there's even a small lovely beach. And a little bit away from the center, but within walking distance, there is another beach quite good as for island standards. We parked our car there, right next to it, because we...

The only place that I really liked on the island is their capital - the city of Rhodes. The city is small and everything is close there - a couple of good beaches, the Old Town, the waterfront, and even a new, modern part of the city. The biggest attraction is, perhaps, the Old Town....
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