Rhodes lies at the southern border of the Aegean Sea, 20 kilometres from Anatolia. It is the fourth-largest member of the Dodecanese islands. Its administrative centre is Rhodes. Its name is familiar to you? It’s not by coincidence. Colossus of Rhodes, the sixth wonder of the ancient world stood on this island. The monumental statue collapsed more than 2000 years ago due to an earthquake. Although, the island hides many other unbelievable wonders, such as ancient Greek sanctuaries, Roman villas, fortresses of Templars which fight against the toll of time. Its fauna is fairly diverse with orchids, peregrine falcon, small deer and countless butterflies. Best place to stay in Rhodes? Read further, and we will show it to you.
The main points of this article are the following:
- Best place to stay in Rhodes: Gleaming past
- What to see in Rhodes: Fabulous wildlife
- What to see in Rhodes: Best settlements
Rhodes was proud of its large population rate 7000 years ago. After the Stone Age, Anatolian and Phoenician boatmen set their foot on the island. Then the Cretaceous culture 3600 years ago totally transformed the town of Rhodes. During Mycenae, Achaeans ruled over the neighbourhood. Doric tribes arrived here in the 11th century B.C., many wonderful buildings preserve their presence here. Rome, Byzantium and European kingdoms have significantly affected the history of Rhodes. When you are a history fan, check our list about the best places to stay in Rhodes.
Ialyssos can be found beside Rhodes, at the north-western end of the island. It was one of the three oldest city-states, though it was founded a long time ago. Fabulous sandstone and marble buildings stones prove its foundation up to now. Besides, the view from the temple ruins is fascinating.
Acropolis of Lindos
Lindos lies on the south-eastern part of the island. It is, actually, an old fishing village, resisting the waves of the sea for 4000 years. There is an acropolis lying on the mountain top over the settlement that was constructed in the Archean times. The Greek, Byzantine, Romans and templars also used this citadel. The panorama from the top to the Saint Paul’s bay is amazing.
Acropolis of Rhodes
It is on the southern part of Rhodes. As a matter of fact, it is a huge complex. During the excavation, it was revealed that several other facilities were also here. Temples were also built for Athena and Zeus. Besides, there are plenty of caves and a stadium nearby. Moreover, an Artemis sanctuary, a school and a library, too. There should have been such a cultural and religious centre whose size and structure would be outstanding even nowadays.
Kamiros is one of the oldest city-states on the island. Its heyday was hundreds of years before Christ. The town’s construction had three levels. There was an Acropolis, an Athena temple, and an Apollo sanctuary with the Agora downstairs. There was a reservoir in the town which supplied fresh water for city inhabitants. Above all, there were theatres, schools, ports and imposing palaces in Kamiros.
Street of knights
There is a street leading from the port to the Acropolis in the Old Town of Rhodes. It deliberately goes to the East-West direction. The Knights Templars started to build lots of buildings in the 12th century. Street of knights was the centre of social life. Each nation had its own pub, the façades reflect the features of each one. This street beautifully built with arches and passages is the main sight of Rhodes. The pubs can still be found, it is worth visiting them for a glass of wine. It is worth taking a stroll at night since public lighting is similar to the light of contemporary wax torches.
Grand Masters Palace
A palace built by the Templars stands at the beginning of the Street of knights. Originally it was erected on the base of the temple dedicated to the ancient god, Helios. The floors are full of marvellous mosaics, and there are frescos on the walls. From the over 150 rooms you can visit 24. The antique 16th-century style is fascinating. Moreover, numerous Greek and Roman statues stand on its inner court.
The Turkish Bath of Rhodes was built during Ottoman invasion in 1558. It has been used up to now. Marble, mosaic and elegant fountains deck its interior. Therefore, its atmosphere is unique since it preserved its authentic layout. Spending a pleasant afternoon here means a sheer time travel.
Rhodes is not just famous for its historical monuments, but for its incomparably rich natural treasures. It possesses a greatly various terrain with mountains, valleys and temporary river bed. Its highest point is 1215 m. There are mainly cypress and pine trees in the forests. Not to mention thousands of colourful flowers and endemic animals living in the wild, romantic Rhodes. What to see in Rhodes for nature lovers? Scroll down and check it out!
Valley of butterflies
Butterfly Valley is a strictly-protected reserve where the striped tiger moths live. The butterflies actually come here for the wax of a certain storax tree that grows in a large number here. This tree is a typical Mediterranean tree and its wax is used as a fumigator. You can walk in the woods on a beautifully-built nature trail. This wooden road leads you through small streams, lakes and waterfalls. Butterflies start to move heavier more from the end of May until the end of summer when females lay eggs. You can enrol on guided tours to explore this miraculous world.
This marvellous place can be found among mountains not far from Lindos. Although seaside areas suffer from the hot dry summer weather, especially in the middle of the summer, there are tiny oases among the mountains. The freshwater coming out of the springs flows into the lake through a long tunnel. If you are brave enough, walk through the tunnel. Or you can visit a restaurant or coffee bar around the lake. Cooldown a bit by one of the springs and listen to the squeal of peacocks.
Fauna on the island
Several interesting species live on Rhodes. Dama deer has been a widespread animal since ancient times. That’s why deer is the symbol of the town. It is specially protected, just 150 species live wild in the woods of Rhodes and Lindos. Besides them there are many wild goats, though, their presence prevents the development of forests. Squalius ghigii is an endemic fish living in sweet water on the island. Migratory birds fly through this route, so you can spot many swifts and peregrines in the autumn-winter period. Wonderful multi-coloured butterflies fly over the blooming meadows. Geckos and snakes are also typical animals here.
Flora of Rhodes
Rhodes was covered with huge evergreen forests in the dawn of civilisation. Due to human activities, a significant proportion of the forest has vanished. Now bushes and meadows occupy the area. They are especially lovely in spring when flowers are blooming in many different colours. Some typical flowers are anemone, red poppy, violet and lily. Moreover, oleanders, hibiscus and bougainvillaeas make the streets and gardens fairly attractive. Imagine, over 40 types of orchids grow in parks. On a hot sunny day, you can find shade under cypress or Calabrian pine trees.
There has been a buzzing life on Rhodes since the ancient times. Settlements are amazingly attractive established in a fabulous natural background. When you are interested in the best towns, the below article shows you what to see in Rhodes.
The capital city lies on the north-western part of the island. The old town is hermetically closed from the outer, new parts with ditches and walls. It seems like a time capsule that preserves the past wonders. Curving paved streets run into every direction, sometimes meeting at small squares. The houses recall the medieval styles. One of the nicest parts is the Street of Knights. The temple with three towers erected by the Templars is amazing. In the Old Town 6 mosques preserve the memories of the Ottoman invasion. There are 30 Byzantine temples in this tiny district; some of them are over a thousand years old. The Acropolis of Rhodes and its cultural complex serve as proofs of ancient literacy. There are also many exhibitions regarding the island’s history in lots of museums.
There is a small village in the mountains in the middle of the island which is famous for tomato and watermelon production. Archaeologists proved that this area had been populated 3000 years ago. The original ancient settlement was damaged in an earthquake; thus, the new village was built a bit farther. You can, though, visit the ruins. There is a 2500-year-old platan tree under whose leaves according to a legend Apostle Paul had given a preach
Vati is surrounded by mountains. Its pub, built-in 1780, has been operating today. While walking on the streets you can recognize the style of Dodecanese architecture. Above the nice town on the mountains, several beautiful hiking trails run.
Koskinou is basically an open-air museum. The whole settlement is under protection. Painting of houses and walls has been an old tradition in this village. Buildings are painted in bright colours and covered by flower patterns. It is a breath-taking view walking among them. Above all, its beach is also very popular.
Lindos lies on a projecting small peninsula, on the north-western part of Rhodes. The town is fabulous, indeed. Its snow-white houses and tiny gardens are real pearls under the Acropolis. It has two fantastic bays with many fishing boats and its beach is always crammed.
The above article has shown you the best places to stay in Rhodes. This island reserves thousands of miracles for you. One holiday is not enough to experience everything here. If you are keen on an action-packed holiday, choose Rhodes! HELP ME TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT BOAT