RHODES

RHODES – The island of Sun

Geography

The largest island of the Dodecanese (meaning twelve islands) island group is particularly encouraged by nature. Apart from its stunning natural beauties, the island holds a preferential geographic location (in the south eastern corner of the Aegean and right opposite the coasts of Asia Minor) that has contributed to its economical and cultural growth throughout the different historical periods. The island is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres, a coastline of approximately 220 km and a population of 115.000 inhabitants, from which the majority is living in the capital. The city of Rhodes, with a population of 51.000 inhabitants, is not only the capital of the island but also of the Dodecanese prefecture. The coastline of Rhodes is embellished with golden sands, multicolored pebbles and crystalline waters. The western coast is more fertile and forested than the eastern one but also has rocky beaches. The inland is hilly and wooded, offering a lush and flowered landscape.

Main resorts

The beautiful town of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island and is divided in two parts, the old town and the new town.

 

Old Town

When entering one of the largest and best preserved medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom, it soon becomes obvious that the Old Town of Rhodes is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations; rarely does a visitor have the chance to stroll within medieval walls and explore twenty-four centuries of history (from the antiquity, the Byzantine times, the middle Ages to the Turkish rule). The fascinating medieval fortress-like buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, narrow alleys, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares make it feel like stepping back into medieval times. The Palace of the Grand Master is certainly the highlight of the Old Town. The Palace, originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century A.D., was converted in the early 14th century by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their state; now it has been turned into a museum. The cobblestoned Street of the Knights, one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, is packed with medieval inns that used to play host to the soldiers of the Order of the Knights. At the end of the Street, in the Museum Square, stands the Hospital of the Knights, which houses the Archaeological Museum. Across the square is the Church of Our Lady of the Castle, the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes in Byzantine times that became the Catholic Cathedral when the Knights occupied the city. Now it hosts the Byzantine Museum. Polidorou Street leads to a square with outdoor cafés and restaurants. Moving on, there is Sokratous Street – always buzzing with life thanks to its cluster of cafés and shops – which leads down from the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent towards the harbour. For visitors who’d like to take a detour and head off for Arionos Square, it’s a must to stroll around the “Turkish district”, where the Mustafa Pasha Mosque is located and the 16th century “Yeni Hammam” (Turkish Baths).

 

 

Outside the walls

Outside the walls of the Old Town lies the “new” city, with its magnificent Venetian, neoclassic and modern buildings. Among the most remarkable buildings that keep the memories of the island's Italian period alive are the Post Office, the Prefecture of the Dodecanese, Evangelismos Church (Church of the Annunciation), the Town Hall and the National Theatre. A stroll around Mandráki, the small marina with the Rhodian deer statue at its entrance and the surrounding windmills, is an experience not to be missed. The multicultural character of Rhodes is also evident in this part of the city, since next to the Prefecture stands the Murat Reis Mosque with its elegant minaret. Enjoy the sun and the sea at cosmopolitan Elli beach at the northern tip of Rhodes town, which is lined with modern hotels. Here you will also find the beautifully renovated historic Grande Albergo delle Rose, which today operates as a Casino. A visit to the Aquarium, one of the most important marine research centers in Greece, is a must! In the underground aquarium, reminiscent of an underwater cave, the visitor can see many of the species living in the Aegean. On the other side of the city you can visit Rodíni Park, a true paradise with many peacocks, streams and paths amidst oleander bushes, cypress, maple and pine trees. Rodini is said to be the site of the famous School of Rhetoric, where prominent Greeks and Romans, including Julius Caesar, Cato the Younger, Cicero, Pompey, Brutus, Cassius and Marc Anthony, studied. Saint Stefanos Hill (known as Monte Smith) marks the site of the Acropolis, one of the most important centres of worship, education and recreation in ancient times on Rhodes. At the top of the hill you will find the remains of the Temple of Apollo, a Hellenistic stadium and a gymnasium.

 

 

Kallithea - Faliraki

Kalithea beach is very popular among the locals, partly because it is located at short distance from Rhodes town but mainly because of its tiny inlets and coves with sculptured rocks and clean green water and of course the glamour of the magnificent Roman baths, which is the resort’s major attraction. These magnificent hot medicinal springs are no longer operational as they’re under renovation. It is a wonderful place with beautiful pine and palm trees and the building is influenced by Arabic architecture. Kalithea is a rising holiday resort offering any type of accommodation, a great variety of bars, taverns, cafes and shops and its cove has both sand and shingle beaches. Faliraki used to be a quiet little fishing village, a few kilometers south of Rhodes town, now being turned into the major touristy resort of the island. Organized beaches with clean waters can be found in front of the resort as well as a plethora of hotels and other kinds of accommodation, clubs, bars, cafes, shops and restaurants. The nightlife in Faliraki goes on all night and the cosmopolitan aspect and atmosphere of the place attracts thousands of visitors during high season.

 

 

Ialyssos

Ialyssos (or Trianda) used to be one of the three powerful cities of ancient Rhodes which acquired great fame thanks to the Olympic Champion Diagoras. Today Ialyssos is a popular cosmopolitan resort; its beach is a favourite destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing enthusiasts. Basking in the lush green of pine trees and cypresses, on the slopes of Filerimos (meaning “lover of solitude”) Hill stands the Monastery of the Virgin Mary and the ruins of an ancient acropolis. In Byzantine times, there was a fortress on the hill which, in the 13th century, became a monastery dedicated to Holy Mary. It was beautifully restored at a later stage by the Italians and the British. Directly in front of the church there are the ruins of 3rd century temples of Zeus and Athena. Visitors can walk up the “Via Crucis”, which leads to an enormous crucifix. The view from there out over Ialyssos Bay is stunning. Illuminated at night, the crucifix is clearly visible even from the nearby island of Symi.

 

 

Afandou

The village of Afandou is one of the largest villages of Rhodes, surrounded by verdant hills, and lying south of the capital of the island. Here visitors can either bask on beautiful sandy beaches or play golf on a modern 18-hole golf course that is open all year round and attracts golf enthusiasts from all over the world! The Church of Our Lady Katholiki (Catholic) is also worth-seeing for the beautiful 17th and 18th century frescoes it houses. A lovely square can be found in the heart of the village, surrounded by cafes and bars and a good selection of taverns, restaurants and shops is also available. Afandou Beach is pure marvel, combining sand and pebbles along with crystalline waters; this long beach that spreads for over 4 kilometers has been awarded by the EU Blue Flag for its cleanliness.

 

 

Kolymbia

It is a fairly discrete coastal resort, and does not provide the ostentatious luxury of Ixia or the intensity of Faliraki. It is very beautiful and also green thanks to its location nearby the Seven Springs. The hotels here are set well apart, and there are only a handful of restaurants and shops. All this makes it an ideal place for those seeking peace and relaxation, mainly couples and families. Right below the Eucalyptus Road, built by the Italians, is the main beach (fine sand and pebble), while to the right and left there are hotels with their own private beaches. The lush green Eucalyptus road leads through a forest and along the banks of the River Loutanis to Archipoli, a picturesque rural village. The route is ideal for walking or cycling.

 

 

Petaloudes

The area of Petaloudes (meaning Butterflies) includes the villages of Kremasti, Paradisi and Theologos. Kremasti, one of the biggest and liveliest settlements on the island, is famous for its major festival of the Virgin Mary on 15th August, while the beach is perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing. However, the most fascinating and popular attraction of the region is the Valley of the Butterflies, a habitat of unique value for the reproduction of the Panaxia Quadripunctaria butterfly. Huge numbers of butterflies congregate in this small shaded valley during the final stage of their life cycle. Every year, at the end of the wet season (late May), thousands of butterflies attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees cover the entire landscape. Here visitors can admire an atmosphere of incomparable beauty with lush vegetation and streams with beautiful waterfalls when peacefully strolling along cleverly laid paths. Also well worth a visit in the Valley is the Museum of Natural History.

 

 

Archangelos

This traditional village spreads along a valley, but on top of a huge rock above it, there is a Venetian castle. Archangelos was rebuilt in medieval times away from its initial site by the sea (to guard it from pirate raids) and the Knights of Saint John later protected it by building a castle. The tradition of ancient arts and crafts – such as pottery and hand-made tapestries – is more evident in Archangelos than anywhere else. The locals live a more simple life style, almost untouched by the rapid growth in tourism elsewhere on the island and still reverentially maintain their age-old traditions, customs, their local dialect and even the distinctive decoration of their houses. The Church of the Archangel Michael which is dominating the village and has a fine 19th century campanile as well as the Church of Saint John which houses beautiful frescoes dating back to the 14th century are really worth the visit. Some streets of the village are particularly picturesque because of the traditional houses filling them. Those beautiful houses are painted with vivid colours and have arches and walls beautifully decorated with ceramic plates from the village of Lindos. The area is famous for its golden beaches, such as Tsambika Beach at the foot of a steep cliff, where there is also the famous monastery of the Virgin Mary. Stegna is a picturesque resort close to Archangelos, while at Charaki (with its idyllic small bay) visitors can see the ruins of a medieval castle: Faraklos. At the northern edge of the region lies “Epta Piges” (Seven Springs), a green valley with clear flowing waters and covered with enormous plane and pine trees.

 

 

Kamiros

Kamiros was one of the three most powerful cities of ancient Rhodes and flourished during the 6th and 5th century BC. The ruins of the city and the neighbouring necropolis were discovered in 1859; magnificent public buildings, a market, temples, houses and an acropolis on the hill top bear eloquent witness to the splendour and wealth of ancient Kamiros. It is also worth exploring the surrounding villages, such as Soroni on the north coast and Fanes to the south, a nice spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The road from Kalavarda leads you to Salakos, a traditional village with lush vegetation and flowing springs. From there you can climb up Profitis Ilias Mountain, with its classic Italian hotels in the forest and a chapel on the summit. On the mountain slopes, there are several smaller villages with springs and age-old plane trees: Eleousa, Platania (“plane trees”), Apolonas and Dimilia, famous for its Byzantine chapel of Aghios Nikolaos (also called Fountoukli).

 

 

Lindos

A magnificent acropolis on an imposing rock. Nestling at the foot of a steep rock and beautifully surrounded by the sea lies the traditional settlement of Lindos; on the top of the same rock stands a centuries-old acropolis, proudly overlooking the archipelagos. The acropolis bears silent witness to Lindos’ glorious past, a major naval power of ancient times which reputedly had a population of 17,000. The landscape of Lindos encapsulates the essence of Rhodes: a surprisingly felicitous blend of ancient and medieval! With 600,000 visitors annually, Lindos competes with Delphi as the second most visited archeological site in Greece. The enchanting Lindos village is located south of the capital, on the eastern coast of the island. The view of the amphitheatrically built village with its cubic houses sprawling down the hillside under the acropolis is one of the most photographed scenes in Greece. The whitewashed labyrinth of narrow alleyways was deliberately designed to confuse pirates; today this layout makes strolling around the town a real adventure! The winding streets of the traditional well-preserved settlement of Lindos form a great backdrop to a rejuvenating evening stroll. There are picture-perfect medieval mansions built around pebble-paved courtyards with emblems on their heavy wooden doorways. Arched entrances adorn the streets adding a cosmopolitan flair to the settlement. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Virgin Mary of Lindos church in the centre of the village which is full of 15th century frescoes. By following a path through the village or by hiring a donkey from the main square you can climb to the ancient acropolis, which is surrounded by well-preserved walls. Here you can see the remains of buildings from ancient times, the Byzantine era and the era of the Knights, such as Doric temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylea, the ancient theatre carved from a rock, the large Hellenistic arcade, the Byzantine chapel of Ayios Ioannis and the castle of the Knights of Saint John.

 

 

Southern Rhodes

In southern Rhodes nature is unveiled in all its splendour: sun-drenched bays stretch from Kiotari and Genadi to Lahania, Plimiri and Prassonisi, the southernmost tip of the island and a popular location for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The villages of the area were built in medieval times, or even earlier, and still maintain their traditional colour, just as their inhabitants still maintain their local dialect, traditional customs and even the traditional decoration of their houses. Visitors are invited to follow old paths and discover the beauty of golden fields and shady woods, gentle hills and valleys –magical landscapes that will rejuvenate body and soul.

 

Nearby Islands

  • Kastellorizo (or Megisti) is the easternmost island in Greece, with a long and stormy history. Only 300 people live on the island today but the town and its magnificent neo-classical houses reveal the former prosperity of the island.
  • Chalki (a former sponge diver centre) is famous for its Theological School, which unfortunately does not operate anymore. Emborio, with its grand houses and a picturesque waterfront offering fresh fish, is the only inhabited hamlet on the island. Chorio and the Knights’ Castle are both well worth visiting.
  • Symi is an hour away by boat from Mandraki harbor. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Symi used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today Symi attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved and picturesque neo-classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
  • Tilos, located northwest of Rhodes, with its imposing mountains, rocky and steep coasts, beaches with crystal clear water and caves and medieval castles. The island’s harbour is at Livadia, and from there the village of Mikro Chorio (“Small Village”), deserted since 1950, can be visited. At Megalo Chorio (“Big Village) there is the Palaeontology Museum, where petrified skeletons of dwarf elephants can be seen.

 

History

Due to its strategic position (on the crossroad between the East and the West), Rhodes has been under constant attacks and dominations from the early times but because of this it brought to the island great wealth and made the city of Rhodes one of the leading cities of the ancient Greek world. The different people who settled on Rhodes left their mark in all aspects of the island's culture, art, language and architecture. The island of Rhodes was inhabited since Neolithic times, and was an important Bronze Age center. Later, Rhodes, along with Kos, Knidos, and Hallicarnassos was a major Dorian hub in the eastern Mediterranean. After the naval Battle of Salamis and the defeat of the Persians, the island became a part of the Delian League, an organization of which Athens was the leader. During this time the city of Rhodes was built by the inhabitants of the three earliest city states (Ialysos, Lindos, and Kamiros) with purpose to be the new capital of the island. The ancient city of Rhodes, the construction of which began in 407 BC, was designed according to the city planning system devised by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. During the Hellenistic Era, Rhodes became a major naval power with influence over the southeastern Aegean as its ports connected Italy and Greece with Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Egypt and was an important trading center in the east Mediterranean. With the reign of Alexander the Great, Rhodes was under brief subjection to Macedonian rule. After the fall and fragmentation of the Empire of Macedonia, the island of Rhodes fought for its freedom and, after a long siege, triumphed in 305 BC. It was during this period that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was constructed and straddled the harbour; this impressive giant statue was demolished during an earthquake. When the island became a province of the Roman, and later the Byzantine Empire, it initially lost its ancient glory. Then the Venetians and the Genovese took the island, followed by the Knights of Saint John in 1309 who left imposing evidence of their presence and gave the island the particular character it retains to this day. They fortified the City of Rhodes with impregnable walls, citadels, castles, churches, hospitals and built the Palace of the Grand Masters, in order to protect the island and turning it into an important administrative centre and a thriving multinational medieval city. In 1523 Rhodes was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, lead by Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Greeks had to settle outside the city walls. After the fall of Rhodes, Charles V. and the Pope were instrumental in finding the knights a new home in Malta. After that time they were known as the Knights of Malta. During the Ottoman occupation, new buildings were erected within the Old Town, mainly mosques and baths. In 1912 Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese, were seized by the Italians after a short siege. Under the direction of the fascist regime, the new rulers embellished the city with magnificent buildings, wide roads and squares. The Palace of the Grand Master was rebuilt and the Street of the Knights was reconstructed in order to regain its medieval purity. British and Greek forces liberated the island in 1943, and Rhodes eventually joined Greece as part of the Dodecanese in March 7, 1948. In 1988 the Medieval City of Rhodes was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Culture

A well cosmopolitan atmosphere prevails on the island. Despite the fact that the islanders have received almost constant influence from foreign visitors, they have remained the same namely uncomplicated, kind-hearted and hospitable. Their intelligence and their business acumen have led to economic development but this has not influenced their behavior, either towards their fellow islanders or tourists. Polite, sociable and comfortable in their relationships with foreigners, they have a deep love for their island and do whatever they can to make sure the travelers obtain a good impression. Perhaps one would not be able to discern these features at once during the height of the tourist season but it is certain they do exist; it is just that the opportunity might not arise to discover them. Rhodians are merrymakers, shown by the number of dances and festivals they organize. No opportunity goes unexploited. Sometimes it is the feast-day of a saint, sometimes the major holidays of the year, sometimes a joyous anniversary, other times some happy event; they all supply an excuse for merrymaking and dancing which even draws in spectators during the height of the festivities.

Gastronomy

As Rhodes has always been a crossroad of different cultures, the taste and the ingredients of the local cuisine derive from the surrounding continents Asia, Europe and Africa but it remains above all Mediterranean. These various elements were selected, filtered and finally re-invented with a very distinct local character. Since ancient times the base of Rhodian cuisine has always been wheat and olives, while most food products come from island’s farming and fishing. Today Rhodian culinary delights include delicacies of the sea, a great variety of original salads using new products such as avocado, arugula and tarragon cultivated on the island and magnificent meat dishes as well as a wide range of sweets and desserts made mainly of cereals, olive oil, nuts, fruits, honey and herbs.

Rhodian specialties

Avranas: Wild asparagus roasted with olive oil and onions and topped with flour and lemon juice.
Casserole: Braised meat with potatoes in the oven, served with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and wine. Traditional recipe, served mainly at weddings.
Goat stew: Goat traditionally cooked with rice and cinnamon.
Baked red pumpkin: Slices of red pumpkin, onion and mint baked in the oven.
Koulouria: A kind of pasta, served with plenty of grated cheese, traditionally served at weddings.
Karavoli giachnistoi: Snails boiled in a pot with onions, olive oil, tomato, pepper, bay leaves and cumin.
Pirgouri or Pergouri: Whole wheat cooked with bay leaves and bitter orange leaves. It is used like rice for pilaf and soups, delicious with baked pork in the oven.
Trahanas: Wheat and sheep or goats milk, made in August with the new crop of wheat. It is a nutritious soup accompanied by small pieces of cheese.
Barbounofasoula: Red beans with oil, chopped parsley, onion, tomato, pepper and salt.
Fish marinade: Fish marinated with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Pitaroudia: A kind of fried appetizer with chickpeas, onion and tomato.
Pouggia: Pies filled with greens.
Almond white: Marzipan sweets from blanched almonds, lemon juice and rosewater, fashioned apple or pear- shaped, wrapped in sugar. Treat for the wedding guests.
Katimeria: Small rolls with a hole in the middle filled with honey.
Melekouni: It is a local sweet of the Dodecanese with sesame, almonds, herbs and honey that is offered with the wedding invitations, wedding preparations and on the wedding day.
Moschopougkia: Sweet from walnuts, whitewashed almonds, grated nutmeg, sugar and rosewater.
Takakia: Pastry filled with walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.

Highlights / Things to see

  • Butterfly valley
  • Lindos Acropolis
  • Old Town
  • Seven springs
  • Ancient Kamiros

Events

  • Medieval Rose festival
    The Medieval Rose Festival is the most delightful and joyful event which is held during the second half of May until the end of June. It includes all kinds of art and crafts of the time and is inspired by history, myths, legends and traditions of the middle ages. Participants dressed as brave knight’s, charming ladies, wizards, fairies and witches as wandering mistrals, parade around the old town and take part in fights, bazaars & theatrical performances. Everybody plays his part to make the festival a complete success to amuse and entertain their visitors. The aim of this festival is to revive the long history, culture and legends of the island, which flourished during the medieval times.
  • 'Sound & Light' performances in the old Town
    It is one of its major tourist attractions, attracting visitors from all over the world. This impressive form of art has grown in popularity over the years and it is like a drama without any actors. The blend of light, sound and speech beautifully projects some of the greatest stories from the history of Rhodes Island. The multilingual show takes place every evening during summer at the municipal garden and mainly deals with the fight of the Rhodians with the Turkish army. The period of history when knights existed in Europe will come to life in front of your eyes while watching this magnificent Sound and Light show at Rhodes. A good amount of research has been put into the script. The Palace of the Grand Master, the gardens, the tower of Suleyman and other famous landmarks are frequently presented.
  • The Flower Festival
    Around mid- May, the Rhodes Cultural Organization organizes the annual Flower Festival (Anthestiria) with a guaranteed spectacular show of flowers and theme floats decorated for this parade that takes place at the Mandraki harbour.
  • The Cultural Events organized by the municipality and the cultural society of Rhodes during summer (from July to September) consist of various concerts (classical/modern music by famous Greek and International artists) and frequent theatrical performances. There are also several art exhibitions taking place throughout the summer.

Excursion program

Rhodes City

City Tour

Start your tour with a drive to Mount Smith once the Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the temple of Athena, the view encompasses the Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port. Enter the fortified city through the Amboise Gate and walk to the Palace of the Grand Masters.

You will continue down the Street of the Knights, its paths paved with colourful marble and superb mosaics, past medieval towers and emblazoned facades. You will also have free time to do some shopping at the bazaar.

Type of excursion: Culture & shopping/ half day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes 1 hours
Old Town (D’Amboise Gate) 2 hours
Free time in Old Town 1 hour
Back to Hotel 14:30-15:00 or 18:30-19:00 in afternoon tour
Butterflies Valley - Rhodes

Island Tour

Pick up from your hotel. Arrival at Lindos the most famous and beautiful spot of the island. Lindos is an attractive village of small white houses and narrow streets where cars are not allowed. It is also the site of an ancient acropolis from where the view is breathtaking. Our next stop is at the Venetian castle of Monolithos. On the top of the 300 m rock there is a small church dedicated to Saint Panteleimon.

Then we visit the village of Siana where we stop for Souma and honey tasting, the two traditional products of the island and finally we reach Embona where we have a traditional Greek lunch. At Embona people have the chance to see a small family wine factory with many awards and medals worldwide as Embona is a place where grapes can grow in ideal conditions. Our last visit is at the Butterflies valley.*

This valley is home to thousands of butterflies that flood the valley in order to reproduce and is a biotope unique in the world, surviving untouched in its own dimension. The Valley runs the river Pelekanos, which is fed by small, rushing waterfalls.

*Butterflies season July – Sep. / before and after season stop will be at Filerimos

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Acropolis of Lindos guided tour 2½ hours
Monolithos photo stop 15 minutes
Siana commercial stop (local products) 20 minutes
Embona lunch 1 hour
Winery stop (Emery) 30 minutes
Butterflies valley 1 hour
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
Symi Island by boat

Symi Island by boat

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Rhodes harbor. This boat trip takes you to the perfectly formed harbour of Symi one of the most beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village with neo classical white and pastel yellow houses.

There you have free time to walk through the narrow streets, shop for local handicrafts and natural sponges, eat fresh seafood in a local tavern or soak up some sun in an open air café. In the south of the island along the inlet stands the massive building of Panormitis Monastery.

This monastery is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and has a charming bell tower and a beautiful 12th century church. It is a well-known spot of great interest and attracts many visitors and worshippers who come to see the Byzantine frescoes and engraved temple full of golden offerings.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Panormitis Monastery 1 hour
Symi Island 3 hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00
Chalki Island by boat

Chalki Island by boat

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Kamiros Skala harbor. This boat trip takes you to the small paradise Chalki. Time has not touched this small fishing island, it’s the ideal place for those who want to avoid crowded and cosmopolitan tourist resorts and seek for a quiet place as there are not many cars, not many shops, no bars, no disco and no water sports.

The small (400m) port is very beautiful with pretty colorful houses, fishing boats, small coffee shops and few fish taverns. You will have plenty of time to walk around to swim at the crystal turquoise water or to enjoy a delicious lunch with fresh fish.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Chalki Island (Kamiros port) 3½ hours
Back to Hotel 18:00-19:00
Marmaris

Marmaris

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Rhodes harbor. Discover with us a foreign culture and a different continent. After only one hour trip with a (hydrofoil – Catamaran) you reach the coast of Asia Minor – Turkey. Explore the popular resort of Marmaris by a city tour and see its beautiful red covered houses surrounded by green mountains and the Bay of Mermaids. Visit a typical jewelry - leather shop.

Feel the exotic atmosphere, the oriental sounds and the smell of the spices. Typical are the narrow streets with the bazaars, the boutiques, the art shops, the jewelry and the leather and carpet shops. Other very famous Turkish products are embroidery and pine honey.

What you must not forget is that you have to bargain in order to get the right price! Walk in the lively bazaars and feel free to be invited for mint tea or a small talk. Experience two different countries in one day.

Type of excursion: Recreation, culture & shopping / full day
Should take: passport, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Marmaris 5 hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00
Greek Night

Greek Night

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Afandu Village. A fantastic night out for everyone, find out how Greeks have fun, join the Greek ballet and dance Zorbas the Greek.

This is a great chance to feel the Greek hospitality in a traditional family tavern with original Greek specialties (village bread, tzatziki, Greek salad, and souvlaki) and free flowing local wine. You will experience an unforgettable party with folklore music from all over Greece.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / half day
Should take: camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Afandu village 3½ hours
Included Typical Greek food and local drinks
Back to Hotel 23:00-00:30
4x4 Safari North

4x4 Safari North

The day is a mixture of beautiful nature, panoramic views, exciting off-road driving, traditional Greek villages and lots of fun. We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels. We drive through Maritsa and immediately start off-road driving.

Passing through Psinthos and riverbed (with water) we will go to the Seven Springs for a coffee stop and to guide the group through the tunnel as well. After half an hour we will continue the off road and the next stop will be at Fountoukli (a beautiful 15th century memorial).

Then off again for another bumpy drive through the mountains before heading towards the Aegean. Partly off-road again we’ll drive down to Fanes to have free time for lunch and a swim stop at the beach. Enjoy Greek specialties like souvlaki & tzatziki. We continue from Ag. Sylla and are passing breathtaking views and unbelievable steep hills.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / half day
Should take: camera, sunglasses, hat, swimming suits and driving license

Stops Approximate time of stay
Mountain, beach, rivers 6 hours
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
East Coast by boat

East Coast by boat

We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels and drive you to the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes town. We depart by boat along the east part of the island. Our swim stops* will be at:

  • Anthony Quinn
  • Tsambika Beach - For a swim stop approx. 2hours stop + lunch on board
  • Afandou Beach
  • Kalithea Beach

*Due to weather conditions the swim stops may vary and can be adapted by the captain.

Type of excursion: Recreation / full day
Should take: camera, sunglasses, hat, swimming suits

Stops Approximate time of stay
Several swim stops 6 hours
Included Lunch on boat (drinks exclu.)
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
Lindos by boat

Lindos by boat

We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels and drive you to the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes town. We depart by boat along the east part of the island to Lindos. Arrival at Lindos the most famous and beautiful spot of the island.

Lindos is an attractive village of small white houses and narrow streets where cars are not allowed. It is also the site of an ancient acropolis from where the view is breathtaking. You can explore the tow and the Acropolis easily by food before returning back to the city of Rhodes.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Free time 2½ hours
Back to Hotel 18:00-19:00
Fethiye by boat

Fethiye by boat

This excursion will promise you a fantastic historical experience in the beautiful region of Fethiye. After your departure from Rhodes a light breakfast will be served on the boat. When you arrive in Fethiye you will meet your guide and this is where your discovery of Fethiye history will begin. Your first stop will be at the Fethiye amphitheater followed by the Lycian rock tombs and then up to the beautiful Kaya Village.

After visiting these wonderful and historical sites will savour the delights of our traditional Turkish delight at the Fethiye Turkish Delight factory. Please take this opportunity to sample these sweet delicacies.

Shopping finished we will return to Fethiye where you will have the option of joining us at the famous Fethiye Fish Market where you can enjoy freshly caught sea fish cooked for you. Or if you prefer you can enjoy free time wandering the old Fethiye Bazar before returning trip to Rhodes.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Passport, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Free time 2½ hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00
 

RHODES

RHODES – The island of Sun

Geography

The largest island of the Dodecanese (meaning twelve islands) island group is particularly encouraged by nature. Apart from its stunning natural beauties, the island holds a preferential geographic location (in the south eastern corner of the Aegean and right opposite the coasts of Asia Minor) that has contributed to its economical and cultural growth throughout the different historical periods. The island is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres, a coastline of approximately 220 km and a population of 115.000 inhabitants, from which the majority is living in the capital. The city of Rhodes, with a population of 51.000 inhabitants, is not only the capital of the island but also of the Dodecanese prefecture. The coastline of Rhodes is embellished with golden sands, multicolored pebbles and crystalline waters. The western coast is more fertile and forested than the eastern one but also has rocky beaches. The inland is hilly and wooded, offering a lush and flowered landscape.

Main resorts

The beautiful town of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island and is divided in two parts, the old town and the new town.

 

Old Town

When entering one of the largest and best preserved medieval towns in Europe through the Gate of Freedom, it soon becomes obvious that the Old Town of Rhodes is a mosaic of different cultures and civilizations; rarely does a visitor have the chance to stroll within medieval walls and explore twenty-four centuries of history (from the antiquity, the Byzantine times, the middle Ages to the Turkish rule). The fascinating medieval fortress-like buildings, the bastions, walls, gates, narrow alleys, minarets, old houses, fountains, tranquil and busy squares make it feel like stepping back into medieval times. The Palace of the Grand Master is certainly the highlight of the Old Town. The Palace, originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century A.D., was converted in the early 14th century by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their state; now it has been turned into a museum. The cobblestoned Street of the Knights, one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, is packed with medieval inns that used to play host to the soldiers of the Order of the Knights. At the end of the Street, in the Museum Square, stands the Hospital of the Knights, which houses the Archaeological Museum. Across the square is the Church of Our Lady of the Castle, the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes in Byzantine times that became the Catholic Cathedral when the Knights occupied the city. Now it hosts the Byzantine Museum. Polidorou Street leads to a square with outdoor cafés and restaurants. Moving on, there is Sokratous Street – always buzzing with life thanks to its cluster of cafés and shops – which leads down from the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent towards the harbour. For visitors who’d like to take a detour and head off for Arionos Square, it’s a must to stroll around the “Turkish district”, where the Mustafa Pasha Mosque is located and the 16th century “Yeni Hammam” (Turkish Baths).

 

 

Outside the walls

Outside the walls of the Old Town lies the “new” city, with its magnificent Venetian, neoclassic and modern buildings. Among the most remarkable buildings that keep the memories of the island's Italian period alive are the Post Office, the Prefecture of the Dodecanese, Evangelismos Church (Church of the Annunciation), the Town Hall and the National Theatre. A stroll around Mandráki, the small marina with the Rhodian deer statue at its entrance and the surrounding windmills, is an experience not to be missed. The multicultural character of Rhodes is also evident in this part of the city, since next to the Prefecture stands the Murat Reis Mosque with its elegant minaret. Enjoy the sun and the sea at cosmopolitan Elli beach at the northern tip of Rhodes town, which is lined with modern hotels. Here you will also find the beautifully renovated historic Grande Albergo delle Rose, which today operates as a Casino. A visit to the Aquarium, one of the most important marine research centers in Greece, is a must! In the underground aquarium, reminiscent of an underwater cave, the visitor can see many of the species living in the Aegean. On the other side of the city you can visit Rodíni Park, a true paradise with many peacocks, streams and paths amidst oleander bushes, cypress, maple and pine trees. Rodini is said to be the site of the famous School of Rhetoric, where prominent Greeks and Romans, including Julius Caesar, Cato the Younger, Cicero, Pompey, Brutus, Cassius and Marc Anthony, studied. Saint Stefanos Hill (known as Monte Smith) marks the site of the Acropolis, one of the most important centres of worship, education and recreation in ancient times on Rhodes. At the top of the hill you will find the remains of the Temple of Apollo, a Hellenistic stadium and a gymnasium.

 

 

Kallithea - Faliraki

Kalithea beach is very popular among the locals, partly because it is located at short distance from Rhodes town but mainly because of its tiny inlets and coves with sculptured rocks and clean green water and of course the glamour of the magnificent Roman baths, which is the resort’s major attraction. These magnificent hot medicinal springs are no longer operational as they’re under renovation. It is a wonderful place with beautiful pine and palm trees and the building is influenced by Arabic architecture. Kalithea is a rising holiday resort offering any type of accommodation, a great variety of bars, taverns, cafes and shops and its cove has both sand and shingle beaches. Faliraki used to be a quiet little fishing village, a few kilometers south of Rhodes town, now being turned into the major touristy resort of the island. Organized beaches with clean waters can be found in front of the resort as well as a plethora of hotels and other kinds of accommodation, clubs, bars, cafes, shops and restaurants. The nightlife in Faliraki goes on all night and the cosmopolitan aspect and atmosphere of the place attracts thousands of visitors during high season.

 

 

Ialyssos

Ialyssos (or Trianda) used to be one of the three powerful cities of ancient Rhodes which acquired great fame thanks to the Olympic Champion Diagoras. Today Ialyssos is a popular cosmopolitan resort; its beach is a favourite destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing enthusiasts. Basking in the lush green of pine trees and cypresses, on the slopes of Filerimos (meaning “lover of solitude”) Hill stands the Monastery of the Virgin Mary and the ruins of an ancient acropolis. In Byzantine times, there was a fortress on the hill which, in the 13th century, became a monastery dedicated to Holy Mary. It was beautifully restored at a later stage by the Italians and the British. Directly in front of the church there are the ruins of 3rd century temples of Zeus and Athena. Visitors can walk up the “Via Crucis”, which leads to an enormous crucifix. The view from there out over Ialyssos Bay is stunning. Illuminated at night, the crucifix is clearly visible even from the nearby island of Symi.

 

 

Afandou

The village of Afandou is one of the largest villages of Rhodes, surrounded by verdant hills, and lying south of the capital of the island. Here visitors can either bask on beautiful sandy beaches or play golf on a modern 18-hole golf course that is open all year round and attracts golf enthusiasts from all over the world! The Church of Our Lady Katholiki (Catholic) is also worth-seeing for the beautiful 17th and 18th century frescoes it houses. A lovely square can be found in the heart of the village, surrounded by cafes and bars and a good selection of taverns, restaurants and shops is also available. Afandou Beach is pure marvel, combining sand and pebbles along with crystalline waters; this long beach that spreads for over 4 kilometers has been awarded by the EU Blue Flag for its cleanliness.

 

 

Kolymbia

It is a fairly discrete coastal resort, and does not provide the ostentatious luxury of Ixia or the intensity of Faliraki. It is very beautiful and also green thanks to its location nearby the Seven Springs. The hotels here are set well apart, and there are only a handful of restaurants and shops. All this makes it an ideal place for those seeking peace and relaxation, mainly couples and families. Right below the Eucalyptus Road, built by the Italians, is the main beach (fine sand and pebble), while to the right and left there are hotels with their own private beaches. The lush green Eucalyptus road leads through a forest and along the banks of the River Loutanis to Archipoli, a picturesque rural village. The route is ideal for walking or cycling.

 

 

Petaloudes

The area of Petaloudes (meaning Butterflies) includes the villages of Kremasti, Paradisi and Theologos. Kremasti, one of the biggest and liveliest settlements on the island, is famous for its major festival of the Virgin Mary on 15th August, while the beach is perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing. However, the most fascinating and popular attraction of the region is the Valley of the Butterflies, a habitat of unique value for the reproduction of the Panaxia Quadripunctaria butterfly. Huge numbers of butterflies congregate in this small shaded valley during the final stage of their life cycle. Every year, at the end of the wet season (late May), thousands of butterflies attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees cover the entire landscape. Here visitors can admire an atmosphere of incomparable beauty with lush vegetation and streams with beautiful waterfalls when peacefully strolling along cleverly laid paths. Also well worth a visit in the Valley is the Museum of Natural History.

 

 

Archangelos

This traditional village spreads along a valley, but on top of a huge rock above it, there is a Venetian castle. Archangelos was rebuilt in medieval times away from its initial site by the sea (to guard it from pirate raids) and the Knights of Saint John later protected it by building a castle. The tradition of ancient arts and crafts – such as pottery and hand-made tapestries – is more evident in Archangelos than anywhere else. The locals live a more simple life style, almost untouched by the rapid growth in tourism elsewhere on the island and still reverentially maintain their age-old traditions, customs, their local dialect and even the distinctive decoration of their houses. The Church of the Archangel Michael which is dominating the village and has a fine 19th century campanile as well as the Church of Saint John which houses beautiful frescoes dating back to the 14th century are really worth the visit. Some streets of the village are particularly picturesque because of the traditional houses filling them. Those beautiful houses are painted with vivid colours and have arches and walls beautifully decorated with ceramic plates from the village of Lindos. The area is famous for its golden beaches, such as Tsambika Beach at the foot of a steep cliff, where there is also the famous monastery of the Virgin Mary. Stegna is a picturesque resort close to Archangelos, while at Charaki (with its idyllic small bay) visitors can see the ruins of a medieval castle: Faraklos. At the northern edge of the region lies “Epta Piges” (Seven Springs), a green valley with clear flowing waters and covered with enormous plane and pine trees.

 

 

Kamiros

Kamiros was one of the three most powerful cities of ancient Rhodes and flourished during the 6th and 5th century BC. The ruins of the city and the neighbouring necropolis were discovered in 1859; magnificent public buildings, a market, temples, houses and an acropolis on the hill top bear eloquent witness to the splendour and wealth of ancient Kamiros. It is also worth exploring the surrounding villages, such as Soroni on the north coast and Fanes to the south, a nice spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The road from Kalavarda leads you to Salakos, a traditional village with lush vegetation and flowing springs. From there you can climb up Profitis Ilias Mountain, with its classic Italian hotels in the forest and a chapel on the summit. On the mountain slopes, there are several smaller villages with springs and age-old plane trees: Eleousa, Platania (“plane trees”), Apolonas and Dimilia, famous for its Byzantine chapel of Aghios Nikolaos (also called Fountoukli).

 

 

Lindos

A magnificent acropolis on an imposing rock. Nestling at the foot of a steep rock and beautifully surrounded by the sea lies the traditional settlement of Lindos; on the top of the same rock stands a centuries-old acropolis, proudly overlooking the archipelagos. The acropolis bears silent witness to Lindos’ glorious past, a major naval power of ancient times which reputedly had a population of 17,000. The landscape of Lindos encapsulates the essence of Rhodes: a surprisingly felicitous blend of ancient and medieval! With 600,000 visitors annually, Lindos competes with Delphi as the second most visited archeological site in Greece. The enchanting Lindos village is located south of the capital, on the eastern coast of the island. The view of the amphitheatrically built village with its cubic houses sprawling down the hillside under the acropolis is one of the most photographed scenes in Greece. The whitewashed labyrinth of narrow alleyways was deliberately designed to confuse pirates; today this layout makes strolling around the town a real adventure! The winding streets of the traditional well-preserved settlement of Lindos form a great backdrop to a rejuvenating evening stroll. There are picture-perfect medieval mansions built around pebble-paved courtyards with emblems on their heavy wooden doorways. Arched entrances adorn the streets adding a cosmopolitan flair to the settlement. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Virgin Mary of Lindos church in the centre of the village which is full of 15th century frescoes. By following a path through the village or by hiring a donkey from the main square you can climb to the ancient acropolis, which is surrounded by well-preserved walls. Here you can see the remains of buildings from ancient times, the Byzantine era and the era of the Knights, such as Doric temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylea, the ancient theatre carved from a rock, the large Hellenistic arcade, the Byzantine chapel of Ayios Ioannis and the castle of the Knights of Saint John.

 

 

Southern Rhodes

In southern Rhodes nature is unveiled in all its splendour: sun-drenched bays stretch from Kiotari and Genadi to Lahania, Plimiri and Prassonisi, the southernmost tip of the island and a popular location for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The villages of the area were built in medieval times, or even earlier, and still maintain their traditional colour, just as their inhabitants still maintain their local dialect, traditional customs and even the traditional decoration of their houses. Visitors are invited to follow old paths and discover the beauty of golden fields and shady woods, gentle hills and valleys –magical landscapes that will rejuvenate body and soul.

 

Nearby Islands

  • Kastellorizo (or Megisti) is the easternmost island in Greece, with a long and stormy history. Only 300 people live on the island today but the town and its magnificent neo-classical houses reveal the former prosperity of the island.
  • Chalki (a former sponge diver centre) is famous for its Theological School, which unfortunately does not operate anymore. Emborio, with its grand houses and a picturesque waterfront offering fresh fish, is the only inhabited hamlet on the island. Chorio and the Knights’ Castle are both well worth visiting.
  • Symi is an hour away by boat from Mandraki harbor. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Symi used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today Symi attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved and picturesque neo-classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
  • Tilos, located northwest of Rhodes, with its imposing mountains, rocky and steep coasts, beaches with crystal clear water and caves and medieval castles. The island’s harbour is at Livadia, and from there the village of Mikro Chorio (“Small Village”), deserted since 1950, can be visited. At Megalo Chorio (“Big Village) there is the Palaeontology Museum, where petrified skeletons of dwarf elephants can be seen.

 

History

Due to its strategic position (on the crossroad between the East and the West), Rhodes has been under constant attacks and dominations from the early times but because of this it brought to the island great wealth and made the city of Rhodes one of the leading cities of the ancient Greek world. The different people who settled on Rhodes left their mark in all aspects of the island's culture, art, language and architecture. The island of Rhodes was inhabited since Neolithic times, and was an important Bronze Age center. Later, Rhodes, along with Kos, Knidos, and Hallicarnassos was a major Dorian hub in the eastern Mediterranean. After the naval Battle of Salamis and the defeat of the Persians, the island became a part of the Delian League, an organization of which Athens was the leader. During this time the city of Rhodes was built by the inhabitants of the three earliest city states (Ialysos, Lindos, and Kamiros) with purpose to be the new capital of the island. The ancient city of Rhodes, the construction of which began in 407 BC, was designed according to the city planning system devised by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. During the Hellenistic Era, Rhodes became a major naval power with influence over the southeastern Aegean as its ports connected Italy and Greece with Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Egypt and was an important trading center in the east Mediterranean. With the reign of Alexander the Great, Rhodes was under brief subjection to Macedonian rule. After the fall and fragmentation of the Empire of Macedonia, the island of Rhodes fought for its freedom and, after a long siege, triumphed in 305 BC. It was during this period that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was constructed and straddled the harbour; this impressive giant statue was demolished during an earthquake. When the island became a province of the Roman, and later the Byzantine Empire, it initially lost its ancient glory. Then the Venetians and the Genovese took the island, followed by the Knights of Saint John in 1309 who left imposing evidence of their presence and gave the island the particular character it retains to this day. They fortified the City of Rhodes with impregnable walls, citadels, castles, churches, hospitals and built the Palace of the Grand Masters, in order to protect the island and turning it into an important administrative centre and a thriving multinational medieval city. In 1523 Rhodes was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, lead by Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Greeks had to settle outside the city walls. After the fall of Rhodes, Charles V. and the Pope were instrumental in finding the knights a new home in Malta. After that time they were known as the Knights of Malta. During the Ottoman occupation, new buildings were erected within the Old Town, mainly mosques and baths. In 1912 Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese, were seized by the Italians after a short siege. Under the direction of the fascist regime, the new rulers embellished the city with magnificent buildings, wide roads and squares. The Palace of the Grand Master was rebuilt and the Street of the Knights was reconstructed in order to regain its medieval purity. British and Greek forces liberated the island in 1943, and Rhodes eventually joined Greece as part of the Dodecanese in March 7, 1948. In 1988 the Medieval City of Rhodes was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Culture

A well cosmopolitan atmosphere prevails on the island. Despite the fact that the islanders have received almost constant influence from foreign visitors, they have remained the same namely uncomplicated, kind-hearted and hospitable. Their intelligence and their business acumen have led to economic development but this has not influenced their behavior, either towards their fellow islanders or tourists. Polite, sociable and comfortable in their relationships with foreigners, they have a deep love for their island and do whatever they can to make sure the travelers obtain a good impression. Perhaps one would not be able to discern these features at once during the height of the tourist season but it is certain they do exist; it is just that the opportunity might not arise to discover them. Rhodians are merrymakers, shown by the number of dances and festivals they organize. No opportunity goes unexploited. Sometimes it is the feast-day of a saint, sometimes the major holidays of the year, sometimes a joyous anniversary, other times some happy event; they all supply an excuse for merrymaking and dancing which even draws in spectators during the height of the festivities.

Gastronomy

As Rhodes has always been a crossroad of different cultures, the taste and the ingredients of the local cuisine derive from the surrounding continents Asia, Europe and Africa but it remains above all Mediterranean. These various elements were selected, filtered and finally re-invented with a very distinct local character. Since ancient times the base of Rhodian cuisine has always been wheat and olives, while most food products come from island’s farming and fishing. Today Rhodian culinary delights include delicacies of the sea, a great variety of original salads using new products such as avocado, arugula and tarragon cultivated on the island and magnificent meat dishes as well as a wide range of sweets and desserts made mainly of cereals, olive oil, nuts, fruits, honey and herbs.

Rhodian specialties

Avranas: Wild asparagus roasted with olive oil and onions and topped with flour and lemon juice.
Casserole: Braised meat with potatoes in the oven, served with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and wine. Traditional recipe, served mainly at weddings.
Goat stew: Goat traditionally cooked with rice and cinnamon.
Baked red pumpkin: Slices of red pumpkin, onion and mint baked in the oven.
Koulouria: A kind of pasta, served with plenty of grated cheese, traditionally served at weddings.
Karavoli giachnistoi: Snails boiled in a pot with onions, olive oil, tomato, pepper, bay leaves and cumin.
Pirgouri or Pergouri: Whole wheat cooked with bay leaves and bitter orange leaves. It is used like rice for pilaf and soups, delicious with baked pork in the oven.
Trahanas: Wheat and sheep or goats milk, made in August with the new crop of wheat. It is a nutritious soup accompanied by small pieces of cheese.
Barbounofasoula: Red beans with oil, chopped parsley, onion, tomato, pepper and salt.
Fish marinade: Fish marinated with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Pitaroudia: A kind of fried appetizer with chickpeas, onion and tomato.
Pouggia: Pies filled with greens.
Almond white: Marzipan sweets from blanched almonds, lemon juice and rosewater, fashioned apple or pear- shaped, wrapped in sugar. Treat for the wedding guests.
Katimeria: Small rolls with a hole in the middle filled with honey.
Melekouni: It is a local sweet of the Dodecanese with sesame, almonds, herbs and honey that is offered with the wedding invitations, wedding preparations and on the wedding day.
Moschopougkia: Sweet from walnuts, whitewashed almonds, grated nutmeg, sugar and rosewater.
Takakia: Pastry filled with walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.

Highlights / Things to see

  • Butterfly valley
  • Lindos Acropolis
  • Old Town
  • Seven springs
  • Ancient Kamiros

Events

  • Medieval Rose festival
    The Medieval Rose Festival is the most delightful and joyful event which is held during the second half of May until the end of June. It includes all kinds of art and crafts of the time and is inspired by history, myths, legends and traditions of the middle ages. Participants dressed as brave knight’s, charming ladies, wizards, fairies and witches as wandering mistrals, parade around the old town and take part in fights, bazaars & theatrical performances. Everybody plays his part to make the festival a complete success to amuse and entertain their visitors. The aim of this festival is to revive the long history, culture and legends of the island, which flourished during the medieval times.
  • 'Sound & Light' performances in the old Town
    It is one of its major tourist attractions, attracting visitors from all over the world. This impressive form of art has grown in popularity over the years and it is like a drama without any actors. The blend of light, sound and speech beautifully projects some of the greatest stories from the history of Rhodes Island. The multilingual show takes place every evening during summer at the municipal garden and mainly deals with the fight of the Rhodians with the Turkish army. The period of history when knights existed in Europe will come to life in front of your eyes while watching this magnificent Sound and Light show at Rhodes. A good amount of research has been put into the script. The Palace of the Grand Master, the gardens, the tower of Suleyman and other famous landmarks are frequently presented.
  • The Flower Festival
    Around mid- May, the Rhodes Cultural Organization organizes the annual Flower Festival (Anthestiria) with a guaranteed spectacular show of flowers and theme floats decorated for this parade that takes place at the Mandraki harbour.
  • The Cultural Events organized by the municipality and the cultural society of Rhodes during summer (from July to September) consist of various concerts (classical/modern music by famous Greek and International artists) and frequent theatrical performances. There are also several art exhibitions taking place throughout the summer.

Excursion program

Rhodes City

City Tour

Start your tour with a drive to Mount Smith once the Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the temple of Athena, the view encompasses the Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port. Enter the fortified city through the Amboise Gate and walk to the Palace of the Grand Masters.

You will continue down the Street of the Knights, its paths paved with colourful marble and superb mosaics, past medieval towers and emblazoned facades. You will also have free time to do some shopping at the bazaar.

Type of excursion: Culture & shopping/ half day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes 1 hours
Old Town (D’Amboise Gate) 2 hours
Free time in Old Town 1 hour
Back to Hotel 14:30-15:00 or 18:30-19:00 in afternoon tour
Butterflies Valley - Rhodes

Island Tour

Pick up from your hotel. Arrival at Lindos the most famous and beautiful spot of the island. Lindos is an attractive village of small white houses and narrow streets where cars are not allowed. It is also the site of an ancient acropolis from where the view is breathtaking. Our next stop is at the Venetian castle of Monolithos. On the top of the 300 m rock there is a small church dedicated to Saint Panteleimon.

Then we visit the village of Siana where we stop for Souma and honey tasting, the two traditional products of the island and finally we reach Embona where we have a traditional Greek lunch. At Embona people have the chance to see a small family wine factory with many awards and medals worldwide as Embona is a place where grapes can grow in ideal conditions. Our last visit is at the Butterflies valley.*

This valley is home to thousands of butterflies that flood the valley in order to reproduce and is a biotope unique in the world, surviving untouched in its own dimension. The Valley runs the river Pelekanos, which is fed by small, rushing waterfalls.

*Butterflies season July – Sep. / before and after season stop will be at Filerimos

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Acropolis of Lindos guided tour 2½ hours
Monolithos photo stop 15 minutes
Siana commercial stop (local products) 20 minutes
Embona lunch 1 hour
Winery stop (Emery) 30 minutes
Butterflies valley 1 hour
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
Symi Island by boat

Symi Island by boat

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Rhodes harbor. This boat trip takes you to the perfectly formed harbour of Symi one of the most beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village with neo classical white and pastel yellow houses.

There you have free time to walk through the narrow streets, shop for local handicrafts and natural sponges, eat fresh seafood in a local tavern or soak up some sun in an open air café. In the south of the island along the inlet stands the massive building of Panormitis Monastery.

This monastery is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and has a charming bell tower and a beautiful 12th century church. It is a well-known spot of great interest and attracts many visitors and worshippers who come to see the Byzantine frescoes and engraved temple full of golden offerings.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Panormitis Monastery 1 hour
Symi Island 3 hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00
Chalki Island by boat

Chalki Island by boat

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Kamiros Skala harbor. This boat trip takes you to the small paradise Chalki. Time has not touched this small fishing island, it’s the ideal place for those who want to avoid crowded and cosmopolitan tourist resorts and seek for a quiet place as there are not many cars, not many shops, no bars, no disco and no water sports.

The small (400m) port is very beautiful with pretty colorful houses, fishing boats, small coffee shops and few fish taverns. You will have plenty of time to walk around to swim at the crystal turquoise water or to enjoy a delicious lunch with fresh fish.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Chalki Island (Kamiros port) 3½ hours
Back to Hotel 18:00-19:00
Marmaris

Marmaris

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Rhodes harbor. Discover with us a foreign culture and a different continent. After only one hour trip with a (hydrofoil – Catamaran) you reach the coast of Asia Minor – Turkey. Explore the popular resort of Marmaris by a city tour and see its beautiful red covered houses surrounded by green mountains and the Bay of Mermaids. Visit a typical jewelry - leather shop.

Feel the exotic atmosphere, the oriental sounds and the smell of the spices. Typical are the narrow streets with the bazaars, the boutiques, the art shops, the jewelry and the leather and carpet shops. Other very famous Turkish products are embroidery and pine honey.

What you must not forget is that you have to bargain in order to get the right price! Walk in the lively bazaars and feel free to be invited for mint tea or a small talk. Experience two different countries in one day.

Type of excursion: Recreation, culture & shopping / full day
Should take: passport, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Marmaris 5 hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00
Greek Night

Greek Night

Pick up from your hotel and arrival at Afandu Village. A fantastic night out for everyone, find out how Greeks have fun, join the Greek ballet and dance Zorbas the Greek.

This is a great chance to feel the Greek hospitality in a traditional family tavern with original Greek specialties (village bread, tzatziki, Greek salad, and souvlaki) and free flowing local wine. You will experience an unforgettable party with folklore music from all over Greece.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / half day
Should take: camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Afandu village 3½ hours
Included Typical Greek food and local drinks
Back to Hotel 23:00-00:30
4x4 Safari North

4x4 Safari North

The day is a mixture of beautiful nature, panoramic views, exciting off-road driving, traditional Greek villages and lots of fun. We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels. We drive through Maritsa and immediately start off-road driving.

Passing through Psinthos and riverbed (with water) we will go to the Seven Springs for a coffee stop and to guide the group through the tunnel as well. After half an hour we will continue the off road and the next stop will be at Fountoukli (a beautiful 15th century memorial).

Then off again for another bumpy drive through the mountains before heading towards the Aegean. Partly off-road again we’ll drive down to Fanes to have free time for lunch and a swim stop at the beach. Enjoy Greek specialties like souvlaki & tzatziki. We continue from Ag. Sylla and are passing breathtaking views and unbelievable steep hills.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / half day
Should take: camera, sunglasses, hat, swimming suits and driving license

Stops Approximate time of stay
Mountain, beach, rivers 6 hours
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
East Coast by boat

East Coast by boat

We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels and drive you to the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes town. We depart by boat along the east part of the island. Our swim stops* will be at:

  • Anthony Quinn
  • Tsambika Beach - For a swim stop approx. 2hours stop + lunch on board
  • Afandou Beach
  • Kalithea Beach

*Due to weather conditions the swim stops may vary and can be adapted by the captain.

Type of excursion: Recreation / full day
Should take: camera, sunglasses, hat, swimming suits

Stops Approximate time of stay
Several swim stops 6 hours
Included Lunch on boat (drinks exclu.)
Back to Hotel 17:00-18:00
Lindos by boat

Lindos by boat

We start in the morning with pickups at the hotels and drive you to the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes town. We depart by boat along the east part of the island to Lindos. Arrival at Lindos the most famous and beautiful spot of the island.

Lindos is an attractive village of small white houses and narrow streets where cars are not allowed. It is also the site of an ancient acropolis from where the view is breathtaking. You can explore the tow and the Acropolis easily by food before returning back to the city of Rhodes.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Free time 2½ hours
Back to Hotel 18:00-19:00
Fethiye by boat

Fethiye by boat

This excursion will promise you a fantastic historical experience in the beautiful region of Fethiye. After your departure from Rhodes a light breakfast will be served on the boat. When you arrive in Fethiye you will meet your guide and this is where your discovery of Fethiye history will begin. Your first stop will be at the Fethiye amphitheater followed by the Lycian rock tombs and then up to the beautiful Kaya Village.

After visiting these wonderful and historical sites will savour the delights of our traditional Turkish delight at the Fethiye Turkish Delight factory. Please take this opportunity to sample these sweet delicacies.

Shopping finished we will return to Fethiye where you will have the option of joining us at the famous Fethiye Fish Market where you can enjoy freshly caught sea fish cooked for you. Or if you prefer you can enjoy free time wandering the old Fethiye Bazar before returning trip to Rhodes.

Type of excursion: Recreation & culture / full day
Should take: Passport, comfortable shoes, camera

Stops Approximate time of stay
Free time 2½ hours
Back to Hotel 19:00-20:00