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Rhodes – the Crossroads of Civilizations

A great place to celebrate Helios ~ the Greek Sun God

With the mythical origins of Rhodes attributed to Helios after Zeus’ battle with the Giants, it is no wonder this beautiful island is bathed in the warmth of the sun and surrounded by the tropical waters of the Aegean Sea. Low mountains, lush landscapes, sandy beaches and historical sights make Rhodes a vacation treat to delight and educate.

Rhodes, GreeceLargest within the Dodecanese Island string, Rhodes sits within miles of Turkey’s shores.  Historically, it’s infant roots begin in the Stone Age through advancing conquests of the Minoans, Persians, Egyptians, Romans, Venetians, Knights era, Arabs, Turks, and Italians all laying claims throughout history before becoming Greek as we know it today. This has created a vibrancy to cultural, food and architectural influences for your sensory delights.

Start at Old Town Rhodes and the Walled City

As crossroads to travel between Constantinople and Alexandria, Rhodes’ vibrancy of trade, culture and education Palace of the Grand Masters2400 years old, the 2.5 mile fortifications surrounding the made it a destination hub and central meeting place of the Mediterranean. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the old walled city of Rhodes house the Palace of the Grand Masters, the seven fortified entry gates, The Knights’ Hospital (now housing the Archaeological Museum) and possibly the short-lived Colossus of Rhodes.

This medieval old city has the feel of the Knights Hospitallers and the clack of hooves on the cobbled streets. Walk down the Street of the Knights, enjoy the open market squares that give an amazing view of the gothic towers, centuries-old churches, temples, mosques and buildings within the thick, moated stone fortress walls. Now home to shops and retail, this once bustling historic marketplace has evolved with the times, yet still maintained the old-world weight of history.

Rhodes Stadium and TheaterOutside the fortified walls of Rhodes Town, consider taking a walk around the harbor to see the old windmills, the Fort of St. Nicholas and a stroll through the historic old quarter towards to point. Alternately visit the historic site of the Temple of Apollo and the Acropolis at Rhodes with it’s stadium and open-air theater.

Touring Rhodes through it’s beaches

Rhodes’ island beauty is well-captured in exploring it’s beaches. Favoring the eastern shores, driving the route from Rhodes Town to Lindos opens the possibility of untold beaches. Low mountains frame the distance, soft sand and dunes make the beach-scape a very popular destination in the heat of the Mediterranean summer. With the island too large really for the range of a scooter, rent a FourTwo or small car to make your way down the coast.

Start at Rhodes Town – Elli Beach at the tip offers easy walkable city access, Ixia Beach sits on the western side of the city and Kallithea Beach sits on the eastern side of the city – lots of local opportunities to explore and get your beach fix.

Rhodes Beach Guide - Heading south down the popular east coast Rhodes Town to Lindros:

  • Faliraki Beach – very popular, 3 mile long sandy stretch of beach often over-crowded, lots of amenities and activities. Restaurants and taverns all along this strip.
  • Anthony Quinn and Ladiko Beaches – made famous when the actor Anthony Quinn visited while filming the “Guns of Navarone” movie.
  • Afandou, Traganou and Kolympia Beaches – Afandou is a highly popular beach destination well supported by amenities, restaurants and activities. On either end are the quieter, calmer, smaller options with less bustle – Traganou to the north edge and Kolympia in the bay around the southern corner.
  • Tsambika Beach, GreeceTsambika, Stegna, Agathi – more scenic, framed by low mountains, smaller (relatively) stretches of beaches with a quieter vibe and less amenities. Stegna beach sits with a small coastal village and has some nice local authentic restaurants to tempt you. Tsambika and Agathi have a few canteens, but no populated amenities.
  • Kalathos, Vlicha and the beaches of Lindros – popular stop-over destination beaches along the path to the Lindos Acropolis. Great views, great sandy beaches and family-friendly.
  • Pefki, Lothiarika, Makris Tichos, Lardos – sand-pebble mix, less crowded due to them being outside the Rhodes Town to Lindos path, but nice family friendly beaches within a short stretch to amenities.
  • More beaches continue the 40 km stretch to the amazing dual-coved stretch of sandy beach (Prassonissi Beach) popular with windsurfers due to the tropical meltimi north winds.

Note for those seeking clothing-optional beach relaxation, we found 2 great spots with authorized clothing-optional, nudist-friendly, dedicated beach space.

  • Tsambika nude beachTsambika Beach – to the far end along the edging cliffside sits the welcoming sign “Nudist Place” (Google Maps directions). Lounges are available and a small tiki bar server cold drinks and a small sampling of foods. The sand is gorgeous and the water is crystal clear. Walk among the rocks of the cliffside or swimn in the shallow cove.
  • Faliraki Nude Beach (separate from the popular Faliraki Beach -  Apollonos on Google Maps directions) – follow the Apollonos beach road along the shore towards the southern hills. Pass Kathara Beach and you will see a marked entrance for Mandomata Beach (or Faliraki Nudist Beach). Take the winding road in to a very popular and busy beach strip. Lounges are available and a small canteen offers food and drink. The beach is sandy and great for a textile free stroll to the end of the point. The water has sandy and rocky sections so enter where you may choose.

Acropolis at LindosLindos and the Acropolis at Lindos – The archeological site within Lindos offers a clifftop acropolis dating back 2000 years, it’s gates 4th century from a Castle of the Knights of St. John and Temple reliefs from about 280 BC. Amazing views of the seaside and the limestone rock formations of the surrounding area make this worth a visit. Imposing stairways are majestic treat to hike (donkey rides up the acropolis are also available.) Visit the shops below the acropolis for restaurants, clothing, jewellery and tourist fun. Lindos, being the warmest place in Greece, offers 4 grand beaches within direct view of the acropolis with fabulous scenic landscapes – well worth taking a stop at at least one of them!

What to Do in Rhodes

Rhodes teases your inner historian, your beach-lovin, Helios-praising body and treats you with authentic greek foods at every stop. What’s not to love?

Take a trip through our Greek adventures with amazing sights, sounds and tastes from:

What part of your senses need some Greek sampling? We’d love to hear your favorite Greek experiences with a comment below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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