Discover 1000 Years Of History In RhodesPosted on: 10 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Rhodes is steeped in thousands of years of heritage and legend.
Beyond the sun, sea and sand, the Greek island of Rhodes is steeped in thousands of years of heritage and legend. Next year marks 700 years since the founding of Rhodes Medieval Town, just one of the historical treasures that can be explored on the island.
2009 will also mark 250 years since the ruins of Kamiros were discovered in the west of the island.
Kamiros was once the third most important city in Rhodes and remains one of the best-preserved classical archaeological sites in Greece.
The city was built amphitheatrically on a hill with an acropolis at its highest point and nowadays the extensive ruins are open to visitors. Amongst them can be found the foundations of the temple of Athena Polias (circa third century BC); a large cistern reservoir capable of supplying 400 families (circa sixth century BC); a stoa (portico) measuring 200 metres (circa third century BC); and the remains of private houses, built around courtyards.
On the opposite coast of Rhodes, the city of Lindos flourished in the same period as Kamiros, but has remained inhabited continuously for around 3,000 years.
Lindos Acropolis - which is dominated by the massive temple of Athena Lindia, dating back to around 300 BC - is another of Rhodes’ most interesting historical sites. It sits on a hill above the medieval town of Lindos, which is well-known for its white-washed buildings and narrow cobbled streets.
The most famous ancient monument in Rhodes is, unfortunately, untraceable today, although it remains a key emblem of the island. The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – a giant statue of the Greek god Helios that was said to stand over 30 metres tall at Mandraki Harbour.
Legend dictates that the Colossus was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC and it was recorded by Pliny the Elder that its broken remains lay where they fell for centuries afterwards. Visitors to Mandraki Harbour will today find two statues of Rhodian deer in the location the Colossus was said to have stood.
Mandraki Harbour lies just outside the fortified walls of Rhodes Old Town, the medieval city which was founded by the Knights of St John in 1309. The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe.
Attractions in Rhodes Old Town include the Street of the Knights, the most important and imposing avenue of the town that includes the former residencies of the various nationalities "tongues” of the Order of the Knights of St John.
The Street of the Knights leads up to the Grand Master’s Palace, a strong fortress and former headquarters of the leader of the Knights. The Palace today serves as a museum containing important archaeological finds from ancient and modern Rhodes.
Rhodes has everything from beautiful beaches to a lush, green interior, a bustling capital and one of the best sunshine records in Greece. The northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts, the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life.
Rhodes has been blessed with many, wonderful, long stretches of beach.
The nortwestern side of the island, from Rhodes town and the cosmopolitan Ixia down to Mandriko and Skala Kameirou, has large beaches developed for tourism.
On the Southeastern shore are the equally developed beaches at Kallithea, Afandou, Tsambika, Vlycha, Lindos, Lardos and Gennadi.
On the rest of the island you will find many small sandy coves, almost hidden, such as Glyfada, Paliochora, Kopria, the small beaches of Monolithos down to Kamlamos, Kerameni Bay and the exotic beaches of Prasonisi.
The west coast of Rhodes is subject to shore winds and can be rough, but is a windsurfer's paradise.
Large complexes with multi-storey buildings and apartments are commonplace.
Impressive hotel complexes in Rhodes town or a short distance from it, mansion houses in the picturesque village of Lindos, atmospheric guesthouses in the medieval Old Town and rooms to rent across the whole island are just some of the choices available.
Most hotels on the island are open between April and the end of October.
However, quite a few hotels in the town centre remain open during winter too. Decide where you wish to go to in Rhodes before browsing for hotels or villas for your trip.
The Hotel Moschos is a family run hotel located in one of the most central areas of the new town of Rhodes. It is around 50 metres from the promenade and Mandraki and the beautiful yacht marina of Rhodes.
It is 15 minutes walk from the main passenger ferry port and 150 metres from the popular Elli beach of Rhodes.
Nearby, within 5 minutes walk, is the entrance to the Old Town of Rhodes (The Grand Master's Gate) which is close to the Grand Masters Palace and the museums.
Around the area you will find all varieties of cafes, bars, restaurants and tourist and gift shops. The hotel is located on a quiet side street leading down to the seafront. For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 0030 22410 25983.
The Hotel Michael Angelo is a small family run hotel in a renovated medieval building within the walls of the old city of Rhodes. It is located between two Byzantine churches.
All rooms have balconies or terraces to the outside, with some having views to the Port of Rhodes and the castle. The hotel is situated in a quiet, peaceful location surrounded by trees and bougainvillea and charming cobbled lanes but is only 150 metres from Hippocrates Square where you will find plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants and tourist and gift shops.
It is also within easy walking distance to the Street of the Knights, and the museums and castle. For further information you can call at +30 22410 33545 or Fax: +30 22410 31937.
The Hotel Mediterranean located at the best spot of Rhodes town on the north west part.
From its balconies you have amazing views to the beach and the blue Aegean sea while just down the road is the Aquarium and the Rhodes Casino.
Greek cuisine is very diverse and although there are many common characteristics amongst the culinary traditions of different regions within the country, there are also many differences, making it difficult to present a full list of representative dishes.
Like many tourist destinations, British, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Indian food are all available from most areas within the island as well as a mix of fast-food chains in the tourist hot spots.
How To Get There
Easyjet offers services from London Gatwick, jet2.com fly from Newcaslte while Thomas Cook fly from the East Midlands throughout the summer.
To find about more about the historical attractions of Rhodes, see www.rodosisland.gr.
Olympic Airways (Rhodos Office) Tel:+30 22410 24571
Agean Airlines (Rhodos Office) Tel:+30 22410 22400
Blue Star Ferries (Rhodos Office) Tel:+30 22410 22461
GA Ferries (Rhodos Office) Tel:+30 22410 30406
ANES Sea Lines (Rhodos Office) Tel:+30 22410 77760
Dodekanisos Naftiliaki Tel:+30 22410 70590
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