Rhodes is another beautiful island of Greece which belongs to the Dodecanese islands, between the Aegean and Mediterranean sea. It is also known as the island of the sun and the island of the knights. Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece with a very long history which starts from the ancient years and lasts since our days. It is the largest island of all in the cluster and capital of Dodecanese prefecture.
Rhodes was at the crossroads of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The name Rhodes (Rodos in Greek) is a Greek name and during the ancient times various ancient Greek authors (like Homer, Iliad, Rhapsody B) have called as Ofiousa (the one who has many snakes), Asteria (the one who has many stars), Aethria (the one who has no clouds), Trinakria (because the shape of the island composed from two triangles), Korymbia (because of the shape of the island which looks like a helmet), Poiessa (for the rich vegetation), Makaria (happy), Pontia (sea), and Telchinis (from the first inhabitants). However, Rhodes is the name that remained until today.
Rhodes is situated southeast of Greece and belongs to the Dodecanese islands, between the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean sea. It is the capital of the prefecture of Dodecanese and the largest in size island of all islands in the cluster. It lies about 466 kilometers from Heraklion in Crete, 622 kilometers from Piraeus, and 1130 kilometers from Thessaloniki. The island has an area of approximately 1398 square kilometers and the population exceeds the 100,000 residents. The capital of the island is the eponymous town of Rhodes.
Through its long history, all the different peoples who inhabited the island have left their mark in art, language, and architecture. The strategic position brought to the island great wealth and made the city of Rhodes one of the leading cities of ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, Zeus gave the island of Rhodes in Helios when the Olympian Gods prevailed against Giants during the Gigantomachy. The Sun carried away by the beauty of the island highlighted Rhodes with his rays. Since then Rhodes is the island of Helios (Sun), the most shining and bright island of all. Another myth says that Rhodes was a nymph, daughter of Poseidon, and wife of the Sun.
Rhodes was first inhabited by Kares of Asia Minor during the Cycladic culture in Greece (3rd millennium BC) and then by Phoenicians and Minoans (1500 BC). In 1100 BC dominated by the Dorians who founded the cities of Lindos, Kamiros and Ialyssos. After many years Rhodians alliance with Macedonians and after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) with Ptolemy of Egypt. This movement cause the feud of Antigonus, the father of Demetrius the Conqueror who in 305 BC tried to conquer the island. But his efforts were unsuccessful and Rhodians in memory of the great victory created the Colossus.
Better known as the Colossus of Rhodes.
During the Roman period in Greece (146 BC – 330 AC), Rhodes knows disasters and looted many times by the Romans. In 395 AC is the province of the Byzantine Empire and in 620 passes to the sovereignty of the Persians. In 1204 moved to the Venetians and from 1309 and after belongs to the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, signaling a new era for the island. In 1522 after a six-month siege Rhodes fell into the hands of the Ottomans. In 1912 followed the war between Italy and Turkey and Rhodes came in possession of Italy until 1945. From 1948 (the Treaty of Paris) Rhodes with all the Dodecanese islands were incorporated in Greece. Today, Rhodes is taking advantage of the unique beauty and important historical monuments which have become a world famous tourist resort.
The city of Rhodes is located on the north side of the island and is distinguished by the impressive wall that is maintained by the medieval years. The wall is the dividing line between the past and the present, and the settlement is considered by UNESCO as the best preserved (included in the World Heritage Sites). The most remarkable points of the old town is the route Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master, the house of the Order of the Knights of St. John, Ippokratous Square, the route Socratous, the Clock Tower, the relaxing saunas, the archaeological museum, the museum of modern Greek art, the gallery, the center of contemporary art, and the church of Panagia of Burgos. The modern city of Rhodes is known by the name Mandraki and provides all the necessary facilities (hotels, restaurants, nightlife, casino, etc.) for a pleasant, entertaining, and enjoyable stay.
A few kilometers east of the town of Rhodes found Faliraki. One of the most extreme tourist resorts of Greece. Continuing the trend across to the famous hydrotherapy center of Kallithea which was constructed in 1929 by the Italians. Next stop at Kolympia, where in a distance of 3 kilometers is the place with the 7 sources. A recreational area with running waters and dense vegetation. About 25 kilometers further is Lindos, which located at the middle west side of the island of Rhodes and is built amphitheateric on a hill near the beach. The Acropolis of Lindos located at the top of the hill. Then the road continues to the South Rhodes (Kiotari, Gennadion, AgiosPavlos ).
Following the road that goes west from the town of Rhodes at a distance of 8 km occurs the area of Ialyssos. It is a good start to tour around the island. Ialyssos has a strong archaeological interest since inhabited from the prehistoric years. A few kilometers away is the Valley of the Butterflies. This is a deep gorge filled with trees which attract millions of butterflies. Do not forget your camcorder (avoid camera and flash). Next stop on the ancient Kamiros which have considerable archaeological interest too. At the top located the Acropolis of Kamiros. Prophet Elias is another interesting place. It is the second highest mountain of Rhodes and the place where the homonym monastery located. The road continues to the south island (Mandrikon, Katavia). From Katavia you can find your way to the small island of Prasonisi, located at the south side of the island.
In front of the casino of Rhodes is the busy and cosmopolitan beach of Rhodes town. Agathi is a small beach with fine sand, shallow waters, and wonderful views to the medieval castle. Behind Agathi is Charaki beach. Apolakkia is deserted beach with sand and its length reaches the 20 kilometers. Gennadion is one of the most organized beaches in Rhodes with sand and small pebbles. Kalathos is a huge beach (from Haraki as Lindos). Vlycha is a cosmopolitan beach. Kallithea has crystal clear waters. Kiotari is another great beach with sand and small pebbles. Kolymbia have two organized beaches and Kremasti beach is one of the busiest. Ladiko is a small bay with sandy beach and next to it is the Antony Quinn Bay (the famous actor attempted to buy the particular beach). The beach of Lardos is also notable. To the south is the beautiful and small beach of Glistra. In Lindos are two beaches. At one side is the Large Yalos with the cosmopolitan beach and on the other side is St. Paul beach with a small but busy beach. Mantomata is best known as a nudist beach. Prasonisi is a small green island located south of Rhodes. In Faliraki will find a number of colorful umbrellas and sunbeds (close yours soon). If you have plenty of time to search Rhodes you will discover even more beaches as the island has too many.
Wherever you choose to go one thing is certain. You will be amazed from the historical length and diverse which combines perfect for recreation, fun, and entertainment.
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