Passing by the heraldic animals – deer and doe – in the port entrance of Mandraki, one encounters the traces of the island’s long history. No wonder that this beautiful old town was declared a World Heritage Site.
The town made famous by the Colossus, a wonder of the ancient world is still a thriving community set on a beautiful island, full of legends, history and, let’s not forget, lots of sandy beaches, just perfect for lying in the sun all day long with your friends.
The city is located at the northern tip of the synonymous island, which is part of the Dodecanese islands from the southeastern Aegean Sea, close to Asia Minor, which is why it’s considered a crossroads between Europe, Middle East and Africa. Throughout its long history, the town seen many cultures come and go with some vestiges remaining to this day, much to the delight of the hordes of tourists.
Travel & Arrival
Getting to Rhodes can be done in two ways, either by ferry or by plane. The most comfortable and speedy is obviously the plane with the two airlines that operate here, Heraklios and Aegean. Flgihts can be made from Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Crete, Kos, Karpathos, Santorini, Kastellorizo and Kassos. From Athens, there are 5 flights a day, which is more than enough to make a connection with whichever airline your group is using.
Depeding on the season there are as many as 4 ferries arriving to Rhodes harbor everyday from Piraeus but you should be warned that the voyage lasts 22 hours. Some other connections from other destinations include Crete, Paros, Kos, Limnos, Thessaloniki, Samos and from the Turkish mainland.
Avant & Apres Sail
The main attraction in town has to be the harbor, at which mouth it is said the great ancient Colossus once stood. Today, these gates are marked by deer statues on columns. Also very popular with visitors is the old town of Rhodes which was rebuilt by the Knights Templar (best preserved medieval town in Europe).
Other places you should most definitely drop by with your party are the Rhodes Archaeological Museum where you can experience 4000 years of history, the Byzantine Museum, The Museum of Decorative Art and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
Eating in Rhodes is an experience in its own as the cuisine here is an eclectic mix of Judeo-Spanish, Turkish, Greek and Italian recipes and flavors. Dishes balance all kinds of meats (poultry, fish) with aromatic herbs and citrus that prove a hit with the visitors. The most requested recipes are Hilopites (pasta), mousaka, pitaroudia and baklava, of course.
When it comes to shopping the phrase “plethora of shops” comes to one’s mind immediately when seeing the abundance of choices the enthusiast is spoiled with. From the paved alleyways of the old town to the huge malls in the urban center, you’ll find lots of places to blow your hard-earned money. Some of the most purchased local good include leather products, jewelry, carpets, furniture, souvenirs and replicas of famous statues.
Though the island is famous for the wild nightlife made famous by the British young tourists who come here in search of parties, there is also a more classy part of town where the respectable skipper can enjoy a night out. There are restaurants, clubs and bars with live music in the Old Town, either Greek or international, there are cafes and there is also plenty of dancing and even the country’s only licensed casino for all you gamblers out there.
Events & Actions
So what can you do while in Rhodes you ask? Well, apart from all the sunbathing, sailing and sightseeing in and around the island there are also lots of fun activities which include sports, water sports and water parks. Most sports you can find in all the resorts you can find here and then some, while the adrenaline addicts call the island “Surfers’ Paradise”.
Of course, being such an important cultural center, the city of Rhodes has many festivals and events, especially during the summer months for the crowds when musical, theatrical and dancing events that illustrate the local traditions occur.