Rhodes: a magnificent vacation to Knights' island in Greece
January 20, 2019
by Christina Bakopoulou
Rhodes is one of the hottest destinations in Greece, totally recommended to visit, as it combines unique sightseeing, magnificent outdoor activities, nightlife, golden sand beaches, and delicious gastronomic experiences. Situated in the South Aegean Sea, Rhodes is also known as “the island of the knights,” due to its old medieval town built in 1309 a.C. It is the place to be during summertime vacation, either you are traveling alone or with family and friends.
Top Sights of Rhodes
Castello is the biggest medieval city in Europe that stands out for its picturesqueness. It is not only the ideal place for couples’ romantic promenades but also a vibrant town with proverbial nightlife. Since the Town is one of the most important monuments of the world’s cultural heritage, do not forget to visit its special architectural spots, apart from enjoying shopping and food. The Knights’ Castle, the Old Clock, Acropolis, the Temple of Zeus and Aphrodite, the Stadium, the Great Wizard’s Palace, the Orthodox Church of Saint Fanourios which is deep inside an old city cave, the Archaeological and the Byzantine Museum, and the Old Armory, are just a few of the “must visit” places during your stroll in Castello.
Lindos is an ancient navy city, situated 30 km from the city of Rhodes. Take a stroll in the small stone-paved streets to see the houses’ traditional architecture, shop souvenirs, enjoy Greek delicacies and drink Greek ice coffee (frape coffee) while watching the romantic sunset. Don’t forget to visit the Acropolis, as the view from up there is extraordinary, but above all, relax, enjoy or even fall in love in one of the most charming and romantic places in Greece.
Rhodes is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations, thus during your vacation do visit the first Casino ever existed in Greece, which runs on the island since 1930. You can find it inside the Grande Albergo Delle Rose hotel and to get there, take the bus from downtown or a taxi. Inside the Casino, you will find many slots and 34 different board games. Be aware that only visitors over 23 years old can enter Rhodes’ Casino.
Nature and outdoor activities.
The Butterflies’ Valley
From June to September, millions of cute butterflies leave their eggs in this valley of extravagant beauty, which is situated 20 km southeast of the Rhodes city. While standing still, the butterflies become brown to stimulate the tree bole and protect themselves from their enemies but when flying their wings become black and red. Crossing the valley and surround yourselves by them is one of the most charming experiences. Don’t forget to bring your cameras to capture this unique spectacle, but in all cases do not use flash. Human intervention has significantly reduced the population of butterflies over the past years, so remember not to smoke or make noise and not to touch them as they die at once.
This breathtaking forest is the ultimate outdoor adventure for nature lovers, where seven springs expel fresh water into a natural lake full of ducks, peacocks, and geese. While enjoying a relaxing promenade, there’s even a small cantina where you can try a cup of traditional Greek coffee. Furthermore, a secret natural tunnel is waiting for you to explore! This tunnel is 150m long and as you pass through it, you see nothing, but you experience the unique feeling of the fresh spring water on your feet. At the end of it, there is another beautiful lake formed by a natural cascade. This place is a heaven on earth, still, do not enter the tunnel if you suffer claustrophobia, as once you enter it, you must keep going the whole tunnel to find an exit.
On your way to Lindos, you can visit Rodini Park, which is one of the oldest natural parks in the world. There you can have an exotic promenade among the roses, pines, and laurels, feed the peacocks or even watch the deer running free inside the forest. If you haven’t rent a car, take a taxi to pass through the park, but in all cases don’t miss the chance to walk in the forest trails and cross the small bridges.
Tsambika beach is the Greek “Sahara Desert” due to its golden fine sand. The beach is very well organized; thus, you can spend your day swimming, sunbathe, drink cocktails or enjoy watersports. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Holy Mary Tsambika Monastery, located on the hill above the beach, to enjoy the magnificent view and breath in the refreshing Aegean breeze. Greek tradition says that Holy Mary Tsambika is miraculous and if a couple visits the Monastery and make a wish by lighting a candle, Holy Mary Tsambika brings it fertility.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Rhodes is by plane. Still, this is not the most entertaining way to reach the island. If you have a few more days available, do take the boat from Piraeus Port. This way the duration of your trip will be about 16 hours, but you will have to opportunity to see other beautiful Greek islands on the way, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Syme.
Best hostels to stay
Prefer to find a hostel near Rhodes’ New Port or downtown, as you will be very close to all the sights of the island and the public transport is much more often from there.
Rhodes is a windy island. During summertime, the temperature can climb up to 38o C, while in winter the humidity is sometimes more than 80%.
If you have already visited Greece, you’ve had experienced Greek traditional cuisine, such as moussaka or even the famous street food souvlaki. The native residents of Rhodes have their own delicacies to present you though. Fresh roasted Aegean fishes accompanied with ouzo and lobster spaghetti are just a few to mention. Do taste the traditional liquor Koriandolino, Melekouni, the sesame seed sweet with Greek thyme honey and nutmeg that is offered on the weddings and Fanouropita, which is a sweet cake with cinnamon and clove that Greeks traditionally offer to Saint Fanourios when they need his help to find lost objects or solution to a problem.
Souvenirs to purchase
Colorful umbrellas, handmade clocks, and leather bags, key rings with real stuff fishes of the Aegean Sea or seashells of all types are the most representative gifts of folklore art that you should buy as souvenirs from the island.
“Be careful” tips
Since it is that you visit the island during summer vacation, the fact that the weather is windy and hot can be tricky. As you enjoy the Greek sun at the beach, the wind gives you the ultimate feeling of freshness. Use a high protection sunscreen, a beach umbrella, and do not forget to wear a hat and drink a lot of water to avoid experience sunburn or sunstroke. Furthermore, if you have never experience swimming at an open sea before, avoid going far from the seaside, as the combination of the wind and the Aegean currents can be a bit dangerous.
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