RHODES – the Island of the Knights
General info about Rhodes, Greece
The island of Rhodes is situated in the SouthEast corner of the Aegean Sea. It is the largest island in the Dodecanese and the fourth in Greece; its length is 77 km, width 37 km and total area of 1,401 sq.km – and 253 km of coastline. The island can be described as mountainous with the highest mountains being the Attavyros (1210 meters), the Artamytis (825 meters) and the Prophet Ilias (800 meters). The population amounts to 120,000 inhabitants.
With its bright green hills, beautiful valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, a rich natural environment, beautiful beaches, a long history, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites … and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination; in fact Rhodes has become one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Numerous guides can inform you about the important things that you must invastigate thoroughly in Rhodes:
- beaches, like St. Paul, Faliraki, Prassonisi, Tsambika, Kolymbia, Ladiko (Anthony Quinn bay), Vlycha, Elli and more
- scenery villages, like Archangelos, Afandou, Apolakia, Embonas, Charaki, Koskinou, Lardos, Kalithies and many more
- walking routes and other activities in unspoilt nature , including the Valley of the Butterflies, ascent to Mt Atavyros, the Filerimos Hill, descent Kotaris river etc
History & Culture
Thanks to its strategic position, Rhodes has been important since ancient times. The ancient city of Rhodes, the construction of which began in 407 BC, was designed according to the city planning system, devised by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus (read a brief history and a full historical analysis from the Rhodian Tourism Official Page).
Rhodes is a combination of myths, history and heritage, a mosaic of cultures and images from the past and the present, which gaze the future. A meeting place of scholars, artists and personalities from all over the world. As the meeting point of three continents, Rhodes has known many civilizations that have left their imprint on the island, from the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, followed by The Order of the Knights of St. John, the Ottomans, and the Italians; this is clearly evident is the numerous monuments, cultural signs and archaelogical sites.
* You can also check are article about silver tourism in Rhodes (Rodos 5-0+) for more information about the off-the beaten track and especially off-season
Local Products & Gastronomy
But above all, while in Rhodes, you must not miss to search for opportunities to taste the local Products and the Gastronomy of Rhodes, part of the Aegean Cuisine and the Mediterranean Diet.
The basis of the Rhodian diet has always been -and still is- wheat and olive. Most traditional recipes of Rhodes have their roots in ancient Dorian Rhodes, the days when the cereal had a special place in the diet of the Rhodians.
In ancient Rhodes, fish soup was particularly favored. The fact that marine products had a very little place in the traditional diet indicates that the recipes were formed during the late medieval and modern times when the shipping in Rhodes declined due to historical circumstances, and turned the island’s inhabitants towards agriculture and animal farming; in Rhodes, there was always the alternative of farming, as opposed to other islands of the same size whose infertile soil forced the locals to turn to the sea. The friendly fertile land of Rhodes was always full of sun-kissed crops..
The products of the island are unique and have special characteristics. Such products are:
- Olive oil ( Geographical Indication- PGI )
- Edible Olives ( Green crushed Rhodian olives, Zupa Olives )
- Honey ( Thyme Honey, Pine Tree Honey, Flower Honey, Eryka Honey )
- Vegetables ( Watermelon of Rhodes, Melon of Rhodes, Tomato of Rhodes )
- Citrus ( Orange of Rhodes, Tangerine of Rhodes, Lemon of Rhodes )
- Aromatic and Medical Plants
- Dairy & Cheese
With such a variety of raw materials, Rhodes’ local cuisine is unique. Part of “Aegean Cuisine” (see “Aegean Islands” – Gastronomy section) There are so many dishes that it’s hard to know where to start. Don’t leave without sampling lakani (goat, chickpeas and coarsely ground wheat known as chondros, spiced with cumin and baked overnight in a ceramic pot), pitaroudia (fried tomato balls with onion), cuttlefish risotto (cooked with cuttlefish ink), talagoutes (pancakes with honey, grated almonds and sesame seeds), giaprakia (coarsely ground mince wrapped in vine leaves), karavoli (snails fried in red sauce with onions and cumin), melekounia bars (honey added to sesame seeds and nuts) served at weddings and baptisms and eaten as an energising snack, Avranas (wild asparagus roasted with olive oil and onions and topped with flour and lemon juice) etc etc.
An important element fo the Rhodian gastronomy is the wine. There are numerous wineries on Rhodes, producing wines that match the smoothness of the climate. The traditional grape varieties – white Athiri and red Mandilaria (known locally as Amorgiano) – are still going strong, as are Assyrtiko, Malagouzia and Mavrothiriko. Athiri, the main grape of PDO Rhodes (one of four Protected Designation of Origin wines), is cultivated on the slopes of Mt Attavyros, while Mandilaria is produced in lower areas (read more in the DiscoverGreece website).
** main sources of information are the Official Page of Rhodian Tourism and the Official Tourist Guide of Region of South Aegean
More info about Rhodes you can find in numerous sources:
- Official Page of Rhodian Tourism, with rich content about all possibilities to discover Rhodes
- Official Tourist Guide of Region of South Aegean
- Tourist Guide of Rhodes Municipality, with many useful contact and travel details
- DiscoverGreece Official Website
- the Wikipedia
- Rhodes Hotel Association, with a list of most hotels of the island
Accomodation / Hotels
Hundrends of hotels, Villas and Rooms to Rent are available in Rhodes, providing all types and levels of hospitality. Here we would like to introduce just a few:
- within the city of Rhodes from the small Kokkini Porta Rossa, to Petit Palais Beach Hotel and Rodos Park Suites& Spa, and even the iconic Grande Albergo delle Rose – the Hotel of the Casino of Rodos,
- on the north coast mainly around the Ixian Bay area: Atrium Platinum (of Atrium Hotels Group), Rodos Palace, Ixian Grand (adult only), Olympic Palace, Sunbeach Resort (great family hotel of Harmony Resorts) to Alex Beach (with own local produce) in Theologos.
- on the south coast, a great variety: from Eden Roc Resort, to amazing Amada Colossos Resort, Blue Sea Hotel and Blue Sea Holiday Village in Faliraki, down to Elysium Resort & spa, Irene Palace, Atrium Palace and furhter south to Lindos Mare and Lindos Blu of Blu Collection, Matina Pefkos Hotel (great budget option), Rodos Princess and luxurious Princess Andrianna of H Hotels, to Atrium Prestige further south in Lachania.