Monday, 21 October 2013

Why Choose Rhodes For Your Perfect Holiday?

The Island of Rhodes

It seems that no sooner than we take down the Christmas decorations that we have to decide where we are going on our summer holidays.  So where are you planning to go this summer? If you are thinking of a Mediterranean holiday on one of the Greek Islands, why not consider travelling to the beautiful island of Rhodes? 

Rhodes is a Greek Island in the Dodecanese that sits approximately eleven miles off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea.  Rhodes is one of the larger Greek islands, covering some 1398 square kilometres and with a coastline of 220 kilometres, and has a population of around 117,000. The interior of Rhodes is mountainous and the slopes are covered with forests.

Entrance to Harbour, Rhodes Town
Entrance to Harbour, Rhodes Town

Rhodes has a history of human habitation stretching back to Neolithic times.  Early settlers came from Asia Minor and there are traces of Mycenean habitation.  They were followed by the Dorian Greeks, and the state of Rhodes was founded around 408BC when the three major cities on the island, - Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos joined forces and forged a political union.  The next three hundred years were the golden age of Rhodes, and it was during this period that the famous Colossus of Rhodes was erected.  The Colossus was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, and was a representation of the sun god Helios.  It was the work of the Lindian sculptor Hares, and took twelve years to complete.  The site where The Colossus once stood can still be seen today at the entrance to the harbour in Rhodes Town.

Rhodes became a province of the Roman Empire and after the split of the Empire in the beginning of the 4th century AD became part of the Eastern, or Byzantine, Empire.  In the ensuing centuries Rhodes was invaded by the Arabs and in 1309 was sold to the Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem.  The Knights were established to nurse pilgrims to the Holy Land and the Crusaders who fought there.  In 1522 the island was conquered by the Ottoman Turks after a long siege.  Rhodes was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912, when it was occupied by Italian troops, and then at the end of the Second World War was incorporated in Greece along with the other Dodecanese islands.

Why is Rhodes Such A Good Place To Holiday?

The Airport

Rhodes is one of the Greek islands that have an international airport.  During the summer season there are many charter and low-cost flights to Rhodes from the United Kingdom, and regular scheduled flights from Athens and other major Greek cities.  So if you like your holidays to be straightforward and the travelling short, there is no need to fly into Athens and wait around for a ferry.

Lindos, Rhodes

The Climate

Rhodes is an island of sunshine, with the ideal climate for basking on the beach.  The average temperature during the summer months is around 30 degrees centigrade, with temperatures in the winter rarely dipping below 10 degrees centigrade.  It also very rarely rains during the summer months of June, July and August; the bulk of the island’s rainfall occurs during the winter.  There are local variations in temperature and Lindos, due to its position, is often a good 10 to 15 degrees centigrade hotter than other parts of the island.

The Beaches

There is a beach on Rhodes to suit everyone, from tiny little coves with very few people and no facilities, to long sandy beaches with large crowds, sun beds, umbrellas and lots of cafes and bars.  Perhaps on of the most dramatic beaches is Prasonisi on the southern most tip of the island.  On one side you have calm waters and shelter from the wind and on the other side wild waves, wind and surfers.  There is even a beach called Anthony Quinn, after the Hollywood actor who bought that part of the island when he was on Rhodes filming ‘The Guns of Navarone’.

The Beach at Lindos, Rhodes
The Beach at Lindos, Rhodes

The Resorts

Like the beaches there is a resort on Rhodes that will appeal to everyone.  The resort of Faliraki is best known for its loud, bustling nightlife, but it also has a 5 kilometres long beach, lots of shops and is home to the Faliraki Water Park, one of the largest in Europe.  The resort of Lindos is a beautiful old town clinging to the cliff as it leads down to the sea.  There are a multitude of shops, cafes and tavernas, many with roof terraces where you can dine under the stars looking out over the sea or up to the illuminated ancient Acropolis.  There are many resorts to choose from; offering accommodation from all-inclusive 5 star hotels to simple rooms in tavernas or private homes.

Empty Beach, Rhodes
Empty Beach, Rhodes

The Archaeological Sites

Rhodes has a long and interesting history, and boasts many impressive archaeological sites.  These include the ruins of the ancient towns of Kamiros, Lindos and Ialyssos.  At Ialyssos there are remains of a temple dedicated Athena Polias, a Doric fountain house, some Byzantine fortifications, remains of a Minoan settlement and Mycenean cemeteries.   At Kamiros you can wander around the remains of the old city, which was rediscovered in 1929 and is sometimes known as the Greek Pompeii, as it is not known why it was that the city was deserted and buried.  Lindos, with its magnificent Acropolis towering above the town, is arguably the most famous of the three.  You can either walk up the steep path from the town or take a ride on one of the donkeys, and enter the fortifications and the ruins of the temple of Athena Lindia.  There is also an ancient theatre in Lindos and various ancient funerary monuments.  There is an excellent Archaeological Museum in Rhodes Town containing many interesting artefacts, although many of the rich finds from Kamiros are in the British Museum and the Louvre.

The Interior of the Island

The hills of Rhodes are covered with trees and vegetation.  There are magnificent views down to the coastline and there are many little villages and towns dotting the landscape.  There are also numerous churches and monasteries and you can visit the picturesque Valley of the Butterflies.

Interior of Island, Rhodes
Interior of Island, Rhodes

Rhodes Town

The jewel in the island’s crown is Rhodes Town itself.  It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, and is also the financial and cultural centre of the south eastern Aegean.  The old town of Rhodes is a maze of around 200 streets and lanes, encircled by the town walls.  You enter the old town through one of the great gates, and can visit the ruins of the Temple of Venus, the Municipal Art Gallery, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Archaeological Museum, the Church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Palace of the Knights.  There are many shops, cafes and tavernas.  Outside the walls is Mandraki Harbour with its two deer statues where it is believed stood the mighty Colossus of Rhodes, the larger harbour where the cruise ships tie up, the Casino and along the beach is the Aquarium.

Rhodes Town
Rhodes Town

There truly is something for everyone on a Rhodes holiday, so why not book your tickets today and look forward to long, sun-filled days and nights of moonlight, dancing and great food.

All images my own

1 comment:

  1. Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

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