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Sights, Rhodes

Sit down on one of the seats that once gave holidaymakers and locals alike fantastic views of the fascinating Haleion Games, at the Ancient Olympic Stadium and admire the magnificent architecture that still remains today. The Jewish Quarter comprises narrow streets and rich history and the Mandraki Harbour is the home to some of Rhodes’ most famous festivals and is a local hotspot for weddings.

Acropolis of Lindos

The ancient Acropolis of Lindos is built on a 116m-high rock. A steep footpath leads to the beautifully preserved Acropolis and if you don’t want to walk there, you can ride up on a donkey.

First walled in the 6th century BC, the clifftop is now enclosed by battlements constructed by the Knights of St John. Once inside, you can admire the gallery of the Hellenistic period, the impressive Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylaea, the Byzantine church of St. John and the Headquarters of the Knights’ period.

The view from the Acropolis is magical, on one side is Lindos with its beach and on the other side is the Bay of St. Paul, where according to tradition, the Apostle Paul came ashore in the year 57 AC.

Opening hours are 8 am – 10 pm from April to October and 8 am – 3 pm from November to March.

Ancient City of Lalyssos

Lalysos is one of the three ancient cities that can be found on the holiday island of Rhodes and this one has the ruins of civilisations that can be dated as far back as the third millennium BC.

Battled over many times by Greeks and Turks there was once a Christian basilica that was built virtually over a Doric temple, replaced in the 6th century by a Byzantine monastery. Before the last war when Rhodes was occupied by Italians, much of the site was excavated and they rebuilt the monastery to create the ‘Golgotha’ church with four shrines.

Today, you can see the temple foundations, the remains of the incredible Doric Fountain House and ruins of Byzantine fortification walls, constructed with stone taken from the ruined temple of Athena. site.

This site is extremely interesting and well worth a visit.

Ancient Olympic Stadium

Just a 15-minute walk up a hill behind the Rhodes Horizon resort there is the Ancient Olympic stadium which was once a 210-metre arena that hosted the Haleion Games, Today, it still has its rounded end and turning post and some of the seating for officials and spectators. A small marble theatre is located next to the stadium and although it has been heavily restored, not much remains of the original structure

Sitting in the amphitheatre it is easy to imagine back to a time when athletes from several cities and kingdoms from ancient Greece competed in athletic, combat and chariot racing events.

There is a lovely air-conditioned room with information about the site which also gives you the chance to escape the extreme heat outside. Unfortunately, there is no local shop to buy refreshments but there is a vending machine that sells cold water and drinks.

Governor’s Palace

The Governor’s Palace was constructed in 1927 during the Italian occupation of the island. The Italian architect Florestano di Fausto, merged Byzantine, medieval and Spanish architectural styles into the building and its arrangement strongly resembles the Palace of the Duces in Venice.

It is one of the most important buildings of the Italian period in Rhodes, which today houses the Prefecture of the Dodecanese. An imposing two-story building, built of stone and reinforced concrete, it has complex decorative lined red stone on the eastern side, while the west is decorated by massive stone masonry and medieval memories. The ground floor is surrounded by a covered gallery at road height.

As the palace is situated on the beach of Mandraki in Rhodes Town, it is one of the first things you see when approaching Rhodes by boat.

Jewish Quarter

With its narrow streets, the ghostly quiet Jewish Quarter is an often-overlooked area of Rhodes Old Town. However, as recently as the 1920s there was a population of 4000 living here. There is much to see here including the “Square of the Martyred Jews” which was originally an area of Jewish homes and small shops. However, the area was bombed during World War II, and a small park and square were established in its place.

Built in 1577, Kahal Shalom Synagogue is the oldest in Greece and the museum’s exhibits include photographs, intricately decorated documents and displays about the 1673 Jews deported from Rhodes to Auschwitz in 1944, of whom only 151 survived.

The Jewish Cemetery is one of the best preserved in Europe and contains tombstones from the 1500’s to the present day. It is located outside the Old City of Rhodes along the main road.

Kalithea Springs

The thermal springs of Kallithea were first made use of by the Italians, in the early 20th century.

They remained in operation until 1967 and attracted visitors from all over the world. Today, the springs are completely restored and tastefully refurbished and attract hundreds of visitors per day. The unique architecture and the splendour of the place, with the pebble stone mosaics, the Rotonda Hall, the Terrace, the impressive patio and the staircases at the entrance create an evocative backdrop.

Kalithea Springs hosts many festivals, concerts, and artistic events all year round and it is a very popular place for weddings.

The lovely bay with its crystal-clear waters is great for snorkelling, free sunbeds next to the stairs leading to the bay and there is a restored, historic cafe, serving meals all day and also operating as a beach bar.

Mandraki Harbour

Mandraki Harbour dates back to the city’s founding in the early 400 BC. It was the military port of ancient Rhodes and its mouth could be shut off by chains. It is protected by a lengthy breakwater, where you will also find the ancient 15th century Saint Nicolas Fort and three dominating Windmills.

Now, the entrance has two stone columns on top of which are bronze statues of a male and female deer ( Elafos and Elafina), heraldic symbols of the island. A sight which never fails to amaze visitors. In ancient times, the inspiring Colossus of Rhodes used to stand where the two deer are positioned today.

The harbour is now lined with luxury yachts, moored alongside quaint, old fishing boats is an unspoiled place, lined by seaside Cafes. Mandraki is also used by excursion boats which offer day trips to neighbouring islands.

Municipal Gallery

The Municipal Art Gallery of Rhodes, recently renamed to Modern Greek Art Museum (MGA), is today one of the most important and illustrative collections of 20th-century Greek paintings.

The founder of the Gallery was Andreas Ioannou, a historian of Modern Greek Art and the Prefect of the Dodecanese in 1948. Studying the modern Greek art since the 1950s, he created this gallery with aim of owning and protecting the work of modern artists.

Today, the gallery belongs to the Museum of Neothalamic Art of the Municipality of Rhodes and is housed in the first building on the right, as visitors enter the Old Town of Rhodes through the Freedom Gate. An old medieval two-storey building on Simi Square, this municipal gallery owns about 690 pieces of art but only 90 of them are available for public viewing.

Streets of Lindos

Lindos town is a nice mixture of typical Greek whitewashed houses and mysterious medieval streets and houses. Hotels are not allowed to be built here, and village centre is a car-free zone so the only way to get around is on foot or on a donkey.

The town is a maze of little streets with shops, bars, and restaurants mixed with medieval walls, simple architecture, with beautiful black and white “chochlaki” pebbled floors and painted ceilings. Wander down the winding streets, visiting lovely gifts shops where you’ll find authentic souvenirs including beautiful embroidered linen and leather and handmade silver jewellery.

This beautiful town is filled with Byzantine architecture, ancient churches and whitewashed buildings speckling the hillside. The streets of Lindos have quite a buzz to them and you’ll get a real feel for what Greek life is all about as you mix in amongst the locals.

Valley of the Butterflies

Situated approximately five kilometres south east of the village of Theologos, the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes) is one of the most attractive destinations on the island. This 600-acre nature park offers a summer home for many butterflies and during August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia congregate in this small valley in order to reproduce.

This is an excellent place for families who wish to enjoy the beauties of nature and examine the life cycle of butterflies as part of their summer holiday. You can walk through the peaceful, shaded, green valley with its small river and beautiful waterfalls, where you are permanently surrounded by butterflies, up to the monastery at the top.

There is also a museum where you will find lots of information plus the hatchery, where a number of butterflies reproduce in a protected area in stable climate conditions and an ideal environment.