Rhodes is a beautiful island, popular amongst beach goers and history hunters alike. Combining a fascinating historical heritage with all the colour and vibrancy of modern Greece, Rhodes City offers a huge range of exciting things to see and do. If you are visiting the city as part of a Mediterranean cruise, follow our guide to make sure you don’t miss anything that Rhodes has to offer.
Don’t hire a scooter. The island is 60 miles long, the town itself is very busy, and the challenging road conditions basically mean you’ll have a very bumpy – and dangerous – ride. Bus services are pretty good if you need to get about, and the coverage is comprehensive if you were hoping to venture out of the city. If you’re staying local just walk, it’ll let you drink in the atmosphere, enjoy the weather and discover things you would never have spotted from the road.
Must See Attractions
There is plenty to see around Rhodes City, which has a wealth of ancient history giving you a glimpse of Greece in the time of Plato, Socrates and others who had a role in shaping modern civilisation. One of the best places to start, not the oldest but with the best views, is with a walk around the medieval walls, which look out over the Old Town. They can be accessed via the Grand Master’s Palace and allow you to walk all the way around to Kokkini Porta in the south-east corner. They’re only open during the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays a walk around the moat between the two fortifications is a wonderful way to while away a couple of hours.
For those in search of something a little more ancient, the Lindos acropolis has a variety of beautiful monuments, including the inner Temple of Athena Lindia. The site is populated by the ruins of ancient structures dating back to 342BC. All of this is set against the backdrop of a superb view of Lindos bay to the north and the town to the west. If the walk seems a little arduous on a hot day, you can take a donkey ride right to the top.
Rhodes is also home to several beautiful painted churches which date back as early as the 1300s. The Thari monastery is home to some of the best, and the slightly later ones found at Kimisis church are also well worth seeing. Many of the churches have been cleaned from the 1980s onwards, restoring their vibrant colours back to their jewel-like state. These beautiful places of worship offer a wonderful cool sanctuary on a hot day.
Escape to Nature
If you want to escape from the city, a trip to Petaloudes on the hills south of the airport is the perfect getaway. Called Valley of the Butterflies in English, this beauty spot is one of the island’s most famous due to its seasonal status as home to a huge number of Jersey tiger moths. They’re attracted to the oriental sweetgum trees that grow in the valley, and can be found flitting among the trees, waterfalls and streams of these beautiful hills. Those who venture all the way to the top of the valley, a climb of about one hour, will be rewarded by a beautiful view and a visit to the 18th-century chapel of Kalopetra that sits at the top of the valley.
Where to Eat
Like many places in Greece, Rhodes has a strong culinary tradition of producing amazing, signature food out of the beautiful local produce available on the island. For an authentic taste of Rhodes, head to Mavrikos in Lindos’ main square, which is one of the oldest restaurants in the area and is still run by the Mavrikos family themselves. It has won a variety of prizes for its home-cooked taste of Greece, and has become something of an institution for visitors and locals alike. The elegance and simplicity of flavours created by the famous chef Dimitris Mavrikos make the slightly higher prices charged here well worth paying.
Situated in the acclaimed Marco Polo Mansion Inn, in a building which dates back to the 15th century, the creative Marco Polo Café offers a delightful seasonal menu with a strong seafood element. Updated classics such as grilled octopus on aubergine mousse and monkfish on saffron-laced mash potatoes always leave visitors feeling like they’ve tasted a modern take on the best of Greece’s culinary heritage. Even if you don’t usually have a sweet tooth, save room for the chocolate and strawberry semifreddo, prepared by the best Italian patisserie chef in town.
Another must visit restaurant is the famous Dinoris, which enjoys a 20-year reputation for serving delicious, no-nonsense dishes. It is run by long-time owner Sratos Dinoris and his daughter Dimitra, and has served a variety of international celebrities, many of whom have photographs adorning the walls. The restaurant can be found in an old horse stable used by the Knights of Saint John, with the shady terrace and the elegant dining room equally pleasant to enjoy a meal in. The menu offers food that is simple yet outstanding, from grilled fish and seafood platters to hand cut chips. It is usually best to make a reservation, as Dinoris’ reputation really does precede it and it books up quickly.
If Rhodes sounds like your dream destination, why not visit as part of one of Cruise1st UK’s relaxing Mediterranean cruises? Browse the full range of cruises online, or call our friendly sales team on 0800 230 0655.