Rhodes Island: Natural and Historical Sights
The pearl of the Mediterranean — Rhodes — the largest island of the Dodecanese group, one of the most visited resorts in Greece. The peak tourist season here is in June — October. The air temperature during this period is on average 22-26 degrees, water — 24-28 degrees. On the one hand, the island is washed by the calm Mediterranean Sea, on the other — the changeable Aegean. The east coast is mostly sandy, suitable for a measured beach holiday. The pebbled west coast with its numerous bays attracts lovers of wildlife and active water activities.
Valley of butterflies and seven sources, Cape Prasonisi
The main natural attraction of the island is located in the municipality of Petaloudes. To get there yourself from the city of Rhodes, it’s worth a half hour drive to the village of Theologos. Tourists are attracted here by a narrow section along the gorge, called the “Valley of the Butterflies”.
The uniqueness of this place lies in a special microclimate favorable for winged insects. Due to the numerous reservoirs and mountainous environment in the valley is warm and humid.
The fragrance of incense and vanilla for the bears butterflies, exuded by local vegetation, hovers in the air. Look at the thousands of fluttering insects, striking a bright color, can be from May to September. In addition to butterflies in the valley there are rare birds and lizards, crabs are found in the reservoirs.
There is a museum on the territory of the protected area, and guided tours are conducted. Interesting places are higher: climbing the gorge, you can find a bench on which, according to legend, the emperor Tiberius liked to sit. At the top of the hill stands the Virgin Mary Cleopatra Monastery, built in the 17th century.
Not far from Lindos there is another natural attraction of Rhodes — the Valley of Seven Sources. Here, in the shade of pines and plane trees, springs are beating out of the ground. Ringing streams they flock into the tunnel, forming a single river and feeding the mountain lake. In the valley you can not only admire the picturesque landscapes and relax under the shade of ancient trees, but also test your courage. Brave ones are offered to walk through a dark and narrow tunnel, plunging along the ankle into the water.
Interesting places are in the south of Rhodes. One of them — Cape Prasonisi. In summer, when the water level in the sea drops, you can get from the land to a small piece of land along a narrow sandy isthmus. The rest of the time Prasonisi is an island. Tourist buses run regularly in the direction of the cape. It is easy to get to Prasonisi by yourself. Having rented a car in the city of Rhodes, you have to go along the coast — east or west, and turn south to the village of Kattavia.
Although Prasonisi in translation means «green island», in fact it is mostly rocky, devoid of vegetation locality. On the cape there is an old lighthouse and an abandoned building from the time of the Italian occupation. But still the highlight of this place is not in architecture, but in a natural phenomenon, romantically called “the kiss of two seas”: in the Prasonisi region there are Aegean and Mediterranean waters. Waves are «born» from these meetings, so the cape is the favorite place of surfers. In Prasonisi, you can rent equipment, there are two schools that teach skating on the blackboard.
Historical monuments of the capital
The main city of the island — Rhodes — is located in the north. The old part of the capital, full of medieval charm, belongs to the world cultural heritage. It was from here that the construction of the city began in the 14th century. Numerous fortifications erected by the Knights Hospitallers remind of those times. Wandering through the cobbled streets of Rhodes, it is easy to imagine what the city looked like 6–7 centuries ago. You can get into Old Rhodes through the gates, of which there are 11. Historically, this part of the capital has been divided into two quarters: knights lived in Collahio, the rest were citizens of Burgo.
The main architectural monuments of Old Rhodes:
- Gate of Freedom;
- Platia Simis Square with the ruins of the ancient temple of Aphrodite;
- Halls of the City Pinakothek;
- Compound Knights Auvergne;
- Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts;
- the church of Panagia tou Castra (Byzantine Museum);
- the archaeological museum in the building of the Order Hospital;
- 200-meter street of the Knights;
- Palace of the Great Masters;
- shopping and entertainment street Socrates;
- Church of the Holy Virgin;
- Burgo Square with fountain.
New Rhodes is a fashionable area within which life is constantly in full swing. The architecture of this part of the city is eclectic: in the guise of modern buildings one can discern Gothic, Venetian, Arabic motifs.
Those who wish to buy souvenirs in Rhodes should look at the market «Nea Agora». Here you can eat cheap and tasty.
The main decoration of the modern part of the city is the port of Mandraki. Excursion ships and yachts depart from here to other interesting places of the island and Greece.
Lindos and Kamiros
There is something to see outside the capital of the island. You can get to the historical sites by yourself — by taxi or a rented car. Excursion buses regularly go to the ancient cities. 40 minutes from Rhodes, near the village of Calavarda, are the remains of the ancient settlement of Kamiros. Tourists who are attracted to the majestic ruins do not go here, since there is almost nothing left from the local acropolis.
What can I see here? Not bad preserved designs, which were located in the lower part of the settlement. Among them are the plates of the main altar and the steps of the theater. Once, in front of the main square of the city of Kamiros, there was a semicircular niche separating Agora from the sacred site with altars. The shrines were intended for nine gods whose names are carved on stones. Now you can see the largest altar, restored by the Italians during the occupation. It was erected in honor of Helios — the sun god. Nearby, archaeologists have dug up the statues of youths, the water tank. Coniferous forests and olive groves grow on the outskirts of Kamiros, the summer residence of the dictator Benito Mussolini.
On the east coast in an hour from the city of Rhodes there is another memorable place of the island — Lindos. The local acropolis is one of the best in Greece. It is located on a steep cliff and covers an area of 8,000 square meters. meters
The climb to the top on foot takes about a third of an hour. Since climbing takes a lot of strength, children and the elderly climb up better better riding a donkey. You can rent an animal at the foot of the rock, paying 5 euros.
Among the Roman and Greek monuments of the acropolis that have survived to our days, the temple of Athena, built 25 centuries ago, deserves special attention. Here, according to written sources, the commander Alexander the Great visited during the pilgrimage to Greece. From the top of the hill offers a wonderful view of the Gulf of St. Paul. From the acropolis, the modern settlement of Lindos is clearly visible. You should definitely enjoy this scenery!
Rhodes is the pearl of the Mediterranean; everyone here will be pleased by the fans of the beaches and connoisseurs of historical monuments. The opportunity to combine passive recreation and an active cultural program suitable for all ages is a reason to come to the island again and again.