The largest and arguably most historically powerful of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes has firmly anchored itself in the South Aegean with a strong sense of self and with a multitude of experiences to offer. If you come to the island expecting nothing but sun and sandy beaches, then you’re guaranteed to be pleasantly surprised by its charming culture, fascinating history and copious portions of delicious food.
In antiquity, visitors arriving at the main city of Rhodes would be welcomed by the gigantic Colossus statue — today, the Colossus is listed as one of the lost Wonders of the Ancient World. Rhodes Town, however, remains a welcoming harbour that rises gently above the azure-blue sea. Here holidaymakers can walk through the narrow streets of the beautifully preserved, UNESCO Heritage-listed Old Town, where only the local tourist shops remind you that you’ve not actually travelled back to the Middle Ages. Stroll along the old walls of the city, visit Old Town Castle and marvel at the Palace of the Knights, which was built by crusaders in the 14th century. If you’re still hungry for historical things, then feast your interest on the nearby Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. When the midday sun starts to really take effect, retreat to one of the cafés or tavernas for a light lunch, or kick back and relax along one of the many beaches that surround the oval island. One of the most scenic seaside escapes can be found at the southern town of Lindos. Here white-painted houses dot the hillside, which is crowned by the old fortress and ancient acropolis. Lounge by one of the many beautiful stretches of sandy beaches, have a refreshing swim in the clear blue sea, or wander through the quaint little streets of the village. The eastern coast of Rhodes is full of charming towns, while the landscape of the east coast is more rugged and mountainous. However, wherever you find yourself on the island, you’re never far from serene coastal stretches or a lively taverna, where you can set your taste buds loose on amazing Greek food. In addition to offering great versions of the national dishes moussaka and souvlaki, Rhodian cuisine is heavily focused around light spices and seafood. Tuck into freshly caught calamari stuffed with feta cheese and tomatoes, or grilled seabass, and sip a glass of ouzo while you enjoy your place in the sun.
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