For decades, people have been coming to the Greek island of Rhodes for its clear water, perfect beaches and amazing resorts. Most of these are located around main settlements of Lindos and Rhodes Town, where the developed beach fronts and busy urban atmosphere offer a veritable cornucopia of things to do and see. If, however, you want to discover some of the island’s lesser-known gems, look no further than the list below. All located within a short distance of either Lindos or Rhodes Town, these destinations all provide a calm and quiet alternative if you need some breathing space away from the beaches and resorts.
Valley of butterflies/ Petaloudes
Every year, in late May, a kaleidoscope of butterflies assemble in the valley, which in Greek is known as Petaloudes. Attracted by the scent of the fragrant Oriental Sweetgum trees that grow in profusion across the valley, the butterflies come here to seek a mate as a part of the final stage of their life-cycle. Located just 20 kilometres from Rhodes Town, the verdant valley is a sanctuary to a plethora of butterflies throughout the year and offers a pleasant and delightful day out for holidaymakers of all ages. A quiet river flows through the valley, and along a tranquil path leading up to a monastery, you’ll come across scores of colourful little critters.
Valley of Butterflies
Acropolis in Lindos
You don’t have to travel to Athens to get a chance to visit the Acropolis, as Rhodes has its very own version of it. Towering over the holiday town of Lindos, the imposing citadel (which is what Acropolis translates as in Greek) opens up a glimpse of antiquity and among the ruins, you can see a temple built to honour Athena –the goddess of wisdom, the relief of an old Rhodian warship and the remains of a Roman temple. Climb the old staircase to the centre of the fortress, explore the ancient walls and, while there, pause for a second and just savour the extraordinary views of the resplendent Aegean Sea and the surrounding urban landscape of Lindos.
Founded by the Romans, the serene Rodini Park offers a quiet escape from the more bustling parts of Rhodes Town. Located in the outskirts of the island capital, this green space is populated predominantly by pine and cypress trees. Under the shade of these green giants, you’ll find lots of little quaint things. Kids can explore the playground and the small zoo, while history buffs can see the old Roman aqueduct, as well as the ancient tomb of the Ptolemies. As you stroll along the quiet, shaded paths, next to the many ponds, you’ll undoubtedly come across the more colourful inhabitants of the parks, the free-roaming peacocks.