Want to go swimming at Anthony Quinn? Any cab driver knows where it is. That’s the name of a beach in Rhodes, not far from the main town, where the late great Hollywood actor bought some land and where his heirs are still locked in a legal tussle with the Rhodes city council over what to do with it.
The issue isn’t expected to be resolved any time soon. But it’s a good line to use when you want to impress someone. (“Sorry you couldn’t find me this morning, dear. I was relaxing at Anthony Quinn…”)
Now, to fully enjoy Rhodes you need at least several days and preferably a rented car. Start out from the main town and mediaeval old town, built by the Knights Templar of Saint John in the 14th century, and a protected cultural monument since 1988. Choose any one of the ten entrances to the old town and marvel at the Street of the Knights, the history-dripping squares and churches, the Palace of the Great Magister, the Archaeological Museum, the folk market on Socrates Street and the Suleiman mosque at Arionos Square.
In the modern town, must-sees are the Modern Greek Art Museum at 100 Date Palms Square, as pretty as its name implies. If you’re into riskier pleasures, try your luck at the casino housed in the historic Hotel of the Roses.
The other main town of Rhodes that should not be missed is Lindos, which retains its old sea captains’ mansions and fascinating pebble-mosaic alleyways. The east side of Rhodes has the best beaches: Kallithea (site of the Italian warm springs), Tsambika, Afantou and the Anthony Quinn. To the south you can cool off at the beaches of Kiotari, Glystra and Prasonisi. This last is a semi-islet off the southernmost point of Rhodes, connected to it by a narrow strand of sand. It’s convenient to remember that if one side of the island is windy, choppy and good for windsurfing, the other side is invariably calm as a millpond, ideal for swimming.
• Surfing and Kite surfing on the west coast and especially on the south end of the island
• Many hotels will offer activity programs
• Most tour operators will offer excursions
• Climb Mt Attavyros. A challenging 2-3 hour climb to the island’s highest point (1215m). On leaving Embonas on the road towards Siana, drive up one of the agricultural roads on the left and find a place to park. On foot, you continue up through the wine growing area in the obvious direction. There is no explicit marked path but red paint on rocks towards the top marks the best route. It is a steep climb with many large loose rocks. The descent can be especially tricky. It is also possible to drive up the mountain: the approach road comes from the South.
• Kamiros and Mt. Profitis Ilias
A variety of other sports is also available and in development in the city. In volleyball AS Diagoras Rhodes lost in the third division and returns to the local leagues; in rugby the recently formed Colossoi of Rhodes reached the top league finals for the second time in a row. The Nautical Club of Rhodes and Ygros Stivos of Rhodes have water polo teams in low level national divisions; the Rhodian Tennis Club play tennis and ping-pong in its privately owned facilities; AS Diagoras Rhodes have competitive teams in cycling and in track and field athletics. Finally ziu zitsu, karate, tae-kwon-do and other Eastern oriented sports are available with local teams that enjoy sporadic national success.
• Kamiros. Ancient ruins.
• Castle with acropolis over Lindos.
• Tsambika Peak.
• The old town of Rhodes city
• Palace of the Prince Grand Master.
• Street of Knights.
• Valley of the Butterflies. Since the butterflies – which are actually coloured moths – in this area need quietude for their procreation and since the area is visited by many tourists, the population of the Petaloudes “butterflies” is constantly on the decline; even to a degree that it does not make any sense anymore to go there, as you will hardly see any of the moths. It is still a beautiful area regardless.
• Epta Piges. (Seven springs) and that is literally all there is to see there except for a short forest walking trail. In the hot summer months, the cool shade provides a pleasant respite from the sun.
• Castle of Kastellos.
• Castle of Monolithos.
• Cape Prasonisi. The southern-most tip of Rhodes. There is a peninsular connected to the main island by a sand bar. Unless you have a 4×4, think twice before driving your car across the sand bar: it becomes progressively less solid and it is easy to get stuck.
In ancient times, Rhodes was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World—the Colossus of Rhodes. This giant bronze statue was documented as once standing at the harbour. It was completed in 280 BC but was destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today.
Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes, the Temple of Apollo, ancient Ialysos, ancient Kamiros, the Governor’s Palace, Rhodes Old Town (walled medieval city), the Palace of the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalo Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of Kritinia and St. Catherine Hospice.
Rhodes Butterflies Park
The Valley of the Butterflies is worth a visit and though their numbers are declining due to the impact of tourism on their habitat, they are still impressive.
The Valley oh the Butterflies of Rhodos located 20 km from the airport of Rhodes, and is near by the Village Kalamonas.
This is a lush green Valley ,with a small river running through it. The site is Beautifully arranged, with little wooden Bridges ,stone steps,and an uphill path which leads to the Monastery of the Virgin of Kalopetra.
At the entrance of the Valley ,there is a small souvenir shop .The Valley of the Butterflies is a unique natural Park, where each Year from June to September ,thousands of moulti- colored butterflies appear.
The Park is a nice place to walk under the shade of the trees. The characteristic scent of the pine resin, which attracts the butterflies ,the coolness from the abundantly flowing waters ,make this a small paradise even during the hot days of the summer .
The Valley of the Butterflies in Rhodes is a unique and beautiful natural spot in Rhodes Island. The Valley located about 25 km from Rhodes City, in the western side of the island, about 5 km SE of the village of Theologos.
During August, thousands of butterflies overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce.
Towards the end of May, the butterflies emerge in the forms recognizable to all of us and constantly move to areas of highest humidity, reaching the valley in August.
Mainly due to disturbance caused by visitors in the latest years, the population of butterflies is in decline. However, visitors should not be denied the enjoyment of seeing these lovely creatures but it is prohibited to disturb the butterflies in any way (i.e. whistling, hand clapping).
Within the forest there are shady walks and a restaurant overlooking a waterfall. The valley is lush and a river is running through it. At the entrance you can find a souvenir shop. The “Museum of Natural History” is located in a part of the valley.
Public buses operate throughout the islands.
The main bus terminal in Rhodes city is the Neá Agorá (New Market). Schedules and prices can be found at the ticket booths.
Tickets can also be bought in the bus from a cashier or directly from the driver. Keep your ticket until the end of your voyage. The price of a bus ticket will depend on the destination. For example, a trip from Rhodes city to Faliraki will cost 2.00 Euros.
Bus stops on the road are marked by a sign, but do not hesitate to signal a bus driver that you wish to board. Bus stops do not have the timetables displayed.
One useful line is the 21, which serves the large hotels on Rhodes’ east coast with Faliraki as the final destination, departs from Rhodes city almost every half-hour.
Taxis on Rhodes are dark blue with white roofs. There is a list of expected maximum taxi charges you can obtain from the tourist information office. For example, a trip from Rhodes city to Faliraki should not cost more than 13 Euros; the trip from the Airport to Rhodes city a maximum of 16 Euros. The minimum fare for each trip is 4.00 Euros, the taximeter starts at 0.85 Euros. Never let the driver turn off the meter.
You can radio a taxi via telephone number 22410 69800. This adds a standard surcharge of 1.50 Euros. Waiting fare is 7.90 Euros per hour. Between midnight and 5 AM you will have to pay twice the normal rates. You can book ahead to avoid delays at high traffic times such as weekends.
Within Rhodes city limits, fixed rates are applied. If you get a taxi from one of the taxi stations or stop one in the street, the fare is 5.00 Euros. At the main taxi station, close to the New Market (Mandraki), there are hosts that try to cut down waiting time by making sure that the taxis doesn’t leave half empty – especially if you are going a bit further. If you share a taxi within the Rhodes city limits the fare is 4.00 Euros.
It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car at the airport or via any hotel and at many local dealers. Asphalt highways will allow you to reach the entire island, although roads in the interior – especially the south – may turn out to be little more than dirt paths.
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go – for example the twisted narrow streets of Rhodes city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent – 10 to 15 Euros a day is the usual price.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious – it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, (although you might well be stopped and fines 50 euros if you are not wearing a helmet on the main roads) it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.
• Ceramic watch for the many “Keramik factory” outlets along the roads).
• Olive oil
• Bottle of wine- local wines are famous (eg CAIR) and tasty
• Religious icons
• Jewelry stores are common, particularly in Rhodes Town
• Umbrellas – manufactured by the two large industries of the island (there is, though, a popular “joke” souvenir – on an island with 300+ sun days a year, these are rarely needed)
• Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are actually imported, and have no authentic connection to the island whatsoever.
• Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (t-shirts, towels, hand bags, and so on)
• From Filerimos to Trianta (1 hour 5 minutes)
• From the Butterfly Museum to the AghiosSoulas church (2 hours 35 minutes)
• Alpine-type mountain walk from the campsite at Profitis Ilias (2 hours 15 minutes)
• From Salako village square to the Aghios Nikolaos Foundoukli church (3 hours 20 minutes)
• From Kastro Kritinia, the best-preserved Knights’ castle in Rhodes to the village of the same name (2 hours 15 minutes)
• Alpine-type mountain walk from Embona to Atavyro (3 hours 40 minutes)
• Through the mountain dales of Akramitis (1 hour 45 minutes)
• Around the Crusader Castle at Monolithos (3 hours 5 minutes)
• To Asklipio village (2 hours 5 minutes)
• Through the woods to the Archangel Michael monastery at Thari (2 hours 30 minutes)
• From Vlycha to Lindos (1 hour 50 minutes)
• Along the coast from the Crusader Castle at Archangelos to the castle of Faraklos (2 hours 35 minutes)
• From Archangelos to the Tsambika monastery (2 hours 30 minutes)
• From Archangelos to Epta Piges (2 hours 45 minutes)
• To Panaghia Paramythias at Afantou (2 hours 5 minutes)
• From Koskinou village to Thermes kallithea (1 hour 30 minutes)
Clean Monday, also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or (GREEK… kathari deftera ), is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
The common term for this day, “Clean Monday”, refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called “Ash Monday,” by analogy with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches begin Lent). The term is often a misnomer, as only a small subset of Eastern Churches practice the Imposition of Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church is a notable Eastern rite that employs the use of Ashes on this day.
Liturgically, Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding (Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as “Clean Week,” and it is customary to go to Confession during this week, and to clean the house thoroughly. The theme of Clean Monday is set by the Old Testament reading appointed to be read at the 6th Hour on this day (Isaiah 1:1-20).
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Dodecanese islands, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named “lagana” and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe etc). Traditionally, it is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season, a notion which was used symbolically in Ivan Bunin’s critically acclaimed story, Pure Monday. Dodecanesians on Green Monday usually take their picnic baskets and put inside fasting foods and the traditional bread called “lagana” because it is the day that Lent begins.
The happy, springtime atmosphere of Clean Monday may seem at odds with the Lenten spirit of repentance and self-control, but this seeming contradiction is a marked aspect of the Orthodox approach to fasting, in accordance with the Gospel lesson (Matthew 6:14-21) read on the morning before. In this manner, the Orthodox celebrate the fact that “The springtime of the Fast has dawned, the flower of repentance has begun to open.
Phone Center: (0030) 2241 361200
Rhodes General Hospital
Phone Center: (0030) 2241 080000
Emergency Number: 166 (applicable inside Greece)
Emergency Number: 100 (applicable inside Greece)
Rhodes Department: (0030) 2241 023849, 2241 044140
Airport Department: (0030) 2241 082882
Traffic Division: (0030) 2241 044132
Security Division: (0030) 2241 023294
Tourism Division: (0030) 2241 027423
Emergency Number: 199 (applicable inside Greece)
Forrest Fire Center: 191 (applicable inside Greece)
Phone Center: (0030) 2241 023333, 2241 023334
Rhodes Port Authority
(0030) 2241 022220, 2241 028888
Phone: 121 (applicable inside Greece)
Electrical Services: 1050 (applicable inside Greece) & (0030) 2241 027330
Water Services: (0030) 2241 064850
Greek National Tourism Organization
Phone Center: (0030) 2241 044330
Prefecture of Dodecanese
Phone Center: (0030) 2241 046500
Rhodes Customs Service
Secretariat: (0030) 2241 027358
www.rhodes.gr & www.rhodosisland.gr