Rhodes is the largest and most popular island of the Dodecanese which is ideal not only for those who want to relax but also for those looking for an action with 300 days of the sunshine per year. With its bright green hills, romantic Old Town, buzzing nightlife and crystal-clear waters Rhodes is truly a blessed place. Rhodes is one of the best gulet charter destinations.
The climb from the village of Líndos up to its famous Acropolis is steep, made more arduous in summer by the hot air that hangs heavily in the often windless village. It’s worth it, though, when you get to the top and discover a series of ancient monuments including the inner Temple of Athena Lindia at the highest seaward point on the rock. The remains seen today – columns of the propylaia and inner bemas date from 342BC. What perhaps impresses most, though, are the superb views of Líndos Bay to the north, the town to the west, and perfectly sheltered St Paul’s Bay to the south. The town itself is small, home to about 4000, but contains a number of decent eateries. But most flock to the sandy, gently curving beach. The bath-warm water is shallow, tranquil and clear, making swimming an absolute pleasure. For those looking for something more exciting, the usual range of beach water sports are also available.
In Rhodes' Old Town is the Street of the Knights, where many of the inns of the crusading Order of the Knights of St John were based. One of the most intact medieval streets in the world, its buildings of finely chiseled sandstone form one uninterrupted facade that rises to a double archway spanning the road at its peak.
During the day the street is crowded with strolling visitors, so it is easier to imagine yourself back in the 14th century at night, when the street takes on a more magical atmosphere with the waxy glow of the streetlights reminiscent of medieval oil-lamps, and the only sound is the gurgle of the fountain in the Villaragut Mansion garden.
Panagía Tsambíka Monastery sits on the peak of a rocky promontory overlooking the east coast. Although a narrow, steep but drivable concrete lane leads most of the way there, female pilgrims usually walk (or crawl on hands and knees) from the main road to pray for fertility and the chance of a child, especially during the festival on 8 September. Even from the parking lot and taverna, there are still 298 steps up to the pinnacle, a breathtaking walk in all senses of the word. The original, vaulted, 17th-century church retains fresco fragments; the wonder-working icon resides in a separate recess, emblazoned with támmata. The views from the grounds along the coast are second to none.
Some 326m directly below is sandy Tsambíka Bay, Rhodes’ finest beach. Gently shelving, it is the first beach on Rhodes that becomes swimmable, in April. Beyond this, several bays are visible as far as Líndos, and other rugged limestone promontories fill the panorama.
Valley of the Butterflies
Up in the hills south of the airport is Petaloúdes. This literally translates as ‘butterflies’, and the area is usually known in English as the Valley of the Butterflies, one of the island’s beauty spots and an unmissable attraction. Petaloúdes is actually a seasonal home not to butterflies but Jersey tiger moths, which are attracted by the oriental sweetgum trees that grow densely in this valley.
The whole valley has been set aside as a well-laid-out reserve for visitors, who can walk through the trees, over streams and around ponds and waterfalls, looking out for the winged creatures. The climb to the 18th-century chapel of Kalópetra at the top of the valley takes around one hour.
The scent of pine on every breath, rustic bridges and trickling streams set the mood for 'Epta Piges' (Seven Springs), found 30 km from the City of Rodos. Those who want to rise to the challenge can wander around the maze of footpaths searching out the source of each of the seven springs. Lying across the entry road, a green lake with turquoise waters nestles in a pine clad gorge.
A sign posted footpath leads to it from the main site as does a tunnel carrying a stream. Many visitors walk through the 610ft (186m) long dark tunnel but it is not recommended for claustrophobic, who may follow the signposted alternate route. Peacocks wander the site too and if they are not to be seen their penetrating cry is unlikely to pass unnoticed. Set in some of the deepest shade by the water edge, the taverna (occasional operation during winter) is an atmospheric place to refresh and the food is good too.
On the north-western shore of Rhodes, close To the promontory of Agios Minas (the Ancient Mylantio) lies the third of The island's ancient cities - Kamiros.Kamiros was one of the three large Doric cities of the island, which united with Ialyssos and Lindos in the 5th century B.C. to create the powerful city - state of Rhodes.Although it was established by the Dorians, it seems like the first inhabitants of the area must have been Achaeans, as the ruins of an ancient Mycenaean necropolis close to the village of Kalovarda reveal. Kameiros was basically an agricultural society which produced oil, wine and figs. During the city's golden era of the 6th century, it was the first Rhodian city to cut its own coins.