ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Take in the city’s ancient wonders
Sailing in to Rhodes is a spectacle in itself; an ancient walled city stretching before the turquoise Aegean awaits you. Take a moment to imagine how dramatic the approach must have been during the third century BC, when the Colossus of Rhodes dominated its shores. The grand statue of Helios, a symbol of unity, was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC. Take a scenic waterfront stroll from the dock to its former site at Mandraki Harbour, where two deer-topped columns guard its entrance. The well-stocked Nea Agora market, water-bound excursions and friendly locals also await.
2. Enter the medieval maze
A short walk from the northern harbours lie the cobblestone streets of Rhodes’ Old Town. Enclosed within ancient fortifications developed by the Knights Hospitaller and the Ottomans, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a joy to explore. Get lost within its maze of pretty lanes or walk the perimeter to admire its magnificent sandstone walls, gates and towers.
3. Follow in grand footsteps
The historic Avenue of the Knights offers a truly atmospheric experience with its medieval walkway and honey-toned stonework. Also known as Ippoton, it is the street where the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem lived, met and dined, and leads to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights. This imposing masterpiece was built as a Byzantine citadel and converted in the fourteenth century. It is now a museum where you can walk amongst sculptures, mosaics and artefacts from the ancient island.
4. Visit ancient must-sees
Rhodes has been inhabited for thousands of years and traces of its earliest civilisations can still be found around the island. Just outside the old city walls is the Acropolis of Rhodes, with its small theatre and partially restored Temple of Apollo. An hour south is Lindos, home to a dramatic acropolis perched on a cliff. This fortified, former citadel offers a wealth of enthralling history, as well as spectacular views. On the northwest coast you’ll find the ruins of Kameiros, a Doric city built on three levels. Visit the summit where the Temple of Athena and the Stoa once stood, walk along parallel streets still lined by former homes and learn about the 3,500 year old water systems that run underground.
5. Laze on a sunny afternoon
As well as oodles of culture, Rhodes is famed for its glorious sunshine and numerous beaches. With more than 35 stretches of welcoming sands, you’re sure to find the perfect place to while away an hour or two. Among the most popular are the crystal clear waters of Elli beach, family-friendly Lardos, wind-swept Ixia, charming Kallithea, where the springs are believed to have curative properties, and picturesque Anthony Quinn Bay. Soak up some vitamin D then sample the local cuisine in a quaint waterfront tavern.