Discover the Greek Island of Rhodes
Rhodes has sadly hit the headlines this summer because of the devastating wildfires which wreaked havoc in parts of the island. All the more reason to show our support and head there this autumn to help elongate their season, and with the temperature still hovering in the high 20s you are guaranteed to still be able to catch some rays on the island’s beautiful beaches.
Known as ‘Knights’ Island’, Rhodes’ rich heritage combines impressive medieval architecture with amazing beaches and stunning natural scenery. Headquarters to the Knights Hospitaller, an ancient Catholic military order, between 1310 and 1522 they left much behind. The Old Town with the Palace of Grand Master, the Street of the Knights, the old port of Mandraki and Hippocrates Square is now a World Heritage Site. The Palace is one of the best-preserved castles in the Mediterranean. Built by the Knights of St John, it sits at the end of the historic Street of the Knights, a 600-metre-long preserved medieval street, and The Hospital of the Kings is now the Archeological Museum of Rhodes with an important collection of artefacts from the Hellenistic period to early Christianity. Find more ancient history at the Acropolis of Rhodes on the west side of Rhodes Town. Replete with sanctuaries, a huge temple and public buildings, the entire site is still to be excavated. In Rhodes, The Great Hammam is one of the few remaining Turkish baths, a remnant of the Ottoman occupation of the island.
In Lindos the Acropolis of Lindos, partly restored by the Knights, is well worth a visit. If castles are your thing then the Castle of Kritinia, constructed by the Knights, is built on a steep rock above the village of the same name and is worth visiting if only for the breathtaking views out to sea. The isolated ruin of the Venetian Monolithos Castle, atop a 300-foot-high rock, was built in 1480 to protect the area from pirates and is also well worth hiking up to, and don’t miss the Valley of the Butterflies. One of the island’s most popular attractions, autumn is a good time to visit with dense flora, breathtaking natural beauty, paved paths, ponds, waterfalls, and millions of butterflies (until late September when they start to leave the valley). The only sounds visitors can hear are the chirping cicadas and the murmuring of the cool water.
Rhodes Town is full of good restaurants, and it’s a popular spot for nightlife. Other tourist spots include Lindos, Faliraki, Kallithea and Lalyssos, but you can find great local tavernas in the mountain villages too. Rustico is a traditional Greek restaurant in Rhodes town with a village atmosphere and a beautiful secluded garden. There’s an innovative wine list here too, showcasing Greek wine producers. For seafood head to Hatzikelis, and for Greek dishes with a modern twist Kerasma is where to go. In the main square in Lindos, Mavrikos is one of the oldest restaurants in the area and is renowned for its elegant Greek dishes. Nearby, Mythos is a popular restaurant-bar with views of the port and Acropolis.
Where to Stay
Originally a 14th century knight’s home, the historic Kókkini Porta Rossa in Rhodes’ Old Town has six beautiful suites, each named after the families that once called it home. The stunning Michalis suite, which has its own garden, is a touching tribute to the carpenter who lived there with his family. Breakfast is served in the leafy courtyard and hosts Angela and Nikos will happily direct you to the best local restaurants for dinner, after which you can enjoy a nightcap from the open bar. kokkiniporta.com
The beachfront hotel of Lindos Blu overlooks the sparkling Vlycha Bay but is just a few minutes from Lindos town. A modern fusion of glass and timber, you can start your day with a dip in the sea before breakfasting on the terrace, while away an afternoon on the rooftop terrace with hot tubs, and dine in the hotel’s Five Senses restaurant – one of the best on the island. lindosblu.gr
The adult-only Elissa Lifestyle Resort is just six kilometres from Rhodes but this beachfront resort has everything you need: rooms are suites or water bungalows, there are numerous pools, a beachfront lounge, several bars and restaurants (including fresh seafood at Kavos, grills at Four and Asian at Masari) and a wellness spa. ellaresorts.com