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In the capital of the Greek island Rhodes you can travel back in time. Not to Ancient Greece, but to the Middle Ages. The city was founded by the Knights of St John who came from various Western European countries and formed a Christian bastion against the 'pagan' East. The old part of Rhodes Town, located on the most northern tip of the island, is surrounded by a medieval city wall of almost four kilometers long. On some days you can take a walk along this wall. The knights of St John used to live in the northern part, which is called Kollochion. Their inns are now homes and offices, but still clearly recognizable by the arms and inscriptions. The inns on Odos Ippotoon (Knight street) are built in a strict, Gothic style. Each language group (Spaniards, French, Italians) had their own house. At the end of Knight street you can find a Byzantine church, that also served as a mosque for a while (the knights would turn over in their graves!). Next door to it, the Hospital of the Knights where injured or sick pilgrims were cared for. The huge infirmary with beautiful octagonal columns is located on the first floor. The rest of the building currently houses the Archeological Museum, which includes two beautiful sculptures of the love goddess Aphrodite. On a hill near the city you can find remnants of ancient Greece: the Acropolis, the temple Pythion Apollo and an amphitheater.
Amboise is the most beautiful passage in the wall. Nearby, at the highest point of the old town, is the Palation Megalou Magistrou (Palace of the Grand Masters). This castle was built when the city was founded in the fourteenth century, but destroyed by an explosion in 1856. Just before the Second World War it was restored to its original state. The Freedom Gate (Pili Eleftherias) is impressive too. Nearby there are remains of the Temple of Aphrodite.
In the Middle Ages the Mandráki harbor was where the knight's ships were moored. Now the image is determined by pleasure yachts and sailboats. On the head of the eastern pier (with three windmills) stands the fortress Ágios Nikólaos that was built in the sixteenth century. Presumably, this is the place where the Kolossos of Rhodes, one of the seven world wonders of the ancient world once stood. The Kolossos was a 32 meter high bronze statue of the sun god Helios. Ships sailed through between the legs of the sun-god into the harbor of Rhodes. This statue, which also served as a lighthouse, was placed in 285 BC, but destroyed by an earthquake less than sixty years later.
The interior of Rhodes is mountainous and sparsely populated with as its highest point the mountain Attavyros (1215 m). At the foot of this mountain lies the picturesque village Embona, a center of viticulture on the island. You can see the ruins of a temple dedicated to Zeus here aswell.
Located on the east coast of the island, nearly 60 kilometers of Rhodes Town, is the whitewashed town of Lindos. It's situated at the foot of a 120 meter high hill, on which the Acropolis stands. You can walk up that hill, but donkeys are available to make the climb too. That still leaves a pretty steep climb at the end though, after you descend the donkey. From the highest point you have a fantastic view of the steep cliffs, deep blue sea and the white houses of Lindos.
One of the biggest attraction on Rhodes are the remains of the city Kameiros, about 36 kilometers southwest of Rhodes Town. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in the second century. Amongst other things you can see the remains of a Doric Temple, an altar to Helius and the temple of Athena Polias. Situated not far from this archeological site is the so called Butterfly Valley. The small valley that has a small stream flowing through it, is full of oriental sweetgum trees that secrete a gold colored resin in the summer with a vanilla-like aroma. This attracts tens of thousands of multicolored butterflies.
The majority of tourists mainly come for the beaches to Rhodes. Many of them are gravel beaches, the nice sandy beaches are located mainly in the popular beach resort Faliráki in the north and on the south coast. This southern part of the island is much quieter than the north.
No cars are allowed in the old center of Rhodes Town, but motorcycles and mopeds are. Parking in the center of the newer part of town is difficult, but outside you'll have little trouble finding a parking space.
Diagoras International Airport is located 20 kilometers southwest of Rhodes Town. The airport is easily accessible via the highway that runs along the coast and spans the entire island. With a rental car you can reach the airport in about 20 minutes from the city center.