Guest Author - Ann Carroll Burgess
Rhodes is much more than just a classical Greek Island experience. It is a magical place filled with the influences of the ages and cultures that have passed, and sometimes stayed, on this island.
Rhodes has been at the top of the tourist destination list for centuries. This island lying close to the trade routes bound for Asia has been visited and occupied by a vast array of cultures and conquerors. Even the Knights of St. John would hold this as their main base in the Mediterranean until Suleyman the Magnificent would claim it as part of the Ottoman Empire.
As such this city oozes with history and glorious examples of architecture built through the millennia. Almost every culture has left their mark on this island. The Acropolis of Lindhos, perched high above the city, is a marvelous construction of both Doric and Hellenic styles. The massive walls and fortresses are the legacy of crusading knights who stopped here on their way to the Middle East. The Turks would leave an oriental style bazaar. The Ottoman’s a legacy of mosques. Even the 20th century Italians would dispense a legacy of Art Deco style. And, it all works.
Rhodes has been an epicenter of Mediterranean history over the centuries. From the building of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, to the visitation of St. Paul and later one conquering empire after another would pass through this island.
Although the island does suffer from massive amounts of commercialization and large resorts have taken over the southern portion of the island, much remains that is enchanting and historical. You can even find wooded countryside and tiny villages that cling ferociously to their traditional ways.
What does it offer the 21st century visitor? The best of the Greek Islands. You’ll bask in the glow of the warmth of its hospitality, feast on classic Greek cuisine and experience some of the best duty-free shopping in the islands.
Rhodes is a favorite destination of many cruise ship itineraries so you can expect it to be sometimes almost overrun with tourists. But these day “port of call” experiences leave the island blissfully less crowded after the sun goes down.
The bet time to visit is between April to June and September to October. Summers can be blazingly hot, except for the water temperature, which always manages to retain a refreshingly “icy” temperature.
Charter and domestic flights run very frequently to the island, or you can take an inter-island ferry from Piraeus on the Greek mainland. A variety of vessels ply these waters from slow boats to catamarans, and high-speed hydrofoils. Generally, the faster the trip, the more expensive it will cost. Whatever the price, it will be worth it for some time travel on Rhodes.