The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, once stood, 100 feet tall, across the main harbour of the beautiful Greek island. The statue was fitting: the huge representation was of the Helios, the Greek god of the sun. Though the statue has long since fallen and exists today only in paintings, the island still enjoys the gift of its patron and is blessed with more than 300 day of sunshine every year.
Today, the popular resorts of Faliraki and Lindos evoke the image of hedonistic 18-30 holidays, rather than the gods of antiquity, but away from the large resort towns it’s easy to find a slice of genuine Greek culture. Sun-lovers book flights to Rhodes to laze on the beaches by day and explore the many clubs and restaurants by night. Away from the sandy beaches of the southeast coast there is much to explore. Most tourists visit the island’s medieval capital, Rhodes Town, which is the point of arrival for all Rhodes flights and ferries. This beautiful city is very well preserved, though full of tourists in the summer months. Inland, those with a car can explore castles and churches set among lush green hills in a little more peace.
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With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Rhodes is a sun worshipper’s paradise.From June through August, temperatures pass 40C on the Dodecanese Islands. September to October and April through mid-June are warm without the intense heat of summer. Winters are cooler, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 70s, but the sea is warm by early May.Summer also brings the meltemi, a cool wind from the Aegean. The force of the wind can cancel sea transport, but it is a windsurfer’s delight. The wind is at its strongest in mid-summer.
When to fly to Rhodes
The most popular months to visit Rhodes are April to September, and the busiest months are July and August. The summer season continues into November when a midday swim is still possible.
Accommodation is the priciest from July to September, and you need to book ahead for a room and rental car or bike.
Visit at the beginning or end of the peak season for milder temperatures, less wind from the meltemi, and more opportunity to enjoy the Greek culture.
October has a stormy week, but the rest of the month is mild and sunny. For fishing enthusiasts, winter is the main netting season on Rhodes. This can be the time to find cheap flights to Rhodes and good deals on hotels, but be aware that some of the restaurants and bars may be closed out of the tourist season.
Getting around Rhodes
Buses are cheap and taxis have set fares, not meters. Renting a motorcycle, car or moped is a favourite way to get around the island.
Rhodes insider information
- The entrance to the ancient harbour - called Mandraki - is marked by a statue of a deer and fawn. The Colossus of Rhodes, a giant statue and one of the ancient world's seven wonders, is said to have stood here. Daily cruises depart from the harbour to islands such as Lindos, Patmos and Nissiros.
- The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes occupies the 15th-century building of the Hospital of the Knights and has collections dating from the Geometric and Classical periods as well as sculptures dating from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras.
- About 16km (10 miles) from Rhodes city centre is the Bay of Faliraki, a vibrant and buzzy tourist resort with sandy beaches to complement the almost guaranteed sun. Away from the beaches and the bars however, the Acropolis of Erimokastro dates from the Mycenean period (1500-1100 BC).
- Kalithies village is close to Faliraki and is a charming place to visit. Aside from the narrow streets with restaurants and cafes, the church (Timios Stavros) offers views of the village. See the murals in the Eleousa Monastery and the cave of St. George is said to be Rhodes’s the oldest-known Neolithic dwelling.
- Lindos on the east of Rhodes is very popular. Not only does the village have good beaches and lively nightlife, it is noted for its ruins. The acropolis of Lindos, which sits high above the village, contains the remains of the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, the Hellenistic stoa, a covered walkway with 42 columns, and The Castle of the Knights of St John.