A Rhodes Travel Guide for visitors of Faliraki.
Do not miss when in Rhodes…
Faliraki is an ideal destination for comfortable stay, with many choices and amazing beaches. However, it would be a great pity to visit Rhodes and miss the numerous beautiful sites all around the island. If you fall in love with Faliraki once, you will fall a thousand times in love with Rhodes.
The island of the Sun hides many surprises that enchant visitors. It is the largest island of the Dodecanese island complex and attracts thousands of visitors every year. According to the ancient poet, Pindarus, Rhodes, a daughter of Venus, the goddess of Love, emerged from the sea and
become the Sun’s bride. Zeus fell in love with her, too, and showered her with golden rain!
You can enjoy this sun kissed island in a holiday of many and diverse sights.
The Medieval Town, its beaches, the traditional villages, Lindos, the island’s
museums are but a few of the must-visit places. In this article we will describe some of our favorites.
Add these sights to your schedule for an unforgettable holiday
experience! And if you are short on days, Rhodes will be waiting for you next year with open arms!
Leaving Faliraki towards Rhodes, on the beach highway, you will see on your right hand the entrance for Kallithea Springs. Take some time to marvel at the idyllic environment with the pebbled floor, the fountain with the statue of Love, the beautiful stairwells and the pergolas. Natural beauty here is in absolute harmony with architecture and has the power to take you to a wonderful
journey back in time. Next to the monument you can enjoy a dive in the crystal-clear water of the bay.
Medieval Town (Rhodes Old Town)
Rhodes Old Town is a monument of world heritage and is protected by
Unesco. It was built in the era of the Knights (1300-1500), in a post-gothic style; later on, muslim details were added by the Ottomans as well as Italian influences by the Italian conquerors. However, the Knights’ decorative and structural elements are imposing in the old town and make it a unique destination. It is one of the best maintained old cities of the world and it will lure you to a trip in time. Inside its walls you will find numerous museums,
monuments, an old infirmary, a library, a gallery, fountains, boutique hotels, temples, as well as tourist shops, restaurants and cafes. One visit is not enough to discover all its hidden beauty. The Medieval Town is equally beautiful at dawn, in the morning, in the afternoon and also at night. Take a picture in every alley, visit the unique Street of the Knights, take pictures of fountains and the famous doors with the elaborate door knobs.
If you are lucky, you might even see some of the medieval festivals that take place every year in Rhodes old town. Tradition, legends and history will seduce you in a time-travel. A stroll in the narrow alleys hides many surprises. You might see dragons, fairies and knights, you might smell the spices of the East or hear sounds and music, horses trotting on the pebbles and feel love surfacing in the air, like in the old times…
Do not miss the Street of the Knights, the Clock Tower, the “broken” church Virgin Mary of the Bourgo, the Arcaheological Museum and the Palace of the Grand Master. Enjoy a walk around the old moat, which was never filled with water.
The Palace of the Grand Master
Within Rhodes Old Town you will find the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, that was built by the Knights of the Order of St John in the 14 th century on the site of an older Byzantine Acropolis. The Palace was the administrative hub of the Knights, the residence of the Grand Master and the center of the social and spiritual order of Rhodes.
The Ottomans used the run-down palace as a prison, while in 1856 an
explosion of firearms, kept in its basement destroyed it completely.
During the Italian occupation, the Palace was restored to its former glory, under the charge of commander De Vecchi. Many details of the original Palace were abolished, but it is still as imposing and impressive as in the old days. You can visit the Palace and enjoy a tour in the impressive rooms with the mosaics on the floors and the walls, the enormous fireplaces, the statues and many findings from antiquity and the Middle Ages. One of the most impressive halls is the Hall of Laoocoon with the copy of the famous complex (a work of the Rhodian sculpts Athinodoros, Agisandros and Polidoros,
crafted around the 1 st century a.D.) and the Medusa Room with the
exceptional mosaic of the 2 nd century, which was originally discovered in Kos.
A travel back in time which you should not miss!
Mandraki, the new town
After your tour of the old town, continue towards Mandraki. You will find the new city outside the walls, with a lot of high street shops and cafes, as well as impressive buildings of the Italian era. Three Byzantine windmills stand tall over the long jetty, while on the edge you will marvel at the impressive St Nicholas Light House, a part of the Knights’ era fortification. At the far edge of the jetty, and also on the exact opposite side on the harbor entrance one can see the famous copper deer standing tall and proud on top of two pillars. It is
said that this is the spot where the famous Colossus of Rhodes used to stand. However, the historians disagree -they agree on the existence of the Colossus, who however, used to stand on another site.
Along the beach road, you will notice the New Market with arabesque
influences and the impressive entrance. Within the market, and all around it, there are many shops. Opposite the market, at Rimini square, you will find an entrance for the wonderful gardens of Sound and Light, where on summer nights a lot of shows take place. Continuing down the seafront avenue you will see some very impressive buildings of the Italian Occupation such as the
National Bank of Greece, the Court House, the Post Office and at the end of the street the majestic “Evangelismos” Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the Town Hall, the Prefecture building with their unique architecture.
Here at Mandraki you can enjoy some shopping, a café and lunch or just walk around taking beautiful photographs. Not only the buildings, but the sea, too, visible from all sides, create a marvelous scenery.
A visit at Rhodes Aquarium is a must, especially if you have children with you, is not a huge Aquarium. However, it’s architecture is unique as it creates the feeling that you are walking under the sea, among the fish, starfish, lost in underground caves with corals and sea turtles. There are 24 water tanks which host unique sea creatures from all around the Mediterranean. It is located on the northern edge of Rhodes, next to the Casino. There is also a small mus,um with many information about local species and there is a special touch tank where you can touch some of those!
Rhodes Acropolis and the Ancient Olympic Stadium
About two and half kilometres from the centre of Rhodes Town, you will reach the hill of Saint Stephan, locally known as Monte Smith. At the foot of the hill there is an ancient stadium and a restored marble theatre. A great staircase leads to the highest point of the hill, where you will find the Temple of Apollo.
Visit it in late afternoon for a magnificent sunset view.
A holiday in Rhodes cannot be complete without a visit to Lindos. You will see from afar the imposing Acropolis, perched on a high rock. A stone stairwell will lead you to the archaeological site with the Dorian temple of Athena the Lindia and to the west you will find the ancient theater. The view from the Acropolis is breathtaking!
Under the Acropolis, the village of Lindos is sprawled with its whitewashed
houses. It is a well-maintained traditional settlement with a lot of Cycladic
elements. Strolling the narrow alleys, you will see medieval houses, the
traditional manors of the Captains, with the interior courtyards, the byzantine church of the Virgin Mary with a beautiful carved altarpiece and an elaborate pebbled floor.
The beaches of Lindos are very unique and they offer a marvelous view and a crystal-clear sea. Finally, the small bay of St Paul with the picturesque chapel attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The Valley of the Butterflies
The Valley of the Butterflies is one of the rarest reserves in Greece. The
Valley is the summer haven of the night-butterfly Panaxia Quadripunctaria
and it is visited by thousands of guests and researchers year after year. Every June, the young butterflies leave their usual spots around the island and come to nest in this valley. You can see them sleeping on the tree trunks
during daylight. They will spend their summer there. If you are lucky, you
might even see a spectacular cloud of butterflies flirting with the trees, the
rare Liquidambar orientalis, among little streams and lakes with water lilies. You can also visit the Natural History Museum, walk along the valley, cross the bridges and even reach the Kalopetra monastery which was built in 1784.
Please beware that the butterflies are asleep during the day and it is
extremely important to leave them undisturbed. Move carefully, listening to
the sounds of nature, feel the velvety resin of the forest and enjoy a unique
experience of the senses.
On the eastern side of Rhodes, leaving Faliraki and driving towards Lindos,
near Kolympia, you will find a road leading to the village Archipoli. On the way there you will see Seven Springs, a magical reserve hidden in deep forest.
There are seven fresh water springs creating streams, little lakes as well as
an impressive waterfall. Little bridges cross picturesque streams where the
rare fish Gizani lives next to ducks and water lilies. There is also a tunnel of
about 150 m. which will lead you to a freshwater lake where you can dive, if the water is deep enough. The walk through the tunnel will transport you to another place and era. Going out of the tunnel, walk some more and discover the most instagrammable waterfall of the island.
You should definitely climb the beautiful lush Filerimos hill, near Ialysos. It used to be an ancient Acropolis. Nowadays, you can still see the fountains of an ancient temple, devoted to Athina and Zeus; on top of them a Christian chapel was built circa 5 th century a.D. Only the cross-shaped baptistery can still be seen. On the left you will see the chapel of St George, built on 14 th century a.D., featuring wonderful frescoes. A monk from Jerusalem built this chapel which was later transformed to a Basilica and many years later to a monastery, by the Knights. The monastery was destroyed, restored, but is out
of use today.
You may take a stroll under the deep shade of the trees opposite the church and the archaeological site, marveling at the depictions of Jesus Christ’s life and torture and reach a magnificent view plateau with the impressive Cross.
To the southwestern part of the island, about 80klm from Faliraki, you will reach Prasonisi. It is a geological formation that looks like an island or a small peninsula. It is a small miracle of nature which during the summer months it is connected to the island of Rhodes with a sandy lane and during winter it gets separated by tall waves. This lane creates a “channel” dividing two bays, two
different worlds: one side is peaceful and the second one is wavy, a paradise on earth for lovers of watersports. An ideal spot for swimming, and wind or kite surfing.
Prasonisi is not inhabited, but it is a Natura 2000 protected biotope. If you walk along the small island you can find a Light House, built in 1890 and restored in 1996. There used to be a lighthouse keeper here but nowadays it operates with photovoltaic panels and electric power.
Twelve nautical miles to the northwest of Rhodes is the island of Symi, the 8 th largest island of the Dodecanese. If you have a free day in your holiday schedule, it is really worth a visit. Even a few hours on this picturesque Greek island are worth the trip!
You can visit Symi with one of the day-boats that offer cruises/trips daily. It would be better to book a ticket in advance. Some agencies also offer transfer to/from the port.
Symi is small but beautiful, full of little bays and rocky shores that add a
magic to its beauty. From the moment the ship enters the small harbor, you
will be enchanted. The manor houses are built like an ampitheatre around the harbor to the hill. There are many beautiful spots on the island – however, if you only have a few hours in Symi, you should definitely: a) Visit Gialos and the Village (Horio) and visit the famous monastery of Panormitis, devoted to Archangel Michael.
The list of sights to see in Rhodes and the surrounding islands is endless! But if your time is limited, you should definitely visit the above sites. If you can, try also to:
- Visit Ancient Kamiros
- Drink sweet red wine at Embona village
- Try scuba diving
- Visit Chalki siland
- Try local delicacies and drink ouzo with a sea view
- Try a train ride
- Visit Profitis Ilias mount (Prophet Elijah)
- Visit a winery
- Walk at Rodini park and try to spot the famous Rhodes deer
- Enjoy a sunrise in Faliraki and a sunset on Monte Smith hill
- See the dam of Apolakia
And many more unforgettable experiences!