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Rhodes - an island in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea surface 1,4 thousand sq.km, the largest of the Dodecanese Archipelago. It is located on the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa and nowadays (since 1947) remains within Greek borders.
It is only 20km away from the Turkish coast. The length of the island is 80km, and at the widest point it measures 40km. The coastline is 250km. The highest peak is mountain Attaviros (1215m above sea level).
The island has around 100.000 inhabitants, of which 60% lives in the capital - the town of Rhodes, and the rest live in 48 small towns or villages.
Main religion is the Oriental Orthodox Church - 96%. Remaining minorities are Muslims - 1,5%, Catholics 0,4%. Protestants 0,1% and others 0,4%. Greece has the highest marriage rate and the lowest divorce rate in The EU.
Health care in Greece is easily accessible. You have the right to medical service both in state and private hospitals. Pharmacies are called in Greece "Farmakion", and are marked by a red or a green cross.
Since 01.01.2002 the monetary unit of Greece is Euro. Banks are open from Monday-Thursday 08.00 am - 14.00 pm and on Friday from 08.00 am - 13.00 pm.
There is a well developed ATM network where you can use all major credit- and debit cards. Travellers cheques can be cashed in banks and many shops.
The international suffix for Greece is: 0030
The area code for Rhodes is: 22410.
The Greek postal service is run by "ELTA" Hellenic Post. Post boxes and post office signs are bright yellow. The main post office building in Rhodes is situated at Mandraki.
Opening hours: Mon - Fri 08.00 a.m - 20.00 p.m. Post stamps can be bought at hotels and supermarkets.
National Tourist Information "EOT", as it is called in Greek, is located on the corner Makariou & Papagou streets. You can obtain information about holidays, plans and maps, as well as other folders.
The phone number to EOT is: +30 22410 44335, Fax: + 30 22410 44336
Opening hours: Mon - Fri 08.00 am - 14.00 pm.
January 1-2: New Years Eve
January 6: Epiphany Day
"Clean Monday": Variable dates, the first day of the Lent
March 7: The Reunification of the Dodecanese Islands with Greece 1947
March 25: Greek Independence Day
Good Friday: Easter Sunday and Monday
May 1: Labor Day and the Feast of the Flowers
August 15: The Day of the Panagia (Virgin Mary)
October 28: Ohi Day, celebrating the Greek refusal to let Italy occupy the country during The Second World War.
November 7: Archangel Michael's Day
November 14: Constantine Hydraios Day, the Rhodes City Patron's Saint Day
December 24 - 25: Christmas Eve
Buses go to all towns and villages on the island. Timetable books (frequent changes), can be obtained at the Tourist Information EOT. The main terminal is situated in front of the New Market (Nea Agora). The second common mean of transport on the island is taxi. Fare prices to the main places are fixed. Price lists are put up at taxi ranks in many towns. However, it is advisable to arrange the price with the driver before getting in to a taxi, especially if you are going far and with lots of stops.
Traditional local produce from Rhodes includes cereals, fruit, olives, oil, and wine.
Rhodes exceptional wines were already famous during antiquity, as can be seen from the amphorae found across the entire Mediterranean and around the Black Sea. The tradition in producing top class wines continues today with the main factors being the brilliant sun and mild climate prevailing on the island. Rhodian wines were accorded the status of vin dèlimite de qualitè supèrieure (VDQS). Thus according to the relevant circular from the greek Ministry of Agriculture both Rhodes white wines (dry, demi-sec and demi-sweet) from the Athiri grape variety from vineyards in the communities of Embonas, Aghios, Isidoros, Siana, Apollona, Monolithos and Kritinia(apart from the lowland areas of the latter two communities) and red dry, demi-sec and demi-sec wines from Mandilaira(Amorgiano) grape variety from vineyards in the communities of Fanes, Maritsa, Salakos, Kalavarda, Embonas, Kritinia, Siana, Monolithos, Apollona and Aghios Isidoros are entitled to use this distinctive mark. Dry red wines are aged for at least one year in oak barrels while demi-sec and demi-sweet red wines do not require ageing.
The main wine producers are the companies C.A.I.R and EMERY. C.A.I.R accounts 93% of all wine production on the island which corresponds to 12 million litres per year. The most famous products of these two producers are the dry white wine “Helios”, the dry white wine “Grand Maitre” and the dry red wine “Chevalier de Rhodes”. Also well known and typical is C.A.I.R´s sparkling wine which was the only Greek product which could compete against French champagne.
Homemade ouzo is also produced (to be more precise it actually resembles tsipouro, another Greek drink not unlike ouzo) in the mountainous villages of Siana and Embonas known locally as suma.
The Old Town
The old town of Rhodes is one of the most important groupings of monuments in all of Greece and has been included in the list of World heritage Monuments by UNESCO. The old town covers a wide area and is strictly defined by its walls and their moat.
The walled town had two parts; to the south in the largest part of the town lived a medley of peoples, with the exception of the Jews, who lived in the eastern section. The narrow streets at least recalled the ancient Hippodamian system being marked out along their course. Present-day Sokratous street was even then a wide road where commercial and social activities were concentrated. Buildings were only located on the southern side of the street since opposite soared the Collachium wall.
The Collachium wall was that part of the town intended solely for the Knights and was particulalry well fortified. Here lay the Palace of the Grandmasters, the langues, the Hospital, the great churches of the Order as well as other important buildings.
The heart of Rhodes beats in the unique medieval town. Within its walls You will experience the most enjoyable days and nights. Thousands of visitors pass through its gates each day to wander through the narrow streets to visit the many sights, gaze at colorful wares on Socratus Street, see the palace of the Grand Master, and the museums.
Rhodes is divided into two unequal parts: close, surrounded by walls Old Town and New Town spreading in three directions and was established during the Turkish Occupation. When the Greek Orthodox were not allowed to live in in the Old Town they set up on its outskirts several settlements which later united.
In the Old Town, surrounded by a 4 km long wall, prevails an atmosphere of medieval times. To appreciate the charm of this place you should take a walk through narrow cobbled lanes, have a glance at house yards covered with mosaic floors, typical for the region of the Dodecanese. You can also see hoe the Rhodians live. They spend a lot of time sitting in front of their houses with the doors and windows open.
Odos Ippoton, (The Street Of The Knights) - completely restored - leads to the east from the Platia Kleovoulou at Grand Master's Palace. It is lined by the buildings where the holy warriors of different nationalities lived.
Nowadays, the buildings provide premises for government departments and cultural institutions loosely connected with the former character of the buildings.
If you want a birdseye view of the Old City, go to the Byzantine Clock Tower. Close to the tower is the Mosque Of Suleyman the Great, built to commemorate the victory of Turks over the Ioannites. Opposite there is a library housing precious Islamic manuscripts. Close to the port you will find a synagogue. Formerly Jews constituted a large percentage of Rhodes population, but during the Second World War, all of them where transferred to Auschwitz. The Old Town has also its "film episode" - in the final scene of "Escape to Athena", Anthony Quinn was dancing at one of the local fountains.
The old Town is a mosaic of ancient Byzantine, medieval and Ottoman monuments. UNESCO has declared the medieval town of Rhodes a World's Cultural Heritage monument
The contrast between the white houses and winding lanes... Lindos is one of the most visited and photographed attractions on the island. A preservation order ensures that the village will not undergo any changes in its style and architecture, and the narrow streets guarantee that the only traffic you will ever see are donkeys. In order to make Your way to the top of the Acropolis, You can take the advantage of the donkey "taxi" service, which will be on of the many highlights during your holiday! The temple of Athena Lindia will gradually come into your view as you ascend the stairs, is a sight never to be forgotten!