Rhodes, Greece

Introduction to Rhodes, Greece

With its miles of sun-kissed beaches, remarkably well-preserved ancient towns and historic monuments, spectacular scenery and natural treasures, it’s no wonder the gorgeous Greek island of Rhodes – the largest island of the Dodecanese chain – is one of Europe’s most popular summer holiday destinations.

Although Rhodes is in fact situated closer to the Turkish mainland than mainland Greece, it’s clear to see in the ancient towns, vibrant holiday resorts and miles of unspoilt, sun-kissed coastline that this stunning island is typically, and proudly, Greek right to its mountainous heart.

A holidaymaker’s haven, Rhodes simply offers something for everyone. Those with a penchant for ancient history are drawn instantly to Rhodes Town – the island’s capital – with its UNESCO-listed medieval old town and monuments such as the Avenue of the Knights, imposing Palace of the Grand Masters, Byzantine fortresses, old monasteries and much more. Picturesque Lindos, on the island’s east coast, is arguably Rhodes’ greatest historical attraction. The white Byzantine churches, narrow cobblestone streets and gorgeous beach, not forgetting the incredible Acropolis of Lindos of course, make this ancient city-state a must-visit site.

Those simply looking for somewhere to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine are spoilt for choice too, with plenty of bustling, beach-laden resorts to choose from; while there are plenty of areas of outstanding natural beauty to discover too, both within the island’s rugged interior or along the glorious coast. 

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City Tour (Tour A)

 

  • Enjoy a sightseeing drive through the city
  • Explore the medieval Old Town on foot
  • Soak up the atmosphere of bustling Socrates Street

 

Price£30.00 - £38.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

The Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem fortified the island of Rhodes in the 14th century. Gazing at Rhodes from your ship’s dock, you can admire the wonderful range of walls, towers and turreted gateways, and the imposing Palace of the Grand Masters, which dominates the view.

Your tour begins with a sightseeing drive around the modern town. You will enjoy a beautiful view of the town and its harbour, which was once protected by the 100-foot high Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) from the top of Mount Smith, where the ancient Acropolis once stood.

Returning to Rhodes Old Town, and enter the walled city via the d’Amboise Gate to visit the Palace of the Grand Masters – the most imposing building in the medieval town. Constructed during the 14th century, it was almost completely destroyed in 1856 following an explosion of gunpowder that was stored in the basement of a nearby church. The restoration of the palace was completed in 1939 during the Italian occupation – every effort was made to follow the original design.

Continue with your guide along the Street of the Knights, to the former hospital of the Knights, which today houses the Archaeological Museum. Here you will be able to browse a number of collections containing artefacts dating as far back as the Stone Age.

Finally, your guide will direct you towards Socrates Street, which attracts visitors with its many cafés and shops. Here your guided tour will end, and you can enjoy some free time to explore the area independently, before returning to your awaiting ship. 

THIS TOUR IS CORRECT FOR 2017

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking and a considerable amount standing, some of which will be over cobblestones that can be slippery, therefore it is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. There are approximately 45 steps to negotiate at the Palace of the Grand Masters, ten steps during the walk to the Archaeological Museum and 15 steps during the walk to Socrates Street. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. Please note that although it is possible visit these sights independently, this excursion is for those who appreciate an organised tour with a knowledgeable guide, and includes entrance fees to the museum and the palace. Flash photography is prohibited in the Archaeological Museum. At the end of the tour, guests will make their own way back to the ship. 

 


Kallithea Springs & Filerimos (Tour E)

  • Experience the healing waters of Kallithea Springs
  • Appreciate the beautiful sacred waters of Kallithea
  • Marvel at the cross of Filerimos

 

Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximately 3.45 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Departing from the port you head along the East Coast and after a short drive arrive in Kallithea and its springs. Kallithea Springs were known since antiquity for healing waters but only in the early 20th century, Italian architect Pietro Lombardi constructed this spa, making it very popular and attractive to the visitors from all over the world. It was in operation only until 1967 and after years of neglect, recently was completely and tastefully restored, becoming once again one of the most popular places in the city of Rhodes, used even for weddings.

Continue to Filerimos, a 267 meters high hill with cypress, pine and other trees. There used to be a citadel of the ancient town of Ialysos which must have been the initial nucleus of the ancient settlement called Achaea.

On the eastern side of Filerimos are the foundations of the temple of Athena Polias, remains of an Early Christian basilica and a small subterranean Byzantine church. The Monastery built by the knights was destroyed by Turks and later restored by Italians.  Along the right side of a path called Calvary (Golgothàs), there are scenes of the Passions of Jesus.

On the western part of the hill, a striking cross stands in the middle of a small square. A remarkable view is overlooking the Mountain Ataviros - the highest mountain of Rhodes, in the distance.                                

Returning to the port there will be a short stop for pictures on Mount Smith, hill overlooking the port, the old town and the new city of Rhodes.

THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over uneven, cobblestoned ground. Participants will also have to negotiate approximately 30 steps. All guests must be able to board and disembark the tour transport unaided. It is advised that participants wear non-slip, comfortable shoes. 

 


Lovely Lindos Bay (Tour B)

 

  • Enjoy a scenic drive along the eastern coast of the island
  • Appreciate spectacular views from Lindos Acropolis
  • Explore the narrow alleyways of Lindos

 

Price£15.00 - £20.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 4.5 HOURS
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

When the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem came to Rhodes, they found the ancient Acropolis beautifully situated atop two bays with crystal clear water and the picturesque village of Lindos. They made Lindos one of their strongholds by fortifying the Acropolis. The imposing castle they built still stands today.

From the harbour in Rhodes, you board your coach for an approximate one-hour drive to beautiful Lindos. Your trip along the north eastern coast of Rhodes offers the opportunity to see the nicest part of the island, with its quaint villages, huge olive groves, valleys and mountains.

Upon arrival in Lindos, follow your guide for a walk to the Acropolis. Here you will visit the castle and ancient Sanctuary of Athena. Next, you can enjoy some time at leisure to explore the area independently, or return to the village to stroll through its lovely streets, prior to the return journey to Rhodes and your awaiting ship. 

THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017

 

Is this tour right for you?

 

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a considerable amount of uphill walking to the Acropolis, and includes uneven ground and approximately 370 steps; therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. There will be approximately 45 minutes of free time, where walking is at the discretion of the individual. Participants are advised to wear flat, comfortable, non-slip shoes. 

 


Scenic Coastal Drive (Tour C)

  • Admire picturesque views of some of Rhodes’ most famous sights
  • Gain an insight into the rich history of the island
  • Don’t forget your camera!

 

Price£20.00 - £30.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 3.5 HOURS
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

This tour showcases some of the island’s highlights, with minimal walking.

Departing quayside, begin with a scenic drive through Rhodes, passing sights such as the walled Old Town, the famous dama dama statues at the entrance to the old harbour, and the casino and chic hotels located in the new city.

Your first photo-stop will be at the summit of Monte Smith, named after the British Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith, who used the site as a lookout post to watch the French Naval activities from North Africa during a war with Napoleon. Today, the spot affords splendid views over the capital of the historic capital of the Dodecanese Islands, as well as the Aegean Sea and neighbouring islands.

Continue your tour along the east coast, passing vineyards and olive groves, with vistas of the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Your second photo stop is at the small fishing harbour of Psartos – where legend has it Saint Paul landed in 51AD to preach Christianity to the Rhodians.

Next, a short drive to a viewpoint offering postcard-perfect views of the ancient village of Lindos and its imposing Acropolis, perched atop a cliff approximately 116 metres (400 feet) above sea level.

After a refreshing drink, it is time to return to Rhodes Town and your awaiting ship.

THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017

 

Is this tour right for you?

 

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves minimal walking, and so is considered suitable for guests with limited mobility and wheelchair users providing they are able to get on and off the coach unaided. There is a walk of approximately 50 metres (165 feet) to reach the tour transport. The amount of walking undertaken at the photo and refreshment stops is at your own discretion – guests are able to remain on the coach if they wish. For reference, the tour may operate in a different order to that described. Toilets are available at the refreshment stop only

 


The Monks of Panagia Paramythis monastery (Tour D)

  • Admire the prominent cross dominating Filerimos
  • Enjoy a exclusive guided visit to Virgin Marys monastery by a monk
  • Understand and learn about the lifestyle of a Greek monk 

 

Price£50.00 - £55.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 4.25 HOURS
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Departing the port of Rhodes, start with a picturesque drive of the town, passing by Mandraki harbour area and the new city with its casino and chic hotels. The tour continues to the top of Mount Smith overlooking the port, the old town and the new city of Rhodes. A brief stop will be made there, just to take pictures of Rhodes town.

Shortly afterwards, you reach Filerimos an approximately 267 meters high hill with cypress, pine and other trees. On one side of the site you will find the foundation of the temple of Athena Polias, an early Christian basilica and a small subterranean Byzantine church as well as a monastery built by Knights.

On the other side, a path will take you to a striking cross standing in the middle of a small square that offers a picturesque view dominated in the distance by Attaviros, the highest mountain of Rhodes.

From there you continue to the monastery of Panagia Paramythia, situated in the village of Afandou, some 18 kilometres from the port. The monastery was built in 1988 and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary Paramythia. Eight male solitarians live there. The church of the monastery is famous for the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary brought from Mount Athos.

Upon the arrival, a monk will meet you and take around the monastery, together with your guide, showing and telling you about the way of life there.

THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking over uneven ground. Guests will have to negotiate approximately 30 steps in Filerimos. All participants must be able to get on and off the minibus unaided. When entering the monastery be dressed appropriately, shoulders and knees need to be covered. It is recommended that guests wear comfortable, non-slip walking shoes. Please note that the order of the tour may operate differently.  For reference, the monks at Panagia Paramythia do not speak English, and so your guide will translate.

 


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