This article is about the island of Rhodes. For the city of the same name, capital of the island, see the separate article Rhodes city.
Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek Islands, and is one of the most visited because of its combination of beaches, archaeological sites, and extensive medieval town. The climate is particularly good, with the weather typically sunny and mild. The island is usually counted as one of the Dodecanese , but due to its importance for travelers is considered separately here.
The rock-rose is so prolific here that it has been named the 'Island of Roses,' though modern scholars doubt the ancient theory that the island's name comes from the Greek word for rose. While the northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life. Rhodes is a major tourist attraction for the seekers of sunny beaches. Consequently, you will stumble into tourists and hotels and beaches full of deck chairs for rent, into shops and restaurants that cater to these tourists. It can be overwhelming at times. If this bothers you, Rhodes is probably not for you.
Still, there are some areas where mass tourism has not yet penetrated too much. And there are advantages too, accommodation on Rhodes itself can be purchased for relatively low prices, and most of the locals speak at least English and German and often some other languages, like Swedish, French, Turkish, Italian or even Finnish. Look for bays, beaches frequented by Greeks and areas at or beyond Lindos.
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Rhodes has one of the longest and most splendid histories of any place in the world. Inhabited since Neolithic times, the island had important Bronze Age settlements, and at the dawn of the historical era was already famous for its three powerful cities of Lindos, Ialysos, and Kameiros, as mentioned in Homer.
In bce these three cities joined to found the island's capital city, also called Rhodes. Rhodes city and island played a vigorous role in subsequent ancient Greek and Roman history, its most memorable episode doubtless being the prolonged siege of the city by Demetrios Poliokertes in bce. In Hellenistic times Rhodes became extremely prosperous through trade and was one of the most influential cultural centers of the Greek world.
Later as a province of the Roman empire Rhodes' influence declined, though it was still an important regional capital and was one of the earliest centers of Christianity. Rhodes later became part of the Byzantine Empire and from the 7th century on fell under the general eclipse of the Dark Ages. Greek is the native language of the people of Rhodes.
However, due to the high level of tourism English, and to a lesser extent German, is likely to be spoken by most people the traveler comes into contact with. The local dialect can be described as a 'sing-song', with strong Turkish and Italian overtones. Many words used by Rodites Rhodians will not be readily understood by mainland Greeks. The airport is situated on the west coast about 14 km from Rhodes Town. There are regular flights to and from Athens , Thessaloniki , and Crete. In a new wing was built at Diagoras Airport. It was opened in to service charter flights.
During high season these can reach movements per day. The airport parking area is small. All public bus lines  radiate from Rhodes town and reach almost every relevant place throughout the island. Buses run by both companies stop there, but ticket booths, as well as timetables and prices, are distinct.
Rhodes town lines are run by Roda, but have a separate stop, along Mandraki sea promenade, across the street from the new market. Tickets can also be bought in the bus from a cashier or directly from the driver. Keep your ticket until the end of your voyage. The price of a bus ticket will depend on the destination. Bus stops on the road are marked by a sign, but do not hesitate to signal a bus driver that you wish to board.
The buses are often very full and so remember to be actively moving backwards in the buses. Sometimes the driver jumps out and peeks in from the middle door to urge tourists to move backwards. Only part of the bus stops have the timetables displayed, and the buses are often late. Also, note that most villages and resorts have more than one line passing through and stopping in different places. For example Faliraki has got three, one along the main street, one at the town center, and one right along the sea promenade.
Bus service timetable . Taxis on Rhodes are dark blue with white roofs. There is a list of expected maximum taxi charges you can obtain from the tourist information office. Never let the driver turn off the meter. Between midnight and 5 AM you will have to pay twice the normal rates. You can book ahead to avoid delays at high traffic times such as weekends.
Within Rhodes city limits, fixed rates are applied. At the main taxi station, close to the New Market Mandraki , there are hosts that try to cut down waiting time by making sure that the taxis doesn't leave half empty - especially if you are going a bit further.
It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car at the airport or via any hotel and at many local dealers. Local dealers are the best option for rending a car on the island, the services provided by some of the companies is outstanding!!! They can give you all the insider tips you will need so your road trips around will give you the possibility to discover all the natural beauties and enjoy your visits to the endless archaeological sites and places of interest on the island. The prices epecialy at the start and the end of the summer start from 20 euros per day.
Asphalt highways will allow you to reach the entire island, especially the last couple of years the road system is improved a lot! Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go - for example the twisted narrow streets of Rhodes city.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious - it could be the one that needs a repair badly. There is a good variety of beaches on Rhodes. The east side of the island has almost continuous sandy beaches with calm waters.
Beaches on the west are mostly more stony. The wind mostly comes in from the west and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the west so that side of the island is better suited to surfing or kite boarding. See the Eat section under each town or region of Rhodes for specific listings. The tap water is drinkable and restaurants will serve glasses of ice water upon request. Local drinks include Mythos beer and Ouzo.
Local wine is cheap and excellent.
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Bars and restaurant listings can be found in the articles covering the different towns and regions of Rhodes. See individual towns for more accommodation options. For budget travellers, there is no longer a campground on the island but there is a youth hostel in Rhodes Old Town. Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing! From Wikitravel. Jump to: navigation , search.
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Harbour gates in Rhodes city Settlements [ edit ] Afandou - One of the big villages on the island. The golf course of Rhodes is situated in this area along with a long beach Archangelos or Arhangelos - The second largest town on the island Faliraki - Rhodes' action resort. Go there to party, everything else is better somewhere else. The hotels north from Faliraki are much quieter. Hotels near the water park do not interest clubbers, and are really family friendly.
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Nice beaches, a lot less winds than on the west coast and really good public transport. Ialysos - Blue waters, a seemingly endless organized beach, big hotel complexes as well as smaller friendly ones, shops of all kinds, and many night-clubs.
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The ideal conditions of the region, important international windsurfing competitions often take place here. Ixia - West coast resorts, close to Paradisi and Tholos, nearby to the airport and Rhodes city. Kalithea - snorkeling and resort hotels. Laerma - inland village near some monuments, contains a few restaurants, inland from Lindos via Lardos.
This village has been continuously inhabited since the Pre-Hellenic period.