Experience Essential Rhodes: Ottoman Mosques and Ancient Knights

Rhodes is known to be one of the sunniest islands in the world, and the 4th largest of all the Greek Islands, harbouring over 300 days of sunshine per year and it is located quite close to the Turkish coast, harbouring elements of Ottoman culture and Evangelical culture. With around 100,000 inhabitants, tourism, fishing and recreation provide Rhodes with its main source of income, as many people come to this island destination to get away from the grey and cloudy weather of their homeland.I enjoyed strolling known the carefree streets of the Old Town and getting lost upon walking up to the Acropolis of Lindos. When looking to spend some time on the Greek Islands, be sure to make sure that Rhodes, the second most visited island in Greece, takes top toll. Whether you are looking for a perfect summertime getaway with a combination of history and culture to explore with sunny weather guaranteed or a relaxing getaway along the shores of the Dodecanese Islands, than you have come to the right place.

Brief History:

Rhodes is known most importantly for the legacy that the ancient knights left on the city, and its legacy as a maritime power. Its strategic location in-between the East and West led Rhodes to develop a early set of military supremacy. During history, it was colonized by many nations and nationalities such as the Turks, Persians and others. Rhodes is also nicknamed the island of the Knights, because the legacy that the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem left by once capturing the island and creating many lasting fortifications. During the period of the Knight's reign, many of the walls, structures, and gothic and Ottoman Structures toke structure and construction. Today, the legacy of the Byzantine buildings stands still, among them the famous “street of the knights cobbled street ", one that ranks high as one of the most beautiful ancient streets in Europe.

Top Experiences:

1.Explore the contrast between the Old & New Town

One of the top things to do in Rhodes is to take a bus from the city centre to the heart of the Old and New Town. Along the way, you will see miles and miles of oceanside and beaches, eventually fading out as you reach the harbour. At the Old Town, you will be greeted with Ottoman style mosques, and a medieval town recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage site. Known to be the largest medieval city in the European Continent, you will find yourself get lost in the castle walls all over the town. The legacy that the knights left behind is still reminiscent of the old walls and fortifications that linger.At the New town, open air dining and evangelical structures greet you, combining 2 different cultures. Nevertheless, the contrast between the Old and the New Town reflect the contrast between Rhodes and the outer world.One of my favourite things to do while exploring the old town was walking into the various shops selling authentic and handcrafted crafts, along with the cobbled streets and dazzling style of the foundations located outside.

2. Lindos- Acropolis of Rhodes

Take a ferry boat to the island of Lindos, where you will be greeted with warm beaches and panoramic views of Rhodes. At the harbour leaving for Rhodes, you will be greeted with many different types of boats, whether for large cruise ships for for a more private boat experience.It is here that you are given the option to take a donkey or walk up to the Acropolis of Rhodes, where you will be greeted with panoramic views of Rhodes city. The ancient Acropolis was once used as fortress to protect the city from outside attacks , with the fortress still intact to attest to Lindos' maritime strength during the Turkish rule and beyond.The city itself is a minefield where you can get lost in the narrow cobblestone streets as there are several directions to the top of the acropolis. Although if you make a wrong turn, you’ll be sure to discover picturesque landscapes of the surrounding Rhodes island below.

3. Beaches

There are various beaches located all throughout Rhodes, many of them hidden from the main path and many of the hotels themselves offer a beachside view from your hotel.From the districts of Faliraki to Lindos Beach, the beaches here in Rhodes will capture your mind and leave you breathless. If you are looking for secluded beaches, or for beaches with shade and ocean-toned landscapes, than Rhodes has all the selection for you. Remember to pack your sunscreen and sunhat as the UV protection is required for the heavy rays of the beating sun that sees more than 300 days of sun a year.

4. Explore Monasteries

With a combination of Byzantine and Christian culture, the monasteries and religious culture in Rhodes has been heavily influenced by the Ottoman Turks, Romans as well as the Greeks. Rhodes and the surrounding areas are home to some of the most elaborate monasteries in the region, surrounded by a chapel and beautiful olive trees. Explore the painted churches left behind by the famous Byzantine princess at Moni Tharri Monastery or the famous Monastery of Tsambika, located on the east coast of Rhodes,dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Credits to Shadowgate

5. Taste Fresh Mussels & Experience authentic Greek Food

The heat of the day can get to most visitors when they visit Rhodes, especially in the summertime, as fresh mussels and seafood delicacies are popular on the Greek Island. Be sure to also try the local favourites including the popular Melekouni and Greek salad. Especially on hot summer day that Rhodes consistently experiences, it is good to try seafood classics with some light Mediterranean spices.

6. Lounge at all inclusive hotels

There are many all inclusive hotels that line the shore of Rhodes, offering buffets in non COVID-19 times, swimming pools, live shows, entertainment, exercise classes and more. One can even spend the entire time of their vacation at the hotel and lounge by the pool, but why do that when you can explore the exciting history and culture of Rhodes.

Chelsea Reviews: 4.5/5

I loved how the historic and modern elements of Rhodes blended together to form a coherent whole. If you are looking for an ideal summer getaway with sandy beaches, history, along with memories to cherish a lifetime, then this is the trip for you. Many visitors come to Rhodes to escape the wet and gloomy skies of their home nation, to tan and to enjoy the history and culture of the city once ruled by the great knights. However, not many know that this sunny island has a history and culture that once connected two very different ancient civilizations, the thought and philosophy of Western European civilization, and that of Eastern European and Middle East philosophy. Today, they combine to form the coherent state that Rhodes is today, and contributes to its lasting history as a strong, culturally and philosophically diverse nation.

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