Mythology says that Rhodes rose from the sea and Zeus gave it as a present to Helios, the God of the Sun, who bathed it with his radiance. The sun drenched island was first inhabited by gifted metal workers in prehistoric times. Phoenician merchants, Minoans and Dorians followed, and with them came wealth, power and the colonization of neighboring shores. The Merchant Rhodians helped Alexander the Great develop close ties with the Egyptians, and as Christianity took center stage, the island played a pivotal role primarily due to its strategic location close to the Holy Land.
Crusaders enlisted mercenaries here and Byzantine emperors desperately wanted to control Rhodes. Knights developed it into the most powerful trade port in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ottomans led it into the ‘Dark Ages’. Following a short time under Italian rule, Rhodes was returned to Greece after WWII.
The largest of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes is an elegant and cosmopolitan holiday destination. It is renowned for its year round sun, fantastic beaches and the imposing old city, which is Europe’s largest inhabited Medieval town. Founded in 408 BC, Rhodes Town is rich in history and exudes a true multicultural vibe. From Minoans and Dorians, to Persians, the Byzantines, the Crusaders and the Ottomans, Rhodes has seen glory, wealth and obscurity all intertwined over the centuries. It was the Knights, though, who left behind a legacy of more than 200 years and gave the city its particular character, which still remains today: palaces, impregnable walls, gates, cobble stoned roads, banking houses, hospitals…a setting which could easily be straight out of a film!
With a history spanning over 3,000 years, and sights such as the Acropolis of Lindos with its commanding views of the Temple of Athena and a rock carved theatre, Lindos is regarded as the most picturesque village on Rhodes. Ancient Greeks, knights and ship masters have all left a distinctive touch on this jewel, nestled high up in the hills. Today, it is characterized by the white washed terraced houses with elements of traditional Rhodian, Arab, Byzantine and Medieval architecture, unique pebbled courtyards and meandering narrow alleys and streets.