Shaped like a spear head, Rhodes offers a holiday full of history, culture and plain good fun – the Greek island has all the cut and thrust of the Med’s finest holiday destinations.
Only 11 miles west of Turkey, Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands and is situated between the Greek mainland and Cyprus.
Due to its location it has more sunny days than any other country or island in Europe and is famed for its mild winters. Therefore, tourists jetting out at Easter or in the summer need to worry about being hit with rain or cloudy weather.
Thousands of visitors every year flock to Rhodes’ harbour, which used to be the primary economic hub of the island, for its stunning antiquated buildings and rich history. But no visit would be complete without observing the place at which the giant statue of Helios stood, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Colossus of Rhodes took Chares of Lindos, student of Lysippos, 12 years to build before he finally completed it in 280 BC and was a monument to the island’s nationalist fervour after Alexander the Great died leaving severe power wrangling across the Mediterranean.
Predicted to have stood around 100 ft high, the Colossus was similar in stature to the Statue of Liberty, which also holds a torch out into the sea below. However, the statue only stood for 56 years before the island
was hit by an earthquake in 224 BC, when it snapped at the knees and toppled into the sea.
Since the tourism boom kicked off in the 1970s, there have been calls to rebuild the famous monument but no plans are in place as yet because to do so would cost the island hundreds of millions of euros.
Most tourists head to the east coast when they make the trip to one of the Mediterranean’s top tourist destinations as it is more sheltered and experiences only moderate winds. By contrast the west coast is often
subject to choppy seas and high waves, thus becoming a surfer’s paradise in recent years.
Scuba diving is very popular, especially in the eastern Municipality of Kallithea, where the buzzing nightspot of Faliraki is found. Due to its close proximity to Turkey, the sea off the coast of Kallithea has been used as a shipping channel for centuries and as such has seen many
wrecks in its time.
Therefore scuba divers often comment on the number of antiquities such as chests, remains of ships and even lost treasures in some of the more remote coves beneath the surface of the sea. However, the authorities are keen to preserve the environment as much as possible and so tourists are not allowed to remove any treasures they happen to find.