Are you longing to unwind at the beach where the soothing cool breeze blows over the crystal clear salty waters of the sea? Then a visit to Rhodes (Rhodos) – the Emerald Island of Greece is all you need. As a destination with 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s the perfect holiday haven for European tourists. Car hire services make your movement easy. You can find car rental firms at the airport on your arrival.
The history of Rhodes dates back to prehistoric times with the first people to occupy the island being the Cretans. Then came the Phoenicians and Dorians before the Trojan War. After the war, the island experienced a period of rapid growth which lead to the development of Ialyssos, Lindos and Kamiros – the ancient cities which are still the most developed towns on the island. As fate would have it, the island became part of the Roman empire in 2000 BC. Tragedy struck in 515 AD and the island was destroyed by an earthquake.
Although it was rebuilt, the marked the beginning of a dark history of invasions. It started with the Persians then came the Arabs in 653 AD who destroyed the historic monuments on the island. The pirates of Saracens followed but the Byzantine navy would destroy them in 714 AD with “Liquid Fire”. The invasion of Seljuks of Haroun al Raschid in 807 AD was catastrophic. He orchestrated barbaric destruction of the island and plundered its treasures. But for him too, his time would come to an end. Here are other rules who reigned over the highland:
The Italians were the last to occupy the island until the end of World War II, after which it became part of Greece. All these invaders had a place in shaping the history and the present culture of Rhodes. Today, 115,000 people live on the island with 60,00 living in the Rhodes, or Ródos, city. The island boasts of a 220 km (137 miles) long coastline in the Aegean Sea which gives visitors lots of opportunities to have fun. There are lots of activities you can do on the beaches such as windsurfing, swimming, sunbathing and sailing.
The island is also home to a rare species of fallow deer called Dama Dama. The animals live in the woods of the island as 37% of the landmass is covered with a pine and cypress forest. The terrain of the land is a mixture of valleys and hills not to mention the beautiful monuments that dot the island. The ancient cities still exist. Ialyssos is 6.8 km (4.2 miles) from Rhodes which is a short drive of 13 minutes. On the other hand, Lindos and Kamiros are 50.1 km(31.2 miles) and 34.2 km (21.3 miles) from Rhodes respectively.
With a rental car, you have the privilege of touring this island at your own pace. And as a good tourist, remember to carry a camera with you to capture the pleasant memories on this trip. It is also a good idea to travel in groups. But if you are alone, don’t worry. There are other groups you can join and have fun together if you don’t mind meeting new people. Feel free to google for guided tours especially if it’s your first time here. This will make it easy for you to discover the island.
If you are staying in Rhodes city, you can do a road trip to Lindos. Although it’s about an hour’s drive, you can take your time tour other places such as Faliraki which is about 15.7 km(9.75 miles) from Rhodes. Instead of driving straight to Lindos, you can take a detour and drive to Therme Kallithea which is 4.4 km(2.7 miles) from Faliraki. From here, you can drive straight to Tsampika beach, a distance of 15.5 km (9.63 miles), for a nice swim. This is a great time to have your lunch at one of the eateries on the beachfront.
After lunch, you can drive now straight to the city of Lindo. It will take you about 34 minutes to drive through the distance of 26.7 km (16.59 miles). Lindos is a city adorned with ancient monuments. It would be a nice idea to dedicate the next two days of your holiday just to explore this city alone. This will allow you ample time to see the feature of the city without a hurry.
One of the key features of this city is the Acropolis of Lindos. Here at the top of Monte Smith hill, lies the remains of the Hellenistic stadium that was once the centre of sporting events in the 3rd century BC. From this vantage point, you will have a great view of the whitewashed village below, which stands where ancients city of Lindos was. As you explore the city fill free to indulge in some of the local activities such as donkey riding or a good swim at St. Paul’s Bay.
Rhodes International Airport connects this beautiful island to the rest of the world. Like most world-class airports, Rhodes International Airport is built to cater for needs of all travellers. A quick look at the company website connects you with airport services such as luggage handling, first aid, currency exchange and business lounges. You also get information on where to shop and dine when you are at the airport.
When it comes to your flight information, the airport management provides real-time information on flight schedules. This way you will know when you are scheduled to land or depart the city. Some of the popular destinations from Rhodes Aiport include Paris, London, Berlin, New York City and Rome just to mention a few. It is also important to mention some of the airlines that serve this airport. They include Air Mediterranean, British Airways and Danish Air Transport just to mention a few.
There are several car rental companies that operate from Rhodes Airport. These include international operators such as Sixt, Budget, Hertz and Avis. There are Greek car hire companies such as Avance, that operate from the airport. Whether you prefer to hire a local or an international car hire operator, make sure you understand their terms and conditions. Also, verify the condition of the vehicle before signing for it.
As you drive through the island, it is important to follow real-time traffic news. Take advantage of free online apps to plan your routes especially if you are new here. The benefit of these apps is that you can know beforehand when a road is closed or when there is an accident ahead. The other advantage is the ability for such apps to provide you with alternative routes.
The good thing about Rhodes island is that the roads are nicely done and you will enjoy smooth rides. But don’t get over-excited and start cruising at top speed. There are speed limits to observe such as 40 km/h (24.8 mph) within towns and 80 km/h (49.7 mph) outside towns and villages. Also, make sure you observe the general traffic rules as police do set up roadblocks to catch traffic offenders.
For instance, avoid driving when drunk or without wearing your safety belt. If you have kids on board, let them occupy the back seat. This will save you a lot of trouble should you come across the traffic police. It is advisable for all visitors to familiarize themselves with the traffic rules of Greece. For example, here you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Also, you are not allowed to use mobile phones or GPS devices while driving. As they say – information is power, with this knowledge, you will be better placed to do the right thing.