The venue in a glance
- Published: Friday, 20 June 2014 11:50
The island of Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese (in Greek means twelve islands) cluster. It is the largest, in terms of land, area and population, situated in eastern Aegean. It lies approximately 18 km west of the Turkish shores, between the Greek mainland and the island of Cyprus. Its coastline is approximately 220km. According to the latest census (2011) it has a population of 115.490. Its landscape mainly consists of hills and low mountains, which are mostly covered in forests. The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 square kilometers.
The predominant religion is Greek Orthodox. There is a significant Roman Catholic minority on the island, many of whom are descendants of Italians who remained after the end of the Italian occupation. Rhodes has also a small Muslim minority, a remnant from Ottoman Turkish times. The official language is the modern Greek, but visitors can also communicate fluently in English and other languages.
The island is known as the “island of light” because there are hardly any days without sun. Rhodes also has the highest tourist rate of the Dodecanese cluster, welcoming a great amount of package tour or individual tourists attracted by sunshine, amazing sandy beaches and civilization. The picturesque beauties and endless features of Rhodes are even more, though; the island still has pristine villages, which have kept their authentic colors and architecture. Rhodes nowadays offers visitors a plethora of year round leisure alternatives, covering all types of tourist activity. The natural beauty of the island, historical monuments, a cosmopolitan character, as well as the warm hospitality of the inhabitants, and an excellent tourist infrastructure thrill visitors.
The capital city of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes (Rodos). The city of Rhodes had 50.636 inhabitants in 2011 (official census). The modern city of Rhodes is one of the biggest municipalities in the Greek islands. It is the financial and cultural centre of the southeastern Aegean and successfully combines a lively present with a rich historical past. The city is divided in two parts: the old city, or medieval, and the New city. The old city is surrounded by strong walls and is one of the biggest and best preserved medieval settlements of Europe after UNESCO.
This fortified medieval city is full of incredible buildings, testifying about the past and the history of the island, from the antiquity, the Byzantine times, the middle Ages to the Turkish rule. The amazing Palace of the Grand Masters, the building of the Collachium, the superb hospital of the knights, the lovely inns that were used by the Knights, and the Gothic churches, along with the narrow stone-paved alleyways, the stone arches and apses, the Palace of the Castellan, the various influenced by Venetian and Arab architecture, form a magical and unique image. The city has an excellent tourist infrastructure and offers a wide variety of entertainment – nightlife, sports, cultural events and day trips. The city and the island of Rhodes are connected through the international Diagoras airport and the central port of the city of Rhodes.
Outside of the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages and beach resorts, among them Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Lachania, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialyssos).
Dozens of unique sites and adorable shores, many of them awarded with the “blue flag”, combined with the ideal Mediterranean climate throughout the year, ensure visitors endless leisure and recreation.