Travel and transport in Rhodes
- Published: Thursday, 26 June 2014 08:37
Civil aviation on Rhodes started after the World War II, on the location of the nearby military Rhodes Maritsa airport. This was the island's main airport until 1980. That was when the new Rhodes International Airport was established. The need for a new facility was vital as the 'old' Maritsa airport did not meet the needs for a modern civil airport. Rhodes also has 2 more airports that are not operating. Rhodes Maritsa airport: closed to public, near Maritsa village. Built in 1938 by the Italians was the first airport of the island and used to be the public airport until 1977.
Nowadays it serves the Hellenic Air Force and is sometimes used for car races. Kalathos airfield: inoperative, 7 km (4 mi) north of Lindos. Built by the Italians during World War II, was called Aeroporto di Gadurrà. Today only the runway is visible. Kattavia airstrip, located in the south of the island, was an emergency airstrip built by the Italians during world war II. Today it is abandoned.
The new "Diagoras" airport was built in 1977. It was decided that, on this location, it would suit the needs of the island better. Over the passing years, many improvements have been made to the airport, like expansion of taxiways, platform and airport buildings. The most recent upgrade is the new passenger terminal, which opened in 2005, to better accommodate the growing amount of charters and passengers. The airport's plants currently cover a total area of 60.000 sm.
The Rhodes airport "Diagoras", is located in the place Paradeisi in distance of 15 km, westwards the city Rhodes. The airport began to operate on 28 June 1977.
Its building installations reach 31.000 sm, currently under development for extension and by the end of which, its surface will be doubled. The driving time is about 20-25 minutes. The airport is well signposted and can be reached via the dual carriage way coastal road which runs all around the island. By car, the airport is easily reached via the main road along the coast. Rhodes city is about 20 minutes driving away. Buses to Rhodes city depart regularly and the journey takes about 40 minutes. The bus stop is located 300 m to the left, when leaving the terminal via door 1.
The airport is categorized as international. The IATA code, used to refer to the Rhodes Airport, is RHO. The runway direction is 25°/07°. The length of its runway is 3.306 m and its width 60 m allowing even jumbo jet category airplanes to land. The airplanes parking area available is 110.600 sm, with the capacity to host 13 planes. There is one passenger terminal on the airport which lies on an area of 20.753 sqm and has the capability to withhold around 1.700 passengers. The airport reference point is, Latitude: 36ο 24’ 19’’ North and Longitude: 28ο 05’ 10’’ East. There is also one fire brigade station located on the airport plus a refueling station.
There is also a meteorological and a medical station located within the terminal building. There is duty free shop as well as a few restaurants and cafes. Most of the car rental companies have offices within the vicinity of the airport. Luggage lockers are available at the airport. There is a lost-and-found office in the baggage reclaim area. Wi-Fi is not currently available though. ATMs, a bank and a bureau de change are also available. Public telephones are located within the terminal building operating with cards.
The airport is the third busiest in Greece (after the first of Athens and the second in Heraklion) with a passenger average annual throughput of 3.533.747 passengers. Flights operate a variety of domestic destinations, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Mykonos. The summer season is by far the busiest time of the airport. Many scheduled and charter flights operate from Diagoras to all over Europe and a variety of Middle-East destinations. The main airlines operating here are Aegean and Olympic Airways. Many foreign airways also fly here as regular as scheduled flights throughout the tourist season but also during the winter period as charter flights.
Rhodes has five ports, three of them in Rhodes City, one in the west coast near Kamiros and one in east coast near Lardos. The Central port, located in the city of Rhodes serves exclusively international traffic consisting of scheduled services to/from Turkey, cruise ships and yachts. Since summer 2012, the port is also a homeport for Costa cruises during the summer period. Kolona port is opposite and north of the central port, serves intra-Dodecanese traffic and all sizes of yachts.
Akandia port, the new port of the island, is situated south and next to the central port, being built since 1960s, for domestic, cargo and general purpose traffic. No land facilities exist although the municipality is in the process of erecting a passenger terminal. Kamiros Skala dock is located 30 km (19 mi) south west of the city near ancient Kamiros ruins and serves mainly the island of Halki.
And finally, the Lardos dock: formerly servicing local industries, now under development as an alternative port for times when the central port is inaccessible due to weather conditions. It is situated in a rocky shore near the village of Lardos in south east Rhodes.
Bus services on the island are handled by two operator companies. The first one, D.E.S "RODA" has the advantage of the Urban area (city of Rhodes), the suburban areas (Koskinou, Faliraki, Ixia, Filerimos Ialissos, Kremasti, Pastida, Maritsa, Paradisi) and the interurban regions of the western side of the island of Rhodes (Damatria, Theologos, Soroni, Dimilia, Eleousa, Archipoli, Platania, Apollona, Fanes, Kalavarda, Ancient Kamiros, Mantriko, Kritinia, Salakos, Embona, Agios Isidoros, Sianna, Monolithos).
The other one, called, KTEL RHODES, is a state-owned company that bares the advantage of the long distance transportation of the East Side Area (Faliraki, Kalithies, Psinthos, Afandou, Kolymbia, Archagelos, Haraki, Malona, Massari, Lalathos, Pilona, Lindos, Pefkoi, Lardos, Laerma, Kiotari, Asklipio-Gennadi, Vati, Profilia, Istrios, Apollakia, Arnitha, Lachania, Mesanagros, Kattavia, Prasonisi).
The taxi cars in Rhodes are easily recognized by their color (dark blue and white) and therefore it is impossible to be deceived by an illegal taxi. There are seven main Taxi stations all around the island located in Afandou, Faliraki, Ialyssos, Ixia, Kremasti, Lardos and Lindos. There is also radio taxi service available from all hotels. The minimum charge is 2,00€ with a flag fare of 1,13.
The waiting fare, for time more than 20 minutes can be arranged through an agreement with the driver. There is an extra charge for pickup of customers from the port, which is 1,02€, and from the airport, which is 2,50€. Baggage weighing over 10Kg costs 0,37€. Finally, double fare is charged between 00:00 and 05:00hrs and using the appointment method costs extra 5,00€. For more demanding customers, the island has to offer even limo service that picks up from hotel wherever on the island and charges on an hourly fashion.