Stepping back in time is possible. No Delorean’s or crazy futuristic machines needed. Just grab your passport and book a trip to the historical Greek island of Rhodes. Honestly, it’s that easy.
And here’s why.
Most places you’ll visit for the history will be swamped by modern-day annoyances. From shabby streets to tarnished corners, more often than not, your vision of immersing yourself in ancient times will be ruined by the endless noise of cars and disappointing view of graffiti on the nearby walls. And after travelling many miles to experience a place to its fullest, it can be pretty heartbreaking to see that a careless few haven’t cherished these sites the way they deserve.
But then there’s Rhodes.
Unlike other locations around the world, historical spots in this Dodecanese island successfully manage to remain unspoiled by contemporary culture, which perhaps explains why it’s one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. But there’s so much more to this place than its food and nightlife, and it’s those underrated treasures that make it stand out from the rest.
So put your reservations aside for a moment, because I know what you’re thinking. You’re hesitant to believe it’s true. After all, everyone you ask who’s been there seems to only go for the pool and sunny weather. And, as an adventurer, that gives you no real incentive to consider going. But I promise you there is.
Stealing your heart and any doubts you once had, here are three time-honoured reasons why Rhodes offers an experience like no other.
1) Acropolis of Lindos – One of the most surprising things you’ll find about Rhodes is how cleverly they combine the timeless with the modern, and the threshold crossed to reach the village of Lindos is no exception. Upon the approach, you’ll witness a vision of antiquity (as seen in the featured picture) and it only takes a short walk from the nearby car park to embark upon a multifaceted realm of wonder. Arriving in the middle section of the layered town is the village itself, and it is up to you as to whether you wish to go down towards the emerald waters of St Paul’s Bay or meander through the spiralled route of shops and make your way up to the ancient castle on top. Should you choose to go up the slated stepped hill, you’ll be greeted by a technicolour panorama of the neighbouring coastline. A view that’s simply incomparable. And while ascending this route is a reward in itself, making it to the Acropolis is the real prize. Reach the highest of heights and get lost in a time centuries old, exploring classic architecture from the Doric to the Hellenistic eras and beyond.
(Pro tips: • The town’s clifftop citadel costs 12 euros to enter but the experience you’ll receive is priceless • Please wear grippy shoes! The slated floor can be slippery at times and once you exit the safety of the surrounding village shops there are no handrails. Other than that, it is a fairly easy walk and only takes around 20 minutes to climb. • It is also worth noting that getting here by coach is the easiest and one of the most cost-effective ways. Booking an excursion with companies like Holidays Essential is a definite recommendation, as they cover transport for a wide range of exciting places. They also offer a comfortable and air-conditioned trip, as well as a good amount of time to explore your chosen destination)
2) Rhodes Old Town – Separating the now from the then, a world of historical magic awaits. From the moment you step through the diving wall between the past and the present, you are spellbound with awe – it’s truly incredible. 2,400 years of stories have been richly preserved in every stone and ancient statue of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boasting medieval gems like the Street of Knights and The Palace of the Grand Masters, you’ll never run out of jaw-dropping things to see on your trip. Roam the cobblestone paths freely or pay a few euros to venture inside specific buildings and gaze upon the timelessness in detail. Whatever you decide, if you dream of wandering through the sights of yesteryear, make Old Town top of your list.
(Pro tips: • Begin your Game of Thrones adventure by taking the bus. If you’re located outside the Old Town without a car, this is your best option. However, be aware that the service can be a bit hit and miss (not literally, obviously!) Nevertheless, bus tickets and schedules can be found in most shops and offices adjacent to the stops • Upon entry, traditional shops and restaurants go as far as the eye can see. From Grecian clothing to niche souvenirs, Mediterranean meals to vintage wines, Rhodes Old Town has it all. So don’t think you’ll go hungry, thirsty or get lost. A simple wander will take you everywhere you need to go)
3) Colossus of Rhodes – Beholding a feast for the soul rather than the eyes, the Colossus of Rhodes (famously known as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World) was a bronze statue of the Greek sun-God, Helios. Erected in 280 BC to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over Cyprus, the statue once presumably stood on the Mandraki Harbour at 108ft, making it approximately the same height as New York’s Statue of Liberty. Sadly though, this great wonder was toppled by an earthquake in 225/226 BCE and there have been no concrete plans set to rebuild this impressive phenomenon. However, this site in Rhodes Town (New part, not Old) offers many other physical attractions too, such as a boat trip to Symi Island, Lindos or even the Turkish region of Marmaris! Everything from this harbour, located a mere 4-minute walk away from the surrounding walls of Rhodes Old Town, has everything you need to dive straight into history.
(Pro tips: • Not got the time or the money for a big jaunt but still want to experience the harbour? Then escape the noise of the restaurants and bars and take a short-but-sweet submarine trip instead! Yellow Submarine and Poseidon are Trip Advisor favourites and can be enjoyed for as little as 10 euros. The best part is that you’ll even get to sail through where Colossus once stood and gain a breathtaking new perspective of the Old Town. It’s the perfect way to end your day)
(Old harbour entrance from inner embankment with Fortress of St Nicholas on right is the supposed site of the statue’s location)
However, no matter where you choose to go within Rhodes on your holiday, make wandering this time-tunnel a real adventure!
There really is no place like it.