Rhodes – what else besides partying and sunbathing?

Getting on a plane, arriving at the destination, passing unknown streets for the first time or simple hearing and feeling a new place around is what we all love about travel. For our last trip outside the Baltics we went to a place where this feeling is felt daily by thousands of people, as it is one of those popular summer beach destinations by the Mediterranean Sea. The Greek island of Rhodes is usually more known for thriving nightlife and relaxed laying-by-beach, but our aim was as much to see the traces of the ancient Greek and Templar culture as at the same time getting a bit of sun on our faces. We believe that even in such well-known touristic destinations a less walked track can be found and Rhodes was the perfect place to put this belief to a test. The feeling of the unknown at the beginning soon was replaced by amazement and curiosity.

We decided to start with the cultural part and our first stop therefore was the antique city of Lindos. The location, the architecture and the blue Aegean Sea as background reminded us immediately of those famous pictures of Santorini. The mostly small and blue-white homes of Lindos are neatly built crawling up a hill, with the top being occupied by one of our favourite spots of all Rhodes, the Akropolis of Lindos.

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Feeling like on a podium! But mostly feeling the overwhelming presence of history and significance, not only here at the #Akropolis of Lindos, but also in many other places on #Rhodes. As one of the most important city states, Rhodes was as influential as it gets in the Greek Era. Even though the Akropolis has not survived the passage of times in its initial and complete beauty, it stands as testimony to the rich history of Rhodes, which far outweighs the (beautiful and enjoyable) beaches and other modern tourist delights. We can't recommenced enough to visit and get to know better this less-considered aspect of the #greekisland.😂 🏝 ___________________________________ A sentir-me no pódio! Mas principalmente a sentir também a importância deste local, a #Acrópole de Lindos. Não só aqui que se pode ver a significância de #Rodos no contexto histórico, sendo que a ilha era uma das mais importantes cidades-estado gregas,mas também em diversos outros locais espalhados pela ilha. Apesar da Acrópole não ter sobrevivido intacta à passagem to tempo, continua a ser um dos símbolos da historia tão rica da ilha de Rodos, importância essa que ultrapassa facilmente as atracções modernas, mesmo admitindo a sua beleza e apelo. Recomendamos fortemente este aspecto histórico da ilha quando a visitarem.😂 🏝 ___________________________________ Ich fühle mich wie auf dem Podium! Aber vor allem fühlbar ist auch die Geschichte von #Rhodos, nicht nur hier an der Akropolis von #Lindos, auch an vielen anderen beeindruckenden Orten der Insel. Als einesder wichtigsten Stadtstaaten der griechischen Antike ist der Einfluss von Rhodos noch heute spürbar. Und auch wenn die Akropolis selbst heute leider nicht mehr vollständig zu sehen ist, steht sie doch als Symbol für die Attraktionen der Insel, welche diezugegebenermaßen ebenfalls interessanten und wunderschönen modernen Attraktionen weit übertreffen. Wir können dieses manchmal weniger beachtete Detail der griechischen Insel sehr empfehlen! 😂 🏝 🇬🇷 #aroundgreece #greecestagram #discovergreece  #seeyouingreece #rhodesisland #islandvibes #travelstory #reasonstovisitgreece  #остров #amazing_view #ilovegreece  #travelGreece #history

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The ruins inspire to imagine how it must have been to stand here 2000 years ago, how the inhabitants looked from here to the wide sea they dominated and took it to be the centre of the world. Getting to the Akropolis is an absolutely must if you are in Rhodes. You can either climb it up all by yourself, but be careful with your choice of shoes, as the walk up is on a slippery walkway of stone on the edge of the hill, with other tourists coming from the opposite and making it look quite narrow. Another option costs 5€ and is quite funny too; you can ride on a donkey all the way up to the Akropolis! Either way, the view and the ruins will be well worth it.

Our next favourite sight on Rhodes was on the much lesser known western coast of the island, the castles of Monolithos and Kritinia. Built centuries ago and almost impenetrable for any enemy, the two castles are a must visit despite the longer drive to get there. On the way we passed by empty beaches, something we thought would be impossible to see in August! Soon the road started to become narrower and steeper, while climbing slowly up the cliffs. And again, what we found proved to be well worth the ride.

While the ruins of the two castles itself might not be too impressive, the views and peaceful atmosphere surely are. It gets easy to understand why those fortresses were never conquered. Standing on top of hills overlooking the sea on one side and the hinterland of the island on the other, every occupant could spot movements way ahead and be prepared. Before we left, lunch at the Old Monolithos Taverna was a true gastronomic highlight of our stay in Rhodes, with delicious Greek food being made by the lovely couple of owners.

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We also visited the more touristic places such as the St. Pauls Bay (perfect for snorkelling) and also Tsampika. Not only is the beach one of the few pure sand beaches of Rhodes and offers lots of open space for relaxing, a special highlight is also the Tsampika Monastery at over 300m height. The views, again, are to die for and the place holds special value for the Greeks, as the mountain is said to have very special healing properties if you walk it up barefoot!

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Rocking boats, clear blue skies and the tiny houses of #Chorio climbing up the steep hills…this is #Symi! Never heard? Neither had we, but the moment we saw the first pics we knew we had to see this small island, super close to Turkey and a one hour boat ride from Rhodes. Upon arrival by boat, the only possibility really, as the island is too small for an airfield anyways, you are greeted by this fantastic view on both sides of the small harbour. The island itself is known as Greece´s hottest place and we surely felt it! Tell us, have you heard of Symi before and when are you going to visit? 😂 ____________________________________ Os barquinhos a baloiçar, o céu azul e limpo, as pitorescas casinhas de Chorio…tudo isto é #Simi! Já conheciam? Nós não, mas assim que vimos fotos pela primeira vez, decidimos que tínhamos de ir conhecer esta pequena ilha. A uma hora de barco de #Rodos e pertíssimo da #Turquia, Simi é conhecida como sendo o sítio mais quente da #Grécia e nós lá concordamos! Demasiado pequena para um aeródromo, só se pode ir de barco até a ilha, mas a recompensa à chegada vale a pena; esta maravilhosa vista dos dois lados do pequeno porto! E vocês, conheciam Symi e já decidiram que vão lá também? 😂 ___________________________________ Sanft schwingende Boote, strahlend blauer Himmel und die kleinen Häuschen von Chorio…das ist Symi! Kennt ihr diese Insel? Also wir kannten es nicht, aber nachdem wir die ersten Bilder gesehen hatten, wussten wir das wir da auf jeden Fall hin müssen. Kurz vor der türkischen Küste und etwa eine Stunde von #Rhodos liegt die kleine Insel. So klein, dass dort ein Flughafen keinen Platz hat, eine #Bootsfahrt ist daher die einzige Anreisemöglichkeit und bei der Ankunft hat man diese wunderbare #Aussicht auf beiden Seiten, der Hafen von Symi, auch bekannt als Griechenlands heißester Ort! Na, hattet ihr schon von Symi gehört und wann habt ihr jetzt vor zu die Insel zu besuchen? 😂 🇬🇷 🏝 #aroundgreece #greecestagram #ilovegreece  #travelGreece #discovergreece  #greeceislands  #welovegreece  #seeyouingreece #symiisland #islandvibes #amazing_view #travellingthroughtheworld #travelstory #reasonstovisitgreece  #сими #остров

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We stayed in Rhodes for 10 days and we both felt like we needed much more time to be able to find all the treasures the island has to offer. However, we simply had to visit Symi Island too! Located around 40km north of Rhodes, a quick boat trip of around 2-3h takes you directly to the island and its picturesque villages perched up the typically bare hills. Known to be the hottest place in Greece (in terms of temperature, not partying) and without own water supply, the island has not attracted the big masses of tourists like Rhodes. If you get adventurous and leave the roads along the marina, you will find yourself climbing up the endless flights of stairs, finding tiny shops selling natural sponges, the islands big treasure and economic backbone centuries ago.

You pass by small tavernas and their regular guests, completely unconcerned with the groups of visitors rushing by down below on their day trip and more interested in getting the attention of the random cats looking for a shadow to cool and doze off. Looking back, to the top of the stairs fighting for space in between the coloured homes, you will see the blue Aegean shining through. Has there ever been a scenery more Greek than this? This is exactly how we imagined this tiny island to be, relaxed and unconcerned with the speed of the rest of the world. It proved to be a stark contrast to the party sites of Rhodes like Faliraki and we left the island feeling that it can be a perfect destination if you are looking to stay off the grid for some time.

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The next stop was the famous Old Town of Rhodes City. Built mostly by the Templar Knights, who dominated the island for over 500 years before being expelled to Malta by the Turks, the walled city is an inspiring mix of Western and Turkish influences. The walls and gates are some of the best preserved examples of medieval architecture and in not many other places in Europe can you travel so easily back to the time of knights and princesses. An impressive mosque overlooks the neighbouring churches, standing witness to the changes the capital city of the island passed through.

Along the main cobbled road, souvenir shops sell the typical fake designer wear and perfumes, overpriced orange juice and “unique” knick-knack. Clearly, we are back to the wonders and curiosities of mass tourism. Is it impossible to escape and get our desired less walked track? Not at all, escaping is possible and not even difficult. As the Old Town remains as it was built centuries ago, that also means you can spend hours exploring side streets, little private gardens and squares. The more you walk around aimlessly, the more curious you get to discover what is behind the next corner, hiding behind stone buildings sharply giving way to a view of yet another cobbled road.

What remains of our initial travel objective, getting the culture and relaxation part together in one trip? The most iconic traces of ancient Greece on Rhodes are well-known, spread over the island and get regularly visited by all kinds of travellers. You can’t see any remains of the literally biggest ambassador of the island, the Colossus of Rhodes, except for a small miniature in front of a bar in Faliraki, where drunks regularly take selfies without bothering much about the history and origin of this figure. You see the ruins of the Akropolis in Lindos, which has breathtaking views and some spots to hide from the heat. You see castles and palaces, mosques, churches, monasteries, you can find even some of those without having to constantly bump into other tourists. You find beaches, endless sandy beaches, rocky beaches, pebble stone beaches, beaches for surfers and beaches for those who like to be by themselves. It is not difficult to find culture and relaxation in Rhodes for sure. Difficult is only having to leave it all back once the day of departure arrives and your flight number gets called up for boarding.

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