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With stunning beaches, forested interior, frescoed churches, Crusader castles, and eight sunny months a year, Rhodes can’t help but be a winner for holidaymakers. In a year, as much as 2 million tourists pile in to say. The walled old town of Rhodes has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status, and rarely fails to impress with its sandstone architecture, flying buttresses, cobbled streets and a skyline of minarets and palm trees.
Things to see and do
Museums. Several old museums are in the Palace of the Grand Masters, where 3 galleries thematically cover the Rhodian history from the third century BC to the Ottoman conquest. There is also the Museum of Modern Greek Art which houses the largest collection outside Athens.
Walk the Moat. If not allowed up the medieval walls of the Old Town, the consolation price is the circumambulation of moat below, between two fortifications. There are many unobtrusive points of access between the Akandia Gate in the east and St. Anthony’s Gate in the west.
Ancient Sites. Of the 3 ancient settlements that predated the founding of the town of ancient Rhodes, the Lindos acropolis is the most stunning, offering views along almost 40 miles of coast, along with the always-reconstructed Athena temple.
Knight’s Castles. The Knight’s Hospitalier has maintained a far-flung network of coastal castles as lookout points, which are all half-ruined today. The best one that’s sited is Kastelo Kritinias that offers views to Halki and a few more other Dodecanese on a clear day.
Windsurf Prassonisi. Rhode’s southerly cape forms a sandspit that separates the Mediterranean from the Aegean, giving great conditions for windsurfing and sailing Greece. There is a friendly, established school here named Prassonisi Center.
Day Trips. A popular destination among other neighboring islets is Symi, with the Panormitis monastery and harbor town. Charter catamaran for a day trip to the equally postcard-perfect Halki instead a few days a week.
Eat and drink
Mavrikos. For a long time, this was considered as Rhodes’ cutting-edge diner, offering old standards and original fusion recipes. Some of their bestsellers are cured tuna, cuttlefish-ink risotto, broad beans and lamb’s liver chunks. It has an expensive Greek wine list.
Gatto Bianco. The island’s best Italian diner, it offers wood-oven pasta, own-made pasta, seafood and several desserts. Prices are on the high side, but so are their portions. It has a good Greek wine list. Diners can sit on ground level, pebble-mosaic patio, or up the roof terrace.
Marco Polo Café. The menu in this creative courtyard restaurant changes with the seasons, but maintains a bias towards seafood, lamp and pork. Vegetarians should also have a good selection. Their desserts are all prepared by Valeria, the town’s best Italian patisserie chef.
Indigo. One of the few worthwhile establishments in the touristy Art Deco New Market, this bistro offers a Middle Eastern spin to its platters. This indoor and patio restaurant has plenty to offer for vegetarians with expensive barrel wine.
Locanda Demenagas. Located in Akandia jetty, this place is perfect for a pre-trip lunch. Everyone from local Mafiosi to travelers to tradesmen dine here. Their menu is made up of casserole dishes that changes almost daily. There is a small dessert on the house.