RHODES island holidays
With an average of 300 days of sunshine annually Rhodes island, home to the Greek mythological Sun God “Helius”, has been voted as one of the world TOP sunshine destinations!
Rhodes, is the 3rd biggest in size Greek island, capital of the Dodecanese islands’ and one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean. The City of Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese Prefecture, and this is where most of the island’s residents live.
With its exceptional beautiful beaches (38 have been awarded with blue flags!), its mild Mediterranean climate, its high hospitality standards and its numerous archaeological sites, Rhodes is a complete holiday destination!
Home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the ‘Colossus of Rhodes’, Rhodes (Rhodos) island lies SE of the Aegean sea, at a distance of about 13 kms from the Asia Minor coastline. An island of contrasts with a cosmopolitan character of international reputation and at the same time an island endowed with innumerable natural beauties.
Depending on the season, you can admire the mountain wild roses, conifers, eucalyptus and olive trees (in abundance!) and smell the fragrance of thyme, oregano, genets or oleanders. The full island tour which extends 60 kilometers from north to south and half this distance in width is easily attainable in two days by car.
The island of Rhodes has a very rich and varied architectural styles; Medieval, Venetian, Byzantine, Turkish and traditional architecture that blend together in complete harmony but the first thing that impresses the visitor, is its perfectly preserved and still inhabited Medieval Town that is one of UNESCO’s elite World Heritage Sites.
The climate in conjunction with this history have made Rhodes one of the world’s travelers’ favorite destination, offering a wide spectrum of activities for all tastes : sea sports, tennis courts, golf courts, caves, trekking paths... the third largest Casino of Greece, scuba diving, picturesque villages... The island is big and beautiful... explore it!
RHODES | cultural INFORMATION
Rhodes was the island of the sun god Helios. According to mythology, he fell in love with the nymph Rhodes, and when he shone his rays on her, she took the form of the island. The name Rhodes means rose and the island is renowned since antiquity for being very flowery and verdant.
Strategically placed, the island has had a tumultous past linked to the sea. Rhodes was inhabited alredy in prehistoric times. The island gradually expanded its influence and became the main commercial link in the Mediterranean. In 408 BC the island's three important Doric cities Ialissos, Lindos and Kamiros came together and founded the city of Rhodes on the island's NE edge. This marked a new era in the history of the island. The Sun-worshipping city of Rhodes (Rhodos) became an important political, commercial and religious centre. Its golden era lasted from the 5th to the 3rd century BC. It was during this period that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was constructed and straddled the harbour. This impressive giant statue was demolished during an earthquake. During 150 years the island flourished and showed its great navigation and maritime skills, establishing one of the best reputations in these domains. Rhodes extended its rule, minted its own coin, introduced the first maritime law rules, advanced the arts, theatre and sports. Its School of Rhetoric became famous and attracted many well-known Romans and Greeks. In the 2nd century BC Rhodos became an ally of Rome; this led to a gradual weakening of the island, which from the 4th century AD became a Roman prefecture.
St. Paul visited the island and recruited the first Christians in 57 AD; as in 395 AD the Roman Empire split, Rhodos and the other islands of the "Provincia insularum" were included in the Byzantine Empire. New seafarers attacked and often looted the city in the following centuries. The Knights of the Order of St. John settled in Rhodes in 1309 AD. Their stay has endowed the city with a series of majestic buildings protected by a fortified wall.
From 1522 onwards the Dodecanese islands form part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912 AD when Rhodes was given to Italy and finally freed and annexed to the rest of Greece in 1948
- The Palace of the Grand Masters (Old Town of Rhodes) - In addition to taking in the impressive medieval castle architecture, visitors are able to enjoy several exhibits with artifacts and information that spans the island’s extensive history.
- The Archaeological Museum (Old Town of Rhodes) - Housed in the former Hospital of the Knights, this museum features exhibits from the Mycenaic to the Medieval Ages. Open daily except Mondays from 8.30 – 15.00 Tel 22410 31048, 79601
- The Byzantine Museum (Old Town of Rhodes) - Located in the Church of the Panagia, this museum hosts religious icons and frescoes from the Byzantine era.
- Museum of Decorative Arts and Folklore (Old Town of Rhodes) - Gain a cultural perspective through observing traditional costumes, fabrics, or pottery –all representing important aspects of everyday life in Rhodes through the centuries.
- Municipal Gallery (City of Rhodes) - This impressive modern building houses works by Greek artists of the 19th and 20th century. Open daily except Sundays from 8.00 – 14.00 Tel 22410 23766
- Cosmetic Collection of Rhodes – traditional costumes and everyday objects from Rhodes. Open daily except Mondays from 8.30 – 2.30 Tel 22410 25500
- Muslim Library Ahmet Havouz – right across the Suleiman mosque on Sokratous street. Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts as well as a chronicle of the conquest of Rhodes by the Turks in 1522 are being exhibited. Free entrance.
- Shalom Synagogue (Old Town of Rhodes) - A reminder of the once flourishing Jewish community in Rhodes, the Synagogue also maintains a small museum that presents relevant photographs, books, manuscripts, and clothing.
DO NOT MISS
- Afantou carpet workshops – the region of Afantou is famous for its hand made carpets which are of excellent quality.
- The best sunset – from the ruins of the Knight’s castle in Monolithos.
- The public hammams - This is an attraction that many don't visit but is a unique and relaxing experience that gives you a sense of what bathing was like for Grecians in the past. Located on Arionos Square, they were built around the 16th century by Sultan Selim and used to be the ancient Turkish Baths (hammams). Daily 8.30 – 17.0 except Sundays. The water is warmed naturally with woods in tanks!
RHODES SITES | MONUMENTS |WHAT TO SEE
The Old Town
It is undoubtedly the absolute star of Rhodes. Loved by the Knights of St. John, besieged by the Ottomans, the Italians fell in love with it, this Medieval town built by the Knights of St. John around the 15th century, is from 1988 one of UNESCO’s top World Heritage Sites. The city is a real masterpiece, a labyrinth of alleys, little houses and majestic buildings which can only be visited on foot (vehicle circulation is strictly prohibited). The visitor will enter the Old Town from any of its 11 gates; one of the most impressive elements of the Old Town are its 4 km long exterior walls with their countless towers and bastions bearing the coats of arms of the Knights that passed from there. Inside it there are about 200 Medieval churches and quite a few mosques while some of the important monunents to visit are the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master (which now operates as a Museum), the majestic Suleiman Mosque just beyond the clock from where the panoramic view of the Old City is fascinating - and Public Baths (Yeni Hamam) fill your lens with countless photographic clicks! Visit the famous Street of the Knights (200m long and 6 meters wide) which was restored in its original form. and during the Middle Ages was the official avenue that connected The Virgin of the Castle church on the one end to the Palace of the Grand Master on the other. As you walk it, a mystic aura will flood your senses while images of armed knights on horseback will unfold before your eyes... At the same time the city is a living cell of Rhodes as within the walls live about 6,000 people and there are countless cafes, souvenir shops, elegant restaurants and shops with traditional artifacts.
The butterflies valley
Approximately five kms SE of the village of Theologos lies the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes) one of the most attractive destinations on the island. It is a breathtaking valley gorge that is home to rare and eye catching Panaxia Butterflies (actually moths). From June to September each year the moths are attracted to the resin of the storax trees. It is prohibited to disturb them in any way (hand clapping, whistling etc). The river Pelekanos runs through the valley, and small but rushing waterfalls make for a tranquil setting. There is a small wooden bridge and then an uphill path, which make for a picturesque view, and this leads to the Monastery of the Virgin of Kalopetra.
Monte Smith hill
A hill that got its name from an Enlish admiral who in 1802 built there a watchtower to watch the movements of Napoleon’s fleet. On this hill is the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes, a temple of the God Apollo, a Roman Odeon where performances are held to date and an ancient stadium that many prefer it for jogging!
The Acropolis of Lindos
Occupying and area of 8,400 meters it was the most well fortified part of ancient Rhodes. It dominates the village of Lindos with its white washed houses perched on a hillside. The place is a pearl of the island and has attracted many artists who have bought residences. Nearby is the location for the movie "The Guns of Navarone. The Lindos Acropolis sits high above the village and can be accessed either on foot (about 15’ walk) or with little donkeys! At the lower entrance don’t fail to look closely at the carved ship’s stern on the rock face to the left; it dates from c. 180 BC. Now comes a steep stairway up to the lower level of the acropolis with the remains of various structures; then, climbing up the broad ancient steps, you come to the upper level and head for the columns of the Temple of Athena (c. 350 BC), one of the most photographed buildings of ancient Greece. Part of its impact is due to its location: it is isolated at the edge of a steep cliff (from which, by the way, you can look down to the small rock-bound harbor where legend claims Paul the Apostle landed). It is a truly spectacular experience to stand here and gaze down to the sea.
On descending, you will want to take at least a short time to appreciate the village of Lindos, designated a national landmark to preserve its traditional narrow streets, architectural details, homes, and other buildings. At the very least, step into the Church of the Panagia with its remarkable 17th century frescoes. Open every day from 8.30 – 18.40 and on Sundays and Mondays from 12.30-18.40
The Iallysos Acropolis
Mount Filerimos (SW of Rhodes town) – In ancient times Ialysos consisted of many settlements sharing a common Acropolis on top of Mount Filerimos. Excavations have brought to life: the Acropolis with the temple dedicated to Zeus and Minerva (2nd century B.C), an early Christian basilica and a Doric fountain with taps in the shape of a lion’s head (4th century B.C). Open every day except Mondays from 8.30-15.00 Tel 22410 25550
It is one of the most typical ancient Greek cities of the Hellenistic perios (3rd century B.C). Streets, public buildings, temples are still preserved. On the highest point is the Acropolis of Kamiros. The archaeological site can be visited every day from 8.00-19.00 except Mondays
30 kms from Rhodes city - One of the most charming destinations on Rhodes, it is a place ideal for trekking! The water gushes from the springs all year long and flows among the plane trees forming a little pond. You get to the lake walking through a narrow tunnel of 186m. The lake exists thanks to a dam built by the Italians, in order to provide the nearby Kolymbia with fresh water.
The area of Seven Springs and the nearby forests are suitable for walking.
At the northernmost point of Rhodes, there where the Aegean sea blends with the Mediterranean is the acquarium. Open from April – October 9.00-20.30 and from November – March 9.00 – 4.30 Tel 22410 27308
Prophet Elijah's Mount
A dense forest of pine, oak and cypress trees worth visiting – to reach the top of the mount (798 meters) one must follow a magnificent path through the forest, offering breathtaking sea views. 115 species of plants have been identified, the rarest being the white Paeonia that grows only in Rhodes island! There are hawks, deer, foxes ... Next to the church of the Prophet Elijah begins a footpath; after about one hour of hiking it will bring you to the Nymfi fountain outside the village of Salakos.
The park lies in a green and shady bed of a stream and it has cool running waters, ponds and lush vegetation. Back in Medieval times, therein was the country residence of the Grand Masters. Today it is ideal for walking and boating and it is an ideal environment for the peacocks who live and breed freely in the park. A walk of about 10 minutes will bring you to a tomb dug into the rock known as the tomb of the Ptolemies. The tomb dates from the Hellenistic period the path to the tomb passes through 2-3 natural caves! In August there is a Wine Festival taking place.
Ancient Vroulias settlement
Right across Prasonisi on the southern tip of the island and next to the sea on a low hill, one of the most important early settlements in Greece with an organized urban plan has been found. It dates back to appx. 650 – 550 BC and the location of the settlement had military significance because it was the last port of the Aegean sea before the open sea of the eastern Mediterranean.
With emphasis on symmetry and taking advantage of its geophysical particularity and geographical location, the Knights built the castle of Monolithos which is one of the best preserved of Rhodes.
(55 kms from Rhodes town) – built on a hill the Critinia castle is a sample of an architectural blend of Byzantine and Medieval style whilst inside it are the remains of the Catholic church of St. Paul.
RHODES | Villages
Although most visitors concentrate on the city of Rhodes, there are numerous rewarding excursions to be made around the island.
The island is divided into 10 municipalities: the Municipality of Rhodes (the capital) and the municipalities of Ialysos, Petaloudes, Kamiros, Kalithea, Attavyros, Afandou, Archangelos, Southern Rhodes and Lindos. The western coast of Rhodes island is more fertile and forested than the eastern one but also has rocky beaches. The inland of Rhodes is hilly and verdant, offering a lush and flowered landscape. On Rhodos island one can find from picturesque villages and places to relax, to towns and touristy restorts with lots of night life.
Here we will highlight the places that the visitor ought to visit although there are so many in Rhodes...
The Old City of Rhodes is actually divided into two parts, the Old City or Medieval City and the New City. The old is surrounded by strong imposing walls, and today it is among the largest and most well-preserved medieval settlements in Europe. The Medieval City offers a testament to the island’s past, and is home to the stunning Palace of the Grand Master.
The New City of Rhodes lies outside the walls of the Old Town, facing the Mandraki Harbor, guarded by two bronze deer and the three windmills. Most of the buildings in this part of the town date from the Italian rule (1912-1944), and the style is neo-Gothic and Venetian. The city has a charming quality as a result and this is where many of the luxurious hotels are located, as well as cafes, shops and restaurants.
A typical tour of the Eastern side of the island would inlcude the following: Koskinou village is famous for its the exterior doors of houses which are painted in bright colours (purple, yellow, green, blue...) and most open on beautiful pebbled gardens. The village disposes of a folk museum . The next village is that of Kallithea where you can visit the impressive hydrotherapy center built by Italians in 1929. Moving the beach resort of Faliraki, which was once a quiet fishing village, today it is the most developed spot on the island. Some visitors enjoy the vibrant water activities and lively nightlife, while others see it is a playground for young rich European tourists. It is home to clubs, bars, lots of shopping and plenty of restaurants.
The village of Lindos, to the south on the eastern coast, features whitewashed houses, pebble-paved courtyards, narrow alleys and buildings influenced by Byzantine, medieval, Arab and Rhodian architecture. In between Rhodes Town and Lindos is the village of Afandou, which is one of the largest on the island, and the name is believed to have come from the word meaning “afando” or invisible. But with its beauty nothing could be further from the truth, however the village was built out of sight from sea, in order to be unnoticed by the pirates that plagued the area for centuries. The village surrounds a lovely square and features many taverns, shops and restaurants.
Rhodes, however, is not only the medieval Old Town and Lindos. It's lush landscapes with rich vegetation, small picturesque villages that are still untouched by mass tourism and exotic beaches! In short it’s nature at its best! And all of them found nowhere else than in the remote south part of the island!
The protagonist here is Prassonisi a sandy peninsula joined with Rhodes by a narrow strip of land in the southern part of the island - the favorite destination for wind and kite surfers.
Lahania is typical Rhodian village with friendly inhabitants and traditional houses the circled by mountains Mesanagros with numerous religious monuments, the village of Asklipieio the castle of Asklipieio and its stunning sea views. Images captured in memory of mind and live there forever etched. They will spend as film frames from your mind while the ship Blue Star Ferries will define the water the return trip ...
Embonas is the stellar opposite of Faliraki. It is the highest village on Rhodes, and as a result is almost untouched by tourism, and thus completely unspoiled. Many of the inhabitants still wear traditional local costumes and keep the customs and traditions alive. Embroideries are produced in Embronas, and this is the village’s main attraction. It is also the best spot to see traditional architecture.
If you love history do not miss visiting Kamiros which is the ‘Greek Pompei’. Make the effort to also visit the monastery of Filerimos and Sianna village which is quite often considered to be the most picturesque village of Rhodes island.
RHODES | Beaches
The Eastern coast has the most in number and beauty beaches. In reality, the entire coast is an immense beach... The western coast has fewer beaches and when windy they have waves which make them the windsurfers’ haven! 38 beaches have been awarded blue flags! Nudism allowed in parts of Faliraki, Kallithea beaches.
- Eli’s beach – Right in the town of Rhodes, in front of the casino is one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan beaches of the island with beach bars, sun umbrellas on the sand! Being one of the most popular Greek beaches among photographers, the beach of Rhodes still offers something of its cosmopolitan aspect from the 70's, and is one of the most visited beaches on the island. Hundreds of tourists and locals visit the beach daily.
- Faliraki – Noisy beach with golden sand – attracts many young people because it features a frentic night life! The beach at the far right end is for nudists. It is 12 kms from Rhodes town, there is public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds. Water sports (jet ski, water ski, bunjee jumping).
- Lindos – One of the most touristy beaches of Rhodes – shallow waters, ideal for kids. On the one side of the Lindos mount is Megalos Gialos (cosmopolitan with 3 rows of sun umbrellas...) and on the other side is the small bay of St Paul, a small but busy beach.
- Pefki – 56 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. 40 years ago it was a fisherman’s village. Today it is a touristic extension of Lindos... Beautiful beach but very crowded. Admire the pine trees towering above the village as you swim at the small but beautiful beach.
- Kiotari – 60 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach of endless sand with sunbeds and sun umbrellas. Partially organized with water sports and water sport centers (wind surf, jet ski, kite, etc).
- Kolymbia – 26Kms from Rhodes town, public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds, sand and fine pebble. Quiet not very noisy. Sports: Jet ski
- Tsambika – one of the most beautiful beaches of the island with fine sand. It has many cantines and two water sport centers.
- Ixia – 4 kms from Rhodes tosn, public transportation, food, umbrellas, sunbeds. It consists of many consecutive pebble beaches (many times there are also seaweeds...). It disposes of many water sport shops and centers making it a favorite spot for surfers (it often has favorite winds for the needs of the sport). 4Km
- Trianda – Right after Rhodes townand up to Trianda settlement (or otherwise known as Ialisos) stretches an immense organized beach with white sand and turquoise waters. The wind is favorable on this side of the island for windsurfing.
- Katsouni – 50 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beadh. Sandy beach with shallow sea water has length of about 1km. It is located in an attractive and quite tourist resort 3 km away from the village of Lardos. Side roads of the main street from Lardos to Kattavia lead to the beach. The beach and surrounding area offer sports facilities, rent a car, bikes, bicycles.
- Kremasti – Sunbeds and umbrellas, very crowded. You can however rent a horse and explore the beach on horseriding! (Mikes horses 22410 94277).
- Lardos – 60Kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. Public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds. The beautiful sandy beaches of Lardos are known as some of the best beaches on the island. Crystal clear waters, and gently rolling surf make for an idyllic atmosphere for fun in the sun, or relaxing on the many sun beds under the shade of an umbrella. Alternatively, there are a wide range of water sports to choose from, and even a go-kart track for fast, but safe, fun for the whole family.
- Glistra – 55kms from Rhodes town a quiet beach with fine sand. It has sunbeds and a cantine.
- Gennadi – 63 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. Sand and small pebbles as far as the eye can see - and the liveliest beach parties held anywhere on Rhodes.
- Ialisos - Just outside Rhodes town at a distance of 8 kms. It is an ideal place for those who love surfing as there is often a good wind. Equipment for hire is available. There are kiosks, mini-markets, fast food outlets, cafes and restaurants just a short distance away. Preferred mainly by visitors from local hotels.
- Stegna – 29 kms from Rhodes town. On the right you will find peace and quiet and a family atmosphere, while on the left a private beach for guests of the one and only hotel. An ideal location for those seeking relaxation. Sand and pebbles, a kiosk, water sports, a few tavernas and rooms for rent.
- Vliha – 47 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. Vlycha (Vlicha) is a pleasant little beach just before Lindos that has a sun bed for everyone, while the sea here deepens smoothly and gradually. Ideal for families The quietest part of the beach is at the right-hand end. There are two cantines as well as toilets and card-operated telephones.
- Kalithea - 7Kms from Rhodes town BLUE FLAG awarded beach. Public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds. One of the most popular beaches a series of pine tree-covered bays and coves with rocks you can dive from (be careful: the sea is deep here, you need to be a good swimmer). Its rocky seabed presents particular interest; in the summer there is a scuba diving center. Nudists also prefer it.
- Ladiko – 15 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. It is a tiny cove, but offers everything you could possibly want! Fine sand, small rocks, sun beds, umbrellas, hills all around, emerald water, showers and finaly a taverna. It is very popular in the summer months!
- Anthony Quinn bay - 15Kms from Rhodes town, food, umbrellas and sunbeds available. It is a small bay with natural stone surfaces ideal for reclining under the sun, pine trees reaching down to the water's edge, emerald green water... It was named after the actor Anthony Quinn since "The Guns of Navarone" were filmed here.
- Prasonisi – 90 kms from Rhodes town on the southern end of the island. Food, umbrellas, sunbeds, accommodation. It is one of the most impressive beaches on the island. Two sandy coves ending in an island that you can reach on foot or by swimming, depending on the weather and the level of the water. This is a paradise for surfers, especially in July and August. There are surfboards and wetsuits for hire. It is well worth a visit even if you are not a surfer yourself, just to enjoy the magnificent landscape and admire the skill of the surfers. All the houses offering rented rooms also operate their own taverna.
- Agathi – 36Kms from Rhodes town, food, umbrellas and sunbeds. Small beach for the standards of Rhodes island with a very beautiful sandy beach, shallow waters and magnificent views of the imposing castle of Feraklou.
- Asklipio – Large with clear waters.
- Genadi – 63 kms from Rhodes town a BLUE FLAG awarded beach. Sand and pebble – its great lenght allows for part of it to be organized and part of it to be free.
- Haraki – 36Kms from Rhodes town, public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds. This little bay definetly is ideal for families. The right-hand side of the beach has large pebbles, while to the left there is sand.
- Afantou - 18Kms from Rhodes town, BLUE FLAG beach, features public transportation, food, umbrellas and sunbeds, Hotels. Sand and pebbles and abrupt waters. Partially organized you can enjoy beach volley and beach soccer but also enjoy a drink in one of its many beach bars.
To be discovered
- Glistra – 55 kms from Rhodes town. A quiet beach with fine sand – popular with those who want their umbrella, and some peace - mainly foreigners. Shop for sandwiches and water at the little restaurant, hire a sun bed and watch the canoes and pedalos go by.
- Glyfada – 72 kms from Rhodes town. It is one of the least known beaches in north-western Rhodes. The many pine trees give the water its deep green colour, but the constant winds stir up the water and make it blur. The beach has two small tavernas
- Kalathos – 45 kms from Rhodes town. It stretches on 4 kms of fine sand and pebbles. In some parts it is organized. A canteen, some tavernas and a supermarket can be found on the road running along the shore.
Agios Pavlos – 50 kms from Rhodes town – it consists of two little bays with pebble and sand and are actually the Lindos beaches – the one on the right side is more popular whilst the one on the left side offers more solitude.
- Stegna – 29 kms from Rhodes town - ideal for those seeking relaxation. Sand and pebbles, a kiosk, water sports, a few tavernas and rooms for rent.
- Masari – Kalathos – Vliha – Masari and Kalathos are two non touristic villages that are united by a huge beach. The natural ending of these is Vlyha a more cosmopolitan beach. The vast beach stretches along the shore for 4 kilometres
- Plimiri – very quiet beach with black sand at the end of a large bay.
- Kalavarda – Small beach with sand and a few tamarisk trees on the side. Not organized but it has some communal, exterior showers, a beach bar and a tavern.
- Plaka – 78Kms from Rhodes town and after the Monolithos castle there are two beatiful and quite unknown beaches as there are no signs that indicate their location – Plaka and Fourni.
- Fourni - Here you will find no restaurants and no umbrellas, just a pebble beach and splashing among the waves. It is a small and peaceful beach below Monolithos, ideal for those who enjoy the wild beauty of nature. If you do not have your own umbrella with you, you will have to get here early to secure a place in the shade of the rocks on the right-hand side of the beach. If you wish for more privacy, try the end of the path that runs to the left. There are a few pine trees, rocks to swim from, and waves, lots of waves - the western coast of the island has the roughest seas. You can find even wilder coves and bays, with sand, big pebbles and very few people, ideal for those who like wavy seas or fishing, by following the dirt roads as you make your way from Kattavia to Monolithos, opposite the solitary rock in the shape of a boat which rises up above the waves.
- Apolakkia – large sandy beach that stretches on a length of about 20 kms (!) – the whole bay is included in the European “Natura 2000” Network.
- Fourni - 78Kms from Rhodes town – a peble beach below Monolithos, ideal for those who ejoy the wild beauty of nature. No restaurants and no umbrellas only a small cantine.
- Local bus service, Taxis, Car, moto, bicycle rentals
- Health Center
- Tourist information +30 22430 61778
- Airport: +30 22430 61410 & +30 22430 61665
- Port Authority +30 22430 61208
- Police +30 22430 61207
- Health Center +30 22430 61222
- Blue Star Ferries +30 22430 61224
- Olympic Airways +30 22430 61588
- Townhall +30 22430 61206
Astypalea has air and sea connection. Its airport deserves only national flights. The facility is located nearby the village Analipsis and approximately 12 kms northeast of the city of Astypalaia.
By sea: Blue Star Ferries (duration of trip appx. 10 hrs from Pireaus port), from Kalymnos with “Nissos Kalymnos” every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
You can get around by bus or by car or motorbike.
From Pera Yialos a bus travels every 30 minutes in July and August (four times daily other months) to Hora and Livadi (€1), and from Hora and Pera Yialos hourly in July and August (three times daily other months) to Analipsi (Maltezana; €1.50) via Marmari Beach.
RHODES | SPORTS & ACTIVITIES
Sailing & Yachting
The endless coastline of the Dodecanese islands and the fact that many of them are close to each other are ideal for visiting these islands with your own or a rented sail or motor boat. There are many sailing agencies that offer such options. The only Dodecanese islands that dispose of marinas are Nisyros, Rhodes, Kos, Tilos, Astypalaia and Leros.
Pera Yialos (main harbour): The island’s municipal marina provides secure berthing for around 30 yachts. Water & electricity points installed. Diesel via telephone from the nearby gasoline station via a small truck.
Agios Andreas: The new artificial harbor on the NW side of the island. Max. 5 boats but well protected from winds (except SE winds). Livadia, Vathi and Maltezana are other well protected anchorages.
Yacht services/repairs/yards in Astypalea : None
Festivals & Events
- Feast of Virgin Mary (August 15th). It is the largest and lasts three days. The first night, there is a feast in the church. On the day, they cook Lampriano (stuffed lamb). Invited are all summer visitors. The expenses are taken care by the municipality.
- Traditional feast of Panaghia Poulariani (September 8th) in Maltezana.
- Traditional feast of Saint Pandeleimon (July 27th) in Livadi.
- The Astypalea Cultural, Music festival (every summer)
Excursions & Sports
- A special experience is to rent in Pera Gialos a motor boat and take the island tour! No diploma required.
- There are daily excursion boats departing from Pera Yialos and Maltezana ports that take you to the more remote western beaches of Agios Ioannis, Kaminakia and Vatses, or to the islets of Koutsomytis or Kounoupa. When the weather is good, they run longer round-island excursions. Tickets are bought on the boat.
- You can enjoy water sports (bike, canoe, windsurfing) at Livadi beach!
Climbing: Astypalea disposes of a very interesting climbing field called “Ftera” with 20 climbing routes that are equipped with stainless steel M10 connectors and relays to an end. The rock is limestone and is generally quite good. The field is easily accessible from the townn of Chora (20 minutes by car in good dirt road).
Trekking: There is an important network of market trails
Caves: for the lovers of speleology Astypalaia has 2 mapped caves. The cave of the Negro, in Vatses with unique stalactites and stalagmites and the cave of the Dragon, in Vathi or else know as “Drakospilia” (recommended only for experienced climbers).
Astypalea can be combined with the Cyclades islands of Amorgos, Donoussa, Naxos and Paros and the Dodecanese islands of Kalymnos.