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greece is

experience culture, gastronomy & more

2017-2018 ISSUE
RHO D ES FIRST EDITION

ISSN: 2529-041X

20 - 38 39 - 84 85 - 138 139 - 155


W e l c o me Discove r EX PERIEN CE Taste
Rhodes for beginners: There are few places in the world It’s not all about the Old Town The culinary and winemaking
an introduction to the island that where you can find the tangible and the beaches. From Italian traditions of the island live on,
led Greece into the Age traces of so many eras and ghost towns to mountain retreats, ensuring that its authentic flavors
of Tourism. cultures as you’ll see in Rhodes. there’s plenty to explore. are still available for all to enjoy.
| WELCOME |

At a Crowded Crossroads
R H O D E S ’ A M B I V A L E N T relationshi p w ith mass to u rism

BY GIORGOS TSIROS
edi t or - I N - C H I E F , G R E E C E I S

It is the ninth largest island in the Mediterranean. tions in Greece; it was among the first to be developed,
To get from one end to the other, one needs to cover to acquire “serious” infrastructure and – thanks to its
a distance of 100 kilometers. There are 26 countries particularly warm climate – to extend the tourism sea-
in the world that are smaller in area. Today, as you’re son to at least 7 months a year. However, it is also a des-
reading this, thousands of people will be arriving at its tination that has felt the impact of having an oversupply
airport on airlines that you may not even have heard of rooms. It has come under pressure from tour opera-
of, from cities with far fewer sunny days per year than tors and has seen prices and per-capita visitor revenues
Rhodes, places such as Leeds, Billund, Katowice, Stock- squeezed. Today, it must re-examine its identity and de-
holm, Gdańsk and Bratislava, as well as London, Par- velop a new strategic plan in order to upgrade its tour-
is, Milan, Budapest and Copenhagen. Each visitor will ism industry and attract more high-end travelers. What
sleep on one of the 100,000 beds in one of the island’s is certain is that all the basic ingredients are there: nat-
licensed hotels, they will enjoy Rhodes’ beaches, ad- ural beauty, a rich history, stunning monuments, luxu-
mire its sights, have fun in its bars and restaurants and ry hotels and – most importantly – human resource as-
return to their homelands suntanned and happy. sets well-versed in hospitality services and thoroughly
Last year, 5 million people passed through the air- accustomed to receiving people from all over the world.
port here, the country’s third busiest. (It’s also one of That’s not all. As we discovered while putting to-
the 14 regional airports that have passed under the gether the magazine you are now holding in your hands,
control of the consortium Fraport Greece – a compre- Rhodes – so developed, so widely marketed and already
hensive overhaul is expected soon.) In the same period, so well-known to potential visitors – still exhibits an
large cruise ships docked at the island’s port 400 times. uncanny ability to pleasantly surprise all those who
Rhodes is one of the most “mature” tourist destina- come here.

© PERIKLES MERAKOS

GREECE IS • R H O D E S 2 017 1
RODOS PALACE, QUITE SIMPLY,
CONSTITUTES THE FINEST DELUXE RESORT
ON THE ISLAND OF RHODES. ON A SUPERB
LOCATION 3 KM FROM RHODES TOWN AND
THE MEDIEVAL CITY, JUST 50 METRES FROM THE BEACH,
RODOS PALACE INVITES YOU TO
EXPERIENCE THE TRUE ESSENCE OF RESORT LIFE.
Iraklidon Avenue (Trianton) Ixia
85100 Rhodes, Greece
T: (+30) 2241.097.222, F: (+30) 2241.025.350
info@rodos-palace.gr | www.rodos-palace.gr
LINDOS
Below the imposing rock of the acropolis
stands the picturesque town of Lindos,
built οn the ruins of an ancient city. One
of Rhodes’ top attractions, its traditional
character is protected by conservation
laws. The white-washed houses, rocky
terrain and blue waters of the Aegean
© F I L I PP O S F I L I PP O U

combine to create a setting of unparal-


leled charm. The crystalline sea – perfect
for swimming and scuba diving – the vil-
lage’s cosmopolitan summer atmosphere,
wide variety of entertainment options,
traditional cuisine and modern culinary
creativity all come together to offer
incredible moments of carefree relaxation.
KALLITHEA SPRINGS
A restored monument of excep-
tional architectural value, these
spa facilities, built 90 years ago
by the Italians, are not to be
missed. Marble and pebble floors,
rotundas, a seaside garden and
impressive open-air spaces create
a unique setting reminiscent of
old Hollywood. Kallithea Beach
boasts crystal-clear waters and the
seabed, famed for its biodiversity,
attracts groups of scuba divers.

© F I L I PP O S F I L I PP O U

Butterfly VALLEY THE OLD TOWN


© F I L I PP O S F I L I PP O U

One of Rhodes’ major Europe’s largest inhab-


attractions, this rare eco- ited Medieval Town, a
system hosts thousands UNESCO World Heritage
of Panaxia quadripunctaria City, offers visitors the
moths every summer. Park one-of-a-kind experience
visitors can walk along of retracing 2,400 years
the small Pelekanos River, of history in a single stroll.
cross wooden bridges and Medieval buildings and
get lost in a fairy-tale set- Ottoman mosques, narrow
ting of lush greenery, small alleys and charming
rapids and stream pools, squares all create a unique
before heading to the sense of times gone by.
valley’s renowned restau- There are also restaurants,
rant, which overlooks a bars and shops with some-
waterfall. thing for everyone.
“The facilities of the Kallithea
Springs are a fantastic tourist
attraction, as well as an ideal
space to host high-quality events
of all kinds. We at DERMAE are
open to every sort of collabora-
tion, because we’re committed to
making every effort to utilize this
unique monument in the best way
possible. It’s a unique space of
enormous potential; it
impresses all its visitors and is
ideal for hosting important events
that will bolster tourism on the
island. To the citizens of Rhodes
and all those who visit and support
© SAV VAS ARGIROU

the monument, we thank you for


appreciating our efforts.”
Giorgos Kakoulis
President of DERMAE

Kallithea
Located on the eastern side of the island, 9k from Rhodes Town, the Kallithea Springs have long been a
magnet for visitors from all over the world, particularly since a facility was created here by the island’s Italian
rulers in the early 20th century. Today, the restored complex is one of the island’s most popular attractions.
In the imposing Great Rotunda, cultural and artistic events such as festivals, concerts and exhibitions are
frequently held. The enchanting setting is also ideal for unforgettable events; highly experienced professionals
are on hand to succesfully take on not only wedding receptions, but formal dinners, corporate meetings and
conferences as well. Next to the spa complex is a popular beach with crystal waters and beautiful palm trees;
its historic café, also elegantly renovated, is open throughout the day, serving refreshments right on the beach.
© F I L I PP O S F I L I PP O U

Kallithea Springs/ ΔΕΡΜΑΕ Α.Ε.


Tel. (+30) 2241.037.090, Fax: (+30) 2241.073.073
e-mail: info@kallitheasprings.gr
http://www.kallitheasprings.gr/
A rare valley
Just 10k west from Rhodes
Airport, near the village of
Theologos, the stunning Valley of
the Butterflies is one of Rhodes’
most famous attractions. This
unique ecosystem hosts the rare
Panaxia quadripunctaria (actually
a brightly-colored species of
moth) from mid-June until late
September. The moths spend
most of their time resting on
the shady sides of the trunks of
trees or around their roots but
when they take flight the or-
ange-red of their wings becomes
visible. The sight of this large
colony of winged creatures is
truly magical.

DO NOT DISTURB
Unfortunately, the butterfly
population has been declining
due to the impact of tourism on
the valley. Some visitors whistle
or clap to make the insects take
flight, without realizing that the
noise they’re making resembles
that made by bats. The panicked
insects take flight, attempting to
escape. Many die from shock,
exhaustion or injury after colli-
sions with rocks and trees. For
the moths to survive, it’s crucial
that they be allowed to rest
during the day so they can con-
serve energy for their migration
in September.
| WELCOME |

“Aegean Islands,
unlike any other!”
This is the identity of our islands, the identity of Greece!

B Y G e org e H a t z i m a r k os
R E G I O N A L G ov ernor o f t h e S o u t h A egean

T Comprising a
he South Aegean Region, with yet further proof of the region’s unique-
60 inhabited islands and some of ness, yet another invitation for visitors
the strongest brands on the world to get to know our islands through their diverse archipelago
tourism map, each year receives the lion’s cuisine. Each recipe is much more than a of destinations of
share of tourists to Greece. tasty dish; behind each one there is his-
unparalleled beauty
Comprising a diverse archipelago of tory, traditions, culture – an unbroken
destinations of unparalleled beauty and thread through time. Gastronomy on our and character, the
character, the region has something for islands is an authentic travel experience. region has something
everyone, meeting visitors’ needs and de- Aegean gastronomy, an integral part
for everyone, meeting
sires with services of the highest quality. of Greek hospitality, connects the mod-
Made up of the islands of the Cyclades ern world with all of the preceding eras visitors’ needs and
and the Dodecanese, the region is one of – from the Ottoman, Venetian and Frank- desires with services
incomparable natural beauty and diversi- ish times to the Byzantine and Roman
of the highest quality.
ty. Its islands, so close to one another and empires, to ancient Greece and all the way
yet so different, offer a wealth of experi- back to prehistoric times – in a fascinat-
ences and emotions. Islands bathed in ing journey charted by Andrew Dalby in
light, surrounded by blue, where myths, his book Siren Feasts: A History of Food
history and reality co-exist in an impres- and Gastronomy in Greece. It is a link to
sive mosaic. Their contradictions are their the world of antiquity. Indeed, Aegean
charm. Their distinctiveness is what de- gastronomy is recognizable in Homeric
fines them. descriptions of warriors’ banquets, Plato’s
It is this distinctiveness that the Symposium and Hippocrates’ Peri Dietis
Southern Aegean Region is promoting (On Diet).
worldwide via the strategic tourism de- Fifty different islands with as many
velopment plan that it has devised and sets of local traditions and customs make
is implementing. Additionally, following up the gastronomic culture of the South-
our selection as a European Region of ern Aegean Region.
Gastronomy 2019, the unique flavors and The Cyclades and the Dodecanese
aromas of our food will take center stage are more than sunshine and magnificent
in a never-ending banquet, as we share beaches. They are history. They are cul-
ancient secrets with visitors and fellow ture. They are the imprints each island
diners during a thrilling culinary journey has left on the arc of European and world
through all the senses. Our nomination is history.

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CONTENTS

Greece Is - Rhodes, 2017-2018 Issue, First Edition

20. The Basics. Rhodes for Beginners.


32. Insights. The ultimate repeat visitor
72. How it Was. One-of-a-kind
snapshots of the island’s historic past.
greece is
published by
and three creative locals share their own 80. The Tourism Chronicles. How E xe re vnitis - E xplore r S. A .
perspectives. Rhodes became a mega-destination. Ethnarchou Makariou & 2 Falireos St,
Athens, 18547, Greece,
Discover Experience Tel. (+30) 210.480.8000
40. Milestones. A march through time 88. The Old Town. Medieval walls Fax (+30) 210.480.8202
on the Isle of the Sun. encircle an enchanting microcosm.
ISSN: 2529-041X
42. "A God to Equal the God." The 106. The New Town. It may get crazy
mystery of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of but that’s no reason to snub it! editor-in-chief
the wonders of the ancient world. Giorgos Tsiros (editor@greece-is.com)
114. Lindos, the Eternal Star. A
44. A Glorious Family. Sports legend timeless favorite of visitors. commercial director
Diagoras and his offspring. 124. Buzzing Around. Beyond the Natassa Bouterakou
46. Under the Eye of Helios. Rhodes’ medieval city and the beaches. commercial inquiries
ancient and medieval landscape.
136. Baywatch. The best places to swim. Tel. (+30) 210- 480.8227
58. The Age of the Crusaders. When Fax (+30) 210-480.8228
Rhodes became Christianity’s most
Taste Ε-mails: sales@greece-is.com,
defiant outpost in the East. emporiko@kathimerini.gr
142. Back to the Roots. Local products
64. A Terrible Beauty. The and time-honored recipes. public relations
architectural legacy of the Italian
148. Days of Wine and Rhodes. A welcome@greece-is.com
Occupation.
storied past and a healthy present are
Greece is - R HODE S
good indicators for what lies ahead for the
is a yearly publication, distributed
wines of this island. free of charge. It is illegal to reproduce
ON THE C OVER
Vintage postcards, News From The Past Series,
152. Tried and True. Want to eat out? any part of this publication without the
Yannis Karlopoulos, 2017. Look no further. written permission of the publisher.

18 w w w.GREECE-is.com
TOWERING GLORY
The medieval Old Town of Rhodes is no longer the target of attackers,
although it may appear at times to be under siege by mass tourism.
This UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site combines vestiges
from a glorious past – Byzantine temples, Crusader-era buildings and
Ottoman mosques – with a lively present. On its streets, you expect
armored warriors, mounted on their horses, to turn up at any moment
– and the feeling intensifies once you’re in the Palace of the Grand
Master (photo), which was the order’s headquarters. The fact that
it was rebuilt almost from scratch by the Italians (many parts of the
original building were destroyed in 1856 following a massive explosion
in a gunpowder storeroom) takes nothing away from the feeling you’ll
have of being transported back in time.

BY Olga Char ami


© GEORGE TSAFOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
The classical city of Rhodes was founded in 408 BC on the site of
present-day capital of the island by three towns – Ialyssos, Kamiros
and Lindos – all acting together. All three of these ancient towns are
now archeological sites which you can visit; Lindos, with its acropo-
lis, is the most famous. Each year, countless eyes gaze in awe at its
temple, erected in the 4th c. BC in honor of the goddess Athena, and
the Crusader-era castle that was subsequently built. The village, with
its Cycladic architecture and its beautiful kapetanospita (traditional
sea captain’s houses), is equally popular. Tycoons and politicians,
Hollywood artists and rock stars have all been strolling through its al-
leys and swimming at its three beaches. And despite it being a tourist
hotspot, you can’t help falling in love with Lindos.

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

| THE BASICS |

SUN-KISSED
WATCHFUL PROTECTORS
The defensive structures that knights built include more than the famous
fortifications of the Old Town and of Lindos. You’ll find the fortresses of
Monolithos (photo) and Kritinia on the western part of the island, and those of
Feraklos, Archangelos and Asklipeio on its eastern side. Most of these spots
were also fortified in antiquity or the Byzantine era as well, since they are the
most strategic points of this spearhead-shaped island. It goes without saying
that they all offer spectacular views. Locals suggest visiting Monolithos Castle
at sunset, but you can also enjoy the exact same sight from the Castle of
Kritinia, where various events, including a medieval festival, are held.
© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
SWIM
| THE BASICS |

What’s the best beach on the island?

skim
Chances are that every local you ask will
give you a different answer. With a 253k
coastline, there’s plenty of variety. Some
people prefer rocky coves where they can
dive off boulders or outcroppings, while

Or
others opt for sandy beaches. A whole other
group of beachgoers cares as much about
the air as the sea, and seeks out places like
Prasonisi, whose western winds make it ide-

FLY?
al for kite-surfing and windsurfing. Located
© PERIKLES MERAKOS

on the southernmost point of the island, it’s


technically an island in itself, with just a strip
of sand connecting it to Rhodes. The sunset
is particularly scenic here.
| THE BASICS |

© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

FRAGILE BEAUTIES
Rhodes is an enchantingly verdant island, with many areas of rich vegetation and natural
beauty. One of the most famous of these is the Valley of the Butterflies, named in honor of
the Panaxia Quadripunctaria, a member of the Jersey Tiger moth family that looks very much (Left) The insects fly and feed at night;
during the day they cover tree trunks, plant
like a butterfly. They gather in great numbers here in the canyon of the Pelekanos River, 25k leaves and rocks, creating a mesmerizing
from Rhodes Town. You’ll see them on rocks, tree trunks and leaves and branches rather than spectacle.
in the air: the moths are nocturnal and sleep during the day, conserving their energy. In previ-
(Right) The Valley of the Butterflies is a park
ous decades, the disturbance that visitors caused significantly reduced the insect population, of exceptional natural beauty.
so now there are rules to ensure peace and quiet and venturing off the designated paths is
prohibited. The lepidoptera come to this canyon in June and migrate to their nesting areas in
September. Petaloudes, or the Valley of Butterflies, as it’s called, has three entrance points,
each with a café, and the walking route has a total length of 1k (or 1.3k if you keep going
until the uninhabited 19th-century monastery of Kalopetra). There are paved footpaths, small
bridges and pools of water, as well as shops, a restaurant and a small natural history museum.
• Open daily 9:00-17:00, admission: €3-5 euro. Tel. (+30) 22410.828.22

28 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© clairy moustafellou
© MANOLIS SARRIS, ANDREA BONETTI, PERIKLES MERAKOS

| THE BASICS |

THE OTHER RHODIANS


The mascot of Rhodes, the small fallow deer, whose
likeness in bronze graces the columns at the entrance of
the port, can be spotted here and there on the island. The
deer live in the wild on Mt Profitis Ilias, in the area around
Apolakkia Lake, and in the island’s forests. It remains un-
clear whether the deer were brought here by the Knights
or not; likewise it’s not known if the Italians reintroduced
the species during their occupation – some accounts sug-
gest this happened after the native population was hunted
to extinction during the Ottoman period.In any case, they
have reproduced and their number is considered healthy.
A much rarer animal that lives here is a protected species
of small horse that comes from an ancient breed. The
horses live in a special space run by the Phaethon Club
(Archangelos, Tel. +30 697.745.3207): just nine of them
remain. The freshwater fish called gizani, which can be
found in the Fasouli Springs in the village of Psinthos, in
the reservoir of Eleousa, at the Rhodes Aquarium or (if
you’re observant) in the island’s streams, is somewhat
less photogenic. There’s nothing special about it, except
for the fact that it doesn’t live anywhere else in the world.
| INSIGHTS |

“I’ve visited
the island 150 times!”

Theresa Jette Enevoldsen


In 2016, fifty years after she first set foot on Rhodes, Theresa, a retired airline employee from Denmark,
was bestowed the title “Honorary Friend of the Island” by the Municipality of Rhodes.

ILLUSTRATIONS: PHILIPPOS AVRAMIDES, EDITED BY ALEXANDRA TZAVELLA


The first time I visited Rhodes was in 1967, when I start- tending to be a local. Many foreigners are afraid that they’ll
ed working for the Scandinavian airline SAS. I still remem- get lost, but that’s half the fun. Walking around the Old Town
ber the small family restaurants where we ate with coupons in particular feels like browsing through a beautiful history
that the travel agency gave us – along with the advice not to book. Every time I leave Mandraki behind and cross through
sunbathe topless, because if the police arrested us, the agen- the Liberty Gate, I feel the city walls encircle me in a comfort-
cy couldn’t intervene! Since then, I’ve visited the island 150 ing hug. The atmosphere is unique, especially at night when
times and it would be safe to say that I’m addicted to Rhodes the lights are low. For food in the Old Town, I go to the Meg-
and its people. iston taverna or to Pizanias Sea Star Restaurant, which I’ve
If I’m not staying with friends, I always book a room near been visiting since 1968. Another favorite pastime of mine is
Mandraki at Hermes Hotel, which is open all year round and sitting beneath the century-old olive tree at Aghios Nikolaos
has mainly Greek customers. As soon as I’ve checked in, I go Fountoukli Church, west of the village of Eleousa; it’s particu-
out to meet my friends, stopping first for a sweet coffee brewed larly peaceful there. And if I make it to the south of the island,
in a briki pot and for dessert at the Nea Agora. If I arrive in the I always visit the fish taverna in Plimmiri.
evening, I go out for roast lamb at the Ipiros taverna. People When I leave Rhodes, I always make sure to bring back
who know me shout “Hello!” and “Welcome back!” and I can’t oleander root. I have pots of flowering oleanders of various
help but feel like I’m home again. shades growing on my little veranda in Copenhagen. They are
What I like to do most in town is wander the streets, pre- a beautiful reminder of my time on the island.

32 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| INSIGHTS |

“LIVING IN RHODES, YOU ABSORB


AND RADIATE ITS BEAUTY”

Tsampikos Petras
A distinguished Rhodian architect, Tsampikos received an honorable mention at the International
Architectural Competition for the Science City project in Cairo, in 2016.

ILLUSTRATIONS: PHILIPPOS AVRAMIDES, EDITED BY ALEXANDRA TZAVELLA


Tsampikos is like a trademark name of Rhodes. If some- which has over time bent the trees so far over they look like
body calls out “Hey, Tsampikos,” a dozen heads will turn in natural sculptures. Only the athanatoi (“immortal”) stand up
response! It is an indication of the love of the locals for the straight – this is what we locals call the agave that grows here
protector of the island, Panaghia Tsampika (Virgin Mary because, although it dies after its fruit has ripened, it leaves
Tsampika). Her icon attracts the faithful to the eastern side of behind small new shoots.
the island, near the village of Archangelos, approximately 28k Rhodes is full of surprises. It has cultural depth, layers of
from the Old Town, where I grew up. history and a rich natural landscape, from waterfalls such as
I was raised in the neighborhood of the knights, played those at Epta Piges (“Seven Springs”) to pine forests in Aghia
hide-and-seek in its cobbled streets and chased my friends in Eleousa. This is where one can taste the best roasted goat – a
the medieval moat – 2.5k long and worth the walk. I used to savory native to Rhodes, fed on the salty flora.
go running in the ancient stadium on Monte Smith, which still I like to frequent the 1936 Elli Building (we locals also call
echoes with the footsteps of runners from the Hellenistic pe- it La Ronda), in Mandraki: crowned by an impressive dome, it
riod. It is located on the hill of Monte Smith, the top of which used to house the baths and today operates as a café-restau-
is reached by hiking up its more accessible side. You can’t rant. It is such good fortune to live here. You absorb and ra-
imagine how rough its other side is; it is revealed abruptly diate its beauty. I wouldn’t be the same architect if I hadn’t
upon gaining the hilltop and coming face to face with the vis- grown up at this cultural crossroads. The buildings I design
ta of steep rock and sea. You are swept by the northern wind, speak an international language – and this I owe to Rhodes.

34 w w w.gREECE-is.com
“i only go to the old town at night,
when the ghosts come out”

Vangelis Pavlidis
Unable to bring himself to leave his island for the fast-paced life in Athens, Vangelis nevertheless
managed to have a long, successful career as an award-winning book illustrator
and a political cartoonist for some of Greece’s biggest newspapers.

ILLUSTRATIONS: PHILIPPOS AVRAMIDES, EDITED BY ALEXANDRA TZAVELLA


In the 1960s, when I moved from Rhodes to Athens to food crops. Drivers have to be constantly alert because a buck
work as a graphic artist, I came to realize that I couldn’t bear may suddenly jump out, followed by three or four does! 
to be away from the island, and so I returned. I became the Lachania has about 50 residents, about 20 of whom are
first cartoonist on the island that married the light: it is not by foreigners, mostly Germans and Brits; they discovered the
chance that Rhodes is known as the “bride of the sun.”  hamlet in the early 1980s, when there were still dirt roads
I grew up and have lived for most of my life in Rhodes and and only one public telephone, and remain commited to pre-
so I’ve seen its touristic development firsthand. I remember serving its distinct character. Lachania has three cafés: one
Lindos when hippies lived in the caves. I frequent places still belongs to the priest, another doubles as a post office and the
untouched by mass tourism. I go to the Old Town only late third is also a restaurant that serves home-style cuisine. The
at night, when it’s quiet and, if lucky, one may see ghosts in village begins at the beach and gradually becomes more ver-
armor come out of the medieval battlements.  dant – most of us here are farmers and, on a visit, you’ll savor
Lachania, the village where I’ve lived for the last 20 years, fresh vegetables, local olive oil and sweet tomatoes. 
is in the southern, less developed part of Rhodes – and a real What makes Rhodes unique is that, combined with the
discovery for those seeking something less tourist-oriented. island’s natural beauty, all these different historical periods
On the road leading to the village, there’s a deer crossing. The meet here at their height. You’ll be hard-pressed to find sea,
deer, the ancient symbol of Rhodes, is a protected species and dense forests, waterfalls and gorges next to ancient Greek,
a joy to behold, even though they do cause some damage to medieval, Ottoman and Italian monuments anywhere else.

36 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| INSIGHTS |

“THE RHODIAN SUN IS A SOURCE OF LIFE”

Giorgos Chrysostomou
An award-winning theater actor, with numerous roles in film and television as well,
Giorgos will be starring in “Stones in his Pockets” by Marie Jones
at the Melina Mercouri Medieval Moat Theater on August 4.

In the evenings, we would get together and my grand- the one in honor of the Virgin Mary (Panaghia) at Kremasti

ILLUSTRATIONS: PHILIPPOS AVRAMIDES, EDITED BY ALEXANDRA TZAVELLA


mother would cut slices of watermelon for us. As the strength is a must – and locals burn the midnight oil, participating in
of the enchanting Rhodian sun waned, the chatter began, Rhodian dances, savoring expertly cooked meat and drinking
accompanying the transition to darkness. Lying in bed, I lis- local wine.
tened to the conversations of the grownups, which filtered Climb to the top of Mt Profitis Ilias and spend the night in
through the insect screen along with the scent of honeysuck- the historic Elafos Hotel, situated in dense woodland, where
le. This is my Rhodes – everyone makes their own. But unless you will truly feel close to both nature and God. Sample the
they discover the treasures hidden in traditional villages and wine at the wineries of Embonas and delicious steaks in the
celebrated archaeological sites, they will never really know it. village of Psinthos. Plunge into the crystalline waters of the
I grew up in Rhodes Town and left at the age of 18. The sea island’s southernmost village, Kattavia. In Rhodes Town,
didn’t allow me to dream; I felt trapped on the island. Now- have drinks at the Myga Coffee Bar and seafood at Pizanias
adays, whenever my work schedule allows – certainly every Sea Star (for me, the best fish in the world). Make time to see a
Easter and possibly also August 15 (Dormition of the Virgin) performance at the Melina Mercouri Medieval Moat Theater,
– I return to Salakos, the lush green village of my childhood an outstanding experience for spectators and actors alike.
summers. Set in the foothills of Mt Profitis Ilias, it’s mostly I miss the various scents of Rhodes, a bouquet that com-
made up of vineyards and olive groves and has few tourists. It plements its easygoing atmosphere. It is heavy with plant life
is famous for the Giapraki festival, held at the end of August and has a wonderful fragrance all year round. I understand
each year, when local housewives prepare tens of thousands those who come as students and stay, as well as the foreigners
of stuffed vine leaves. who come on vacation and remain forever. The Rhodian sun
In August, the island buzzes with traditional festivals – is a source of life, and you want such a blessing in your life.

38 w w w.gREECE-is.com
discover
GREECE IS

RHO D ES

THE REALM OF HELIOS


The millennia-old history of this island is still very much a part of its vibrant present, with spectacular archaeological
and historical sites and fascinating stories to feed your imagination.
Rhodian tetrobol coin depicting Helios, the Sun God. © GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

39
| MILESTONES |

A MARCH THROUGH TIME

491 BC 305 BC
Rhodes submits to the Demetrius Poliorcetes
Persians. Later, following besieges Rhodes, but the
The Bronze Age 11th c. BC the Persians’ defeat, island successfully resists
The island is systematically Dorians land on the island the islanders join the and enters a period of
settled at various sites. and establish cities at Athens-dominated Delian economic prosperity.
Growing trade relations Ialysos, Kamiros and League, although during
with Minoan Crete lead to Lindos. the Peloponnesian War Mosaic from the Hellenistic
cultural influences from (431-404 BC) they ally era (Archaeological
there. Wheeled animal loaded themselves with Sparta. Museum of Rhodes).
Bronze votive figurine with vases (1185-1065
of Cretan type (17th c. BC, BC, Archaeological Elite Persian soldiers
Archaeological Museum Museum of Rhodes). (Berlin Museum).
of Rhodes).

408 BC 226 BC
The island’s three principle A powerful earthquake
Ca. 700 BC cities join together to form strikes the city,
16th c. BC The three cities of Rhodes,
a new city-state where collapsing the Colossus
The Mycenaeans arrive and along with Kos and two of Rhodes – one of the
present-day Rhodes Town
come to dominate Rhodes. cities on the coast of Asia Seven Wonders of the
stands.
Homer will later sing of the Minor form the Dorian Ancient World, erected
Rhodians’ participation in Hexapolis. after the lifting of the
Silver Rhodian tetradrachm
the Trojan War. with the head of Helios siege of the 305 BC
Rhodian Geometric jug siege.
(4th c. BC, Numismatic
Crater from Rhodes (Archaeological Museum
Museum, Athens).
(1300-1200 BC). of Rhodes).

2200 BC
40 GREECE-is.com
Rhodes has long been a magnet for seaborne settlers, foreign traders
and those seeking power in the Eastern Mediterranean.

7th-9th Centuries 1522 1948


42 BC Persian and Arab raids take The Turks besiege the On March 7th, the official
During the Roman Civil place including an invasion city of Rhodes for months ceremony takes place
War, Cassius launches a and short-lived occupation and eventually seize it. for the incorporation of
devastating raid on Rhodes, by the Abbasids of Under Ottoman rule, the Dodecanese Islands
plundering the island of Baghdad, under the Rhodes becomes the into the modern Greek
its precious treasures and Caliph Harun Al-Rashid region’s administrative State. The relevant treaty
works of art. (807). center, but does not return had been signed a year
to the exalted position it previously in Paris.
The Aphrodite of Rhodes An Arab Raid (Miniature previously held under the
(1st c. BC, Archaeological from the Chronicle Knights Hospitaller.
Museum of Rhodes). of I. Skylitzi).

1309 1912
The conquest of Rhodes is The Italians occupy Rhodes 1988
completed by the Knights of and other Dodecanese The medieval town of
St. John, who convert it into Islands. Although initially Rhodes is proclaimed a
© VISUALHELLAS.GR, PERIKLES MERAKOS

accepted, they come to be World Cultural Heritage


Early 4th c. AD the powerful headquarters
of a multinational Christian considered burdensome as monument by UNESCO.
Rhodes is incorporated into
the Byzantine Empire. garrison. The city evolves they pursue the Italianization
into an important center of the native inhabitants. The Gate d’Amboise, in
of commerce, with a Many monuments from the castle of the Knights
Ancient, Early Christian
cosmopolitan character the Knights’ period are Hospitaller.
and Byzantine ruins coexist
on the acropolis of Ialysos. and many splendid buildings. restored during this time.

20th century
G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 41
| THE COLOSSUS |

A God to Equal
tions of bronze, remains a mystery.
Iron braces were likely employed for
internal reinforcement, but still the

the God
statue proved short-lived, ultimate-
ly collapsing during an earthquake in
226 BC. Noting its size, hollowness and
construction, Pliny wrote: “Few men
can clasp the thumb in their arms, and
its fingers are larger than most statues.
Where the limbs are broken asunder,
One of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and the vast caverns are seen yawning in the
interior. Within it, too, are to be seen
ancient forerunner of the Statue of Liberty, the large masses of rock, by the weight of
Colossus of Rhodes remains an inspiring mystery. which the artist steadied it…”
Where the Colossus stood also re-
mains a question. Medieval artists de-
BY John Leonard pict it astride the entrance to Rhodes’
port, one foot on the terminus of each
breakwater. Technical considerations

F
or more than fifty years in the ers. Nevertheless, unintimidated, the would have made this location impos-
3rd c. BC, visitors to Rhodes were Rhodians resisted and ultimately ei- sible, but a distinctive circle of stones
treated to a view of one of the an- ther forced the Helepolis’ withdrawal and finely-carved marble blocks reused
cient world’s “Seven Wonders”: a gigan- or caused it to become bogged down in in the 15th c. St. Nicholas Tower at the
tic bronze statue of Helios, god of the ground covertly softened. mouth of Mandraki harbor may indi-
sun, hailed as the Colossus of Rhodes. Giving up after a year-long siege, cate the base and position of the stat-
Although physical traces of this mas- Poliorcetes departed Rhodes, abandon- ue there. Alternatively, the Rhodian
terwork have all nearly vanished, the ing his machines and many of his weap- acropolis has also been proposed as a
story of the statue lives on, intertwin- ons – which the Rhodians promptly possible location.
ing historical conflict, colorful charac- sold to finance the construction of a The actual appearance of the Colos-
ters, artistic ingenuity and enduring giant victory monument cum offering sus poses further questions. A Rhodian
controversy. to their primary divine patron, Helios. relief, according to Andrew Stewart,
After Alexander the Great’s death in Chares of Lindos, a pupil of Lysip- suggests a figure resembling the Getty’s
323 BC and while his rivalrous succes- pus, created the Colossus of Rhodes, bronze Victorious Youth (300-100 BC).
sors struggled against one another for taking twelve years to complete it at a Furthermore, a special series of silver
power and lands, Antigonus I Monoph- cost of 300 gold talents – equivalent Rhodian didrachms depict the head of
thalmus (“The One-Eyed”) sent his son, today to several million dollars. His- Helios with a rayed crown, which may
Demetrius I Poliorcetes (“The Besieg- torical sources give various heights have represented and paid homage to
er”), to attack Rhodes in 305-304 BC, for the Colossus (60-80 cubits). The the newly erected Colossus.
hoping to force the island to break its average of these sources puts it at the After the Colossus collapsed, the
ties with Ptolemaic Egypt. When the same height (about 34m) as New York’s Rhodians followed oracular advice
siege failed, due to Rhodes’ strong de- Statue of Liberty (not including her up- from Delphi and chose not to rebuild
fenses and the Egyptians’ clandestine raised arm). The ancient text, “On the their monument. The fallen remains
provisioning of the island, Ptolemy Seven Wonders of the World,” ostensi- themselves became a tourist attrac-
I became known as Soter (Savior), a bly provides further details concerning tion; in the 7th c. AD, they were sold by
name given to him by the Rhodians. the Colossus, but its author (“Philo of the island’s Muslim overlords to a mer-
To defeat the Rhodians, Poliorcetes Byzantium”) – regardless of his elo- chant from Edessa. Today, a debate rag-
had employed a full array of weaponry quence (Chares “…made a god to equal es in debt-torn Greece whether a new
and equipment, including an enormous the god, and…by his daring…had given Colossus of Rhodes should be erected.
rolling siege tower, called a Helepo- the world a second sun to match the
lis (“City Destroying”) that was 40m first…”) – has been shown to be later in
high and 20m wide. The sides of this date (3rd-4th c. AD) and unreliable as
multi-storied machine were iron-plat- a source.
A depiction of the Colossus of Rhodes, standing
ed. Openings in the plating allowed How Chares crafted the Colossus, astride the entrance to the port, by 18th c. artist
the firing of catapults and dart-throw- therefore, with cast or hammered sec- Georg Balthasar Probst.

42 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE
| LEGEND |

A Glorious
Family
Sports hero Diagoras and his offspring represent the pinnacle of courage,
virtue and honor. B Y J o h n L e o n a r d

R
hodes was renowned in ancient all four major games) was particularly her respective sport’s Hall of Fame. As
times not only as a place of great far-reaching: he had triumphed twice the public’s esteem for Diagoras grew,
artistic talent and philosophical at Olympia, four times at Isthmia and it was claimed that, as a descendant of
intellect, but also for its highly accom- had also “taken home the gold” at Del- the god Hermes, he possessed divine
plished athletes, the most famous of phi and Nemea. He was victorious nu- power.
whom was the 5th c. BC boxer Diago- merous times at lesser athletic contests The Classical poet Pindar, writ-
ras. Like today, athletes who won their throughout ancient Greece, including ing after Diagoras’ victory in the 79th
events in the Olympic Games, or the those in his native Rhodes, Athens, Ar- Olympiad (464 BC), pays homage to
other major festivals on the ancient gos, Thebes and at Aegina, too, where the boxer (Olympian Ode 7), whom he
sports circuit, were much-admired he was a six-time champion! A statue describes as a burly, principled athlete
stars, whose home communities cele- of Diagoras was erected at Olympia, who doesn’t cheat and “walks a straight
brated them as local heroes. Diagoras’ an honor much like the present-day course on a road that hates arrogance,
fame as a “periodonikes” (winner of induction of a great athlete into his/ knowing clearly the sound prophetic

44 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© VISUALHELLAS.GR
wisdom of his good ancestors.” Diago- Diagoras’ daughter, Callipateira, One spectator –
ras’ virtuous character appears to have also became famous, as the only wom-
been as important a part of his fame as an who managed to enter and observe implying that Diagoras
his athletic prowess. He hailed from a the actual Olympic games – from had reached the
well-to-do Ialysos family and was the which women were banned due to the pinnacle of happiness,
progenitor of a line of victorious ath- male athletes’ nudity. Pausanias re-
letes. Two of his sons, Damagetos (452, cords: “She, being a widow, disguised success and honor
448 BC) and Akousilaos (448 BC), herself exactly like a gymnastic train- that one could hope
were Olympic pankration and/or box- er, and brought her son to compete at to experience in life
ing champions, while a third, Dorieus, Olympia. Peisirodus, for so her son was
earned three consecutive Olympic vic- called, was victorious, and Callipatei- – shouted out, “Die,
tories in the pankration (between 432- ra, as she was jumping over the enclo- Diagoras; you will not
424 BC), as well as eight at Isthmia and sure in which they kept the trainers ascend to Olympus
seven at Nemea. In addition, two of his shut up, bared her person. So her sex
grandsons were Olympic champions. was discovered, but they let her go un- besides.”
Diagoras’ sons and grandsons were punished out of respect for her father,
also commemorated with statues at her brothers and her son, all of whom
Olympia, according to the eyewitness had been victorious at Olympia. Nev-
account of the Greek traveler Pausanias ertheless, a law was passed that in the
(2nd c. AD). future trainers should strip before en-
After their victories in 448 BC, tering the arena.”
Damagetos and Akousilaos reportedly Diagoras’ legend lives on today in
ran to the grandstands, plucked their Rhodes. In Pindar’s timeless words,
father out of the audience, hoisted him “That man is prosperous, who is en-
onto their shoulders and paraded him compassed by good reports.” A local
before a cheering crowd. One spectator football club and the Rhodian airport
– implying that Diagoras had reached have both been given his name, while
the pinnacle of happiness, success and on the western seafront of Rhodes
honor that one could hope to experi- Town, at Archimandriti Chrisanthou
ence in life – shouted out, “Die, Diag- Square, stands a bronze statue group
oras; you will not ascend to Olympus of the proud parent Diagoras, carried Crowning the Victors at Olympia, oil on canvas, c.
besides.” aloft by his equally proud sons. 1777-84, by James Barry.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 45
| HISTORY |

Under
the Watchful
Eye of Helios
Rhodes’ ancient and medieval monuments tell the story
of an island prized by all.

BY John Leonard
The partially reconstructed Temple of
Pythian Apollo (3rd-2nd c. BC), on the
hill of Monte Smith. This was the area of
the city’s ancient acropolis, adorned with
shrines, large temples, public buildings and
underground places of worship.

© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE


| HISTORY |

R
hodes is one of the most en-

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
chanting Greek destinations
that visitors today can select.
On this singular island, one comes face
to face with Greece’s more recent past,
where the most appropriate start to ev-
ery “story” told by a medieval tower, a
soaring minaret, a crenellated wall or
an arched gateway marked with a he-
raldic emblem seems to be “Once upon
a time in Rhodes…” Not every archi-
tectural or archaeological trace reveals
a perfect, fairytale existence, but these
contrasts make our understanding even
more realistic. All around are signs of
the Rhodians’ struggles with war, their
need for constant vigilance and the re-
lentless passage of time. Simultaneous-
ly, strength, prosperity, elegant foreign
influence and far-reaching Rhodian au-
thority are also evident. This is a stra- Relief of a “triimiolia,” a symbol of Rhodian naval power, carved in180 BC by the famous sculptor
Pythokritos into a rock face at the base of the acropolis of Lindos. The triimiolia was a typical type of
tegically located, resource-rich island Rhodian warship of the era, which combined the qualities of a trireme with a schooner (hemiolia).
whose landscape and urban architecture
remain criss-crossed with the vestiges
of multiple cultures – from trade-bent
Minoans and Mycenaeans in the Bronze
Age, through despotic Persians in the trade, volcanic obsidian and other for- ry. The first proto-urban settlement was
Classical era, to the covetous empires eign goods from neighboring islands Asomatos (2400/2300 BC-2050/1950
of the Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, or mainland areas both near and far. BC), a northwestern, Early Bronze
Ottomans and even modern-day, pre- Typical of Rhodes’ Stone-Age sites are Age coastal site, where small and large
WWII Italians. Rhodes was not always the rock shelters of the northeastern buildings, some with hearths and stor-
subject to outside powers, however: af- Kalythies region, including Erimokas- age rooms, covered an area of only about
ter freeing itself from the grip of Athens, tro Cave, where archaeologists uncov- 100 square meters. During the Late
which had dominated the Aegean in the ered the fossilized bones of dwarf ele- Bronze Age, as Minoan and Mycenaean
5th c. BC, and prior to the encroachment phants. Aghios Georgios Cave (5300 immigrants arrived, larger towns, refer-
of the Romans, Rhodes reached an ex- BC-4000/3700 BC) contained bone or enced in Homer’s Iliad, arose at Ialysos
traordinary zenith during Hellenistic chipped-stone tools and stone grinders (modern Trianda), Kamiros and Lin-
times (4th-2nd c. BC). It became an used for harvesting and processing ce- dos, which went on to become the set-
autonomous maritime giant that essen- reals, meat and other foodstuffs. Also tings for the great Dorian-founded cit-
tially ruled the seas in the Eastern Med- found were mollusc shells; the bones ies of Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic
iterranean through its enormous fleet of fish, wild fauna (deer, hares, fox- Rhodes. In 408 BC, the three principal
of merchant ships and widely respected es, birds) and domesticated animals communities joined forces to create a
code of maritime laws. (sheep, goats, cattle, pigs); ceramic new city-state at Rhodes Town, which,
bowls; and spindle whorls for weaving. some 2,500 years later, still remains the
Early Seafaring Altogether, it seems the earliest Rhodi- capital and nerve center of the island.
Everywhere one looks, whether at ans were farmers, fishermen, hunters
the fortified port of Rhodes Town or and craftsmen who migrated around
among the age-old settlements, castles the island depending on the season and
and watchtowers that ring the coasts, availability of food resources.
Rhodes’ timeless relationship with the The Laocoön Group, a marvelous work of
sea is clear. Naturally, as an island, The Rise of Cities Rhodian sculpture (1st c. BC-1st c. AD), which
greatly influenced Michelangelo and other
Rhodes was first occupied by seafar- From earliest times, people settled Renaissance sculptors. Created by three Rhodian
ers: Neolithic travelers of the 6th mil- mostly in northern Rhodes and along its artists, Agesander, Polydorus, and Athenodorus.
The original stands in the Vatican (Pio Clementino
lennium BC, who brought with them, eastern shores – a general pattern that Museum); a plaster cast is displayed in the
or acquired locally through seaborne continued throughout the island’s histo- Palace of the Grand Master in Rhodes.

48 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| HISTORY |

Rhodes reached an
extraordinary zenith
during Hellenistic
times (4th-2nd c.
BC) – becoming an
autonomous maritime
giant that essentially
ruled the seas in the
Eastern Mediterranean.

© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE


| HISTORY |

Far-Reaching Fame
Mythologically, Rhodes was said
to have emerged from the sea as a gift
from Zeus to Helios, god of the sun,
whose wife, Rhodos, daughter of Po-
seidon, bore him seven sons. Three of
Helios’ grandsons, Ialysos, Kamiros
and Lindos, were the eponymous he-
roes of the island’s main cities. More-
over, the Telchines, semi-divine inven-
tors of smithing, kept a workshop on
Rhodes, a place praised by Pindar and
widely known for its supreme artistry,
especially in the sculpting of bronzes –
epitomized by the legendary Colossus
of Rhodes. Pliny attributed the famous
marble statue “Laocoön and His Sons”
to the Rhodian artists Agesander, Poly-
dorus, and Athenodorus. The Winged
Victory (Nike) of Samothrace may also
have been produced by this trio, or by
Pythokritos of Lindos.
Rhodes was equally famed as a
center of philosophy, rhetoric and lit-
erature. Prominent philosophers and
rhetors who either originated from or
frequented the island included Eudemos
(Rhodes); Aeschines (Athens); Panaitos
(Lindos); Posidonius, Apollonius Mal-
akos and Molon (Asia Minor). Among
the well-known students attending here
were Julius Caesar and Cicero. Today,
the survival and usual arrangement of
Aristotle’s works are largely credited
to Andronicus of Rhodes (1st c. BC).
Cleobuline of Lindos (ca. 550 BC) is
remembered as a philosopher, poetess
and writer of riddles; Apollonius Rhodi-
us penned the epic poem Argonautica;
and Posidonius, the Stoic-turned-Peri-
patetic philosopher and one of antiqui-
ty’s greatest thinkers, also researched,
taught and wrote about physics, geog-
raphy, history and many other subjects.

Ruins at the archaeological site of Kamiros, one


of the three city-states founded by the Dorian
settlers of Rhodes. The people of Kamiros lived
and prospered through agricultural production.

50 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Three of Helios’ grandsons,
Ialysos, Kamiros and Lindos,
were the eponymous heroes of
the island’s main cities.

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 51
© VISUALHELLAS.GR, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
The ancient odeon on the hill of Monte Smith (2nd c. BC). It held about 800 people and is believed to have served as both
a venue for musical events and as a place of exposition and teaching for the famous orators of Rhodes.

Rhodes Town Kamiros, Lindos, Rhodes Town and mous, mostly unexcavated archaeolog-
The walled medieval Old Town smaller sites: pottery, jewelry, sculp- ical preserve of some 12,000 sq.m. – is
is truly an impressive sight. Visitors ture and figurines compete for your well worth a visit. There, in addition to
should allow plenty of time to explore attention with grave steles and floor panoramic views, one finds monuments
its broad avenues and narrow, laby- mosaics depicting lively mythological of the 3rd and 2nd c. BC, including a re-
rinthine alleys. From an ancient ar- figures, such as Eros on a dolphin or stored stadium, formerly flanked by a
chaeological perspective, there are few Bellerophon riding Pegasus about to gymnasium and library; a reconstruct-
visible in-situ remains to take in, apart strike Chimera. These latter exhibits ed odeon; and the Doric Temple of
from the foundations of a temple of are found in a cool, shady courtyard Apollo Pythios, partly re-erected by the
Aphrodite (3rd c. BC), just inside the adorned with sculptural and architec- Italians prior to 1943, but now encased
Liberty Gate, and occasional remnants tural fragments, a tranquil fishpond in decaying scaffolding. In two spots to
of the city’s Byzantine fortifications. and two gurgling water fountains. Ad- the north are large column drums and
In its heyday, Rhodes also possessed joining this pleasant refuge are the entablature blocks marking the site of
sanctuaries of Demeter, Artemis, As- excellent new Prehistoric Gallery, the the Doric Temple of Athena Polias and
clepius, Dionysus and other deities. informative Epigraphical Collection Zeus Polieus, protectors of the city, and
A star attraction is the Archaeo- and a reconstructed 18th/19th c. Otto- an intriguing subterranean complex of
logical Museum. From the moment man residence – all located within the interconnecting rooms carved in the
you enter the courtyard of this 15th c. former 15th c. Villaragut Mansion (now bedrock (the “Nymphaia”), where an-
building – constructed by the Knights part of the museum). cient Rhodians worshiped. In honor
of St. John as their Hospital – you’re in Small displays of ancient artifacts of Helios, after 408 BC their principle
another world, passing beneath vaulted and a superb series of colorful Roman deity, the people of Rhodes also staged
ceilings, climbing stone staircases and mosaics – brought to Rhodes from Kos a festival every four years, the Halieia,
perusing a vast arrangement of arti- by the Italians – can also be seen in the which included athletic contests in the
facts presented in numerous chambers. restored Palace of the Grand Master. stadium. Excavations have revealed
Here one can see the discoveries of Ital- West of the walled city, the ancient that the Hellenistic city developed on a
ian and Greek excavations at Ialysos, acropolis on Monte Smith – an enor- gridded Hippodamean plan.

52 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| HISTORY |

Marble head of Helios,


the Sun God, the
Rhodians’ main deity.
A representative work
Visitors to the
of the Museum
Rhodian of
Baroque
Prehistoric
style, Thera never
it is particularly
cease to be amazed
noteworthyby the
for its
masterpieces of prehistoric(2nd
expressiveness
ceramic work.
c. BC, Archaeological
Museum of Rhodes).
| HISTORY |

Ialysos 1868-1871 by Sir Alfred Biliotti, Brit- sical Ialysos was home to the famous
The complex of sites that compos- ain’s vice-consul, who unearthed tombs Olympic boxer Diagoras of Rhodes.
es ancient Ialysos, whose Late Bronze on the hill of Moschou Vounara con-
Age settlement was one of the most taining pottery and jewelry – the first- Kamiros
important centers in the Dodecanese, known Mycenaean collection in the The extensive ruins of Kamiros,
now lies largely obscured amid modern world, preceding even Heinrich Schlie- southwest of Ialysos, occupy a hillside
development. Rising above the coastal mann’s discoveries at Mycenae (1876). overlooking the sea and the mountains
plain, however, stands Ialysos’ ancient Subsequent early 20th-century investi- of nearby Asia Minor. Although most of
acropolis on Mt Filerimos, the view gations by Italian and, more recently, by the remains in this grid-planned city
from which is unsurpassed. A winding Greek scholars (since 1978) have shown date from Hellenistic-Roman times,
road ascends to its summit, occupied the Ialysos area was occupied from the with some Early Christian presence,
by a Doric-facaded fountain-house (4th Middle Bronze Age through at least finds of Late Bronze Age and Geometric
c. BC); an amphiprostyle Doric Temple Classical times. Mt Filerimos served as date reveal the site was first occupied in
of Athena (3rd/2nd c. BC); the ruins of a peak sanctuary, before its reoccupa- the 14th c. BC, then resettled in the 9th
an Early Christian church (5th/6th c. tion in the Proto-Geometric era (from c. BC, as a hilltop shrine to Athena Ka-
AD) and a Byzantine monastery chapel ca. 1050 BC), while settlements and meiras. The town thrived in the 7th-6th
(10th/11th c.); a Byzantine fortress (11th cemeteries were established in its shad- c. BC, experienced a period of rebuild-
c.); the small medieval Chapel of Aghios ow. The large Late Bronze Age town, ing after an earthquake in 226 BC, then
Georgios Chostos; and a reconstructed comparable to Akrotiri on Santorini, gradually declined, abetted by another
monastery of the Knights Hospitaller flourished ca. 1600 BC-ca. 1300 BC, quake in 142 BC. Kamiros was known
(14th c.), whose Gothic church has a dis- serving first the Minoans, then the My- for its epic poet Peisander (ca. 648 BC),
tinctive bell tower. cenaeans as a major trade station and who first described Heracles wearing a
Long a target of archaeological in- maritime gateway between the Aegean lion’s skin, and as the first Rhodian city
terest, Ialysos was first explored in and the East. Adjacent Archaic-Clas- to mint its own coins (6th c. BC).
The Doric Temple of
Athena, constructed ca.
300 BC on the highest
point of the acropolis of
Lindos, in place of an
earlier temple.

© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE


| HISTORY |

Excavations by Biliotti (1852-1864) c. AD) and a Diocletian-era temple (late


and the Italians (from 1928) exposed 3rd c. AD). Lindos’ military defenses
three main districts: the agora, with a date from at least the Hellenistic era, but
temple of Pythian Apollo (3rd c. BC), were augmented first by the Byzantines
two sanctuaries and two public baths; and then by the Knights Hospitaller,
a rising residential zone of densely who strengthened the castle on the rock
packed courtyard houses reminiscent of with crenellated walls and four large
those in Delos, separated by narrow side towers (14th c.). Caves, elaborate family
streets and a broad central avenue; and tombs and other sites around the acrop-
the triple-terraced acropolis, adorned olis were reused for numerous Early
Plate found at Kamiros. Inside is depicted
the duel between Menelaus and Hector with an unusually long (204m) Doric Christian and Byzantine churches.
during the Trojan war (610-600 BC, stoa (colonnaded, covered walkway or Excavations at Lindos were initial-
British Museum, London).
visitors’ hostel; 3rd c. BC) and a Doric ly conducted by Danish archaeologists
temple of Athena (3rd c. BC) installed on (1902-1905), which the Italians contin-
top of a previous Classical one. Beneath ued prior to WWII, along with exten-
the stoa, an enormous Archaic-era res- sive restorations. Less ambitious but
ervoir was discovered that originally more accurate restorations have more
held 600 cubic meters of water, enough recently been carried out by Greek cul-
for several hundred households. tural authorities (1985-2008).

Lindos Around the Coasts


The acropolis of Lindos, perhaps Although many visitors choose to
the most picturesque place in Rhodes, concentrate on Rhodes’ main historical
juts up from the sea, flanked by two sites, a tour around the island’s coast,
natural harbors. The surrounding re- taking in the enormous array of other
gion was inhabited from earliest times, significant scenic remains, is well worth
although archaeological evidence on consideration. Most evocative are the
the acropolis itself has so far only at- ruined castles, usually perched on pre-
tested to use beginning in the 9th c. BC. cipitous crags, including those of Kritin-
Local worship of Athena Lindia led to ia, Monolithos, Asklipio and Farakleos.
the promontory’s development into a The Rhodian countryside is diverse and
Fragment of a wall painting from Ialysos formal sanctuary, with a 6th c. BC am- impressive, with historic spots lying
with red lilies on a white ground (17th c. BC,
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes).
phiprostyle Doric temple, later rebuilt around every bend, often signposted
ca. 300 BC. A monumental entrance- with intriguing labels such as the “Old
way (propylon), installed around the Silk Factory” east of Kattavia. The south-
same time, followed by an elegant Doric ern end of the island is another world:
stoa, also adorned the site, while a the- open, relatively quiet and featuring one
ater with twenty-six tiers of seats can of the largest sand beaches imaginable,
be seen carved into the hill’s western connecting Prasonisi Islet to the Rhodi-
slope. At the foot of the steep Hellenis- an mainland. Just beside it, the fortified
tic staircase accessing the citadel gate, settlement of Vroulia (7th-6th c. BC),
a relief sculpted on the face of the ver- made visitor-friendly with EU funding,
tical rock by the renowned Pythokritos lies near-forgotten, awaiting further
(early 2nd c. BC) depicts an ancient trii- governmental support before opening to
miolia and recalls the Lindians’ former the public. On the east coast, the moun-
maritime might. taintop 16th c. monastery of Tsampika,
Roman remains on the acropolis in- with its panoramic view of the Rhodian
clude the Ionic Stoa of Psythiros (2nd sea, is also well worth the trip.

Info
Clay female portrait from Kamiros, R h o d e s A r c h a e o l o g i c a l M u s e u m : Megalou Alexandrou Square • Αdmission €8
with traces of paint (1st half of 5th c. BC, • Tel. (+30) 2241.365.257 • Οpen daily 8:00-20:00. Ia ly s o s : Tel. (+30) 2241.092.202 • Αdmission €6.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes).
Open 08.00-20.00. K am i r o s : Tel. (+30) 2241.040.037 • Αdmission €6. Οpen 08.00-20.00
L i n d o s : Tel. (+30) 2244.031.258 • Αdmission €12, open 08.00-20.00.

56 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| THE KNIGHTS |

The Age of
the Crusaders
Under the rule of the Knights
of the Order of St John, Rhodes
became Christianity’s most defiant
outpost in the East.

BY GEORGIA NAKOU

F
or over two centuries, between 1309 and 1522, the is-
land of Rhodes was a sovereign state under the rule of
the Knights of the Order of St John. It minted its own
currency and boasted a commercial port to rival Venice, act-
ing as a gateway between Europe and the Holy Land.
The medieval city of Rhodes, contained within the forti-
fications built during the Crusaders’ rule, is today the largest
active medieval town in Europe and is protected as a UNES-
CO World Heritage Site.
The Order of St John (or, the Order of Knights of the Hos-
pital of Saint John of Jerusalem, to give its full name) was
founded during the First Crusade as a monastic order with
a medical mission. Its monks ran a hospital for Christian
pilgrims in Jerusalem, and were hence known as the Hospi-
tallers. Under the threat of Muslim invasion, the brotherhood
became increasingly militarised and began to provide armed
escorts for pilgrimages. Its members swapped their monks’
habits for armor and eventually became a multinational elite
fighting force answering only to the Pope. When Jerusalem
fell to the Arabs in 1291, the Hospitallers moved first to Cy-
prus and then found a new base on Rhodes. According to one
account, they besieged the island for three years before it
surrendered; in another version of events, they purchased it
(along with neighbouring Kos and Leros) from the Genoese,
who had tired of defending the islands from pirate raids. The

The Siege of Rhodes by the Ottomans, 1480.


Oil on wood, from the Municipal Museum of Épernay, France.

58 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© VISUALHELLAS.GR

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 59
© sOURCE: N. Kasseris, Rhodes, Nymph of Helios, Rhodes1997 – FROM: E. Flantin, L’ Orient, 1853)
The fortifications of the harbor of Rhodes as seen in a 1862 engraving. In the foreground stands the imposing Naillac Tower,
built during the rule of Grand Master Philibert de Naillac (1396-1421).

Knights of St John established their non in the mid-15th century. A network City quarters
new headquarters on Rhodes in 1309. of secret tunnels linked the city to the The Knights were organized into eight
Under the Knights of St John, surrounding countryside, allowing “Langues” (tongues), each named after
Rhodes became a bastion of the Chris- supplies to be brought in during a siege. the part of Europe where its members
tian West right on the border with the Outside the citadel of Rhodes Town, the hailed from, including France, Ger-
Muslim world, and a defensive out- island’s 50 villages were guarded by 11 many, England, Spain and Italy. Their
post against the raids of the Barbary castles, making up a formidable defen- commander was known as the Grand
pirates. During the Crusades, the sive network. The mouth of the harbor, Master. Each Langue was responsible
Knights prospered and invested their which became one of the busiest in the for guarding a section of the defensive
wealth in fortifying Rhodes. They Mediterranean, was protected by a sub- walls. The Knights attracted to Rhodes
brought the most skilled craftsmen merged chain, which could render it not only their own extensive retinue,
and master builders to transform the impassable to enemy ships. Arriving by but also many wealthy merchants who
existing Byzantine citadel into what is ferry today, you get an idea of the sense were able to use the safe port to trade
today one of the finest surviving ex- of awe that the fortified city would have across the Mediterranean. The offi-
amples of Gothic defensive architec- inspired in its would-be attackers. cial written languages of Rhodes un-
ture. The surviving walls run almost
4k in encircling the Old Town. They
are 12m thick each and sometimes
they are either doubled or tripled.
When the legendary conqueror Suleiman the
What’s more they are all surrounded Magnificent rode into town after days of sacking,
by a moat. it is said that his horse waded ankle-deep in the
Over the years, the walls were
continually rebuilt and upgraded to
blood running down the cobbled streets.
cope with new military technologies,
including the introduction of the can-

60 w w w.gREECE-is.com
The Grand Master Pierre d ‘Aubusson inspects the repairs of the fortifications.
(Taken from the book The Knights of Rhodes by Elias Kolias, Ekdotike Athenon, 2007)

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 61
| THE KNIGHTS |
© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson welcoming


Prince Djem in Rhodes. Miniature from a 15th
century French manuscript. (Paris, Bibliothèque
Des Arts Decoratifs)

forced to surrender and leave the island


for good, along with a large part of the
Greek population.
When the legendary conqueror Su-
leiman the Magnificent rode into town
after days of sacking, it is said that his
horse waded ankle-deep in the blood
running down the cobbled streets. The
violence was such that the Sultan or-
dered his army to stand down at once.
This marked the end of an era. Sev-
eral notable monuments were added
during the subsequent Ottoman occu-
pation, and large parts of the medieval
city were destroyed in an explosion in
1856. However, the buildings erected
by the Knights still dominate the city,
either in their original form or as lov-
ingly restored by the Italian adminis-
tration of the early 20th century, which
stripped them of all anachronistic ad-
ditions.
The Old Town preserves the medi-
eval street layout and is mostly pedes-
trianized, allowing visitors to explore at
their leisure a living monument.

der the Crusaders were French, Latin lived, including the Greek and Jewish
and Italian, but the language spoken communities and the secular Franks.
by the new inhabitants on the narrow The protection offered by the
cobbled streets was probably a kind of walled city was formidable. In 1480,
“Esperanto” of the time, mixing Italian, the citadel of Rhodes was able to with-
Spanish and French. stand a two-month siege by a Turkish
The walled town was divided into army of 70,000, despite being defended
three sectors: the administrative quar- by a much smaller force of 600 knights
ter, which was centered around the Pal- and 2,000 soldiers. The Turks returned
ace of the Grand Master, at the highest with a much larger force in the summer
point of the city; the Kollakio, which of 1522. Over a grueling six months, the Silver gigliato of the Knights of Rhodes, 1319-
1346, obverse depicting the Grand Master in
was inhabited by the Knights; and knights inflicted on their besiegers an adoration of the cross. Rhodes, 14th century.
the Bourgo (lower town, or Chora in astounding 73 deaths for every one that
Greek), where the rest of the population they suffered, but eventually they were

62 w w w.gREECE-is.com
c r e at i n g m em o r i e s f o r a l i f e t i m e !

Lindos, 851 07 – Rhodes, Greece | www.lindosblu.gr | info@lindosblu.gr | Tel.: (+30) 2244.032.110


| ARCHITECTURE |

A Terrible Beauty
The architectural legacy of the Italian Detail of the Governor’s
Palace (Palazzo del

οccupation of Rhodes. Governatore) which today


houses the offices of the
Prefecture of the South
Aegean.
BY Yiannis Chrysafis

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE


| ARCHITECTURE | 1

W
hat would Rhodes be like to-
day without those architec-
tural works from the era of
the Italian occupation (1912-1943)? In
all likelihood, it would be less striking
and less picturesque. The town’s noted
buildings, so important today, might
not have been preserved or renovated,
instead perhaps succumbing years ago
to the deterioration of time. Visitors
would not gather, as they do today, to
take in the impressive seafront spec-
tacle of the Foro Italico at the port of
Mandraki, with all the imposing ad-
ministrative buildings that combine
Byzantine, Venetian, Renaissance, Ot-
toman and local architectural elements
in a distinctively eclectic style. And the
2
Old Town – already having undergone
Ottoman interventions, including the
installation of cemeteries around its
walls – might simply have been allowed
to collapse, palace and all; or it might
have suffered that common Greek fate
of being abandoned to unfettered and
unregulated redevelopment, like so
many other once beautiful places.
Such contemplation, of course, does
not absolve the Italian conquerors of
Rhodes, nor does it negate the hard, au-
thoritarian methods of “Italianization”
they applied in the Dodecanese, espe-
cially after the rise of fascism. It simply
recognizes the immense importance of
the architectural character and sense of
spatial order they left stamped on the
contemporary face of Rhodes.
Although the Italians landed on

3 4

1. The Grand Hotel of Roses (Grande Albergo


delle Rose) opened its gates in 1927. Fully
renovated, it still operates as an hotel and houses
Casino Rodos.

2. Foro Italico in the time of Mario Lago. Visible


on the left are the New Market (Nea Agora),
the Bank of Italy (Banca d’ Italia di Rodi), the
House of Fascism (Casa del Fascio) and the
Courthouse.

3. The large fountain at the entrance to the


Kallithea Thermal Springs (Terme Calitea).

4. The western side of the Governor’s Palace


(Palazzo del Governatore).

66 w w w.gREECE-is.com
5 5. The New Market, with its Eastern architectural
influences, is home today to shops and small
eateries that serve ouzo and meze.

6. The distinctive Art Deco architecture of


the Rhodes Aquarium, designed by Αrmando
Bernabiti and built in 1934-35.

7. Mario Lago, governor of the Dodecanese from


1922 to 1936, whose goal was the Italianization
of the locals.

8. Cesare Maria de Vecchi, governor of the


Dodecanese from 1936 to 1940

6
the island in 1912 during their conflict
with the Ottoman Empire, most of their
architectural works on Rhodes were
carried out during the era of Mussoli-
ni (who took power a decade later) and
reflect the attitude of his fascist regime
toward urban space. The past – the an-
cient past as much as the Middle Ages
and the Renaissance – became raw ma-
terial for fascist rhetoric, as Dr. Medina
Lasansky points out in her book “The
Renaissance Perfected: Architecture,
Spectacle & Tourism in Fascist Italy.”
In the 1920s and 30s many leading
architects, archaeologists, historians
and city planners of Rome collaborat-

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, PERIKLES MERAKOS, ALEKOS MARKOGLOU ARCHIVE


ed to showcase ancient monuments and
historic sites of the former Roman Em-
pire in the light of the Duce’s vision of
modern Italy as a metropolitan power
center. Public spaces, commercial fa-
7 8 cilities, churches, theaters, bridges,
schools, sports facilities, villages and
entire cities were either built or re-
stored in Italy, as well as in the Italian
territories in the Aegean and northern
and eastern Africa. The central motif
for this extensive building program
was antiquity, both on a theoretical and
practical level, and its apparent aim
was the promotion of fascism. The es-
thetics of this movement were not uni-
form, as the ruling Italians appointed
to their ranks and glorified, on a case
by case basis, ultra-modernists, ratio-
nalists, neo-historians and representa-

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 67
© NIKOLAOS STOURNARAS/SIMEON DONTAS ARCHIVE
The Governor’s Palace, the Elli Building and a statue depicting a deer, the emblem of Rhodes, in the late 40’s.

tives of the Novecento. Government of the Italian Islands of local population, while simultaneously
However, the main thrust of ev- the Aegean. In aspiring to gain control attempting to banish the Greek lan-
eryone involved was the “cleansing” over the Eastern Mediterranean, they guage, culture and Orthodox religion.
(or “liberation,” as they called it) of began a broad program of Italianiza- Lago erected many public buildings;
the past. Thus, the restoration and/ tion of the region and its inhabitants. undertook numerous beautification
or reconstruction of the traces of the These aims were served by a series of projects in Rhodes’ historical center;
Middle Ages and the Renaissance in- appointed governors, who applied ei- restored medieval monuments; found-
cluded their redesign – their selective ther a “carrot” or a “stick” policy. ed rural settlements; and adopted eco-
representation carried out according to The first civilian governor of the nomic reforms – including measures
a specific viewpoint, one that fit the re- Italian Islands of the Aegean, and the to promote tourism. He was a pioneer
gime and its values. Whether in Rome, one who left the most lasting impres- in his time. Perhaps his most import-
Tuscany, Rhodes or Libya, the regime’s sion on Rhodes, was the diplomat Ma- ant legacy is the master plan he insti-
architects were summoned to create rio Lago (1924-1936), who led his coun- tuted for the city of Rhodes, which was
a “purified” version of the past that try’s efforts to impose Italian culture comparable to those adopted in all the
would extol the present. and to alter the ethnic make-up of the major cities of the West. During Lago’s
In the beginning, the Rhodians re-
garded the Italians as liberators from
the Ottoman yoke and saw their arrival
as a harbinger of the island’s desired
Whether in Rome, Tuscany, Rhodes or Libya,
union with Greece. These hopes were the Italian fascist regime’s architects were
quickly dashed. Rhodes’ new overlords summoned to create a “purified” version of the
put the Dodecanese Islands under the
authority of Italy’s Ministry of Foreign
past that would extol the present.
Affairs, calling themselves the “Gover-
no dele Isole Italiane Dell Egeo,” or the

68 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| ARCHITECTURE |

ca of an older, Hospitallers-era church


© NIKOS KASSERIS

destroyed in 1856. Other buildings in-


clude the Maritime Administration and
the Grand Hotel of the Roses, with its
distinctive dome, which continues to
operate as a hotel and which consti-
tutes one of the major landmarks of
touristic Rhodes.
Equally important was the Italians’
conservation work in the Old Town,
especially their intervention at the Pal-
ace of the Grand Master of the Knights
of Rhodes, which they restored and
turned into a museum (it remains one
today). Notable, too, are the archaeo-
logical surveys, excavations and resto-
ration works carried out by the Italians
at several sites in Rhodes, mainly at
Ialysos and Lindos, and elsewhere in
the Dodecanese Islands.
Lago was succeeded by Cesare Ma-
ria De Vecchi (1936-1940), one of the
Quadrumvirs in Mussolini’s central
ruling tetrarchy. He imposed unequiv-
ocally brutal political oppression, par-
ticularly as the Second World War and
the Greco-Italian War approached.
Wanting to further emphasize the “glo-
Today, the refurbished Kallithea Springs (Terme Calitea) are a protected historical monument. ry” of the Knights and their presence in
Rhodes, and by association to extend
that glory to the regime of which he
was a founding member, De Vecchi had
public buildings and new constructions
tenure, the monuments of the Old Town with Governor Lago, Di Fausto had cladded with “pietra finta” (faux stone),
were identified and protected; all the designed or redesigned an astonish- as a visual reference to the period of
land in the immediate area around the ing fifty buildings in the Dodecanese the Knights. Characteristic examples of
city walls was declared a “zona monu- – houses, public buildings, churches, this treatment include the Hotel Ther-
mentale” (monument zone) and con- markets, schools, barracks – of which mae and the Palazzo Littorio, which
struction came under tight controls. thirty-two had been completed or were later became the City Hall.
Large areas (e.g., the Ottoman ceme- under construction in 1927. Among the On March 7, 1948, the inhabitants
teries) were forcibly seized for reasons achievements that can still be admired of Rhodes celebrated the incorpora-
of public interest, while the new town today are the Foro Italico, the city’s tion of the Dodecanese Islands into the
established outside the walls followed new administrative center at Mandra- Greek State – in front of public build-
the popular Italian model of the gar- ki and the Italian (formerly Ottoman) ings that were founded during the pe-
den city, endowed with a modern in- Club, a lounge for Italian officers and riod of Italian occupation. Freedom
frastructure, including roads, water senior civil servants. The Courthouse replaced fascist oppression. Seven de-
and sewer systems, street lighting and was restored in a style clearly influ- cades later, there are few residents re-
administrative and military buildings. enced by Renaissance architecture. maining on the island who experienced
Most of the projects completed The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint the Italian occupation, but the younger
during this period bear the stamp of John (known today as the Metropolitan generations – without forgetting the
Florestano di Fausto (1890-1965), the Church of the Annunciation), with its past – live with, and take full advan-
most important architect of fascist It- characteristic bell tower and its famed tage of, the legacy of architecture and
aly. In the space of three years (1923- sarcophagi of the Great Magistrates, urban planning from those years. It is a
1926), and before he suffered a rift was built in the New Town as a repli- heritage that enriches their daily lives.

70 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| MEMENTOS |

THE WAY IT WAS


Τhe author of the book “Rhodes - One Hundred Years Of Photography
1850-1950” has dug through archives and private collections
to bring us one-of-a-kind snapshots of the island’s storied past.

BY S i m e o n D o n ta s

72 w w w.gREECE-is.com
T
he island of Rhodes is fortunate photo – of the Rhodian knights’ Naillac Bedford photograph
(Left) A panoramic view of the Old Town from
to have been photographed like Tower, before its collapse in an earth- the Naillac Tower, prior to its destruction.
almost no other. In the mid-19th quake. Then, in 1853, British diplomat This splendid photograph was taken by the
Englishman Francis Bedford on May 15, 1862,
century, Rhodes was subject to foreign Dominic E. Colnaghi produced some as he accompanied the Prince of Wales (later
rule – a mere province of the Ottoman calotypes; in 1857, Scotsman James King Edward VII) on an educational journey
through the Near and Far East.
Empire. Nevertheless, the island’s rep- Graham immortalized the Street of the
utation for ancient and knightly glo- Knights; and in 1862, Francis Bedford,
ry had captured the imagination of escorting the Prince of Wales on an ed- BAREFOOT SUMMER
A boy at the seashore, photographed by the
both Greek and foreign travelers, with ucational tour, took three photographs Nobel laureate George Seferis. Children were
Rhodes becoming a regular stop on the of the island. In their wake came many always a focus of the poet-diplomat’s interest,
and he took this photo during a visit to Rhodes
Grand Tour. A few of those who came photographers, amateur and profes- with his wife in 1955.
brought with them their own camera sional, who managed to stop time with
equipment. their cameras and deliver the past to to
The photographic history of Rhodes us, imprinted on photographic paper. In
began in 1850, when Claudius Galen their photos, we can find a story of an
Wheelhouse, an English surgeon and island at the cusp of change – from oc-
amateur photographer, took the first cupation to freedom, from war to peace.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 73
| IN PICTURES |

THE TWILIGHT OF THE OTTOMAN ERA


The Marine Gate, photographed by French architect Lucien Roy, in 1911,
one year before the conquest of the island by the Italian army.
The period of Ottoman rule represented for Rhodes a time
of decline and of nostalgia for the greatness of antiquity.

74 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| IN PICTURES |

Deer and Wolf


The entrance to the port at Mandraki, with the deer symbolizing Rhodes
and the wolf symbolizing Rome. The Italian conquerors, believing that they would remain
on the island forever, invested in the construction of imposing buildings and a sweeping
renovation of the New Town.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 75
| IN PICTURES |

FINDING JOY
Photographer Maria Chrousaki captures a moment when orphaned children, taken in
during the Greek Civil War, dance in school celebrations at the Pedoupoli (“Children’s
Home) in the village of Kalathos. These homes were founded in 1947, on the initiative
of Queen Frederica, to protect children in rural communities from the paidomazoma (the
mass round-up and transportation of children to Communist countries) during the war.

76 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| IN PICTURES |

Joining Greece
March 31, 1947. One of the most striking photos of Antonis Pachos. A crowd that includes public
officals has gathered to observe the lowering of the British Union Jack and the raising of the Greek
flag over the Governor’s Palace. So began the transition period of Greek military rule on the island
that would continue until March 7, 1948, when Rhodes officially became part of the Greek state.
Visible in the foreground, kneeling, is the first elected Mayor of Rhodes, Gavriil Haritos.

Dancing Peasants
A celebrant in traditional vraka breeches dances in a church courtyard in the village of Embonas in
1927. Religious celebrations and festivals were the main source of enjoyment and entertainment
for the local population. The sight of ordinary peasants in traditional costumes was striking to both
villagers and foreign visitors.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 77
| THEN & NOW |

The Tourism Chronicles


In the beginning were the Italians... Then the jet-set arrived,
making Rhodes the “in” place to go. In their wake came the charter
crowd of the 1970s. What does the future hold?

BY Olga Char ami

© ANTONIS PACHOS ARCHIVE

Aristotle Onassis takes Winston Churchill for a ride, in 1959.

78 w w w.gREECE-is.com
since the 1970s.
great numbers
the acropolis of Lindos in
Tourists have been visiting

© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
© ANTONIS PACHOS ARCHIVE
King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece on the set of “The Guns of Navarone” (1960) at Epta Piges, with cast members Gregory Peck,
David Niven, Anthony Quinn and others.

B
ack in the 1920s, an Italian During their occupation, the Italians the country had been devastated by
documentary titled “L’Estate a built the military airport of Maritsa bombardments. Their “legacy” also in-
Rodi” was made. It can be seen (which served as the island’s main air- cluded the special tariff and tax regime
on YouTube. Its purpose was not sole- port for 40 years); the hydrotherapy fa- for the Dodecanese, which was kept
ly tourism promotion; it was filmed cilities at Kallithea; a racetrack; a golf in place even after Rhodes, along with
and shown in the framework of Fascist course; and numerous hotels, the most the other Dodecanese islands, was for-
propaganda. It was, however, the first lavish of which was the Grande Alber- mally united with Greece. Up to 1981,
time Rhodes had been presented to a go delle Rose, advertised as “the hotel when Greece joined the EEC, visitors to
European cinema audience. In the film, with 160 rooms and 80 bathrooms.” Its Rhodes could buy tax-free items such
the camera zooms in on Italian public guests came in by hydroplane not only as drinks, cigarettes and brand-name
buildings and Italian farming villages from Italy but from Egypt, Israel and clothing items, which were not even
and their new settlers, on the Old Town elsewhere as well. imported into the rest of the country.
where the Italians were carrying out Despite their desire to remain on This gave enormous impetus to do-
extensive restoration, and on the Rho- the island for good, the Italians were mestic tourism. Many still remember
dians themselves, shown dancing in forced to leave after surrendering to the elegant umbrellas and, in particu-
traditional dress or going about their the Germans following the Battle of lar, the suits, tailored on the island for
daily lives. Rhodes in 1943. They left behind some much less than they would have cost in
It had been Mussolini’s dream to impressive works, made even more Athens.
make Rhodes a resort for Italians. noteworthy by the fact that the rest of In post-war Greece, tourism was

80 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© JACQUES MALIGNON/CONDE NAST/GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE
Famous Canadian model Dayle Haddon poses with a Lindos resident and her donkey,
during a fashion shoot for Vogue Magazine in 1976.

seen as the quickest way to achieve


economic growth, raise the morale of
impressive coastal streches, bathers
swimming in crystal-clear waters, and
Rhodes soon became
the Greeks, westernize society and in- couples falling in love in the great Ro- a destination for the
troduce new lifestyle models. Rhodes tunda at Kallithea. In rapid succession international jet set.
was one of the few destinations where
all the ingredients to achieve this were
a number of Greek and international
movies were made here, facilitated by
Aristotle Onassis
already in place. Bright sun, perfect cli- low production costs, while the mayor could be seen eating
mate, long beaches and fascinating an- at the time, Michael Petridis, who is octopus at the Alexis
tiquities, in fact all the main elements
of Greece’s “identity,” feature here,
still fondly remembered by many Rho-
dians, also lent a helping hand by invit-
Τaverna with Winston
along with stunningly exotic architec- ing celebrities for holidays at the luxu- Churchill.
ture dating to the time of the Knights ry “Hotel of the Roses”. Thanks to films
and the periods of Ottoman and Italian such as “Anna Roditi” (1948), “Surprise
rule. Package” (1960) with Yul Brynner, “The
The film industry, too, helped ad- Guns of Navarone” (1961) with Grego-
vertise the uniqueness of Rhodes. Cin- ry Peck and Antony Quinn, “Cruise to
emagoers, at first in Greece but soon all Rhodes” (1960) and “Kiss the Girls”
over the world, began to see – on the (1964), parts of the island became fa-
silver screen – cyclists riding along mous on a global scale.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 81
British tourists having fun in Faliraki; this resort
© EPA/EIRINI ELEFTHERAKI

became for a time the symbol of “bad” tourist


behavior before local authorities took steps to
clean up its image.

just the sex. We took them dancing, we


showed them around the island and so
there were many love affairs.”
The phenomenon also had social
implications, for Rhodian philanderers
suddenly had an incentive to remain
on the island instead of going to sea to
earn a living. At the same time, they
were initiated into a cosmopolitan cul-
ture and – albeit unwittingly – became
magnets of attraction for tourism, since
many of these northern European wom-
en would come back for more, bringing
The Greek National Tourism Orga- the Palace of the Grand Master hosted their female friends with them. Many
nization also made a significant con- European beauty contests! foreigners had already begun to set-
tribution by restoring buildings and This was also the time of the phe- tle permanently on the island, but the
erecting the Rhodes Xenia, one of a se- nomenon known as “kamakia” (lit. “kamakia” phenomenon reinforced this
ries of modern hotels at the forefront of “harpoons”), lotharios dressed in trend, as it was not uncommon for local
efforts to promote tourism. Local busi- bell-bottoms and half-open shirts that men to marry their summer loves.
nessmen also built a number of luxury invariably revealed a gold chain hanging In the 1980s, Rhodes’ tourism im-
hotels. “The Italians left us 700 beds from the neck, who were a big hit among age began to change after a new law
and today we have 100,000,” says Vass- liberated northern European females. was passed, permitting the erection of
ilis Minaidis, honorary president of the “Rhodes was a real hot spot in the 1970s. small, lower category accommodations.
Association of Rhodes Hoteliers, which Greek women rarely had pre-marital Where in previous decades large lux-
was established in 1949. “The big tour sexual relations. In contrast, romances ury hotels had dominated, the island
operators got in on the action in the with foreign women were a daily occur- now filled with rooms to let, managed
1960s, when the charter flights began. rence,” says 62-year-old Yiannis Klou- by people with no experience whatso-
At the time, most visitors were from vas, these days the President of the As- ever in tourism. Bed supply gradually
Sweden. They came from Stockholm in sociation of Restaurateurs, then owner exceeded demand and tour operators,
propeller-driven aircraft in 7-8 hours. of the some of the top discotheques on who were always waiting in the wings,
Shortly after, the Germans began to ar- the island, who is married to a Finnish took advantage of the low standard of
rive, on vessels from Yugoslavia, book- tourist he met at the time. “But it wasn’t services to reduce prices.
ing through Touropa, the forerunner of
today’s Tui.”
Rhodes soon became a destination
for the international jet set. Aristotle
Onassis could be seen wandering about
or eating octopus at the Alexis Taverna
with Winston Churchill; David Gilm-
our bought a house in Lindos, another
Pink Floyd member, Richard Wright,
met and later married Franka, owner of
the legendary Qupi Bar in Lindos, while
Boney M and ABBA, two of the biggest
© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

groups of the time, appeared at the


Aquarius Club in Rhodes Town. Even

Today, Faliraki is more of a family destination.


The Water Park, seen here, is one of the biggest
in Europe.

82 w w w.gREECE-is.com
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Surrounded by lush parks and flower gardens and close to the historic Old Town, the modern shopping district and the
beach, the hotel has earned a reputation for top-quality service and can rightly be considered one of the most luxurious
hospitality units in Greece A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, our “boutique” hotel welcomes you to a
place where everything is designed to help you relax and unwind in an atmosphere of easy tranquility, whether you’re
traveling for business or pleasure. The attentiveness of the staff, the excellent location, the spectacular views and the
culinary excellence of our dining facilities are all key features that will enhance your experience.

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12 Riga Fereou, Rhodes 85100 • Tel. (+30) 2241.089.700 • www.rodospark.gr


“During the day
© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

Faliraki is a family
destination where
kids play on the beach.
After sunset the
nightlife is still very
lively, though without
the excesses of the
past.”

that they would have to get rid of them;


they had become insufferable,” explains
Mr. Minaidis.
The first allegations of rape and
the first accidental deaths due to alco-
hol prompted negative reports in the
British media. Local organizations re-
sponded and the tour operators were
forced to change their plans. Faliraki
was “cleaned up” overnight, as the locals
say. And for three or four years it looked
like it had been closed down for good.
“Today Faliraki lives in two worlds”
says Aikaterini Gogou, president of the
the  Association of  Qualified  Tourist
Guides of the Dodecanese. “One is that
of the large, well-respected hotels and
the other is that of the rented rooms.
A river of humanity seems to flow through the streets of Old Town.
During the day, it is a family destina-
tion where kids play on the beach. After
sunset, the nightlife is still very lively,
though without the excesses of the past.
The place is now very well policed.”
July 2000: Young English tourists In 2002, a total of 431,481 passengers The idea of two worlds applies to
have sex in public in the alleyways of the arrived on a record number of charter the island in general. There is, indeed,
village of Faliraki and drunken women flights from the UK; this represented a Rhodes of deluxe facilities, boutique
dance topless on the hoods of cars. Dis- one-third of all charter flights that year. hotels and a well-deserved reputation
orderly crowds of tourists wander about, By 2005, the village had fully adapted to for amazing natural beauty and stun-
bottles in hand. They will never learn its new guests (from English breakfast ning historical attractions, but there’s
anything about the real Rhodes, nor will in the cafés to soccer games on giant also the Rhodes of rooms for rent at
they remember who or how many they screens, you felt that you were in the UK) cut rates, of cheap package trips and
slept with the previous night. Beginning and the locals were constantly reporting of an infrastucture straining to cope
around 1995, several tour operators had cases of vandalism. “It wasn’t the En- with the two million tourists that ar-
discovered in this once quiet village an glish in general, but certain hooligans rive each year. Nevertheless, Rhodes is
amazing beach, numerous cheap rooms who created the problem for tourism. At still a welcoming cosmopolitan desti-
for rent and a handful of bars. They first they would go to Trianta Beach at nation whose ageless appeal has always
promptly voted it the perfect destination Ialysos. By the time they started head- brought the crowds. The island has
for young UK tourists wishing to live ing to Faliraki they were out of control. always coped in the past and will un-
for a week or two without constraints. I personally told the British ambassador doubtedly find answers for the future.

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experience
GREECE IS

RHO D ES

THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS


From sandy beaches to verdant mountains and from ancient temples to luxury resorts, the fourth largest
island in Greece has a variety of options to offer its visitors.
Rhodes by painter Antonios Von Santorinios-Santorinakis / BRIDGEMAN IMAGES

85
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |

the world in a stroll

Medieval walls enclose an enchanting


microcosm, a place where different eras,
cultures and architectural styles meet.

BY Olga Char ami


Museum of Rhodes.
Archaeological
now houses the
the Knights, which
the Hospital of
The courtyard of
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |

T
ime is locked out. Everyone else And this is why I approach those mighty At any rate, these are my thoughts
is within: ancient Greeks, Byz- walls, four kilometers long, with some as I pass through Liberty Gate, one of
antines, Ottomans, Jews and trepidation about what I will find. How the 11 gates affording access to the Old
Italians. This is, however, the roman- harmoniously does the glorious and in- Town and the first that you encounter
tic view; in truth, they are not alone, triguing past coexist with the intensely when coming from the harbor of Man-
these wonderful ghosts. With them are tourism-oriented present? The monu- draki. It’s early in the morning, and
tourists in their thousands, archaeol- mental with the commercial? The Old I’ve already checked that there are no
ogists, tour guides, artists, permanent Town’s designation as a UNESCO World cruise ships in the harbor; otherwise I
residents, business people and touts, Heritage Site (assigned in 1988) with the would see nothing but people. My first
all continuing to write the history of the mass nature of a global brand name in impression is one of awe. I suddenly
Old Town of Rhodes, a story which has tourism which was already being devel- find myself in a time of knights: only
been unfolding for the past 2,400 years. oped as early as the 1950s? porous sandstone and cobbled streets

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as far as the eye can see. It is not easy and set about restoring or reconstruct-
to absorb this. You have the feeling that ing many of the medieval buildings. But
In the cool of the evening, the Old
if you take a few more steps, you’ll see have no fear, no wall will collapse and Town’s narrow streets and squares (like
modern buildings, ugly ones perhaps, there is nothing ugly, at least not in the Hippokratous Square, pictured here)
fill with sightseers.
or at least something completely out of northern part known as the Kollakio,
place. Or that gently pushing a wall will or Knights’ Quarter.
result in its collapse, as if it were some The Knights Hospitaller of St. John
flimsy film set at Cinecittà – especially captured Rhodes in 1309. In the Old
if you know that Italians, too, have left Town, where they established their ad-
their mark here. After they seized the ministrative center, there was already a
island from the Turks in 1912, they saw fortified Byzantine settlement occupy-
themselves as successors to the knights ing 175,000 square meters which had

© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 89
I enter high-ceilinged
halls with period
furniture and
chandeliers as well as
enormous fireplaces
featuring coats of
arms. When I emerge
into the courtyard,
I feel somewhat
disoriented, both in
time and space.

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| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |
© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

been built on the site of an ancient city The amalgam resulting from the co- MARIA KOLLIA
that dated back to 408 BC. The Knights existence and the exchange of different A lifetime IN THE OLD TOWN
expanded the area of the town to populations over the centuries is what
420,000 square meters and protected makes the Old Town of Rhodes unique. Archaeologist Maria Kollia, president of
the Association for the Preservation of
it with three lines of defensive fortifi- “You don’t really need a guide here.
Rhodes’ Architectural and Cultural Her-
cations. This was also how they hand- Even if you haven’t read anything, even
itage, has lived in a beautiful house on
ed it over to the Ottomans, after a long if no one has explained anything, you the Street of the Knights for more than
siege in 1522. The new rulers made only can see the history all around. Like an 45 years. She remembers when fellow
slight alterations to the fortifications illustrated children’s book,” says Aikat- residents used to festoon the street with
but changed the use and form of the erini Gogou, president of the Associa- their drying laundry (a custom that is
buildings, converting some churches tion of Qualified Tourist Guides of the prohibited today) and she recalls, too, the
into mosques. When the Italians occu- Dodecanese. milkman bringing fresh milk to her door-
step every day. “People envy me for living
pied Rhodes in 1912, they restored the And the truth is that, in just one
here,” she says, “but they can’t imagine
Knights’ Quarter to its former state. block, you can see: ancient ruins; a Byz- some of the problems I have with the
This area, named Kollakio, accounted antine church; an Ottoman mosque; house. The limestone walls retain humid-
for one-third of the old city. The re- and a plaque honoring the Fascist lead- ity like a sponge. It’s almost impossible
maining part, known as the Bourgo, er Mussolini. “Everything is part of the to keep warm in the winter because the
was where the common people lived. history of Rhodes. And we must respect structure is nearly five meters high. But
everything. For instance, some visitors I wouldn’t for the world change the fact
that I live in a place that is full of mem-
become angry when they see the plaque.
ories and history. This is more or less
But this, too, is a piece of Rhodes. The
the spot where the Sanctuary of the Sun
squares you see today are the results of God was located, and the Head of Helios
One of the imposing rooms of the Palace of the
Grand Master, restored by the Italian rulers in the
German bombardments; they weren’t itself was found almost right beneath my
early 20th century. there before,” Aikaterini explains. house.” - m a r i a k o r a ch a i

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 91
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |

© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE


AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
THE KNIGHTS’ QUARTER “You don’t really need a guide here. Even if
After entering through the Liber-
ty Gate, you get the first hint of what
you haven’t read anything, even if no one has
a palimpsest the Old Town is in Symi explained anything, you can see the history all
Square and Argyrokastrou Square next around,” says tourist guide Aikaterini Gogou.
to it. In just a small radius are the ruins
of a Temple of Aphrodite, a preserved
section of Hellenistic fortifications,
the 11th-century Church of Our Lady
of the Castle, the old arsenal of the
Knights (which houses a fine collec-
tion of folk art) and the Municipal Art which begins here, next to Museum Fully immersed in the atmosphere,
Gallery. A little further on is the Man- Square and the Arnaldo Gate. A jewelry I am now walking along the cobble-
sion of Hassan Bey and the Inn of the store, clothes and souvenir shops and stoned Street of the Knights, which
“Tongue” of Auvergne, in the beautiful a bank are housed in medieval build- has remained unchanged for centu-
garden of which there is a café. The ings. A group of street artists have set ries. Most of the buildings house offices
inns were where the Knights gathered, up their easels. Two young wandering of the archaeological service or serve
each one corresponding to the language musicians rehearse, seated on the steps as homes for archaeologists and em-
(“tongue”) they spoke. Most are located next to the Archaeological Museum ployees of the ephorate of antiquities,
on the celebrated Street of the Knights, – the former Hospital of the Knights. the only people with the right to live
There, you simply don’t know what to here. As a result, visitors can’t see the
admire the most – the building itself, interiors, except for that of the Inn of
with its impressive two-story gallery the “Tongue” of France, which hous-
and spacious inner courtyard, or the es the French Consulate and on occa-
This Turkish coffee shop on Sokratous Street has
marvelous Hellenistic sculptures on sion hosts cultural events. I observe
been in business since the 14th century. display inside. the blazons, the architectural details

92 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Exploring the
side streets
of Bourgo,
the Old Town
neighborhood
where the
common people
lived.
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |

© PERIKLES MERAKOS
on the façades, the statue of the Vir- A good way to return to the pres- GIORGOS
gin Mary in the 14th-century Church ent is to stroll atop the walls. The walk TRIANTAFYLLOU
of the Holy Trinity, and I feel that an begins in the Palace courtyard but is the art of icons
unwritten law imposes silence and permitted only between 12:00 and
“Children that grow up on tourism-orient-
discretion. Those around me probably 15:00; that is to say, at the worst possi-
ed islands like Rhodes don’t believe that
feel the same thing; you could hear a ble time, when the Rhodian sun can be
you can make a living from art. We’ve
pin drop. Until, that is, the sound of a merciless. After 30-40 minutes, you been trying to change this over the past
car abruptly shatters the enchantment, reach the Red Gate to the south of the few years by opening up our workshops,
even though no vehicles are allowed in town. Along the way, you’ll be reward- inviting international artists and orga-
the Old Town. The law, however, has ed with a view over parts of the new nizing events in which the public can
never been enforced for the permanent town and the sea, too. participate.” Giorgos was taught the art
residents. Another way to come back to the of painting religious icons in the monastic
community of Meteora in central Greece
The Street of the Knights ends at here and now is to leave the Old Town
and then went to Italy to study the fresco
the Palace of the Grand Master, which via the exquisite D’Amboise Gate, tak-
method of mural painting. So far, he has
served as the Knights’ administrative ing in the formidable bastions or, even done icon work for 30 churches across
center. Much of the edifice was rebuilt better, walking down in the medieval the island. Passionate about his art, he
by the Italians who, some say, made it moat, which has been turned into an shows tourists who are interested in Byz-
even more impressive. I enter high-ceil- attractive park much loved by locals. antine churches around and then takes
inged halls with period furniture and There, on the “border” between old them back to his workshop where they
chandeliers as well as enormous fire- and new Rhodes, children and dogs get to make their own fresco paintings to
places featuring coats of arms. I walk take back home. “The churches are one
play freely, peddlers set up stalls, cy-
of the most authentic aspects of Rhodes.
on mosaic floors dating back to the clists enjoy a ride and street artists
For centuries, they were the places
Hellenistic period, which the Italians sing or paint. At the park stands the where the neighborhood gathered, and
brought from Kos. When I emerge into aptly named “Medieval Moat Theater,” today we want to make them places for
the courtyard, I feel somewhat disori- which hosts marvelous performances people from around the world to come
ented, both in time and space. in summer. together.” - m a r i a k o r a ch a i

94 w w w.gREECE-is.com
advertorial

Elakati Luxury Boutique Hotel


is the perfect place to experience true Greek hospitality.
It’s an adults-only hotel located in the center of Rhodes, just
a few minutes from the Old Town, a short walk from sandy
Elli Beach and close to the best shops, restaurants and bars.
The hotel’s themed architecture is an attraction in its own
right, with every floor boasting a unique design and each
of the 11 suites reflecting different aspects of the natural
beauty and history of Rhodes. Using environmentally-friendly
materials and combining modern comforts with traditional
touches, Elakati has created a welcoming establishment with
Greek hospitality that turns every guest into a friend. Equally
appealing is the hotel’s healthy lifestyle philosophy, aptly ex-
pressed in their wooden bicycles, the perfect way to explore
Rhodes Town.

Elakati Kitchen Bar


is located on the ground floor of Elakati Luxury Boutique
Hotel. A restaurant-bar where you can discover Greek
gastronomy with dishes inspired from the island of Rhodes,
in a warm and welcoming environment.
The menu is a fusion of flavors; a modern twist to traditional
Greek and Rhodian dishes, paired with fine wines and signa-
ture cocktails to make dining a fascinating experience.
Gastronomy is a factor that distinguishes one culture from
another; let Elakati Kitchen Bar share Greek culture with you
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local cuisine.

29 Lochagou Fanouraki, 85100 Rhodes • Τel: (+30) 2241.070.688 • Email: info@elakati.com • www.elakati.com
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |

LEFTERIS SKARPETAS
© PERIKLES MERAKOS

Inspired craft

Lefteris practically grew up in his father’s


goldsmith’s workshop. Today, he’s one
of the propagators of the age-old craft
of jewelry-making that flourished on the
island until the mid-20th century, when
there were still a number of jewelers
working here, many involved in export-
ing as well. Their designs used motifs
related to Rhodes, including the stag,
the knight’s cross and the rose. Inspired
by the fascinating medieval landscape
in which he lives, Lefteris has moved
beyond these older designs. “I’ve lived in
the Old Town for 20 years and I’m still in
awe of it,” he says. “You can’t help but be
moved by what you see in this well-pre-
served town: the battalions, the blond
hue of the rocks, the arches. One of my
most recent pieces is a pair of earrings
shaped like the Old Town’s street lamps.
For the older generations, Rhodian jewel-
ry was like an ambassador for the island.
By creating modern designs with historic
references, I want to continue what they
began and prompt younger genera-
tions to wear accessories that relate to
Rhodes.” - m a r i a k o r a ch a i

THE BOURGO (overhanging enclosed wooden balco-


From the Palace of the Grand Mas- nies), small porticos, arches and hid-
ter, you can continue in a southerly di- den courtyards. These narrow walk-
rection along Orfeos Street or Panetiou ways are full of fragrances, colors and
Street and enter the area known as the sounds.
Bourgo, which was separated from the The imposing Suleymaniye Mosque,
Kollakio by a pre-existing Byzantine originally built in 1522 and reconstruct-
wall. Initially, this was the area inhab- ed in 1808, suddenly comes into view
ited by Greeks, but during the period and takes my breath away. I enter the
of Ottoman rule, it was Jews and Turks Muslim Library just opposite and gaze
who lived here – the Greeks, who were at Arabic and Ottoman manuscripts,
expelled from the Old Town, founded unable to understand a word. Next door
Mandraki. Later, they all coexisted is the Clock Tower, built by Fethi Pasha
here, just as they do today. About in the mid-19th century. The tower now
2,000 people reside within the walls, houses a café and for €5 you can enjoy
including many Rhodian Muslims. It a coffee and climb to the top, where you
is estimated that a further 6,000 work can see the Kollakio and Palace on one Local celebrities Areti Georgoudiou and her
here during the summer. side and the Bourgo on the other, as well parrott Rico never tire of posing for tourists. This
talking bird might say “I love you” or curse at you,
I wander along the alleyways, spot- as the walls by the harbor and the sea depending on his mood.
ting sections of the Byzantine wall as beyond it all; it is a panorama not easily
well as humble homes with sachnisia forgotten. Today, however, not every-

96 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Like an Eastern bazaar,
Sokratous Street has always
been a lively shopping
area. It terminates near the
Suleymaniye Mosque.

© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE
| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, GEORGE TSAFOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE
AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

There are many reminders in the Old Town of the


long years of Turkish rule.

Only archaeologists and employees of the local ephorate of antiquities are allowed to stay in the restored
houses on the Street of the Knights.

thing I see out there is a welcome sight. of the Old Town. In the narrow streets the assistance of a parrot and another
The cruise ship pulling in is the signal around here – Miltiadou, Platonos, is trying to get tourists to promise they
that the Old Town will soon be crammed Evripidou – there are dozens of bars will come in the evening. “Do you real-
with thousands of tourists. I hurriedly and clubs which at night make the Old ly believe you’ll get them to come like
descend and take Sokratous, the main Town unrecognizable, even to the point this?” I ask him. “They always come,”
shopping street. of insult. he replies with a laugh.
I don’t need anything, but I find On the steps of the Castellania, once
myself ready to start shopping. Ex- the Commercial Court of the Knights LOST IN THE ALLEYWAYS
pensive jewelry and brand-name bags and now the Municipal Library, cou- My suffering ends a few meters fur-
hang next to gaudy souvenirs, tin suits ples flirt, students pass their time and ther on. I sit down on the steps of Our
of armor and tourist sandals. A river of tourists rest. A faceless crowd and Lady of the Bourgo, a 14th-century
people sweeps me eastward and among countless touts reveal to me the other church built in the Late Gothic style,
the thousands of objects for sale I spot face of the Old Town, one which I had now mostly in ruins. The boys playing
a few stores, including some antique hoped to avoid but that becomes even football in front of me are bragging
shops, that look like they might be more intrusive as I make my way along incessantly about their favorite team,
worth a visit. I also spy some Ottoman Aristotelous Street and into Evreon Diagoras F.C. Fortunately, there is
fountains adorned with carved ara- Martyron Square. Here the restaurant still plenty of Old Town to see. South
besques. Sokratous Street ends at Ip- barkers are completely unrestrained of Sokratous and Aristotelous streets,
pokratous Square with its marble foun- as they loudly pitch the specialties of life continues at a steady pace, whether
tain, which is always full of pigeons and their respective eateries: moussaka, there is a cruise ship in the harbor or
is the main rendezvous spot in this part tzatziki, Greek salad. One has enlisted not, whether it is summer or winter. All

98 w w w.gREECE-is.com
advertorial

t h i s p r e m i u m b e a c h f r o n t p r o p e r t y j u s t r e o p e n e d f u l ly r e v a m p e d ,
w i t h d e d i c a t e d a d u lt a n d f a m i ly z o n e s a n d s i g n a t u r e p a c k a g e s
Rhodes welcomes a brand-new resort destination in a An idyllic holiday location
spectacular beachfront location. The completely revamped There’s both an adult zone and a dedicated family zone.
four-star Amada Colossos Resort in Kallithea, just 10k The Family Zone features a full-scale water park and
from the medieval Old Town and 12k from Rhodes Interna- age-appropriate activities at three different young persons’
tional Airport, reopened in July 2017. It boasts uninterrupt- clubs.
ed views of the Aegean and a magnificent, 430m sandy The resort has six swimming pools, a beach volleyball
beach, with exclusive seafront access for hotel guests. court, a tennis court, a gym, a games room, and indoor
The property has 17 room types and a choice of mountain and outdoor entertainment areas with daytime and evening
or sea views. Studios have direct access to a swim-up pool programs.
while the resort’s five villas all come with private pools. Couples seeking the ideal wedding venue can exchange
vows at the resort’s stunning sea-facing gazebo and enjoy
A selection of dining experiences a romantic honeymoon right here afterwards.
Amada Colossos Resort offers a selection of 16 food and Amada Colossos Resort, a member of Colossos SA
beverage outlets, including six restaurants, an old-school and franchised by LTI, is operated by Louis Hotels. It is
Greek café and a patisserie, as well as pool and cocktail expected to become one of the most luxurious all-inclusive
bars. resorts in the Mediterranean.

For further information and bookings, visit www.amadacolossosresort.com


| ΤΗΕ OLD TOWN |
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

Argyrokastrou Square, near Liberty Gate,


is the first charming Old Town spot most tourists
see and, naturally, a popular stop for selfies.
The beautiful fountain originally adorned
the courtyard of an paleochristian church
in the village of Arnitha.

NIKOS KASSERIS
Forty years of photography

His camera lens has immortalized both


the important events and everyday life
on the island since the ‘70s. There have
been exhibitions of his work in Greece
and abroad, and he has published several
books of photography. In 1999, just
before the turn of the millennium, he
you need to do is… get lost. days; now they’re eagerly awaiting its invited three renowned photographers
This is what I do. With no idea renovation. The coffee shops under the from Magnum Photos to Rhodes. They
where the nearest gate is, I simply stroll trees next to the hamam are in no way documented the effects of the tourism
along the alleyways. I recognize the associated with the unpleasant aspects boom, visited traditional houses and
Muslim households from the shoes left of mass tourism; in the evening, they discovered the island’s unspoiled beauty.
outside the doors. People greet me with turn into high-quality bars with good Mr. Kasseris explains why he chose to
show off Rhodes as it is in the winter:
“kalimera,” not “moussaka.” Children music and impeccable service.
“When tourist activity ceases in the
play in the streets and grandmothers Still further south, near St. John’s medieval town, the houses are so close
sit on the steps outside their home or in Gate, is the Kokkini Porta Rossa, a qui- to each other that you can hear the lives
yards filled with flowers, chatting away. et boutique hotel that has been open of others. It reminds me of the neighbor-
I walk past the Kahal Shalom Syn- for three years and has helped trans- hood feel that it had back in 1960, when
agogue, Byzantine churches, mosques, form an entire neighborhood previous- I first arrived – and, of course, there’s
fountains, brothels and boutique ly suffering from a bad reputation. Its also the goosebumps that you get when
you’re walking within this imposing scen-
guest-houses – all in one small area. In owners, Nikos Voulgaridis and his wife
ery of history and symbols. Sometimes
Arionos Square, I admire the soft curves Angela, convince me with what they’ve you think you can even hear the clatter of
of the 16th-century Yeni Hamam, where achieved that the Old Town, despite horses’ hooves.” - m a r i a k o r a ch a i
up until a few years ago the locals could some tourism excesses, is still finding
enjoy a Turkish bath, just like in the old ways to endure and remain magical.

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advertorial

In search of a building with the intention of creating pitched battles fought here in days long gone made
a hotel in the Old Town of Rhodes, we came across a locals change the name of the gate to “Kókkini Porta”
house which we instantly knew was what we wanted. (Greek for “Red Door”). Throughout the restoration,
The homey feeling when we walked into it, together the building’s character and peculiarities were re-
with its touching history, made our decision easy. spected: the creaks from the wooden floor boards, the
Where the house currently stands there was once smell of the lime plaster, the roughness of its stones,
a stately knight’s residence with a small church dedi- the 300-year-old mulberry tree. At the same time, we
cated to Saint John. When the Turks occupied Rhodes added our own welcoming touches: furniture, lighting,
in 1522, the house became home to Turkish, Jewish art objects and soft carpets give every space a warm,
and Greek families, all living together. Their different familiar atmosphere. Today, luxury has been tempered
origins and religions didn’t stop them from caring for with simplicity and modern design elements appear
each other and raising their children together in the alongside old collectable items.
shade of the mulberry tree. The rooms of our hotel We have made a small hotel for just a few select
bear the names of some of these residents: Gülbin, guests who enjoy our personal attention and care, and
Katina, Deniz, Irini, Orhan, Michalis. who value the notion that this house has been offer-
Our hotel is the first building one sees when en- ing serenity and warmth to its residents, permanent or
tering the Old Town from the Gate of St. John. The temporary, for centuries.

• Kokkini Porta, Old Town, Rhodes 85131, Greece • Tel. (+30) 2241.075.114
• Fax (+30) 2241.075.111 • Email: welcome@kokkiniporta.com • www.kokkiniporta.com
© ILLUSTRATION: IGNATIOS MANAVIS
[ POI N TS OF I N T ER E ST ]
Palace of the Grand the Jewish holidays of September or
Master on special occasions (weddings, etc), SHOPPING BY maria korachai
Once the magnificent headquarters a guest rabbi is in attendance. • Tel.
of the Order of the Knights of St (+30) 2241.022.364 • Open Sun-Fri,
John, its spacious halls are rich with 10.00-15.00
medieval decoration recreated by
Italian restorers, including columns, Our Lady of the Castle
capitals and Hellenistic, Roman and Believed to have been built in the
Early Christian mosaic floors, which 11th century, this Byzantine-style
the Italians themselves brought in church was converted by the Knights
from Kos. The ground floor hosts a into a three-aisled Gothic house of
permanent exhibition of artifacts worship, and then into a mosque by
dating from the early Christian the Ottomans. • Open Tue-Sat, 9:00-
era to the period of Ottoman rule. 17:00 • Tickets €2 EOLOS SABIN
Truly unique experiences can be had Here you’ll find refined Sabin and her husband
in the Palace, such as the concert Municipal ART Gallery jewelry made by Greek Vangelis create unique
scheduled for 2/9, with Renaissance A fine collection of modern Greek artisans using natural wooden accessories
songs by the Mixed Choir of Rhodes art, hangs in a gorgeous Italian materials, such as like bags and bowties.
and the Berthold Gymnasium choir building on Symi Square. You can precious stones. Also In her shop, you’ll
from Freiburg, Germany. • Tel. (+30) admire the works of leading artists on sale are objects also find wooden
2241.365.270 • Open 8:00-20:00 including Yannis Tsarouchis, Nikos d’art, decorative sunglasses as well
• Tickets €6 Engonopoulos and Theophilos, ceramics and objects as knitted bags by
observing how the socio-political with practical uses. • 44 other designers. • 6
Street of the Knights changes of the 19th and 20th centu- Sokratous • Tel. (+30) Sofokleous • Tel. (+30)
This is the most beautiful street of ries influenced Greek art. • Τel. (+30) 2241.024.203 699.250.6147
the Old Town, with the “inns” or 2241.023.766 • Open Mon-Fri, 8.00-
lodgings of the different languages 21.00 • Tickets €2
IAKOVOS SANDALS
(or “tongues”) of the Knights Hospi-
Ottoman monuments If you’re looking for leather sandals like those worn
taller, where meetings were held and
Six mosques stand in the Old Town by the ancient Greeks, head to the family workshop
visitors accommodated. In the Inn of
of Rhodes. Most impressive is the Iakovos Handmade Sandals (22 Aristotelous • Tel.
the Tongue of France is the French
Suleymaniye Mosque, while most (+30) 2241.034.464), operating since 1946. For
consulate, which often organizes
distinctive is the Mehmet Aga more modern designs and funky touches, opt for
exhibitions. The Inn of the Tongue
Mosque, built entirely of wood. The Exis (89 Sokratous • Tel. (+30) 2241.024.418).
of Spain, the largest of all, also hosts
various events. The first building most unique interior decoration you
you encounter at the lower end of can find, however, is that of the Ibra-
the street was constructed by the him Pasha Mosque, which still opens
Italians and now houses the tourist its doors for prayer three times a day.
information center. Also worth a visit is the Hafiz Ahmed
Agha Library, with a collection of
Decorative Arts manuscripts and photographs. • Tel.
Collection of Rhodes (+30) 2241.074.090
• Open Mon-Sat 9.30-15.00
The city’s renovated ethnographic
museum is housed in a Hospi-
taller-era building known as the Byzantine churches
Arsenal. It contains objects of folk About 30 Byzantine churches exist in
art and everyday use, including the Old Town, but they are not reg-
ularly accessible. The only time you KOUNAKIS WHEN IN GREECE
colorful pottery, wood carvings and
can enter them is the last weekend of JEWELRY This Greek brand,
furniture. • Open Tue-Sun 9.00-17.00 The third generation of known for its modern
• Tel. (+30) 2241.070.253 • Tickets €2 September, during the Open Doors
event organized by the non-profit Kounakis jewelers con- souvenirs and travel
tinues the family tra- gadgets, was founded
The Synagogue organization Rhodes International
dition of goldsmithery in Rhodes. Apart from
In the 1930s, some 6,500 Jews lived Culture & Heritage Society.
with fine creations that the company’s regular
in Rhodes, where they operated six take traditional Rhodian selection, the shop
synagogues. Today, the community art one step further. At here is also stocked
has dwindled to 20 people, whose
© PERIKLES MERAKOS

their shop, you’ll also with Rhodes-specific


one remaining Synagogue (Kahal find well-known watch souvenirs featuring em-
Shalom), founded in 1577, is the old- A €10 ticket will grant you access and jewelry brands. blems and landmarks
est in Greece. Accompanied by Sep- to the Palace, the Archaeological • Pindarou & 26-28 of the island. • 153
hardic-Rhodian music, you can tour Museum, the Decorative Arts Byzantiou • Tel. (+30) Sokratous • Tel. (+30)
the building and see artifacts of daily Collection and Our Lady of the 2241.030.276. 2241.030.374.
life belonging to the community. For Castle Church.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 103
© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS

A bird’s eye view of the New Town,


which stands on the very end of the
northern part of the island, with a
beach unfolding across the entire
tip of the peninsula.

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| NEW TOWN |

A Beautiful Crush
The more modern part of Rhodes town may get crowded and
crazy, but that’s no reason to snub locations like Mandraki,
rich both in history and in things to do.

BY Maria Kor achai

M
andraki, perhaps the New fortress of Saint Nicholas; of the medi- modern buildings, sandy beach and
Town’s most photographed eval windmills; and of the great bastion turquoise waters, has room for ev-
spot, smells like sunscreen. walls that separate the old and new eryone. The settlement started grow-
The sun is at its zenith and the ther- chapters of the island’s history. Mean- ing outside the castle walls after 1522
mometer is hovering at 40ºC, yet none while, in defiance of the frenzy of pic when the Turks occupied Rhodes and
of the hundreds of tourists sunning clicks, a street artist tries to pause time threw all other nationalities out of the
themselves seems to care. The foot traf- the old-fashioned way. He’s painting a Old Town. Today, what you see around
fic follows the contours of the coastline, small watercolor of the port with the you is indicative of just how busy
making for interesting people-watch- castle in the background at the small things are: traditional caique fishing
ing, and the sea is right there when easel he’s set up on the promenade. He’s boats alongside luxury mega-yachts;
the need for a refreshing dip arises. also filtering reality, as there’s no sign bicycles darting around tour buses;
Many hold their phones aloft to snap in his painting of the huge yacht an- a row of cheesy restaurants trying to
their own postcard shots: of the two chored beside the two smaller wooden attract business with garish photos of
columns crowned by the bronze stags sailboats he has included. Greek salad and moussaka; barkers
that are the symbol of Rhodes (some Rhodes’ New Town, this amazing shouting for custom outside bars and
TripAdvisor users comment they ex- combination of medieval battlements, cafés festooned with big bamboo arm-
pected them to be much bigger); of the eclectic 20th-century architecture, tall chairs.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 105
Wine and good | NEW TOWN |
company on
pedestrianized Kosti
Palama Street.

© PERIKLES MERAKOS
Many hold their phones
aloft to snap their own
postcard shots of the two
columns crowned by the
bronze stags that are the
symbol of Rhodes.

Great photos can also be taken


at night, when the monuments are
illuminated by warm lights imitating
the tones of the sunset.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 107
| NEW TOWN |

© PERIKLES MERAKOS
One of the most charming edifices in town housing the offices of the Prefecture of the South Aegean.

One of the establishments that of the Grand Master. Inside the modern underground tunnel, added in the final
stands out in this sprawl is the Aktaion, version, you can see murals painted by year of construction.
an officer’s club during the Italian occu- the celebrated Greek artist Photis Kon- “Nice to meet you,” a little girl tells
pation and now an attractive café and toglou and his students in the period a langoustine as I explore the exhibits.
pastry shop with what is arguably the between 1951 and 1961. Walking around this dark, rocky laby-
best shade in town: on the menu you’ll There aren’t many cities where the rinth, you see tanks of all sizes holding
read about the enormous Ficus benjam- port authority, the regional authori- species of fish and crustaceans, rare
ina that has been growing in its court- ty offices and the post office are pic- and common, most native to the Med-
yard since 1947. I get a cup of orange ture-worthy. Here, though, they are iterranean but some which have emi-
juice – there are several spots along the located in well-preserved eclectic man- grated here from the Indian and Pacific
beach that serve fresh fruit juices to go sions built by the Italians during the oceans.
– and take a moment to examine Eleft- 1912-1943 occupation to house their ad- Back at street level, you can fore-
herias (Liberty) Square, once the hub of ministrative services. Perhaps the most go the mundane souvenirs being sold
new Rhodes as it was developed by the unusual of these Italian buildings is along the coastal strip and buy a por-
Italians and today an interesting spot the one that today hosts the Aquarium. trait of yourself instead from one of the
to wait for your friends or your date. Built in 1934-1936 and standing on the artists at Rimini Square. The half-hour
Here is Evangelismos Church, a replica island’s northernmost tip, it combines sitting goes by in a flash, and they al-
(built in 1925-29) of the Church of Saint elements of vernacular and art deco ways capture the contentedness you
John that once stood beside the Palace architecture. It also has an amazing feel sitting in the shade, listening to the

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song of the cicadas and looking up at of Asia Minor.
the castle which, from this particular As soon as night falls, the city’s
vantage point, is covered in a cascade streets come awake with packed ta-
of bougainvillea and other flowers. bles, inside and out, at its suddenly
Monte Smith, the hill that formed animated all-day bars. You can choose
the acropolis of ancient Rhodes, is the between the tourist joints where cock-
perfect spot to enjoy the sunset. The tails are served with the obligatory
hill is a protected archaeological site, paper umbrella and pineapple slice, or
so it has not been developed. This was the watering holes on the two pedes-
not a fortified site in ancient times; in- trianized roads where the locals have
stead, it served as a place for sanctuar- been gathering for the past two or three
ies, temples, ancient public buildings years: Kosti Palama Street for its pretty
and subterranean spaces of worship, bars illuminated by small lanterns ar-
and there are some impressive ruins ranged across the branches of trees, or
to be seen. The benches dotted around Theodoraki Street for the louder beat
afford romantic roosts for love birds of of house and dance music, and light
all ages, and there are beautiful views shows.
It may seem a little surreal, but this
over the city and out to sea, stretching, Even though you hear them speak- deck actually exists and is the most
on a clear day, all the way to the coast ing English, German, Swedish, French popular diving point on Rhodes.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 109
Once the hub of new
Rhodes as it was
developed by the
Italians, Eleftherias
(Liberty) Square is
an interesting spot
to wait for your
friends or your date.
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU

The Orthodox Cathedral


of the Annunciation.
| NEW TOWN |

© PERIKLES MERAKOS
A beachfront promenade overlooking the windmills of Mandraki and the fortress of Aghios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas).

and other foreign languages, when pick-up lines in different languages and
Greeks are out they tend not to mingle finding ways to make an impression on
with the tourists – a surprising phe- the dance floor. “The clubs would play
nomenon in Rhodes, which has a rep- a few disco songs and then a lot of slow
utation for its randy romeos (known in songs. We’d spot the girl we wanted and
Greek as kamakia, meaning harpoons then ask her to dance just before the
for the way they got girls) and mixed program changed. We’d whisper in her
marriages. ear: ‘Do you like Rhodes?’ Or ‘Want to
Back in the 1960s, when this was the go somewhere else after?’” says Yiannis,
island of the quick fling, the New Town who experienced that era in full. “The
was full of discos and young men would kamakia helped tourism and we got a lot
go out to pick up tourists, as Greek fam- of repeat female visitors.”
ilies were still quite conservative and The AIDS epidemic soon put a stop
did not allow the daughters out at night to all that. Today, the representatives of
without a chaperone. These young men the age of free of love are in their 50s
tended to sport large sideburns, garish and 60s and look back fondly on those
shirts open to their bellybuttons, flared days of madness, romance and thrills
jeans and belts with loud buckles. With that were like a window onto the rest of
their reputations riding on the num- the world. Denizens of the deep at Rhodes Aquarium.
ber of women they’d “bag,” they had all “Are there any kamakia left?” I ask
sorts of strategies, including learning him. “Only on Facebook!” he answers.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 111
| lindos |
© PERIKLES MERAKOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

Eternal Star
This cosmopolitan town, with its famed ancient acropolis,
is literally the hottest place on Rhodes.

By Olga Charami

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The whitewashed houses
of Lindos and, crowning the
landscape, the acropolis.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 113
| lindos |
© PERIKLES MERAKOS

T
he “Christina,” the private yacht flowered swim trunks and Timberland It is possible to get away from the crowds
and the shops.
of the late Aristotle Onassis, ly- shoes – which then were like gold for us
ing at anchor in the sea below – asking my father every morning what
the rock of the acropolis; David Gilm- he was cooking that day. Every summer,
our strumming his guitar in a pebbled we were brimming with VIPs: from well-
courtyard; Brigitte Bardot strolling to-do Europeans to Hollywood stars. At
among pure-white houses on a winding first, we gawked at them, awestruck, the acropolis, on rocky cliffs 116m high,
backstreet; these images could be black- but after a while we got used to them. It where traces of ancient Greeks, Byzan-
and-white photos on the wall of the his- seemed very natural to see Sophia Loren tines and the Knights of St. John all co-
toric Mavrikos restaurant, an old favor- passing by, or Yul Brynner, or Barbra exist, are reasons enough to love Lindos.
ite in Lindos since 1912, but they’re not Streisand. I’ll never forget the first time The roots of the town’s cosmopoli-
– because “none of us thought to take Pink Floyd came into the restaurant. tanism are lost in the mists of time. The
photographs. We just took such scenes The waiter didn’t recognize them and acropolis served as a center of worship,
as part of ordinary life here,” explains told me he wouldn’t serve those scruffy starting sometime in the Bronze Age,
chef and owner Dimitris Mavrikos. characters,” recalls the chef. and the two adjacent natural harbors
Lindos was worshipped by the in- “The strange thing,” Mavrikos con- aided the ancient city in becoming a
ternational jet set as early as the 1950s. tinues, “was that they didn’t go around great naval power in the 6th c. BC under
It was then what Mykonos is today. Lo- the rest of the island, except for the the tyrant Cleobulus. In the time of the
cals watched as, in just a few years, their occasional stroll around the Old Town. Byzantines and Hospitallers, the acrop-
village was transformed into a dazzling They were all especially interested in olis was transformed into an impregna-
destination known around the world. Lindos.” It’s not difficult to understand ble castle, which, for a while, operated
“Onassis, Niarchos, Kennedy – they all why. Its architecture, evoking more the as a fortified settlement in its own right.
passed through here. The FIAT tycoon Cyclades than the Dodecanese, its three Through the centuries, the town of Lin-
Giovanni Agnelli had his own table at beaches with crystal clear waters and dos persisted in exactly the same pro-
the restaurant. I remember him with his above all, literally as well as figuratively, tected spot where it is today, nestled into

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Traces from every
era reinforce just
how strategic the
acropolis was through
the ages: remnants
of the Hellenistic-era
sanctuary co-exist
with Early Christian
chapels and Byzantine
churches. The view
in all directions is
amazing.
© GEORGE TSAFOS, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF THE DODECANESE

The Temple of Athena


Lindia, high on the
acropolis.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 115
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU

Pebbled floors and arched doorways with relief decorations are what characterize the courtyard of a typical captain’s house in Lindos.

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© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU

One of the features of the traditional Lindos house is the raised sleeping platform, or soufas.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 117
| lindos |

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
the hollow below the citadel – exhibiting and lime, their walls reach thickness- The alleys of Lindos are lined with shops offering
a wide selection of items.
even now much the same layout as it had es of 50cm. Externally, the walls are
in the past. given uneven surfaces to create shade
Today, Lindos is still one of the most and drive away the heat. They also have
popular destinations on Rhodes. A skylights to allow air to circulate, a large
stream of humanity seems to flow per- interior arch and pebble-mosaic floors,
petually through its central street. But called “hochlakia.” In the old days, the original furnishings, as well as sundry
not at midday. Then, the sun god Helios, village wasn’t white with limewash as it items brought back by the captains from
worshipped on the island in antiquity, is today; instead it was various shades of their journeys around the Mediterra-
“prohibits” any movement. Along the ocher. “Most homes underwent several nean,” says archaeologist Charistoula
town’s stone-paved lanes, even the cats interventions in the 1980s and 1990s, Giakoumaki.
forego their prowling. Merchants shel- however others remain in their original Behind the high limestone walls and
ter within their shops; visitors foolhar- state,” says the architect of the Ephorate monumental gateways, there are peb-
dy enough to be outside rest on stone of Antiquities of the Dodecanese, Ma- ble-mosaic floors in various patterns,
benches or within shady passageways ria-Christina Georgali. both in the courtyards and the rooms;
until the midday heat has passed. The In the 16th century, after the depar- arched doorways with relief decorations
sun’s blinding rays are reflected off ture of the Knights, shipping flourished bearing Byzantine, medieval and Ot-
whitewashed houses and little breeze again in Lindos. The following centu- toman elements; wide pointed arches;
penetrates the labyrinthine interior of ry saw the construction of the famous painted ceilings; and elevated wooden
Lindos – a village surrounded by barren Lindian sea captains’ houses, which platforms (soufas) on which the bed was
mountains – where temperatures can combine details from earlier traditional placed. The most impressive features
reach 50 degrees Celsius. dwellings with the medieval architecture are perhaps the carved doorways and
This is why traditional Lindian of noble Rhodians. “Today, about thirty the captain’s “towers,” special rooms lo-
dwellings, known as “kamarika,” essen- of them remain. Most have been bought cated above the doorways, which locals
tially represent prototypical bioclimatic by Europeans. They are maintained in a say let captains watch the sea.
architecture. Constructed of straw, sand very good state and many have all their The Papaconstantis and Markoulit-

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This is where the Apostle Paul is said
to have landed, bringing Christianity.
Today, the beach here is among the most
popular on the island.

St Paul’s Bay, below the


acropolis of Lindos, is a
stunning place for a swim.

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 119
| lindos |

© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
sa Houses now belong to the Greek State
but are not open for visitors. Several oth-
ers, however, can be rented during the
summer, offering a unique accommo-
dation experience. They are managed
by Sheila Markiou, who came to Lindos
from the US in the 1970s and never left:
“I fell in love with the place at first sight.
Even today, when I return from shop-
ping in Rhodes Town and take the last
turn on the road, I look towards Lindos
and say ‘Ah! How beautiful it is...,’ even
though I’ve lived here forty years.”

WALKING AROUND
Cars are prohibited in the village.
So are motorcycles and scooters, al-
though locals disregard this ban. Park-
ing lots exist at both village entrances;
from there, one continues on foot. The
entire historic district of Lindos, which
includes several neoclassical buildings,
is a preserved area under the protection
of the Greek Ministry of Culture. Locals
lament that, even if they only want to
patch a wall, they have to get a permit.
However, to get a good look at the archi-
tecture being preserved, it’s necessary
to get off the main street, which is so
thickly packed with eateries and tourist Traditional architecture made optimal use of the limited space available in the village.
shops (each displaying so many items
for sale) that they virtually hide every
inch of the whitewashed walls.
Indeed, on every side there are bou- the main square. Outside the village, a of the Hellenistic-era sanctuary share
tiques, jewelry shops, souvenir stalls grave known as the Tomb of Cleobulus the acropolis with Early Christian cha-
featuring “ancient Greek” sandals and overlooks the sea. pels and Byzantine churches. The view
vendors hawking fresh juice. Even the The main street leads to the path in all directions is amazing. To the south
Church of the Panagia, built in the 14th to the acropolis. The steep climb to the is the beach of St. Paul, the second an-
century to replace an older church and castle gateway takes about fifteen min- cient natural port, which, from above,
expanded by the Knights (the bell tow- utes. For those who’d rather not walk, looks like a swimming pool. The Apostle
er bears their heraldic emblem), usually donkeys are available, although the ride Paul is said to have landed here, bring-
boasts a crowd. Further along the same is as much a tourist attraction as it is a ing Christianity. The beach is among the
street, the “Traditional House” is open transportation option. most popular on the island, and the fore-
to the public and operates as a folklore Along the ascending road, ped- court of its small Byzantine church is a
museum – with objects from daily life in dlers display woven tablecloths spread frequent wedding spot for foreigners. To
the past centuries – and, of course, as a here and there on the ground. Visitors the east, there are impressive cliffs; to
souvenir shop as well. enter the castle through a gate built by the north, the beach of Megalos Yialos.
Near the southwest entrance to Lin- the Knights of St. John (erected on top For most people, however, it is enough
dos is the ancient theater. Harder to of a Byzantine fortification) and climb to sit on the steps of the Hellenistic stoa,
reach is the ancient necropolis, which a lengthy staircase. Traces from every in the shade of the columns. The breeze
locals call “Kampana,” although some era reinforce just how strategic this that usually blows here offers a welcome
funerary monuments can be seen above place was through the ages: remnants respite from the heat.

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| STOPS |

BUZZING AROUND

Beyond the medieval city and the beaches,


a whole world of sights and experiences awaits.
BY Olga Char ami

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OLD-WORLD RETREAT
Designed by architect Pietro Lombardi and camp in the area in order to use it. The ther-
built by the Italians in 1929, the luxurious apy had to be followed for about 15 days: pa-
facilities of Kallithea Springs, located just tients would drink the Kallithea water, often
9k from Rhodes Town, have been attracting mixed with spring water from the island of
crowds of visitors ever since. Now restored Kos. They’d take walks around the gardens,
to their former glory, they make for an enjoy their meals to live music, and when the
idyllic inter-war period setting, with their water took effect, they’d hurry to one of the
two rotundas (the bigger one boasting a 14m 82 toilets in the complex! Today, Kallithea
dome), flower-covered pergolas, a patio and Springs retains its cosmopolitan air, often
even a fountain with a figure of Eros. The hosting weddings, art exhibitions and other
healing properties of the water (“tsilone- events; when night falls, many just come to
ro” as the locals used to call it), have been drink at the bar, right next to the sea.
known since antiquity. The water had a lax- • Open8:00-20:00 • Admission: €3 • Tel. (+30)
ative and diuretic effect, and people would 2241.037.090 • www.kallitheasprings.gr
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU

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© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
HOUSE OF PLATES
The stone-paved alleys in the village of Koskinou, just 7k iary spaces. The piatelotichos – a big wall covered with the
from Rhodes Town, are pleasant for strolls. The houses here typical Rhodian decorative plates – is impressive, and so is
are among the few in Rhodes that retain the old-style archi- the roof made from wooden beams covered with patelia, a
tecture. You can see large limestone doorframes (pyliones) clay-rich soil that doesn’t absorb water. You can see all these
leading to flower-filled patios, and even the newer houses in the Koskinou Traditional House, built in 1902. Of the
are painted in bright colors. Indoors, they have pebble residences on the island that are open to the public it’s one
floors, and usually a main room with a big arch and auxil- of the most impressive. • Tel. (+30) 2241.062.205

CREATIVE TRIO
Rhodes used to have a great pottery
tradition – centered around the village
of Archangelos – and was best known
for its decorative plates; all the more
reason to stop by the Artistic Village, a
multipurpose space where Nikos Simia-
kos, his wife Themi and their son Yannis
create works of art made out of clay,
iron, glass, wood and other materials.
Here you can watch the artists at work,
both in the ceramic workshop and the
painting atelier, and check out their
small ceramic art exhibition space. You’ll
also find paintings, sculptures, decora-
tive objects and even jewelry for sale.
• Afantou, 23rd km Rhodes-Lindos Road
• Tel.(+30) 2241.052.038
• www.artisticvillage.gr

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Into the Wild
Just outside Rhodes Town, a
mere 3k along the road to Lindos,
you’ll reach Rodini Park, one of
the oldest landscaped parks in
the world, thought to be the site
of a school run by the great orator
Aeschines. Lose yourself in this
green oasis with its flowing water,
wooden bridges and ancient
plane trees with their enormous,
gnarled trunks, and don’t be
surprised if you encounter deer,
peacocks or ducks. Rodini Park
was also the site of a Hellenistic
necropolis dating from the 3rd c.
BC; beautifully decorated tombs
can still be seen – such as the
impressive 28m-long Tomb of the
Ptolemies. Opt for sneakers or
hiking boots, as many spots are
slippery and the dense vegetation
can make a stroll here seem like
a mini-adventure.

© PERIKLES MERAKOS

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COOPERATIVE INSPIRATION
Damon Papakiriakou is a painter, sculptor and musician. After
spending several years in Denmark, he returned to his homeland
and created an idiosyncratic space called Art Park outside the
village of Archipoli (33k from Rhodes Town). On an estate with
olive trees, where all you can hear are the sounds of birds and
cicadas, artists from all over the world come to work, drawing
inspiration from nature; many leave behind one of their works as
a gift. You might see them in action as you visit the park’s per-
manent sculpture and painting collection or browse through the
temporary exhibits. Don’t skip the artworks adorning the garden:
each one was created by two artists, one Greek and one Turkish,
as a symbol of friendship between the two peoples.
• Tel. (+30) 697.281.5547

Bee Museum
At the Bee Museum, just outside the village of Pastida
(15k from Rhodes Town), you can see the inner work-
ings of bee colonies thanks to transparent beehives.
Through a brief but interesting tour and interactive
activities – including exciting games for children
– you’ll also learn about Rhodes’ centuries-long
apiculture tradition, as well as the importance of bees
in general. The museum shares a roof with Melisso-
komiki Dodecanisou, a company that produces honey
and honey-based products, collaborating with 70
beekeepers from Rhodes and the surrounding islands.
Don’t forget to visit the outdoor apicultural park and
stop by the shop to buy honey!
• Open daily 8:30-17:00, Sun. 9:00-13:00 • Admission: €3
• Tel. (+30) 2241.048.200 • www.beemuseum.gr

Tsampikos (for boys) or Tsampika (for girls)


is one of the most common first names in
Rhodes. While it’s extremely rare in the rest
of Greece, children here are often baptized
in honor of the locals’ beloved Virgin Mary,
Panaghia Tsampika, a miracle worker in mat-
ters of fertility. The Monastery of Panaghia
Tsampika, with its 14th-c. chapel, is located
between the villages of Kolymbia and Arch-
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, PERIKLES MERAKOS

angelos, 30k from Rhodes Town, on the exact


spot where once stood the ancient temple
of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to
whom women sacrificed small animals in the
hope of an easy labor. To visit the monastery,
you’ll have to climb 300 steps; childless
women climb them barefoot as a declaration
of faith. It’s worth the effort, because the

PRAYING
view from up there is breathtaking. The icon
of the Panaghia Tsampika, which is consid-
ered miraculous, can be found in the newer

FOR FERTILITY monastery by the road, surrounded by votive


offerings, including wax figurines of infants.

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| STOPS |

THE FILERIMOS PILGRIMAGE


There are many reasons to make the 15k
drive from Rhodes Town to Filerimos but
in the end, what you’ll probably remember
most vividly are the incessant mating cries
of the male peacocks. In their company,
you’ll climb the hill where the ancient city
of Ialysos was situated and where today
stands the 14th-c. Monastery of Kyra
tou Filerimou (Lady of Filerimos). Around
this restored Gothic church, dedicated to
the Virgin Mary, you’ll see the ruins of an
ancient temple of Athena and of an early
Christian church. At the base of the hill,
take the Path of Golgothas: a stone-paved
footpath with 14 sculpted Stations of the
Cross, which will lead you to a massive
cross with an unobstructed view over part
of the island and, in the distance, the
Turkish coast.
• Ialysos • Τel. (+30) 2241.092.202 • Οpen daily

8:00-20:00 • Admission: €6.

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© SHUTTERSTOCK, CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, PERIKLES MERAKOS


THE UNSPOILT VILLAGE
Most people probably haven’t seen High Season (1987), a film come and go throughout the entire year. “They rehabilitated
starring Jacqueline Bisset and Irene Papas and featuring the Lachania, and it was for them that my grandfather opened the
picturesque square of the village of Lachania, with its 1703 café in 1982,” says Michalis Christodoulou, a young man who
Ottoman fountain and its well-kept alleys. Anyone that travels the runs the Platanos Taverna with his father and his brother. There,
70k here from Rhodes Town, though, is sure to be mesmerized. next to an enormous plane tree (as well as the 19th-century
By the early 1980s, Lachania had become almost dormant as Aghios Georgios Church and a fountain dating from 1801), you
most of its residents had emigrated to the US and Australia. It can sit and try eggs with french fries, this simplest of dishes that,
was foreigners who began to rent these empty houses and who thanks to top-quality ingredients, has become a specialty here.
gradually took up the task of restoring them. Nowadays, about • Tel. (+30) 2244.046.027
20 non-Greeks live in the village permanently and another 50 • www.lachaniaplatanostaverna.com

MASTER OF HERBS
Michalis Dramountanis is a child of nature. He grew up on
his father’s farm and has chosen a similar path for himself:
he owns three fields near Kremasti, amounting to a total
of 1.5 hectares, which you can visit. Using entirely natural
methods, he grows around 20 species of medicinal herbs,
such as sage, marigolds and purple ruffles basil, which he
uses as the main ingredients for the oils and wax-based
ointments he prepares. “I plant trees that help each plant
and I leave the surrounding vegetation intact, as it would
happen in nature – she knows best,” he says. You can find
his products in various shops, or you can call him.
• Tel. (+30) 694.924.1422

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Midday escapade
Located 26k from Rhodes Town, Epta
Piges (Seven Springs) is the ideal place
to find yourself at midday during the
summer: the ravine, where water gushes
from seven different spots, is crowded
with plane trees creating cool shade.
Back in 1930, the Italians made sure to
exploit the spring waters, installing an
aqueduct to transport water to what was
then San Benedetto (now Kolymbia),
4k to the east. Today, this is the main
attraction of the area. The water is chan-
neled into a narrow, high, 150m-long
tunnel and is captured by a small dam,
forming a lake. Feel free to take off your
shoes and follow the same trajecto-
ry. The water is ankle-deep and the
temperature in the dark tunnel is always
cooler than outside. If you prefer to stay
dry, there’s also a footpath.

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© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
1

2 3

| stops |

A MOUNTAIN HAVEN
This thick pine forest, at an altitude of 800m on Mt Profitis Ilias, will make you forget that you’re on
an island. The 9k route starts at Eleousa (36k from Rhodes Town) and passes the 15t-c., four-apse
1. The exterior of the restored
Chapel of Aghios Nikolaos Fountouklis, where it’s worth stopping to see what’s left of the Byzantine Elafos Hotel and Café.
murals that were painted over by the Italians. Further ahead, you’ll reach a plateau with an unob-
structed view of the coast. Here, you’ll find two buildings of particular interest: Elafos and Elafina 2. The hotel retains much
of its past splendor.
(meaning “buck” and “doe,” respectively). They were named after the fallow deer that live in this
forest. Built between 1929 and 1932 and styled after north Italian chalets, they were initially used to 3. The Chapel of Aghios Nikolaos
host officials who visited the island. Elafos has been restored and now operates as a hotel and café; Fountouklis dates from the 15th
it is popular with locals, especially in the winter. In the summer, you can sit and cool down in the century.
square before either continuing on the dilapidated Villa de Vecchi, which was the country home of an
Italian governor, or following the path to the village of Salakos. • Elafos Hotel • Tel. (+30) 2246.022.280 •
www.elafoshotel.gr

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All-year hospitality with a personal touch,
for business or leisure!

35-37, Kos Street, Rhodes Town, Dodecanese 85100 Greece


Tel.: (+30) 22410 97000 | www.mediterranean.gr
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
| STOPS |

Italian GHOST TOWN


The island’s Italian rulers established four farming villages, as an impressive building which used to be the village’s market
which they populated with settlers: San Benedetto (present-day house, featuring galleries, arched windows and rooms with big
Kolymbia), San Marco (now Aghios Pavlos), Peveragno (Kalam- fireplaces. Next to it stands a building that first operated as a
onas) and Campochiaro (Eleousa). Their goal was to control cinema, then became the Fascist Party headquarters (Casa del
agricultural production and to impose their rule on the island’s Fascio) and was finally converted into a sanatorium in 1947. The
countryside. Eleousa, located at the foot of Mt Profitis Ilias third building you’ll see was once a school; today, it houses the
(36k from Rhodes Town), is an especially interesting sight. fire service. A few meters further ahead, you’ll also come across
Built in 1935, it was home to the northern Italian foresters who a huge tank that gathers water from the Kokkinisti spring. This
replanted and looked after the forests. Among the deserted is one of the few habitats of the gizani, a small freshwater fish
buildings, you’ll see the Church of Aghios Charalambos, as well endemic to Rhodes.

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FOURNI

| Be ache s |

BAYWATCH
From crowded sandy stretches
to the rare quiet corner, the coast of Rhodes
is dotted with great places to swim.

BY Olga Char ami

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Kallithea

Ladiko
Afantou

Kritinia Kolymbia
Tsampika
Stegna
Agathi

Fourni

Kiotari Pefki
Gennadi
Lachania

Plimmiri
Aghios Georgios
Prasonisi

© PERIKLES MERAKOS

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 135
© PERIKLES MERAKOS
Anthony Quinn

North West East


At the northernmost end of the Largely rugged and wild, the west- Rhodes town
island, Rhodes Town has a big beach ern coast is notorious for its strong to Kolymbia
stretching across the entire tip of the summer winds and powerful currents, Rhodes’ eastern coast is its busi-
peninsula, with the Aquarium at its which may put bathers off but which est and offers everything from sandy
center. The western part tends to get are a blessing for kite-surfers and stretches to craggy bays and from fam-
more wind in the summer, while in the windsurfers, such as those you’ll find ily tavernas to beach bars. The beach
winter, it’s the turn of the eastern part, on the beaches of Ixia and Ialysos. at the historic hydrotherapy center in
which reaches all the way to the build- Both of these spots have watersports Kallithea is small, with rocks to dive
ing known as the Elli, from which this centers that rent out equipment; on off, a diving school and a bar. South of
beach takes its name. A favorite with a typical summer day, the skies here here, you’ll find a succession of small
locals and visitors staying in the town, are full of sails, while beach bars offer rocky coves that have no beaches to
the beach is packed with umbrellas umbrellas, loungers and other creature speak of but which are very popular
and sunbeds; interestingly the reclin- comforts. among young people keen to show off
ers all have their backs turned to the There are no proper beaches on their diving skills.
sea, as is also the case on other beach- the craggy southern end of the west- In addition to the famous Water
es on the island that are exposed to ern coast, but there are plenty of small Park (www.water-park.gr), ranked by
powerful winds. One of the landmarks coves around Glyfada and the village TripAdvisor users among the best in
here is the “Trampoline,” a concrete of Kritinia, where you can dive off the the world, Faliraki Bay boasts three
diving platform built by the Italians rocks into the crystal-clear waters – beaches: the pebbly one located in front
in the 1930s and renovated in 2007, a keep an eye out for sea urchins. Further of the big hotels, the central beach that
structure standing a few meters from south, just below the village of Mono- is family-friendly (with fine sand and
the shore that rises from the water like lithos, you’ll find the quiet Aliki beach, shallow waters) and the third, Man-
a stairway to heaven. Zefyros is an- a local secret. Last but not least, the domata, which is a nude beach.
other city beach, located near the new pretty beach in Fourni is also quiet, at Anthony Quinn is one of the is-
marina on the town’s eastern flank. It’s least by Rhodes’ standards, with coarse land’s most popular beaches, named
very popular with locals and has many sand and pebbles, a few nice caves and after the famous actor who fell in love
tavernas and cafés. a refreshment stand. with it while filming The Guns of Na-

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| B EACHES |

TIPS
• If you’re traveling with children, Agathi and
Tsampika are ideal, as they have sand and
shallow waters.
•Ialysos on the western coast near Rhodes
Town and Prasonisi on the island’s southern
end are the best windsurfing and kite-surfing
beaches.
• Afantou and Stegna have some great
tavernas where you can enjoy a meal after
your swim.
•For people-watching and watersports fun,
Faliraki and Kolymbia are your best bet.
•For absolute peace and calm, head to
Mavros Kavos and Aghios Georgios on the
southeastern coast.
• To end your day with an aperitif in idyllic
surroundings, choose either Kallithea or St.
Paul in Lindos. These beaches are also great
for snorkeling as they have rocky seabeds.

TSAMPIKA

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 137
| B EACHES |
© CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU, PERIKLES MERAKOS

FALIRAKI

ly beachfront bar-restaurant). Slightly


further south is Pef ki, a sandy beach
that draws a more sophisticated crowd.
Kiotari and neighboring Genna-
di are both huge beaches with small
pebbles and coarse sand, lots of tav-
ernas and cafés, watersports facilities
and plenty of other activities. Next
comes Lachania, known for its laid-
back beach bar that plays rock music
and serves yummy cocktails. It’s a long
beach with a smattering of holiday
ALIKI IALYSOS homes, but there’s also a large stretch
without loungers, umbrellas or cafés, if
you’re looking for a spot of solitude.
Plimmiri, a good way further
south, is also relatively quiet and has
a good taverna, and from here to Pra-
sonisi there are two “secret” beach-
es few people know about – Aghios
Georgios and Mavros Kavos. Don’t
bother trying to reach them without an
off-road vehicle, though, as there’s a
grueling 5k dirt road leading down to
them. If you can get there, it is worth
making the trip because they are ex-
tremely quiet and have fine sand and
shallow waters, as well as shade from a
varone and even tried to buy it. It’s East row of cedars. Make sure to take plenty
small and crowded, so it is unlikely of water, though.
you’ll find a free lounger at noon, and Tsampika to Prasonisi
also not particularly kid-friendly, as Tsampika has gorgeous fine South
there are rocks in the surf. Ladiko, the sand, a rarity on Rhodes, and is also
beach right beside it, is also small and equipped with umbrellas, sun loungers Located at Rhodes’ southern-
rocky. and refreshment stands. Hotels are not most end, 100k from Rhodes Town,
On the huge beach of Afantou, allowed to be built here, and because Prasonisi is one of the most famous
you’ll find undeveloped stretches and its waters are quite shallow, it’s perfect windsurfing and kite-surfing beaches
you’ll also see the big smooth pebbles for families with children. At Stegna, in Greece, if not the world. An islet
that are used in making Rhodes’ fa- you’ll find some very good tavernas and during the high tides of winter, during
mous mosaic floors. There are a few a family atmosphere. In Agathi, the the summer Prasonisi is connected to
cafés and refreshment stands here that waters are warm, the sand is relatively the mainland by a sandbar that creates
offer loungers and necessary supplies. fine and there are a couple of refresh- two distinct bays with different weath-
The first part of the beach is known as ment stands, as well as a view of Ferak- er conditions. One gets a lot of wind
Traounou; there is a cave here that is a los Castle. and waves while the other is usually
popular nighttime beach-party spot. Lindos has three beaches and all calm with little or no chop. There are
In nearby Kolymbia, there are two are developed and have facilities. These several surfing schools on the beach;
beaches, both very popular and offer- are Megalos Yialos, Mikros Yialos, if that’s not your thing, you can walk
ing watersports and tavernas. and St. Paul’s (the last lies beneath across to the islet instead and explore
the Lindos acropolis and boasts a love- its late 19th-century lighthouse.

138 w w w.gREECE-is.com
taste
GREECE IS

RHO D ES

KEEPING IT REAL
Once an agricultural island acclaimed for its food products, Rhodes still boasts a rich culinary heritage that’s being kept alive
by local producers and passionate cooks.
A composition with fish by Rhodes-based painter Manos Anastasiadis. Tempera paint on cardboard.

139
| FOOD |

BACK TO THE ROOTS


Local products and time-honored recipes are helping to keep
the traditional cooking of Rhodes alive.

BY N E N A D I M I T R I O U p h oto s VA N G E L I S Z AVO S

140 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Pulses, vegetables, honey,
bread, wine and cheese
are among the high-quality
products that Rhodes
continues to produce.

G R E E C E IS • R HO D E S 2 0 1 7 141
1

| FOOD |

The recipe was for rabbit with the different cuisines across the island.
meatballs. After lighting the The south, for example, was a vast field
wood oven, she started chop- of grain, while the island’s interior was
ping up a piece of rabbit with two knives, a paradise for wild leafy legumes and
mincing it finely. She set this meat aside dairy producers. Lindos has always been
and prepared the rest of the animal for associated with seafood, and Kattavia is
baking. Once the rabbit in the oven was renowned for its pulses, particularly its
almost done, she took a spoonful of juice white loppia beans. In the past, almost
from the baking tray and added it to the every family had its own vegetable gar-
chopped meat mixture before kneading den, animal pen, wheat field, beehives
it into meatballs.” and grape vines, and all of these can still
This tip for adding pure flavor is be found on the island, though to a much
from the eyewitness testimony of Gi- lesser extent since the economic focus
orgos Troumouchis, executive chef at turned to tourism.
the Elysium Hotel in Kallithea and one Rhodes’ traditional cuisine has an
of the co-creators of Makria Myrodia incredible variety of pastas, thanks to
(Enduring Aroma), a book on Rhodes’ an abundance of cereals and grains.
culinary heritage. It is not, however, an Families always had enough not just to
idea he had but rather something he saw feed themselves, but also their horses
done in the kitchen of a village house. and donkeys. Hay and a large ladleful
During the five years it took to complete of barley ensured that the animals were
the book, a small group of passionate strong enough to turn the millstone all
cooks, photographers and friends col- day long. Once the threshing and win-
lected and recorded more than 250 rec- nowing was done, the grain was taken
ipes unique to this island. They visited to the nearest watermill for grinding
all of Rhodes’ 42 villages – some of them so that each family had its own supply
several times – identifying, by word of of flour. It was customary to bake bread
mouth, the best cooks in each location even during the Easter fast, flavoring
and then asking them to prepare the is- it with myrtle berries and mastic. This
land’s traditional dishes.  Lenten bread was made with a blended
The volume (available only in Greek) flour of wheat and rye or barley to which
that came out of this project is a detailed was added black sesame seeds, crushed
record of the island’s food culture, deliv- up together with other spices. This same
ered by what is perhaps the last genera- mixture was also used to make loaves
tion to have learned their cooking skills that were baked, sliced and then baked
entirely from their elders. again to create delicious rusks, often
served crumbled as a porridge with milk
Myriad influences for a hearty breakfast or dinner.
Varied landscapes and, of course, Depending on the shape and the
the Italian occupation, have shaped method that would be used for cooking

1. Matsi is the traditional type of pasta 6. Yiaprakia, the local dolmades made of vine
produced on the island. leaves stuffed with rice and herbs, are the most
popular meze.
2. The Women’s Cooperative of Apollonas makes
some of the best melekounia sweets on Rhodes. 7. For more flavor, Rhodians would add a garlic
paste to fried fish.
3. Kapamas, a traditional dish of kid goat stuffed
with rice and ground meat. 8. Executive chef George Troumouchis (left)
and chef Stamatis Misomikes (right) at Noble, a
4. Ramona Pinni is the owner of “Gis Kattavias” restaurant that serves creative modern cuisine
(Earth of Kattavia), a small-scale company that based on traditional recipes of Rhodes.
makes traditional pasta from locally-grown wheat.
9. Despina Hastali from the village of Apollonas
5. Loppia are a local variety of beans. They are talked to us about what the islanders used to eat.
particularly pale, small and tasty, in part because
they survive on rainwater alone.

142 w w w.gREECE-is.com
7
8
4
5
2

9
6
3

© Photos: 1,6,7: ANDRIANA PAPATSI, KONSTANTINOS ZAVALIS, KOSTAS ADROULAKIS/BOOK: MAKRIA MIRODIA - GIORGOS TROUMOUCHIS - KOSTAS KAPSANAKIS
| FOOD |

them, the different types of pasta had achieve tender perfection. Goat, for ex-
different names – makarounia, matsi ample, would be cooked with potatoes,
and koulouria are just a few. Pasta could chickpeas or loppia beans; it was usu-
be boiled in meat broth or in plain water, ally stuffed at Easter, but other times
it could be served with meat, or a simple of the year it might be made into a stew
butter sauce with grated cheese, or with with onions or simply roasted. Many of
crisp-fried onions, a topping known as the island’s tavernas still serve dishes
“syvrasi.” A dish called “loukoumi me like “kapamas” (goat stuffed with rice,
pilafi,” handmade pasta served with ground meat and cumin) or stewed kid
pork, cumin and myzithra cheese, is a goat with shallots.
regal dish that you’re unlikely to find in There’s no shortage of seafood on
any taverna – on or off the island. All the island; after all, nothing beats a big
the pasta was, of course, made by hand, fresh fish on the grill. In the tavernas
even the “kritharaki,” or orzo. There are of Stegna, you should ask whether they
a few cottage industries producing these have “rosettia,” a small light orange fish
local pastas today; they are sold at tradi- with a single big bone and very sweet
tional food shops in town. flesh, usually served with “skordalia,” a
The island’s main cheese used to be strong garlic paste. Another dish wide-
myzithra, made from fresh goat’s and ly prepared on Rhodes and similar to
sheep’s milk and rennet from a goat’s those found on other islands in the Do- an important treat
In the melodic Rhodian dialect, fruit
stomach. This blend was boiled over a decanese is the classic “dolmadakia,”
stones and seeds are known as
fire of mastic wood, which has a wonder- vine leaves stuffed with rice, known “kounes,” which explains why the
ful aroma and helped temper the strong here as yiaprakia. The dish you will find name “melekouni” has been given
odor of the milk. The cheese was then in every single taverna and kafeneio, to a special wedding sweet made
placed in small hand-woven baskets, however, is “pitaroudia.” Every part of with sesame and honey. According
which were in turn buried under piles of the island has its own version of this to local tradition, the abundance of
wheat in granaries so the cheese would crispy fritter, which may or may not sesame seeds symbolizes fertility,
while the honey represents the union
keep its moisture. “Synoro” (border) contain meat and is made with either
between the couple. In the past, the
was an amazing cheese from Lardos; it flour or powdered chickpeas. Basically, ladies of a village would gather at
took its name from the fact that it was this is a flavor-packed hush puppy made the bride’s house a week before the
neither soft nor hard. Unfortunately, no with batter, cheese, eggs, onion, tomato nuptials to prepare the sweet. They
one makes it anymore. and anything else the garden may yield. would toast the sesame seeds, warm
The Rhodians of yesteryear did not These fritters were the perfect snack the honey and add all sorts of sweet
eat meat very often, but when they did while toiling in the fields; they were fill- spices and whole almonds. This
gooey mess was then flattened out
it was an indulgent feast, with lots of ing and didn’t require a plate. “Pispili”
by hand or rolling pin to a thickness
sauces or with stuffings to accompa- is equally handy, though much simpler; of about one centimeter and cut into
ny meats that were baked for hours to it’s a chunk of bread stuffed with fresh bite-sized diamonds. This treat is still
herbs and vegetables. made this way, in a process that can
It was necessity that gave rise to take as long as five hours, by some
these recipes, and it was ingenuity, housewives and small cooperatives
sparked by frugality, that helped evolve - it’s served at most major cele-
Made with sesame the island’s delicious cuisine. Some
brations and remains very popular.
We tried some that came from the
seeds, honey, Rhodian dishes may have disappeared workshops of the Apolloniatises
sweet spices and off the menus over the years, but even
though local production cannot always
Women’s Cooperative in Apollonas.
When it’s made correctly, melekouni
almonds and cover the needs of the island’s big restau- is very fragrant, soft and chewy.
packed with healthy rants, you can still find plenty of local Get a few as a snack – packed with
healthy calories, they’re as good as
calories, traditional products in the food you’re eating: de-
licious pulses (like chickpeas and split-
any energy bar.
“melekounia” sweets peas), goat’s cheese, sourdough bread, Apolloniatises Women’s Cooperative:
are as good as any handmade pasta, extra virgin olive oil, Apollonas • Tel. (+30) 2246.091.284
energy bar. wine from Embonas, and honey scented
with the sage and thyme that blankets
store: 68 Apostolou Pavlou,
Analipsi, Rhodes Town
the island’s hills – all the ingredients • Tel. (+30) 2241.064.322
that will flavor your vacation.

144 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| GRAPE |

DAYS OF WINE
AND RHODES
A storied past and a healthy present are good indicators
for what lies ahead for the wines of this island.

B Y Y i a n n i s K a r a k a s i s , M a s t er o f W i n e

S
trategically positioned between East and West, that only really ended when the Italians took control of the
Rhodes was one of the first Greek islands to engage in island in 1912.
the cultivation of grapes. A plethora of archaeological Mt Attavyros, 1215m high, is at the center of Rhodes’
finds and historical proof attests to the importance of Rhodi- grape-growing heartland, a beautiful, Natura 2000-protect-
an amphorae in transporting wine from the island and tells ed area, with verdant valleys, pine forests and a cypress forest
us that these were distinguished from others by an engraving in Embonas that is a designated natural monument. The best
of a rose (“rodo” in Greek) or of Helios, the sun god. This was vines grow at an altitude of 650-700 meters. The vineyards
a form of branding, confirming that the wine was made from are low-yield and are exposed to the Aegean’s strong norther-
Rhodian grapes, and a precursor of the Appellation of Origin ly winds that moderate the high temperatures and provide a
system that was established many centuries later in Europe. favorable climate for high-quality grapes.
Helped by its strong maritime presence, Rhodes was the The island’s main varieties are Athiri and Amorgiano,
biggest wine exporter in the region as far back as the 7th c. together with two Muscats, the petits grains
BC. The first written reference we have for Rhodian wine (“small-berried”) and the Di Trani, a clone of
comes from the great Attic orator Aeschines, a rival Muscat introduced by the Italians from Puglia.
of Demosthenes, who was exiled to Rhodes in 330 In the limestone-rich soil of Attavyros, there
BC. In a letter, he says that he stayed in a small are Athiri vines over 70 years old, growing
house with a garden in the area of Kamiros and from their own roots rather than from Amer-
that his friends treated him to olive oil, honey and ican – resistant to phylloxera – rootstocks,
a wonderful wine that was far superior to that as the spread of this pest in the Dodecanese
of Athens. stopped at Kos and never reached Rhodes.
Rhodian wine went from strength The wines made from the old Athi-
to strength, thriving even after the ri vines are like a completely different
Knights of St John occupied the island variety; they stand the passage of time
in the early 14th century. The 1522 con- well, acquiring a more concentrated and
quest by the Ottoman army of Suleiman layered character. Five years in the bottle
the Magnificent signaled the start of a often transforms them into smoky wines
very difficult period in grape cultivation with an impressive mineral presence.

7th c. BC oenochoe (wine jug) from Rhodes, decorated with figures of goats, fallow
deer and ibex. Paris, Musée de Louvre.

146 w w w.gREECE-is.com
© GETTY IMAGES/IDEAL IMAGE

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 147
| GRAPE |

The modern bottling facilities at CAIR. Panayiotis Alexandris at work in his vineyards.

© VANGELIS ZAVOS, CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU


As far as reds go, the dominant variety is Amorgiano, foremost among them the Grenache Rouge, whose high yields
which is in fact a Mandilaria that bears this name here be- has resulted in problems with quality.
cause locals believe it came from the island of Amorgos. Tra- Rhodes’ wine industry is intrinsically linked to the ac-
ditionally, it gives rustic wines with aggressive tannins, an ronym CAIR (Compagnia Agricola Industriale Rodi), a win-
intense color and high acidity that are tough to enjoy when ery established in 1928 by a group of Italian investors. This
they are still young. The abundance of this variety means that winery was responsible not only for keeping grape cultivation
it is often blended with other grapes to smooth the edges of its alive, but also for making Rhodes one of the few wine-produc-
rugged nature. ing areas in Greece whose vineyards expanded after World
Rhodes has two Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) War II. The company came under the ownership of the Bo-
wines. PDO Rhodes refers to white wines (with a minimum dossakis Group after the Dodecanese islands became part of
of 70 percent Athiri blended with Malagousia and Assyrtiko), the Greek state in 1947. In 1957, it was sold to the Dodecanese
rosés and reds (70 percent Mandilaria minimum with Mav- Association of Agricultural Cooperatives.
rothiriko), while it has also included sparkling wines since CAIR became wildly popular as a sparkling wine producer,
2011. PDO Muscat of Rhodes is made from white Muscat with its Velvet and Rosé Reserve labels constituting impres-
Blanc and Muscat di Trani. Despite the abundance of native sive examples of complex sparkling wines. Before Greece’s
varieties, winemakers also cultivate international grapes, burgeoning middle class discovered imported champagnes,

WINES TO TRY
CAIR Velvet 2005 CAIR Rodos 2400 Alexandris Alexandris World
A complex sparkling wine This is 100 percent Athiri, White 2015 Citizen 2013
made using the traditional with an intense aroma of pear An Athiri produced from old This is a fascinating blend of
champenoise method, it is an and banana. Rich in flavor de- own-rooted vines, it brings a Mandilaria with the cosmo-
interesting blend of Char- spite its low alcohol content, burst of flowers to the nose. politan Cabernet Sauvignon
donnay and Athiri, delivering highly refreshing and with a Tight and structured, it will and Cabernet Franc that ma-
citrus and floral aromas in lingering aftertaste, it is proof evolve over the next three tures in new oak barrels. The
combination with brioche of Athiri’s potential. years to reveal a greater Mandilaria is derived from
notes. Creamy, full-bodied complexity of aromas and a small-berried clone that
and complex, it is an excellent textures. blends beautifully with the
food wine. Bordeaux varieties to produce
a condensed and powerful
wine with great ageing po-
tential. It is best paired with
flavorful meat-based dishes.

148 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Yiannis Kounakis at the traditional maturation cellar of Kounakis Winery.

every bottle of CAIR was a “cause for celebration” according


to an old ad, and annual sales reached 1.5 million bottles. For
several years now, the company has been focusing on quality
still wines as well, such as the Rodos 2400, launched in 1992
to celebrate 2,400 years since the founding of Rhodes Town.
Rhodes’ other big producer is Emery, founded in 1923 and
named after Emery d’ Amboise, the 41st Grand Master of the
Knights of St John, who served in that position from 1503 to
1512. The company is now run by the third generation of the
Triantafylloy family. It’s been producing wine since the mid-
1960s and built its current winery – one of the biggest in
Greece – in 1974 in the village of Embonas, at an altitude of 700
meters. The vineyards, cultivated on the northwesterly slopes
of Mt Attavyros, are renowned for the quality of their Athiri
and Amorgiano grapes.
There are, in addition, a few small artisanal wineries in
Rhodes, such as the Alexandris Family Winery, which has
been around since 1968 and is producing some very interest-
ing wines under the direction of third-generation winemaker
Panayiotis Alexandris, a graduate of Montpellier’s famed uni-
versity. The winery has around four hectares of vines produc-
ing just 20,000 bottles a year, with each label representing
about 2,000 bottles. Aged examples of own-rooted Athiri from
an altitude of 700 meters that matures for 11 months on the
lees are more powerful than what we expect from this vari-
ety, with an intense smokiness and a long aftertaste. There are
other interesting small wineries as well, including Kounakis
and Tatakis.
The island’s lengthy history in winemaking is well known
and its potential for producing high-quality wines is great.
Rhodes has yet not achieved the same success as other Greek
islands like Santorini, Paros or Cephalonia; nonetheless, it is
an outstanding wine tourism destination offering a plethora
of exciting wines, made from both indigenous and interna-
tional varieties.
| R E S TA U R A N T S |

TRIED AND TRUE


Rhodes has no shortage of dining options. Our shortlist
was compiled on the merits of quality, originality and the local
element, whether in terms of recipes or ingredients.

BY N E N A D I M I T R I O U p h oto s VA N G E L I S Z AVO S

Broccolino

150 w w w.gREECE-is.com
PRICE INDEX
(P er
person, excl. wine)
€ less than €20; €€ less than €50; €€€ over €50

Blue Fin

MARCO POLO
mansion

PARAGA

AVANTIS hold staples like casseroles a new version of the classic Italy – have been cooking up
Avantis made its debut in that have been cooked in a Greek “kleftiko” lamb, where a storm for the past 14 years,
1983 as a classic beach-side wood-fired oven for 10-13 the meat is tenderized in a are its shady courtyard, its
taverna. With a loyal clien- hours, stuffed vine leaves, the sous vide for hours instead colorful, exotic mural and
tele, it has evolved into traditional local pitaroudia of the traditional method of the mosaic-inlaid tables. All
a modern restaurant special- (chickpea fritters) and roast burying it in embers. For des- the food – hailing mostly
izing in charcoal-grilled fish suckling pig. The mother is sert, try the traditional rav- from the Emilia-Romagna
– the grill master is not just always responsible for the ani syrupy cake with a Greek region – is full of flavor and
an artist in his craft, but also dessert – pancakes served coffee mousse and Turkish includes fresh pasta, salads
a very colorful character – with a sweet orange preserve. delight. You’ll find plenty with local ingredients and
and other seafood. Its lobster € • Psinthos of Greek and international more sophisticated recipes
and other seafood pastas are • Τel. (+30) 2241.050.003 wines on the list, though like the shrimp tartare with
exceptional. we recommend something white-fleshed peaches. On
€€ • Afantou Beach Blue Fin local so you can explore the the list of must-tries is the
• Τel. (+30) 2241.051.280 Located beside the sea, the island’s distinctive terrior. truffle-and-provolone gnoc-
fine-dining restaurant of the €€€ • Aquagrand Resort, chi served with fresh tomato,
ARTEMIDA Aquagrand Hotel is a great Lardos-Lindos Regional Road creamy mozzarella and basil.
This is a solid example of the place for dinner with a view. • Τel. (+30) 2244.049.100 Desserts include a very mem-
classic Greek taverna, where It serves modern interna- orable tiramisu. Broccolino
the entire family is involved tional cuisine with Greek BROCCOLINO serves only Italian wines.
in day-to-day operations. A notes, from the mains to The first things you’ll notice €€ • Lindos • Τel. (+30)

clean and tidy establishment, the desserts. Start with the when you enter this tradi- 2244.031.688
both up front and in the fish broth with handmade tional house, where Cristina
kitchen, it serves house- seafood ravioli, followed by and Elia – a cool couple from

G R E E C E IS • R HO D E S 2 0 1 7 151
| R E S TA U R A N T S |

MAVRIKOS

SυMI

TO FRESKO of those hyper-creative types, LOUIS They took the restaurant up a


If you’re in the Afantou area forever rushing in and out of Louis’ kafeneio is the first notch, however, in 2008 and
and yearning for fresh fish, the kitchen, seating guests, café you’ll see in the main now it’s hard to find a table in
this is an excellent option. serving the complimentary square of Kattavia village, the gorgeous courtyard that
The owner’s husband is a appetizer of sourdough bread with tables arranged in the serves as the dining area.
fisherman who provides the shade of a huge tree. It’s The kitchen and wait staff are
with local olive oil and sea
fresh catch that is served in the perfect place for lunch. perfectly synchronized so the
salt, and recommending
this simple family taverna. The cuisine here is no-frills: service is swift. The menu is
wines. Despite the crush that
Fresh salad, boiled wild Greek salad, omelet, sausag- inspired by the food of Tusca-
greens and grilled octopus tends to prevail here, the es, a couple of dishes of the ny, Andalusia and southern
complete the no-frills menu. staff’s good mood is conta- day and roasts, and a few France, with lots of dishes of
Give the house wine a miss gious. The fish stew made grilled meats. At night, it’s the day. Try the seafood salad
and order bottled ouzo, beer with the daily catch and packed with surfers return- of octopus, shrimp and par-
or a soft drink instead. seafood is inspired, as are the ing from Prasonisi. mesan, the baked bream with
€€ • Afantou Beach linguini with sea urchin, the € • Kattavia • Τel. (+30) a bouillabaisse sauce and
• Τel. (+30) 2241.053.077
lentil risotto with crispy fried 6956.138.169 vegetables, or the beautifully
onions, the baby octopus and prepared tagliata. Don’t go
KOZAS the fresh shellfish. This is not
MARCO POLO without a dessert of straw-
Not an inch of wall has MANSION berry or peach tiramisu,
the place for a quiet meal, but
been left uncovered in this In 2001, Efi and Spyros, a saffron panna cotta or lemon
it is one of the island’s best
restaurant, which is abun- well-traveled local cou- semifreddo. The liqueurs are
dantly adorned with shells, fish restaurants. ple with impeccable taste, all homemade.
clay cooking pots, garlands €€ • Stegna • Τel. (+30) opened a small bed-and- €€ • 40-42 Aghiou Fanouriou,
and shelves stuffed with all 2244.022.632 breakfast in a Venetian build- Old Town • Tel. (+30)
sorts of pantry staples. The ing in the Old Town and ini- 2241.025.562
owner, Dimitris Kozas, is one tially cooked only for guests.

152 w w w.gREECE-is.com
advertorial
| R E S TA U R A N T S |

AVANTIS

We look forward
to meeting you!

PERIGIALI

Since we first opened in 1994, Terpsis Restaurant


in Pefkos (also known as Pefki) on Rhodes has
acquired an excellent reputation for fine Greek cuisine.
We pay attention to those finer points which make all the
difference: sourcing the best possible fresh ingredients;
making your surroundings as attractive and comfortable
as possible; and choosing tableware specifically for each
individual dish. Dining under the stars in our beautiful
garden, you’ll enjoy the best of our country’s produce,
all served to the soft tones of Greek music.
With so much to offer, Terpsis Restaurant is just a cut above
the rest. As well as serving delicious food, it is important
MAVRIKOS Melenos Lindos to us as Greek hosts that our guests receive a warm
Listed in every guide about Exclusive Suites welcome and friendly personal service. As the proud owner
the island, lauded by the New One of the top accommo- of this establishment, I am always at my restaurant in the
York Times and renowned for dation options in Lindos evenings, and several other members of my family are also
all the celebrities that have boasts an equally high- here to make you feel at home.
dined here, Mavrikos is as quality restaurant, located Many of our customers become friends, not just regular
on a rooftop overlooking patrons, returning to spend evenings with us and to enjoy
famous as the acropolis of
meandering cobbled streets our hospitality night after night, year after year. 
Lindos. The family has been
and gardens blooming with We are open from May through October and our kitchen
in the restaurant business produces delicious dishes from 17:00 to 23:00 every day.
since 1912, when the grandfa-
bougainvillea and fragrant
herbs. With a view of the − Vangelis Ioannides, Owner
ther ran a bistro in Marseille.
acropolis, the design motif
Today the cuisine, which
here is ethnic Moroc-
pays homage to the local food
can – with bright colors,
heritage while also including
candlelight and streams
modern elements, is focused
of cloth – while the food is
on fish. Try the bulgur with
both homey and creative.
minced octopus and nutmeg Try, for example, the lamb
or the calamari sautéed with cutlets with an artichoke
beetroots and saffron. Opt for puree and a lemon sauce.
one of the reasonably priced We recommend booking a
wines from local producers. table in the first sitting so
€€ • Lindos • Τel. (+30) as to enjoy the sunset and
2244.031.232 the view of the acropolis. Terpsis Restaurant
€€€ • Lindos • Tel. (+30) • Pefkos - Lindos 85107, Rhodes • www.terpsis.com
2244.032.222 • Tel: (+30) 2244.048.140 • Email: info@terpsis.com
NOBLE Terpsis

NOBLE is arranged by geographical yoghurt with fruit preserve: PIZANIAS,


Even though its stands 11 provenance, with selections watermelon, damson or THE SEA STAR
stories above sea level, it from Greece and other parts apricot. Considered by locals to be
is the food rather than the of the world. Live piano mu- € • Apollonas the best fish taverna in the
view that sets Noble apart, sic accompanies every meal. • Τel. (+30) 2246.091.247 Old Town, Pizanias is named
as it serves creative and €€€ • Elysium Resort and Spa, after the grandfather who
modern versions of local Kallithea PERIGIALI opened it in 1970. Now it is
rustic recipes. Executive chef • Τel. (+30) 2241.045.700 This taverna is located right in the hands of his grandson,
George Troumouchis studied at the end of Stegna Beach, Yiannis. Make sure to try the
old cookbooks to create a PARAGA at a spot used by fishermen small fried fish or the grilled
menu of previously “lost” This is one of the few places to anchor their caiques. The octopus – both delicious. You
dishes, which are executed on the island where you owners are low-key folk who can also preorder the excel-
by the talented chef Stamatis can try the local cuisine in opened this place to cook lent fish stew when you make
Misomikes. The two experts its purest form. The owner, for their friends rather than your reservation. The wine
recommend the pitaroudia Yiannis Efthymiou, is a stick- to make a fortune. Under list has 50 options, mostly
(chickpea fritters), the sun- ler for tradition: the restau- the shade of the fruit trees, Greek whites with a few
dried octopus, the squid with rant has four wood-fired they serve homemade bread, international labels. Dessert
rice and traditional dishes ovens, all the food is served beans with wild greens and is yoghurt with sweet fruit
that have been deconstructed in earthenware dishes and fried onions, squid cooked preserve.
or subjected to molecular the beverages are from local in its own ink and a special- €€ • 24 Sofokleous,
techniques, cooked sous vide, wineries or the local VAP ty called rouzetia (pearly • Tel. (+30) 2241.022.117

using smoke or liquid nitro- soft-drinks company. The razorfish), small fish that
gen. They also recommend cheeses are from Rhodes and hide in the sand. These are SYMI
the well-priced “passport the bread is made tradition- fried and served either plain This is a minuscule tradition-
menu,” with dishes inspired ally and served with shoots or with a garlic sauce. It is al kafeneio in the New Mar-
by different Aegean islands, of fresh myrtle and mastic. a meze you will only find in ket of Rhodes, with tables
such as the spaghetti with Specialties include the nanny Rhodes. on the sidewalk. The smiling
€ • Stegna
sea urchin from Kalymnos, goat stew, a heavy yet deli- owner, Irini, is the grand-
• Τel. (+30) 2244.023.444
scallops with cured louza cious dish, and the kapamas, daughter of the original pro-
pork from Mykonos, and the baked goat or lamb stuffed prietor and serves omelets,
Symi shrimp. The wine list with rice. Dessert consists of eggs and yoghurt with honey

154 w w w.gREECE-is.com
Kozas

for breakfast; the lunch menu


includes by ouzo and meze
such as small fried fish, fried
potatoes, fava split-pea dip
and octopus marinated in
vinegar.
€ • New Market, Rhodes • Τel.
(+30) 2241.022.881
Stani Ice cream
This is arguably the best
TERPSIS
ice cream you’ll have on
Located for the past 23 years
the island. It’s a thick,
on the main road of Pefki smooth cream, made
overlooking the sea, Terpsis using the same recipe for
is known for its excellent decades. The man behind
service. It has a lovely green Stani, Ibrahim Sarri Hasan,
courtyard with a fountain was a dairy farmer who
and serves modern Mediter- started trading in milk
ranean cuisine influenced by some time after World War
international trends. Try the II. We don’t know when
he invented his ice cream
batter-fried cod with a pars-
recipe, but the first store
ley sauce, the red porgy (or
opened in 1974. There are
other white-fleshed fish) in a four today, which Ibrahim’s
sauce of tropical fruits. There grandchildren manage
are 23 selections on the wine (there are also three fran-
list, but the bottled house chise stores on Rhodes
wine is recommended. €€ • and one on Symi). The
Pefki • Τel. (+30) 2244.048.140 ice cream comes in more
than 30 flavors, with cream
being the most popular.
• 28 Aghias Anastasias
• Afantou Beach, Rhodes
• Tel. (+30) 2241.030.991 • Tel. (+30) 2241.051.280
• www.avantisfishrestaurant.gr
| SPONSORED |

ELECTRA
PALACE RHODES
Reach out and touch the sea at
the beachfront Electra Palace
Rhodes. Only a ten-minute drive
from the cosmopolitan city center
and the UNESCO-listed Old
Town, Electra Palace Rhodes is
the perfect backdrop for a stylish
retreat, inviting guests to explore
authentic Greek hospitality
served with gentle sophistica-
tion and originality. Located
literally on the water’s edge, it
boasts magnificent sea views and
colorful sunsets and offers an
abundance of amenities: elegantly
appointed rooms and family
suites, restaurants showcasing
different cuisines, a collection of
signature bars, a private beach
with an chic wooden sundeck, a
holistic spa, a professionally run
crèche and a children’s club.
Trianta Beach,
Tel. (+30) 2241.092.521,
www.electrahotels.gr

AMADA COLOSSOS

As a guest at Amada Colossos, you’ll never run out of


dining options with the wide variety of restaurants on
offer. Start your day with a hearty buffet breakfast at one
of the two main restaurants, but save room for a deli-
cious lunch of Asian, Italian or Greek food to be enjoyed
at one of three chic venues. In the evening, you can opt
for a seafood experience at the resort’s romantic seaside
restaurant, serving freshly caught fish from the Aegean
Sea. www.amadacolossosresort.com/en/

BOUTIQUE 5 HOTEL & SPA


With Kiotari Beach as a backdrop, dinner at the Impres-
sions Restaurant sure is a show-stopper. Add some live
music, attentive service, a fine wine list and high-cali-
ber gastronomy, and you’ve got a unique dining experi-
ence. The skilled chef gives a modern twist to Greek and
Mediterranean dishes that will bring you back again and
again. If you’d rather have an intimate romantic dinner,
Impressions’ haute cuisine can also be enjoyed in the pri-
vacy of your own room.
www.boutique5.gr

156 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| SPONSORED |

PRINCESS ANDRIANA
The Moonlight à la carte restaurant and VIP lounge is a
superb combination of design, service and gastronomy in an
atmosphere oozing elegance. Using the finest ingredients, the
chef prepares Mediterranean dishes with a personal twist
and original touches, from the small and imaginative starters
to the delightful desserts. To complement your dining expe-
rience, there is a carefully selected wine list with both local
and international options for you to choose from.
www.princessandriana.com

ELAKATI 

In this luxury boutique hotel, every detail counts. Its restaurant
Elakati Kitchen Bar is tastefully designed with an emphasis
on hospitality. Dishes vary according to availability of produce
and, even though they are inspired by traditional recipes, follow
modern gastronomic trends. Choose one of the two degustation
menus or the à la carte menu and enjoy your meal with one of
the signature cocktails on offer. www.elakati.com

HOTEL MEDITERRANEAN


Only a few meters from the shore, Thalassa Restaurant RODOS PARK SUITES AND SPA

stands out for its bold Mediterranean flavors served in a
At the Galaxy Roof Lounge Bar, glamour, cool lounge music and
pleasingly decorated setting. For lunch, you can choose
magical views combine to provide you with an ideal fine- din-
from the à la carte menu and for dinner you can indulge
ing experience. If you’re a fan of Mediterranean dishes, head
in the rich buffet or opt for the table d’hôte. Classic Greek
to the restaurant Il Parco, next to the garden and the pool or,
dishes and Mediterranean delicacies, accompanied by
alternatively, to La Brasserie which serves a delectable fusion of
wines from Greek vineyards, are combined in this con-
Mediterranean and international cuisine. At the end of the day,
temporary menu.
www.mediterranean.gr
relax with a classic cocktail or a fine spirit at the stylish
L’ Agence Lobby Bar. www.rodospark.gr

G R E E C E IS • R H O D E S 2 017 157
| SPONSORED |

Lindos blue

Dining at the elegant restaurant Five Senses means pan-


oramic sea views and a canopy of twinkling stars. The
executive chef’s fresh take on modern cuisine gives new
meaning to the word “ambrosia,” through fixed and à la
carte menus inspired by Greece and hidden gastronom-
ic treasures from around the world. Try the fakorizo (a
dish made with lentils and rice), kakavia (a fish soup),
yiaprakia (stuffed vine leaves) and other modern rendi-
tions of local dishes, as well as several popular dishes
from around the world. For your “nectar,” take your pick
from an extensive wine list that includes sparkling, dry
and dessert wines. www.lindosblu.gr

RODOS PALACE

At an elegant setting under the starry sky, 12 Nissia


(12 islands) is ideal for a fine dining experience. The
executive chef and his team get their inspiration from
local recipes from 12 different islands and execute them
with a modern touch, using premium ingredients from
selected suppliers. The restaurant’s attentive staff are
eager to spoil you and will gladly suggest the best among
flavorful dishes and a wine list
comprised of excellent selections.
www.rodos-palace.gr

SHERATON
HOTEL
At Sheraton’s signature restau-
rant L’Onda the executive chef
showcases Italian cuisine with a
contemporary twist, using only the
freshest ingredients predominantly
sourced from artisan producers.
Try authentic Italian dishes such
as ravioli, vitello tonnato, grilled
octopus and freshly baked pizza
and pair them with wine from a
carefully curated list. For Greek
cuisine, opt for the Thèa Restau-
rant, boasting unrivaled views
over the Aegean Sea. Its menu
includes favorites like Greek salad,
grilled feta cheese in a herb crust,
saganaki prawns, chicken souvlaki
on a lemongrass skewer, foll0wed
by a delicious galaktompoureko
(milk custard pie) dessert. www.
sheratonrhodesresort.gr

158 w w w.gREECE-is.com
| SPONSORED |

KOUNAKIS JEWELS
AND WATCHES
Founded in 1954 by Fotis Ma-
nousakis, one of the first jewelers
in what was then a fledgling
market in the Old Town, the
Kounakis brand is now in the
hands of the family’s third
generation, which is committed
to continuing and enriching
this family tradition. Current-
ly operating three luxurious
boutiques in the Old Town, as
well as a fourth at the Lindos Blu
Luxury Hotel & Suites, Kounakis
offers its international clientele
not only exquisite handmade
jewelry inspired by Rhodes, but
also valuable watches from top
international brands, including
Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Bre-
itling, Officine Panerai and TAG
Heuer. www.kounakis.gr

COCO-MAT
Sleep on nature worldwide

COCO-MAT was founded 28 years ago with the goal of creat-


ing the best natural sleep products, constructed solely through Roubeti Boutique
sustainable methods because our respect for our planet is as
great as our respect for our clients. Since 2012, COCO-MAT has Featuring some of the biggest brands in men’s fashion
been actively supporting the Pillow Positive Project by helping such as Armani and Armani Jeans, Burberry, Etro, ZZe-
to give strength back to women who have undergone breast gna, Hugo Boss and Moncler, Roubeti Uomo has been a
cancer surgery. To date, COCO-MAT has given away more than one-stop shop for stylish clothes, shoes and accessories
6,000 heart-shaped pillows in regions where the brand has a since it first opened in the center of Rhodes Town in
presence. Currently, COCO-MAT has 108 stores and franchises 1991. Quality and elegance are the words that best de-
located in 17 countries. There are stores in major cities including scribe the Roubeti Uomo shopping experience, with both
New York, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Beijing, Amsterdam, classic styles and all current fashion trends represented
Seoul, Milan, Barcelona, Munich, Athens and Frankfurt. You in the boutique’s collections. 6 Cyprus Square,
can read more about the brand and the Pillow Positive Project at  Tel. (+30) 2241.075.712, www.roubetiuomo.gr
www.coco-mat.com

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