A Crossroads of Civilizations
Rhodes lies in the south eastern Aegean Sea as part of the Dodecanese islands between Crete and Asia Minor. With an area of 1,400 sq. km, it is one of the largest Greek islands. Its landscape is mainly comprised of hills and low mountains, mainly covered in pine trees. Rhodes has been of historic importance through the Ancient Hellenistic, Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods. Rhodes enjoys perhaps one of the best subtropical Mediterranean climates with over 300 days of sunshine each year. The light rainy season is normally confined to the period between November and March. Mild temperatures prevail year round.
Although Rhodes has been inhabited by Greeks for thousands of years, it is only since 1947 that it has been returned to Greek control. Rhodes came under Roman control around 300 BC and held until the breakup of the Byzantine Empire when the Romans sold Rhodes to the Knights of Saint John, who during the 13th-16th centuries built what is now known as Old Rhodos Town. Then in 1908 the original 12 Dodecanese islands had a revolt against Turkey which put them into Greek control. Rhodes later had its control taken from the Turks by the Italians in 1912. It was during the period of Italian occupation, between 1937-1940, that the major renovation of the Knights of Saint Johns, Grand Masters Palace took place. In 1947, Italy ceded Rhodes to back Greece at which time it was formally united with the rest of the country.
Today, the Old Town of Rhodes is the best and largest preserved Medieval city in the world and a must see attraction on the island. The old town combines both the medieval and the modern with cultural interests, shopping, dining, and nightlife, from the morning until late at night. In the summer months, artists gather behind the moat next to the D& 933; Amboise gate to sketch tourists portraits. Of the other sights to see on the island, Lindos is one of the great sites of the ancient Mediterranean world, not for the actual remains, but particularly for its natural setting. A visit to this acropolis transcends what is customarily meant by visiting an archaeological site. Other archaeological sites include; Ancient Kamiros and Filerimos & the Natural Springs of Kalithea. In the months of July and August an excursion to the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes) is a must. The scent of the Storax tree attracts hundreds of thousands of butterflies every year to this mountainous area.