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Rhodes : Travel Guide, with Info on Nightlife, What to See & Covid-19 Report

Wolfgang Holzem

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Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos) is one of the largest and most fertile of the Greek Islands, and is one of the most visited because of its combination of beaches, archaeological sites, and extensive medieval town.

Greece
186,469
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
6,410
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
3.4%
Deaths (%)
165,095
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
88.5%
Recovered (%)
14,964
Active
8.0%
Active (%)

The climate is particularly good, with the weather typically sunny and mild. The island is usually counted as one of the Dodecanese, but due to its importance for travelers is considered separately here.

The rock-rose is so prolific here that it has been named the ‘Island of Roses,’ though modern scholars doubt the ancient theory that the island’s name comes from the Greek word for rose. While the northern coast is renowned for its lively tourist resorts the south offers tranquil beaches and a slower, more simple pace of life.

Cities, towns and villages

  • Rhodes – The largest city on the island and seat of the local government
  • Afandou  – One of the big villages on the island. The golf course of Rhodes is situated in this area along with a long beach
  • Archangelos  – The second largest town on the island
  • Asklipio – inland village, site of an old church and a castle
  • Falirak – Rhodes’ action resort. Go there to party, everything else is better somewhere else. The hotels north from Faliraki are much quieter. Hotels near the water park do not interest clubbers, and are really family friendly. Nice beaches, a lot less winds than on the west coast and really good public transport.
  • Fanes – Rhodes’ wind surfing and kite surfing resort. A small fisher’s harbour, one five stars hotel, a lot of surfing. The hotel is really family friendly. Nice beach, summer winds, small tavernas and good public transport.
  • Gennadi – Around 64 km from Rhodes Old Town and nearby to Prasonisi, attracts several keen surfers. Among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on Rhodes.
  • Archangelos – Small former fishing village next to Lindos. A chain of restaurants surrounds an enclosed beach.
  • Ialysos – Blue waters, a seemingly endless organized beach, big hotel complexes as well as smaller friendly ones, shops of all kinds, and many night-clubs. The ideal conditions of the region, important international windsurfing competitions often take place here.
  • Ialysos – West coast resorts, close to Paradisi and Tholos, nearby to the airport and Rhodes city.
  • Faliraki – snorkeling and resort hotels.
  • Laerma  – inland village near some monuments, contains a few restaurants, inland from Lindos via Lardos. This village has been continuously inhabited since the Pre-Hellenic period. The Monastery Taxiarchis Michail is 4 km southwest of Laerma and is the largest monastery on Rhodes
  • Lindos – the market square of that town has restaurants and shops, nearby to Lindos.
  • Lindos – Picturesque village, site of important ancient acropolis.
  • Lindos – A smaller tourist resort close to Lindos. It started as a small collection of farms and private residences, but has grown into a town in its own right.
  • Theologos – A traditional village

Other destinations

  • Castle of Monolithos – If you are staying on the east coast, drive to Gennadi. North of the village, take the road across the island via Vati to Apollakia. The drive can be windy for moped riders, but the beautiful vistas make up for the work. Apollakia is not very special but has a couple of nice tavernas if you feel like having a refreshment. South of the village is a gas station, which you should use in case you are on a moped. Go on to Monolithos. Behind the village there is the actual attraction, which you will see from the road: the Castle of Monolithos on a 240-m-high rock. Do not forget to go to the actual site, which does not offer much architecture-wise, but provides you with splendid views across the west coast. To the north-west, you can see the Castle of Kalki.

Understand

Rhodes is a major tourist attraction for the seekers of sunny beaches. While many of its beaches are gravel, not sand; the island can boast 300 or more sun days in a year. Consequently, you will stumble into tourists and hotels and beaches full of deck chairs for rent, into shops and restaurants that cater to these tourists. It can be overwhelming at times. If this bothers you, Rhodes is probably not for you. Still, there are some areas where mass tourism has not yet penetrated too much. And there are advantages too, accommodation on Rhodes itself can be purchased for relatively low prices, and most of the locals speak at least English and German and often some other languages, like Swedish, French, Turkish, Italian or even Finnish. Look for bays, beaches frequented by Greeks and areas at or beyond Lindos.

History of Rhodes

Modern bronze deer statues in Mandraki harbor, where the Colossus of Rhodes may have stood

Rhodes has one of the longest and most splendid histories of any place in the world. Inhabited since Neolithic times, the island had important Bronze Age settlements, and at the dawn of the historical era was already famous for its three powerful cities of Lindos, Ialysos, and Kameiros, as mentioned in Homer. In 408 bce these three cities joined to found the island’s capital city, also called Rhodes. Rhodes city and island played a vigorous role in subsequent ancient Greek and Roman history, its most memorable episode doubtless being the prolonged siege of the city by Demetrios Poliokertes in 305 BCE.

In Hellenistic times Rhodes became extremely prosperous through trade and was one of the most influential cultural centers of the Greek world. Later as a province of the Roman empire Rhodes’ influence declined, though it was still an important regional capital and was one of the earliest centers of Christianity.

Rhodes later became part of the Byzantine Empire and from the 7th century on fell under the general eclipse of the Dark Ages. Later in the Middle Ages, Rhodes’ importance again increased, as it came under the influence first of the Venetians, then of the Genoese, and finally of the Knights of Saint John, an organization of Crusaders who took over parts of Palestine but were later expelled by the Saracens and the Knights Templar and took refuge in Rhodes, wresting control of the island from the Genoese in 1306, ruling for two centuries, and building Rhodes once again into a major maritime power, until the island was conquered by Süleyman the Magnificent in 1523, becoming part of the Ottoman Empire.

Tourist information

The local tourist information office for the Dodecanese Islands is in Rhodes city at Makariou & Papagou Corner (opposite the New Market). ☎ +30 2241 410 44335, +30 2241 410 44336, (Fax +30 2241 026955).

Talk

Greek is the native language of the people of Rhodes. However, due to the high level of tourism English, and to a lesser extent German, is likely to be spoken by most people the traveler comes into contact with. The local dialect can be described as a ‘sing-song’, with strong Turkish and Italian overtones. Many words used by Rodites (Rhodians) will not be readily understood by mainland Greeks.

Get in

By boat

Rhodes is accessible via ferry from Symi, Tilos, and Bodrum, Fethiye, Datça and Marmaris in Turkey.

Cruise ships dock at the Commercial Port, east of Rhodes’s Old Town.

All ferry and high-speed ferry companies: schedules, connections, availability and prices, between Rhodes, other Greek islands, Turkey (Fethiye, Marmaris or Bodrum) & Piraeus port (Athens) is here. Only one ferry company which is Yeşil Marmaris has daily schedule from Rhodes to Marmaris.

By plane

The island is served by Rhodes International Airport, “Diagoras” (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ρόδου, “Διαγόρας”) or Diagoras International Airport . The airport is situated on the west coast about 14 km from Rhodes Town.

There are regular flights to and from AthensThessaloniki, and Crete. During the months of July and August Astra Airlines flies from Thessaloniki. There are daily flights from Athens airport by Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines. Also from Crete (Heraklion) there are daily flights by Sky Express. During the months of July and August Astra Airlines flies from Thessaloniki.

Flights to Rhodes

Cheap Flights to Rhodes

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Athens

06.05.2021

15.05.2021

Tickets from 57

Thessaloniki

17.09.2021

22.09.2021

Tickets from 102

Kaunas

01.05.2021

08.05.2021

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Kiev

01.06.2021

07.06.2021

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Vienna

24.04.2021

01.05.2021

Tickets from 124

Bucharest

09.06.2021

16.06.2021

Tickets from 129

Tallinn

30.03.2021

24.04.2021

Tickets from 129

Luqa

22.05.2021

31.05.2021

Tickets from 132

Cologne

22.08.2021

01.09.2021

Tickets from 133

Prague

22.08.2021

29.08.2021

Tickets from 135

Venice

12.06.2021

26.06.2021

Tickets from 135

Warsaw

01.04.2021

17.04.2021

Tickets from 136

Moscow

26.04.2021

02.05.2021

Tickets from 138

Budapest

29.06.2021

06.07.2021

Tickets from 139

Kerkyra

09.06.2021

20.06.2021

Tickets from 142

Milan

08.08.2021

28.08.2021

Tickets from 142

Frankfurt

16.06.2021

23.06.2021

Tickets from 145

Vilnius

01.05.2021

10.05.2021

Tickets from 148

Istanbul

19.10.2021

24.10.2021

Tickets from 150

Riga

09.04.2021

14.04.2021

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Geneva

30.04.2021

05.05.2021

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Dusseldorf

17.08.2021

27.08.2021

Tickets from 157

Tel Aviv-Yafo

19.05.2021

23.05.2021

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Helsinki

07.06.2021

13.06.2021

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Manchester

19.06.2021

26.06.2021

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Edinburgh

21.05.2021

31.05.2021

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Birmingham

15.06.2021

14.07.2021

Tickets from 164

Eindhoven

10.05.2021

17.05.2021

Tickets from 167

Saint Petersburg

12.04.2021

18.04.2021

Tickets from 174

Krakow

11.09.2021

18.09.2021

Tickets from 174

From May till October charter airlines fly directly to Rhodos from many European airports.

Get around

By bus

All public bus lines radiate from Rhodes town and reach almost every relevant place throughout the island.

The main bus terminal in Rhodes city is the Neá Agorá (New Market). Buses run by both companies stop there, but ticket booths, as well as timetables and prices, are distinct. Rhodes town lines are run by Roda, but have a separate stop, along Mandraki sea promenade, across the street from the new market. One interesting line is n° 5, which goes up to the Achropolis, price €1.

Tickets can also be bought in the bus from a cashier or directly from the driver. Keep your ticket until the end of your voyage. The price of a bus ticket will depend on the destination. For example, a trip from Rhodes city to Faliraki will cost €2.

Bus stops on the road are marked by a sign, but do not hesitate to signal a bus driver that you wish to board. The buses are often very full and so remember to be actively moving backwards in the buses. Sometimes the driver jumps out and peeks in from the middle door to urge tourists to move backwards. Only part of the bus stops have the timetables displayed, and the buses are often late. Also, note that most villages and resorts have more than one line passing through and stopping in different places. For example Faliraki has got three, one along the main street, one at the town center, and one right along the sea promenade. make sure your bus goes to your preferred stop, or you’ll need to walk a bit.

By taxi

Taxis on Rhodes are dark blue with white roofs. There is a list of expected taxi charges you can obtain from the tourist information office. For example, a trip from Rhodes city to Faliraki should cost around €18; the trip from the Airport to Rhodes city about €23. The minimum fare for each trip is €4, the taximeter starts at €1.22. Never let the driver turn off the meter. Each suitcase will be also be charged, €0.50-0.60 each.

You can radio a taxi via telephone number ☎ +30 2241 069800. This adds a standard surcharge of €1.90. Waiting fare is €11.14 per hr. Between midnight and 05:00 you will have to pay twice the normal rates. You can book ahead to avoid delays at high traffic times such as weekends.

Within Rhodes city limits, fixed rates are applied. If you get a taxi from one of the taxi stations or stop one in the street, the fare is €5. At the main taxi station, close to the New Market (Mandraki), there are hosts that try to cut down waiting time by making sure that the taxis doesn’t leave half empty – especially if you are going a bit further. If you share a taxi within the Rhodes city limits the fare is €4.

Caution Note: Taxi drivers will sometimes turn off their meters and charge an arbitrary amount at the destination. Make sure they don’t do this. Always inquire about the approximate price before you get in.

By car

It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the island, although it is in theory possible. You can rent a car at the airport or via any hotel and at many local dealers. Asphalt highways will allow you to reach the entire island, although roads in the interior – especially the south – may turn out to be little more than dirt paths.

By motorcycle

Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go – for example the twisted narrow streets of Rhodes city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent – €10-15 a day is the usual price.

If you start a day-trip with a moped, make sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious – it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, (although you might well be stopped and fined €50 if you are not wearing a helmet on the main roads) it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.

What to see and do

Image of Destination Guide
Odos Ippoton, the Avenue of the Knights in Rhodes Old Town

No trip to Rhodes is complete without at least briefly seeing the walled fortress of medieval Rhodes. A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best preserved medieval walled towns in Europe, the crusading knights were based here for a while before the city was captured by the Ottomans. Impressive on the outside, the Palace of the Grand Masters is not worth the entry fee, so head to the Archaeological Museum and then explore the back streets on foot.

If you’re into castles, Rhodes has a lot to offer with its medieval history. LindosKastellos and Monolithos all have castles. There are medieval remains at Filerimos Hill including a monastery and a chapel, and good views over the north of the island.

  • Asklipio (inland from Kiotari.) In the little church there are fascinating displays, honoring the continuity of the cult of healing from ancient times to a modern midwife and nurse. In Greek mythology, Asklepios was the son of the god Apollo who created the art of medicine.
  • Cape Prasonisi. The southernmost tip of Rhodes. There is a peninsular connected to the main island by a sand bar. Unless you have a 4×4, think twice before driving your car across the sand bar. It becomes progressively less solid and it is easy to get stuck there in the sand.
  • Epta Piges. (Seven springs) and that is literally all there is to see there except for a short forest walking trail. In the hot summer months, the cool shade provides a pleasant respite from the sun.
  • Kamiros. Ancient ruins.
  • Tsambika Peak.
  • The Valley of the Butterflies. Since the butterflies – which are actually coloured moths – in this area need quietude for their procreation and since the area is visited by many visitors, the population of the Petaloudes “butterflies” is constantly on the decline; even to a degree that it does not make any sense anymore to go there, as you will hardly see any of the moths. It is still a beautiful area regardless.

What to do

  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Diving
  • Surfing and ‘kitesurfing on the west coast and especially on the south end of the island
  • Many hotels will offer activity programs
  • Most tour operators will offer excursions
  • Climb Mt Attavyros. A challenging 2-3 hr climb to the island’s highest point (1215 m). On leaving Embonas on the road towards Siana, drive up one of the agricultural roads on the left and find a place to park. On foot, you continue up through the wine growing area in the obvious direction. There is no explicit marked path but red paint on rocks towards the top marks the best route. It is a steep climb with many large loose rocks. The descent can be especially tricky. It is also possible to drive up the mountain: the approach road comes from the South.
  • Prasonisi Surfing and quiet un-spoiled beaches distant from the main tourism areas. This coastal region beach is beginning to develop with new hotels and villas belonging to people from Rhodes. The sandy shore from Gennadi to Prasonisi is among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on Rhodes.
  • Kamiros and Mt. Profitis Ilias

Beaches

There is a good variety of beaches on Rhodes. The east side of the island has almost continuous sandy beaches with calm waters. Beaches on the west are mostly more stony. The wind mostly comes in from the west and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the west so that side of the island is better suited to surfing or kite boarding. Some beaches in Rhodes are also unofficial nudist beaches.

  • Rhodes Town.
  • Lindos. The stunningly beautiful town beach on the bay. Very trendy, so wear your thong bikini here if you want to fit in.
    Image of Destination GuideLindos Beach, as seen from Lindos village
  • Kalithea. Just north of Faliraki, this spa was built by Italians. It is very pleasant spot but can be crowded. Work is ongoing to build what looks like it will be a modern spa adjacent to the original buildings. A number of separate beaches, each seemingly with their own taverna lie just south of the spa.
  • Faliraki. A long sandy beach with plenty of tavernas to choose from. There is also no shortage of people to rent jet skis from or to organise other activities. At the southern end, there is a quiter, more rocky beach but the sea there is inconveniently shallow for swimmers. The only legal nudist beach on the island which has excellent facilities including sunbed hire, toilets and food and drink outlets is also found to the south of Faliraki.
  • Ladiko Beach (Anthony Quinn Bay). This is a very scenic spot. On one side of the bay is a relatively small beach. The other side is rocky but a man made platform provides further space for sunbathing and access to the sea.
  • Afandou Beach 
    Image of Destination Guide
  • Kolymbia Beach.
  • Tsambika Beach. On the far right of the beach near the rocks nude sunbathing is tolerated.
  • Gennadi Beach. This area and nearby Prasonisi attracts surfers. The village resort is peaceful and quiet. Virgin sands, hotels, and beach bars are a feature. Gennadi only began to be developed relatively recently. The main coastal road along the beach is developing with new hotels and villas belonging to people from Rhodes. Unexplored beaches stretch along the sandy shore from Gennadi to Prasonisi. This area is among the last unspoiled stretches of coastline left on the island.
  • Agia Marina Beach.

Buy

  • Sponges
  • Ceramic watch for the many “Keramik factory” outlets along the roads).
  • Olive oil
  • Bottle of wine– local wines are famous (e.g. CAIR) and tasty
  • Religious icons
  • Jewelry stores are common, particularly in Rhodes Town
  • Umbrellas – manufactured by the two large industries of the island (there is, though, a popular “joke” souvenir – on an island with 300+ sun days a year, these are rarely needed)
  • Colorful sea shells are a popular souvenir item, but very many of them are actually imported, and have no authentic connection to the island whatsoever.
  • Many brand name products for sale in the tourist shops may be fakes and/or unlicensed (t-shirts, towels, hand bags, and so on)

Eat

See the Eat section under each town or region of Rhodes for specific listings.

Drink

The tap water is drinkable and restaurants will serve glasses of ice water upon request. Local drinks include Mythos (beer) and Ouzo. Local wine is cheap and excellent.

Bars and restaurant listings can be found in the articles covering the different towns and regions of Rhodes

Where to stay in Rhodes

See individual towns for more accommodation options. For budget travellers, there is no longer a campground on the island but there is a youth hostel in Rhodes Old Town.

Hotels Rhodes Island: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

Sunday Hotel

★★★

-57%

8938

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Old Town Senses Boutique Hotel

★★★

-57%

19785

View Isaan Hotel Deals

Stay safe in Rhodes

Rhodes is generally, quite safe, however vigilance is required in Faliraki, infamous for the lewd behavior of young, drunk, mainly British partiers attracted to the cheap alcohol and large numbers of small nightclubs. A string of crimes committed by these young tourists against locals, as well as against other tourists, gained national attention in the summer of 2003; they ranged from vandalism to serious acts of violence. Following this the local Police increased their presence to successfully crack down on such behavior – zero tolerance of bad behaviour is now in place. Expect a night in the cells and some heavy handed handling from the commando trained officers. For families with young children the best times to visit would be daytime even up to 22:00 local time when the clubbers tend to come out en masse.

Go next

  • Daily excursions via boat to all the Dodecanese Islands (Symi, Tilos, Halki, Kos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kastellorizo and other islands are offered from Rhodes city
  • A ferry to Marmaris in Turkey is also available

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Former founder of Asiarooms.com and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu.

Greece

Athens Coronavirus COVID-19 Update in Greece

Wolfgang Holzem

Published

on

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Named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athens is the oldest, and maybe liveliest, capital in Europe. The urban city area features a bit more than 4 million residents, according to the latest census in 2011; however, every true Athenian will insist that the capital boasts half of Greece’s total population (which is about 11 million people).

Greece
186,469
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
6,410
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
3.4%
Deaths (%)
165,095
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
88.5%
Recovered (%)
14,964
Active
8.0%
Active (%)

Athens is often considered as an one-day stop-over, before starting island hopping; however, while summers in Athens can be a nightmare due to the combination of high temperatures, air pollution and severe lack of greenery, it is still worth a few days on its own. Balancing between European elegance and Balkan temperament, the Greek capital reveals its true self through lazy walks among ancient ruins, people watching during a typical Athenian half-day-long coffee and endless bar hopping until dawn.

The first pre-historic settlements were constructed in 3000 BC around the hill of Acropolis. According to legend the King of Athens, Theseus, unified the ten tribes of early Athens into one kingdom in around 1230 BC. This process of synoikismos – bringing together in one home – created the largest and wealthiest state on the Greek mainland, but it also created a larger class of people excluded from political life by the nobility.

By the 7th century BCE, social unrest had become widespread, and the Areopagus appointed Draco to draft a strict new law code (hence “draconian”). When this failed, they appointed Solon, with a mandate to create a new constitution (594). This was the great beginning of a new social revolution, which was the result of the democracy under Clisthenes (508).

In the 5th century BCE, Athens reached the peak of its fame. It was the most powerful Greek city-state, and the center of Greek cultural life, hosting perhaps the greatest cultural advances in all of human history. Fields of study like science, philosophy, history, and medicine were developed for the first time by Athenian scholars in this period, known as Athens’ “golden age”.

Later on, Athens became part of the Macedonian empire under Alexander, and still later part of the Roman empire. While it was no longer politically significant, its intellectual reputation gave it a special status until, in the year 529, Emperor Justinian ordered Athens’ academies to be closed, and the empire’s intellectual center moved to Constantinople.

Athens was thriving and prosperous during the Crusades, actually benefiting from the Italian trade during this period, however this fruitful period was short-lived, as Greece suffered badly under the Ottoman Empire, only to recover in the 19th century as the capital of independent Greece. In modern times, the Athens urban area has grown to a population of 3 million. Athens has turned into a large and bustling city, but as a result it also suffers from congestion, pollution, and poverty.

Modern Olympic Games

Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. While most of the sporting venues were outside of the city – in various locations throughout Attica- the entire urban area of Athens underwent major lasting changes that have improved the quality of life for visitors and residents alike. Aside from the excellent transportation infrastructure that was completed in time for the 2004 Olympics (from new freeways to light rail systems), the city’s historic center underwent serious renovation. Most notable among the city’s facelift projects are the Unification of Archaeological Sites (which connects the city’s classical-era ruins and monuments to each other through a network of friendly pedestrianized streets) and the restoration of the picturesque neoclassical Thissio and Pláka districts.

The ancient Olympic Games took place in Olympia from 776 BCE to 394 AD. It is a lengthy day trip from Athens to visit Olympia, but quite interesting.

Architecture

Athens was just a small provincial village when it was chosen in the 1830s to serve as the national capital of the modern Greek State. Although it had a prestigious past, the city’s political, economic and cultural importance had declined over the centuries, leaving behind only its classical ruins as a reminder of better times. With the decision to move the national capital from Nafplio to Athens, architects and city planners were hired to build a new city next to the classical ruins, with grand neoclassical homes and public buildings, large city squares, green spaces, and wide avenues, making a conscious, decisive turn from the city’s Ottoman past. The city regained its importance in Greek civilization, and by 1900 had evolved into a very attractive cosmopolitan city, with abundant neoclassical architecture harking to the nation’s past.

The 20th century however, marked the rapid development of Athens. The city suffered minor damage during WWII, and suffered extensive urban planning in the decades that followed, as the nation rapidly industrialized and urbanized. In the 1960s and 1970s, many 19th century neoclassical buildings, often small and private, were demolished to make way for office buildings, often designed by great Greek architects. The city also expanded outward through rash development, particularly towards the west, as its population grew by absorbing job-seekers from the provinces. With the onset of the automobile, public officials reduced the city’s public transportation services without foreseeing the traffic gridlock and smog that would menace the city by the 1980s.

By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the city’s reality led to a rude awakening among local and national officials and, coupled with the country’s new found remarkable prosperity, large scale projects began to slowly regenerate the city and undo some of the damage of recent decades. Over the course of the next 15 years, money was poured into new transportation infrastructure projects, the restoration of surviving neoclassical buildings, the gentrification of the city’s historical center and the renovation of many former industrial areas and the city’s coastline. The restoration of charming neoclassical buildings in the city’s historical center has been accompanied by the construction of attractive post-modern buildings in newer districts; both of which have begun to improve the aesthetic essence of the city. Athens today is ever evolving, forging a brand new identity for the 21st century.

Weather in Athens

Spring and late autumn are the best times to visit Athens. Summer can be extremely hot and dry during heatwaves, but this rarely happens. Winter is definitely low season, with the occasional rainy or snowy day, but also an ideal time to save money while enjoying the city without countless other tourists.

Whilst peak traffic hour can be a bit smoggy on the main roads, on most sunny days the skies are azure blue. The main reason attributed for the pollution of Athens is because the city is enclosed by mountains in a basin which does not allow the smog to leave. The government’s ban on diesel vehicles within Athens and the early 1990s initiatives to improve car emissions have greatly contributed to better atmospheric conditions in the basin.

Orientation

The sprawling city is bounded on three sides by Mt. Ymettos, Mt. Parnitha and Mt. Pendeli; whilst inside Athens are twelve hills [the seven historical are: Acropolis, Areopagus, Hill of Philopappus, Observatory Hill (Muses Hill), Pnyx, Lycabettus, Tourkovounia (Anchesmus)], the Acropolis and Lykavittos being the most prominent. These hills provide a refuge from the noise and commotion of the crowded city streets, offering amazing views down to Saronic Gulf, Athens’ boundary with the Aegean Sea on its southern side. The streets of Athens (signposted in Greek and English) now melt imperceptibly into Piraeus, the city’s ancient, and still bustling, port.

Places of interest to travellers can be found within a relatively small area surrounding the city centre at Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos). This epicentre is surrounded by the districts of the Plaka to the south, Monastiraki to the west, Kolonaki to the east and Omonia to the north. Further afield is the port of Athens, the Piraeus.

The Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. A visit to Athens is not complete without visiting the Acropolis; hundreds of tourists each day accordingly make the pilgrimage.

Gentrified during the 1990s and now very popular with tourists, Plaka is a charming historic district at the foot of the Acropolis, with its restored 19th-century neoclassical homes, pedestrianized streets, shops and restaurants, and picturesque ruins from the city’s Roman era. Thissio, to the west side of the Acropolis, is very similar and now houses many restaurants and cafes. Between the two is Monastiraki, a very bohemian district increasingly popular with tourists, with stores selling a variety of items including antiques, cookware, souvenirs, arts and crafts, movie posters, punk culture, funky clothing, and pretty much anything you can think of. Another part of Plaka is Anafiotika and is on the northernmost place. There you will find the first university of Athens before it was relocated in central Athens. Its an oasis of calm and quietness, and there are many green spaces which are part of the green space of Acropolis.

Plaka’s boundaries are not precisely defined. Clear borders are the Ancient Agora and Plateia Monastiraki on the west, the Acropolis and Dhionysiou Areopayitou street on the south, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Leoforos Amalias on the south-east, and the west part of Mitropoleos street, up to the cathedral on the north (but Mitropoleos street and Leoforos Amalias, though boundaries, shouldn’t be considered part of Plaka, since they have a modern and fairly non-descript atmosphere). The north-eastern and eastern boundaries are a bit less well defined, but if you’re south of Apollonos street and west of Nikis street you’ll probably feel like you’re still in Plaka.

Syntagma Square is named after the Greek constitution (syntagma) that was proclaimed from the balcony of the royal palace that overlooks the square on 3 September 1843. The former palace has housed the Greek parliament since 1935.

Syntagma Square is a good point from which to begin your orientation in the city, and has been beautified within the last few years ago, and the manic Athenian traffic has been re-routed. it contains cafes, restaurants, fast food outlets, a new metro stop, airline offices.. The square serves as an occasional rallying place for demonstrations and public celebrations.

Omonia Square (Plateia Omonias) is the centre of Athens, and is composed of the actual square together with the surrounding streets, open areas and assemblage of grand buildings that include banks and offices. The neighbouring area of Exarcheia (Εξάρχεια) to the north, dominated by the Athens Polytechnic and its famous band of anarchists, is a bohemian district with lots of bars and clubs visited by students, intellectuals and people who are into alternative culture. Kolonaki is near Lykavittos Hill. The district’s borders are not very sharply defined; it covers the south and southeast slopes of Lykavettos Hill north of Vassilisis Sofias Avenue. Kolonaki is the posh area of central Athens. Traditionally the home of the in-town rich, it’s the location of a number of foreign embassies and several prominent archaeological schools, including The American School and The British School. It also has the city’s greatest concentration of trendy fashion boutiques, and many, mostly upscale, cafes, bars and restaurants.

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Corfu

Explore the Towns and Villages of Corfu Island

Wolfgang Holzem

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  • Corfu Town – known in modern Greek as Kerkira or Kerkyra, is the largest and most important town on the island. This is where the airport is located and where most cruise ships and long distance ferries dock. It is a small, pleasant city catering well to tourists. Its old town is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Villages

  • Arillas – A beach resort that still feels like a village. Arillas has a long and wide sandy beach at the northwest corner of Corfu. Beautiful nature, clear waters and a beach offering much privacy. Many naturists have been coming to Arillas for decades because of this, so if you wander off to the left or right side of the beach, be prepared to encounter naked people! Arillas is also developing fast as one of the biggest spiritual spots of the world. There are three spiritual centers offering different courses on meditation, chanting, dancing, creative arts and also many people practicing all kinds of massage. Ideal to relax body, mind and spirit. The village is also famous for its festivals. The first is held on Ascension day (40 days after Easter, 13 June for 2020), another is held in the first weekend of August and the Wine festival is held on the first weekend of September. Many hundreds of people come to Arillas from all Northern Corfu to enjoy traditional dancing, great souvlakia, local wine, and the famous, fresh Corfu Beer which is produced in the village.
  • Benitses  – a very old, traditional fishing village. Benitses lies 12 km south of Corfu Town, and leads to the emerald valley. The water of the springs which flow from the mountains of Aghii Deka and Stavros, join together in two small rivers, giving the area the name Pinisse (derived from the ancient Greek word ‘Pinio’) = Pinitse = Benitses. The mild climate and the natural beauty of Benitses village has attracted a lot of tourists from the beginning of the century. It is only during the last 30 years that tourism has replaced all other sources of income and now is the sole occupation of the inhabitants during the summer season. The coastal road of Benitses is full of hotels, restaurants, cafes and other shops that offering everything the most demanding visitor can ask. Benitses is surrounded by the mountains in one side and the aquamarine waters of the Ionian Sea in the other, this unique combination of nature with the hospitality of the residents, which are very familiar with different cultures, are what make visitors to love the place. 3km to the north there is the famous Achilleion palace.
  • Kalami  – the village is where the British novelist Lawrence Durrell and his wife Nancy Isobel Myers chose to live from 1935 until the Greek surrender in April 1941
  • Kassiopi  – One of the more relaxed and atmospheric resorts with a pretty bay and beach that is mostly stony. The waters are crystal clear and calm. Somewhat spoilt by the prevalence of tacky tourist bars and cafes catering to the many English tourists that crowd the town.
  • Kavos – a seaside village on the island of Corfu in Greece, in the municipal district and the municipality of Lefkimmi. It is now a lively resort heavily devoted to tourism, and popular with young holidaymakers from Britain and Northern Europe.
  • Kynopiastes  – a traditional village of the Messi Region of Corfu and only 10 km away from Corfu town and airport, which is a must visit. Old mansions of the 17th to 19th centuries, a marble church, a 17th-century monastery and a museum (and the only one on the island) devoted to the olive tree with one of the world famous restaurants on the island tavern «Trypas», which has hosted Kings ike the Kings of Greece and England, Presidents of Countries like Konstantinos Karamanlis (Greece) and François Mitterrand (France), stars of the European and American cinema and music, like Jane Fonda, and Anthony Quinn. The narrow tiled paths invite you to walk on them, looking at the small squares and at the houses which preserve the traditional colors. The main church is devoted to the Virgin Mary and it is in the central square. It is a traditional church with unique architecture and an impressive marble entrance. Inside, there are frescoes of the 18th century Ionian School of Painting. At the edge of the village there is the monastery of Agia Paraskevi, built in the 17th century.
  • Lakones – a typical Corfiot village on the slope of a green hill. You should go for a walk to Bella Vista to admire the view over the bay of Paleokastritsa and relax in one of the picturesque coffee shops. If you like trekking there is a path leading down to Paleokastritsa. The surnames of the inhabitants of the region refer to the soldiers who supported Angelokastro in the late Byzantine period, as well as to refugees from Mani. Among the houses of the 18th and 19th centuries you will find churches and traditional coffee shops. At the central church you will see donations of the first emigrants to America of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Lefkimmi –  a village with a wide long sandy beach that is quiet due to being in the less busy South. There’s a practical taverna with a children’s playground. The waters are extremely calm and very shallow, even out for quite some distance.
  • Nymphes – a big village with a lot of water, green and legends built on a height of 200 meters. According to a legend, in old times, the Nymphs used to bathe in the village’s waterfalls. A walk to the wells and the waterfalls is enough to make you understand why this legend exists. It is almost certain that you will come across a nymph, too and if you are lucky, you will see her bathe in the water especially in spring. After your walk to the myths, it is a good idea to visit the premises of the Agriculture Co-operative which elaborates kum-kuat and produces liquor and sweets. You will be offered some for free and you will have the chance to try the different liquor qualities (and of course, buy some, if you like). Just outside the village, you can visit Askitario, a small but historic monastery. According to tradition, here lived in the 5th century the monk Artemios Paissios from Epirus, who is said to have worked many wonders.
  • Old Perithia – This is the last remaining Heritage Protected Village on the island. Located in the north east, just below Mt. Pantokrator, the village nestles in a Designated Area of Natural Beauty and records date back to c. 1350. The village is made up of 130 houses and surrounded by 8 churches, it has 4 tavernas and 1 boutique bed & breakfast making ot one of the most unique and unspoiled places to stay and a regular feature of the Durrell Week that takes place around May each year as it’s perfect for walkers and those interested in flora, fauna, insects and wildlife. A hideaway from Pirate attacks, the village has views to, but cannot be seen, from the sea, eventually tourism in the late 1960s and 1970s drove villagers towards the coast but it always remained inhabited. Today, locals and visitors alike travel to the village to see the ruins and restorations – the food is ‘mountain prices’ and often locally sourced. Such is the popularity of the village that Corfiots visit at weekends throughout the winter, to sit around the fires and enjoy the authentic Corfiot dishes. Some of the best beaches on the island are 20 minutes (8 km) drive away so you can enjoy slip away during the day and return to the peace and quiet of ‘your own village’ as the sun sets over the mountain tops.
  • Roda – a village resort on Corfu’s northern coast. Traditionally a fishing village, the area has retained its character while developing in to a popular destination for holidays. Unique in the sense that the old village still exists at the heart of the resort, locals mix with the different nationalities who visit time and time again. Roda is a contained resort, without the typical sprawl. There is plenty of accommodation, bars, restaurants which offer a wide range of menus, typical Greek and Corfiot dishes, Italian, Chinese and others. Roda is a relaxed resort but has a great nightlife, with nice bands, singers and comedy shows as well as the ever popular kareoke. If you want a laid back holiday, then Roda is the place, with quiet corners and a beautiful sandy beach, Roda offers something for everyone.

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Greece

Corfu Coronavirus Cases – Corfu Covid-19 Cases Update

Wolfgang Holzem

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Set in Adriatic Sea, Corfu, or Kerkira as the Greeks call it, was picked by Homer to be Odysseus’s semi-final stop, before he managed to reach home after 20 years of wandering. Part of the Byzantine Empire, it later thrived under the rule of Venetians and French, while the rest of Greece was under Ottoman occupation. During that time Corfu became an important artistic and educational hub, inheriting numerous architectural gems, which still stand on the islands streets and squares.

Greece
186,469
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
6,410
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
3.4%
Deaths (%)
165,095
Recovered
0
Recovered (24h)
88.5%
Recovered (%)
14,964
Active
8.0%
Active (%)

Browse down for full details of the current Coronavirus situation in Greece

Blessed with green hills and white-sand beaches, Corfu features a picturesque historic center and enchanted medieval fortresses. If you find yourself on the island during orthodox Easter, stroll around its kadounia (narrow streets) on Holy Saturday midnight; due to an old custom, Corfiots throw clay pitchers off their balconies, along with chocolate for visitors and children.

Corfu (Greek: Κέρκυρα, Kerkyra) is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands in Greece. Located off of the far northwest coast of the country, Corfu lies in the Adriatic sea, east of Italy and southwest of Albania. Historically Corfu has been controlled by many foreign powers, notably the Venetians, and British.

Regions

Corfu is 62 km long and at its widest point, nearly 30 km wide. The island is formed by two mountain ranges. The northern runs from the west to east and consists of limestones, reached in the Mount Pantokrator (914 meters) the maximum height of the island, while the southern mountain range is less high and streches from north to south. The North of the island is wider and more mountainous. The coastal areas are well developed with good pebbly beaches. However, the northeast coast has always remained a favorite, aka Kensington on sea. It is also where the island’s oldest village ‘Old Perithia’ is located just beneath Mt. Pantokrator, a Heritage Protected Site in a designated Area of Natural Beauty. The South of the island is less wide (only a few miles across from west to east) and tends to have sandier beaches.

Towns and villages

Image of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideImage of Destination GuideTowns

  • Corfu Town – known in modern Greek as Kerkira or Kerkyra, is the largest and most important town on the island. This is where the airport is located and where most cruise ships and long distance ferries dock. It is a small, pleasant city catering well to tourists. Its old town is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Villages

  • Arillas – A beach resort that still feels like a village. Arillas has a long and wide sandy beach at the northwest corner of Corfu. Beautiful nature, clear waters and a beach offering much privacy. Many naturists have been coming to Arillas for decades because of this, so if you wander off to the left or right side of the beach, be prepared to encounter naked people! Arillas is also developing fast as one of the biggest spiritual spots of the world. There are three spiritual centers offering different courses on meditation, chanting, dancing, creative arts and also many people practicing all kinds of massage. Ideal to relax body, mind and spirit. The village is also famous for its festivals. The first is held on Ascension day (40 days after Easter, 13 June for 2020), another is held in the first weekend of August and the Wine festival is held on the first weekend of September. Many hundreds of people come to Arillas from all Northern Corfu to enjoy traditional dancing, great souvlakia, local wine, and the famous, fresh Corfu Beer which is produced in the village.
  • Benitses  – a very old, traditional fishing village. Benitses lies 12 km south of Corfu Town, and leads to the emerald valley. The water of the springs which flow from the mountains of Aghii Deka and Stavros, join together in two small rivers, giving the area the name Pinisse (derived from the ancient Greek word ‘Pinio’) = Pinitse = Benitses. The mild climate and the natural beauty of Benitses village has attracted a lot of tourists from the beginning of the century. It is only during the last 30 years that tourism has replaced all other sources of income and now is the sole occupation of the inhabitants during the summer season. The coastal road of Benitses is full of hotels, restaurants, cafes and other shops that offering everything the most demanding visitor can ask. Benitses is surrounded by the mountains in one side and the aquamarine waters of the Ionian Sea in the other, this unique combination of nature with the hospitality of the residents, which are very familiar with different cultures, are what make visitors to love the place. 3km to the north there is the famous Achilleion palace.
  • Kalami  – the village is where the British novelist Lawrence Durrell and his wife Nancy Isobel Myers chose to live from 1935 until the Greek surrender in April 1941
  • Kassiopi  – One of the more relaxed and atmospheric resorts with a pretty bay and beach that is mostly stony. The waters are crystal clear and calm. Somewhat spoilt by the prevalence of tacky tourist bars and cafes catering to the many English tourists that crowd the town.
  • Kavos – a seaside village on the island of Corfu in Greece, in the municipal district and the municipality of Lefkimmi. It is now a lively resort heavily devoted to tourism, and popular with young holidaymakers from Britain and Northern Europe.
  • Kynopiastes  – a traditional village of the Messi Region of Corfu and only 10 km away from Corfu town and airport, which is a must visit. Old mansions of the 17th to 19th centuries, a marble church, a 17th-century monastery and a museum (and the only one on the island) devoted to the olive tree with one of the world famous restaurants on the island tavern «Trypas», which has hosted Kings ike the Kings of Greece and England, Presidents of Countries like Konstantinos Karamanlis (Greece) and François Mitterrand (France), stars of the European and American cinema and music, like Jane Fonda, and Anthony Quinn. The narrow tiled paths invite you to walk on them, looking at the small squares and at the houses which preserve the traditional colors. The main church is devoted to the Virgin Mary and it is in the central square. It is a traditional church with unique architecture and an impressive marble entrance. Inside, there are frescoes of the 18th century Ionian School of Painting. At the edge of the village there is the monastery of Agia Paraskevi, built in the 17th century.
  • Lakones – a typical Corfiot village on the slope of a green hill. You should go for a walk to Bella Vista to admire the view over the bay of Paleokastritsa and relax in one of the picturesque coffee shops. If you like trekking there is a path leading down to Paleokastritsa. The surnames of the inhabitants of the region refer to the soldiers who supported Angelokastro in the late Byzantine period, as well as to refugees from Mani. Among the houses of the 18th and 19th centuries you will find churches and traditional coffee shops. At the central church you will see donations of the first emigrants to America of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Lefkimmi –  a village with a wide long sandy beach that is quiet due to being in the less busy South. There’s a practical taverna with a children’s playground. The waters are extremely calm and very shallow, even out for quite some distance.
  • Nymphes – a big village with a lot of water, green and legends built on a height of 200 meters. According to a legend, in old times, the Nymphs used to bathe in the village’s waterfalls. A walk to the wells and the waterfalls is enough to make you understand why this legend exists. It is almost certain that you will come across a nymph, too and if you are lucky, you will see her bathe in the water especially in spring. After your walk to the myths, it is a good idea to visit the premises of the Agriculture Co-operative which elaborates kum-kuat and produces liquor and sweets. You will be offered some for free and you will have the chance to try the different liquor qualities (and of course, buy some, if you like). Just outside the village, you can visit Askitario, a small but historic monastery. According to tradition, here lived in the 5th century the monk Artemios Paissios from Epirus, who is said to have worked many wonders.
  • Old Perithia – This is the last remaining Heritage Protected Village on the island. Located in the north east, just below Mt. Pantokrator, the village nestles in a Designated Area of Natural Beauty and records date back to c. 1350. The village is made up of 130 houses and surrounded by 8 churches, it has 4 tavernas and 1 boutique bed & breakfast making ot one of the most unique and unspoiled places to stay and a regular feature of the Durrell Week that takes place around May each year as it’s perfect for walkers and those interested in flora, fauna, insects and wildlife. A hideaway from Pirate attacks, the village has views to, but cannot be seen, from the sea, eventually tourism in the late 1960s and 1970s drove villagers towards the coast but it always remained inhabited. Today, locals and visitors alike travel to the village to see the ruins and restorations – the food is ‘mountain prices’ and often locally sourced. Such is the popularity of the village that Corfiots visit at weekends throughout the winter, to sit around the fires and enjoy the authentic Corfiot dishes. Some of the best beaches on the island are 20 minutes (8 km) drive away so you can enjoy slip away during the day and return to the peace and quiet of ‘your own village’ as the sun sets over the mountain tops.
  • Roda – a village resort on Corfu’s northern coast. Traditionally a fishing village, the area has retained its character while developing in to a popular destination for holidays. Unique in the sense that the old village still exists at the heart of the resort, locals mix with the different nationalities who visit time and time again. Roda is a contained resort, without the typical sprawl. There is plenty of accommodation, bars, restaurants which offer a wide range of menus, typical Greek and Corfiot dishes, Italian, Chinese and others. Roda is a relaxed resort but has a great nightlife, with nice bands, singers and comedy shows as well as the ever popular kareoke. If you want a laid back holiday, then Roda is the place, with quiet corners and a beautiful sandy beach, Roda offers something for everyone.

Understand

The satisfactory infrastructure and the multiple possibilities for various activities are conducive for group holidays on Corfu and the nearby islands. Motivation trips, congress tourism, school trips, Ferrari or antique cars clubs and Harley Davidson groups meet here every year.

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Covid-19 Alerts Greece

Covid-19 Greece
186,469
Confirmed
0
Confirmed (24h)
0
Deaths (24h)
0
Recovered (24h)

According to the Government in Greece, Greece has confirmed 0 new Covid-19 infections within Greece in the last 24 hours and furthermore 0 deaths have been reported throughout Greece. With the new deaths of 0, Greece now has a total of 186,469 Coronavirus/Covid-19 infections and the official death rate reported by the government of Greece is 3.4%. 6,410 died in Greece.

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