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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Europe:
The Mediterranean
Sights to see & things to do

Rhodes, Greece

Arrival in Rhodes, the sunniest of all Aegean islands, is a sight not to be missed. Immediately visible is the walled city built by the Knights of St. John in 1309. These are the same Knights who later fell to the Turks in 1522 and retreated to Malta leaving behind a legacy of medieval style treasures.

Diversions

Cruise ships dock at the commercial harbor and it’s a short walk to the wall of Rhodes Town’s old section. Taxis are lined up at the end of the pier and ready to strike a bargain for transportation to sightseeing and shopping destinations.

The best way to see Rhodes Town is on foot at your own pace. Walking through the walled city you’ll discover the ruins of the Church of the Virgin of the Burgh, the Palace of the Grand Masters, moats, churches, mosques, museums, and the clock tower. A highlight of the old city is the completely restored Palace of the Grand Masters. The 14th century original was destroyed in an 1856 explosion and rebuilt by order of Mussolini in the 1930's. Using original plans for the exterior, the rebuilders made up interior spaces as they went along. Lifting floor mosaics from temples and Roman villas on neighboring islands, they created vast impressive chambers that are just what you'd expect the Knights would have enjoyed in their heyday.

Leaving Rhodes Town, take a scenic drive to Lindos, an important ancient city and the island’s main archaeological site. From the Temple of the Lindian Athena atop the Acropolis you can see the 14th century medieval walls built by the Knights of St John as well as a stunning view of the bay 400 feet below.

Mont Smith is the site of the Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes and the restored Temple of Apollo. On Mt. Philerimos you’ll find the serene Church of the Virgin and the monastery with frescoes of the Knights of St. John at prayer.

What about the Colossus of Rhodes? One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it sadly no longer exists. The huge bronze statue collapsed during a massive earthquake in 227 BC and lay in ruins for nine hundred years until it was carted away in 653 AD by Arab conquerors of the island. No record remains of the figure's appearance and the efficient Arabs left not a trace behind. Did the Colossus straddle the harbor as popular myth suggests?  Probably not. The statue's height is known to have been 31 meters and that pose would have been impossible. But it's a popular notion and no one is really certain of anything other than that the statue fell on land, not into the sea as it surely would have had it been guarding the harbor entrance.

Shopping

Browse through the vast collection of shops in the Old Town that sell everything from unique Grecian inspired jewelry to leather goods and exquisite embroidered linens, lace, and locally crafted pottery. A taxi ride to the “new” city can deliver you to carpet factories and jewelry stores where pieces are made in their workshops. While at Lindos, check the market for pottery and other locally made handicrafts.

Beaches

Beautiful secluded beaches with facilities are located near Lindos and cruise ships often have excursions to them for swimming and sunning. The island also has popular beaches on the east coast near Faliaraki, about a 20-minute ride from Rhodes Town. A small admission fee may be charged.


Back to Mediterranean Ports of Call


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