Our third day on the Celestyal Olympia was what we were looking to the most. Not only because we were going to visit the beautiful island of Rhodes, but because we were going to have the whole day to do it. And after two busy days touring Mykonos and Patmos, we enjoyed having the time to explore Rhodes in a more relaxed fashion.
Rhodes, the home of the Colossus
Rhodes, the biggest of the Dodecanese Islands, is the perfect destination for those who want to relax, explore medieval cities, enjoy beautiful beaches or visit the place that was once one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes, a 32 meters high statue of the Greek god Helios which was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 226 AC.
We disembark in the port of Rhodes around 8.30 in the morning. We started our way to our first stop of the day, the ancient city of Lindos. During the 50 minute bus ride, our travel guide told us about the history of the island and the influence of the many Mediterranean civilizations that invaded it during the past centuries. She also told some interesting facts about the island. Did you know that there is a beach named after Anthony Hopkins? Or that the deer became the symbol of the island after they were introduced to the island to fight a plague of snakes?
It’s hard not to see the Acropolis when you arrive to Lindos. It majestically stands on top of a hill of over 100 meters. To get there, you must first get through the labyrinth of streets and reach a steep staircase of 500 steps completely crowded with tourists. The climb takes about 10-15 minutes and, although there is also the option to go up by donkey, it is easy enough to do on foot. At the top of the hill, you can enjoy wonderful views of the island, the city and Saint Paul’s bay.
The Acropolis of Lindos is an old fortress built around the year 200 AC where there are the remains of the temple of Athena Lindia and a hellenistic stoa of 20 columns. But that’s about all the history lesson we got, because the guided tour was a bit slow, so we broke away to visit it on our own. Walking through the spectacular ruins, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, made me feel like I was traveling into the past.
Back in Rhodes City, we spent the afternoon exploring the old town, which we accessed through Amboise’s Gate. The greatest attraction of the city is the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights built in the XIV century. We wandered around the beautiful stone streets and its promenade, an area where the great Colossus of Rhodes used to be.
At around 2 in the afternoon, when the city tour finished, we had some free time, which we spent wandering some side streets before calling it an afternoon at the beach in the harbor. We were there for several hours enjoying the views, the weather and some quality mediteranean bathing!
At 5 o’clock in the afternoon we reboarded the Celestyal Olympia for another exquisite evening of fine food and cocktails while heading to our next destinations, the islands of Crete and Santorini.