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The shallow waters around the southern tip of the island are a habitat of both green and loggerhead turtles, which may still breed in the vicinity of the promontory of Cape Germata, due south of Chochlakas. This was considered one of their last breeding places in the Dodecanese. The dunes and areas of garrigue by the shore in this southeast corner are also rich in bird-life and flowers. King Ferdi nand’s orchid (Ophrys regis-fernandii)—unflatteringly known as the ‘earwig orchid’, because its dark elongated lip has the slick texture and form of an earwig’s body and head—is endemic to this corner of the Aegean and can of ten be found here, together with others, such as the Holy and Pyramidal orchids. Larks, swallows (including Red rumped swallows, recognisable by the russet and white patch above the dark tail), and both Black-headed and Cretzschmar’s buntings, breed in the area; in periods of migration, there is a wide variety of song-birds and waders. At the northern end of Plimiri Bay is the church of the Zoodochos Pigi, a 16th century building incorporating ancient columns and capitals in its structure: tombs and part of a circuit wall can be seen on the landward side of the promontory above the church. A very different kind of church is to be seen 4.5km west of Chochlakas beside the main road—the disused concrete structure of the church of Aghios Pavlos, formerly the Catholic church of the Italian Agricultural Settlement of San Marco (Petracco and Bernabiti, 1936). The long horizontal lines of the settle ment’s administrative buildings, broken only by the vault and the tower of the church, are reminiscent of structures in the Tuscan Maremma where agricultural buildings in similar style and of the same period are to be found. The broad brick surround of the church’s west door recalls the Catalan door-frames in the Old City of Rhodes . Kattavia (76km from Rhodes ) has the feel of ‘the end of the line’: many of its fine houses are abandoned or ruined; the main church and school, as if to compensate, have been over-restored. The village was fortified by the Knights of St John to provide a safe refuge for the local population in an area very susceptible to pirate attack, but nothing now remains to be seen of these walls. Mycenae an tombs have been found in the vicinity of the village, and there is evidence of a Late Bronze Age settlement here on the spur of Aghios Minas. Finds of later Greek and Roman pottery show that occupation continued into his toric times. The principal archaeological remains in the area, however, are to be seen at the very extremity of the island, 9km to the south across a deserted area. The track to the right (west) just in front of the isthmus of the islet of Prasonisi, leads to the foot of a sloping promontory, on which are the re mains of Ancient Vroulia, a Late Geometric/Early Archaic settlement (8th to 6th centuries bc). Most of what is of interest to the visitor lies on the far side of the hill. A wall runs northwest/southeast along the ridge and the stepped or terraced foundations of the ancient houses run along this axis. At the summit, with good views of Karpathos and beyond, the remains of the most substantial building lie athwart the main axis and are oriented east/west, suggesting a probable cultic use. Beyond, at the northwestern extremity, is a sheer drop to the sea below. The site has given its name to a distinctive style of Archaic, black-fig ure pottery, in which floral designs are lightly incised into the dark surface and colours added afterwards. The islet of Prasonisi (with a lighthouse on its far side) is tethered to the main island by a narrow isthmus, which defines two sweeping sandy bays to either side, one or other of which takes the force of any wind blowing, creating conditions ideal for the dedicated surfer. The mea gre settlement by the isthmus and its lodgings are mostly given over to the pursuit of this hobby in the summer sea son. In the winter there is nobody; and the sunsets—and even the surf—can be more dramatic.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.
By air: With a total of 6–7 daily flights from Athens to Rhodes operated by both Olympic Air and Aegean Airways, Rhodes is easily accessible at all times of year. Its airport is also the hub for local flights within the area to Kastellorizo, Karpathos and Kasos (almost daily), and to Kos, Leros and Astypalaia (three times weekly). There are also daily connections direct to Thessaloniki and to Heraklion (Crete). The airport is 15km southwest of the centre of Rhodes town (€15 by taxi).
By boat: The port of Rhodes is also the principal hub for the Dodecanese Islands, with daily connections to all the principal islands, though the frequency of connections to the lesser islands varies considerably according to season (see entries for individual islands). There are year-round, direct connections by car-ferry to Piraeus (c. 16 hours) every day; and connections to eastern Crete twice weekly. In the holiday season, there are also daily connections (by private carriers) to Marmaris in Turkey. Since the port is large and has several harbours, it is important to ascertain from which part of it a ferry will leave.
The neighbouring island of Chalki is served twice weekly from Rhodes town, but there is a daily service from Kameiros Skala (2 hours). The GNTO office in the New Town (corner of Makariou and Papagou Streets, T. 22410 44335) provides helpful sheets with weekly boat departures, museum opening times, a price-list for taxis and schedules of bus times and fares for the whole island. Its web-site is: www.ando.gr/eot
Rhodes Travel Guide
Rhodes offers some of the best and most varied eating possibilities in the Aegean— although in the city itself, the visitor will need to explore outside the Old Town to sample the best Greek food. Within the walls of the Old Town, unimaginative and often overpriced tourist-fare prevails; we would suggest only: the -Marco Polo (see lodging, above); Dinoris Restaurant (upper medium price) in a tiny alley across from the entrance to the Archaeological Museum— an elegant and traditional taverna of long standing, one of the few in the Old Town regularly frequented by locals; Photis Restaurant (expensive; open all year) in Menekléous Street—also an elegant and well-established fish restaurant, where the undoubted high quality and presentation of its dishes compensates for the hauteur of the reception and service. At lunchtime, -Indigo (medium price), inside the Nea Agorá market building (at no.105/6) beside Mandraki harbour, offers delicious, finely prepared dishes from the cuisine of Greek Asia Minor. Further afield (but without question worth the short taxi-ride) in Zephyros, southeast of the city centre, is the -Paragadi fish restaurant (medium expensive; corner of Klaude Pepper & Australias Streets: reservation recommended, T. 22410 37775) with an exceptional quality of service and of seafood and fish dishes, prepared in the best and simplest manner. This is one of the best fish restaurants in the Dodecanese. Nearby, open all year, and usually packed with locals, is To Steki tou Cheila (inexpensive) at the southern end of Kodringtonou St., on the corner of Hadjiangelou and Dendrinou Sts: the symiakó (tiny shrimps) and the wine are both fresh and delicious.
Around the island: Mavrikos in Lindos (expensive; reservations, T. 22440 31232) is a fine and justly famous restaurant with pleasing setting, serving many homemade products. The excellent and panoramic -To Limeri tou Listí ("The robber"s den") in Prophilía (T. 22440 61578) in the central south of the island, certainly merits the long journey and represents one of the best places to eat on the island: it has imaginatively and care fully prepared traditional dishes of the highest standard, e.g. a light and unforgettable imam bayaldı. Nearby, Petrino in the picturesque plateia of Váti, is a good country taverna with fresh and unaffected cuisine.
Rhodes Travel Guide
Cecil Torr, Rhodes in Ancient Times and Rhodes in Modern Times (first published by CUP in 1885, both now re-issued by Archaeopress ‘3rd guides’, Oxford); Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus (Faber & Faber, London, 1953); H.J.A Sire, The Knights of Malta (Yale, London & New Haven, 1994); Vassilis Colonas, Italian Architecture in the Dodecanese Islands, 1912–1943 (Olkos Press, Athens, 2002); Elias Kollias, The Mediaeval City of Rhodes etc.,(Ministry of Culture, Athens, 1998).
Rhodes Travel Guide
Rhodes Travel Guide
851 00-09 Rhodes : area 1,401sq. km; perimeter 220km; resident population 115,334; max. altitude 1,216m. Port Authority: 22410 22220, 28888, 28666. Travel and information: www.travel-Rhodes .com
Rhodes Travel Guide