The largest of the Dodecanese, Rhodes (or Rodos) has become an important regional centre, thanks to its location, climate and natural attractions.
Rodos is known as the isle of the Sun. Pindar mentions in one of his Odes that it was born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhoda. In antiquity it also bore the names Aithraia, Ophiousa and Telchinis.
The capital, occupies the northernmost tip of the island. There are actually three cities on this site - modern, ancient and mediaeval. The modern town has a cosmopolitan character, many late 20th century buildings and hotels. The ancient town of Rodos, which was founded in 408 B.C. according to plans by Hippodamos of Milesios (the first town planner), started from Monte Smith hill where the acropolis stood and extended as far as what is now the mediaeval city, All that is left of it today is the ruins of the temples of Zeus, Athena Poliados and Apollo, the Stadium, Gymnasium and the Theatre, which has been restored. The mediaeval city is still surrounded by the high walls erected by the Knights. It is divided by an inner wall into two unequal parts, the smaller Collachio and the larger Burgo or Hora.
The island abounds in lovely and interesting places to visit, such as the Valley of the Butterflies; the village of Trianda near the site of ancient lalyssos (lalissos) on the top of Filerimos hill, where the 15th century monastery of the same name also stands, along with the ruined temples of Athena and Zeus Poliea in the ancient acropolis; Kameiros (Kamiros) and the ruins of the Dorian city; Kalithea with its thermal baths; Koskinou, Afandou, Falirakl and Rodini.
But above all donīt miss Lindos. The contrast between the brilliant white houses and winding lanes of the more recent village built around two crescent beaches and the ancient acropolis towering above it from its austere pinnacle makes for one of the most stunning views in Greece. The temple of Athena Lindia (4th century B.C.) coming gradually into %law as you ascend the stairs is a sight never to be forgotten.