The Brilliance of the
Seas Docked in Rhodes
Greece Port Reviews
Rhodes, Greece On Your Own Shore Excursion
By Nancy Norris
Rhodes, Greece is the largest of the 12 Dodecanese
islands in the Aegean Sea. With over 3,000 hours of
sunlight a year, it's no wonder it is known as the sun
island. A study in contrast, the island is composed of
ancient, medieval and modern cities. The walled Old Town
of Rhodes, on the northernmost point of the island is
Europe's largest and oldest inhabited medieval city.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is arguably the most
fascinating part of the island. The Euro is the official
currency and Greek is the official language, but English
is spoken in the tourist areas.
Mandraki Harbor Entrance
Cruise Port Location and Information:
Ships dock at the Commercial Harbor, just outside the
walled city and within easy walking distance of Old
Cruise ship in port
Exploring on Your Own:
The massive wall built by the Knights of St John that
encloses Rhodes Old City is visible from the ship and
acts as a beacon for your explorations. The best way to
discover the treasures of Old Town Rhodes is on foot, so
wear your “smile shoes”. As you exit the port, follow
the walkway along the harbor, keeping the water on your
right and the walled city on your left.
Along the walk, to your left, you will notice car rental
and ferry ticket stalls located on the outer portion of
the walled city.
Businesses along outer wall
Just beyond the dolphin sculpture in the harbor, you
will arrive at the closest gate to the port, St.
Catherine's Gate. There are actually 9 main gates into
the walled city, but this is the most convenient.
Sculpture in harbor
Enter Old Town Rhodes via this gate and you will find
yourself in the Jewish Quarter, one of the three areas
in which the old town is divided (the other two are the
Knight's and the Turkish Quarters).
St. Catherine's Gate
This is a great place to start your exploration of the
maze of close to 200 streets and cobblestone alleys that
wind their way through the walled city. Be aware that
many of these lanes have no name and getting lost is
part of the adventure.
View of harbor from inside St. Catherine's Gate
Shopping! Shopping! Shopping! There is no shortage of
shopping opportunities in Old Town Rhodes. Handmade
lace, leather goods, ceramics, pottery, gold and silver
jewelry, rugs and olive oil products are good buys.
Make sure to hone your bargaining skills, the shop
keepers welcome haggling on prices (particularly in the
Turkish Bazaar along Soukratos Street).
Soukratos Street runs parallel to the Avenue of the
Knights and ends in Ippokratous Square (Turkish Square).
Ippokratous Square is the main commercial
street in Old Town. Many shops, bars and restaurants
surround the impressive fountain in the center of the
Castellania Fountain in Ippokratous Square
For even more shopping opportunities, Orffeus Street is
a wide street lined tourist and artisan shops that
connects to Soukratos Street.
Follow the maze of streets in Old Town and around every
corner you will find remnants of the island's
Avenue of the Knights
The Avenue of Knights is a well-preserved cobblestone
street 600 m long and 6 m wide that was the official
main street that connected the political center of the
city to the religious center. This street was the
epicenter of both the public and private lives of the
Knights of St. John. Notice the stone carved codes of
arms on the outer walls. Following this street will lead
you directly to the Palace of the Grand Masters.
Palace of the Grand Masters Exterior
The 14th century Palace of the Grand Masters
is an imposing structure that is as impressive inside as
it is from the outside. It is now a museum that houses
mosaics, antique furniture and sculptures.
Palace of Grand Masters Interior
Originally the 14th century Hospital of
Knight's of St. John, it has been converted to an
archaeological museum where a collection of Rhodes
artifacts from prehistoric to Hellenistic and Roman
times are on display.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
One used as a lookout post, the view from the top of the
Rolloi Clock Tower is amazing. It will cost you 4 euros
to climb to the top, but you can turn in your ticket for
a drink at the bar when you come down.
Located in the Jewish Quarter, the focal point of this
square is the small blue mosaic fountain. The square was
named in memory of the thousands of Jews that were sent
from Rhodes to Auschwitz in the Second World War.
Hebrew Martyrs Square
As you wander the streets and alleys of Old Town, 14th
Century ruins and remnants of the cities historical past
seem to pop up at every turn.
District Church of the Virgin of the Burgh ruins
Knight on clock tower look-out
Make sure to take some time to discover the many hidden
sculptures and gardens within the walls and the
interesting construction of the outer walls and various
gates. You can even follow the path of a dry moat around
the city walls.
Off the Beaten Path:
On the south side of Rhodes Island, 48 kilometers from
Rhodes Town, is the picturesque white-washed town of
Lindos. Professing to be the prettiest village on
Rhodes, it is definitely worth a visit. Sitting high
atop a hill, the Acropolis of Lindos sits vigil over the
town. The grandeur of this acropolis was second only to
the acropolis of Athens.
Town and Acropolis of Lindos
Within the acropolis lie the 4th century BC
ruins of the Temple of Athena, the Propylaea of the
Sanctuary leading to the remains of a Roman temple and a
Knights of St. John castle.
Temple of Athena
Dining and Drinking Suggestions:
There are almost as many cafes, restaurants, bars and
lounges in Old Town Rhodes as there are shopping
opportunities. Walk down any of the streets and alleys
and you are sure to find an appealing spot for a drink
Many Dining Options
The many warm, sunny days in Rhodes are perfect for
enjoying one of the charming outdoor terraces and cozy
Dining at Hebrew Martyrs Square
A trip to Rhodes would not be complete without stopping
at one of the local ouzerias for a taste of ouzo, the
anise-infused Greek brandy.
Sarris a popular ouzeria/restaurant
Must Do List:
There is no doubt that visiting Rhodes Old Town walled
city should be on everyone's must do list. If time
permits or you have been to Rhodes before, then
traveling to Lindos to view the acropolis is also highly
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