Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon November 16 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | November 16, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    Get Medieval and Beyond in Rhodes, Greece

    Get Medieval and Beyond in Rhodes, Greece

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock. All other photos by A Cruising Couple unless noted.

    Rhodes used to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. But that was before the wonders of Santorini became mainstream knowledge. Now, the seven-hour ferry ride to Rhodes from Santorini sounds like a burden for many. However, as we discovered, what awaits on the other side is well worth the travel efforts. Here are an assortment of locations on the island that provide the most vivid, essential glimpse of Greek culture and history.

    Rhodes Old Town

    Arguably the best-preserved medieval city on Earth, the fortress in Old Town makes a trip to Rhodes worth it all on its own. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is officially the oldest and the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe.

    Walking Around Rhodes Old Town History of Rhodes Greece DSC_3090.jpg

    To fully enjoy the grand scale of the Old Town, start by entering the Liberty Gate, where you'll find Simi Square and the ruins of the Temple of Venus. Get a real appreciation of the historical significance of the fortress by visiting the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Archaeological Museum, the Church of our Lady of the Castle, and the Palace of the Knights (one €10 admission cost for all). But don’t spend all of your time staring at the relics in museums. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of cobblestone streets, and that’s happily half the fun!

    Rhodes Old Town Theatre Greece DSC_3068.jpg DSC_3088.jpg

    One of the best-preserved medieval features inside the walls of the fortress is The Street of Knights, shown as “Ippoton” on maps. This 600-meter (1,968 feet) cobblestone walkway is where knights had inns during that time. The seven inns along the route represent the seven countries or tongues that the knights came from. Further along at the top of the street is the Castle of the Grand Master.


    Another ancient town worth exploring is Lindos, along with its hilltop Acropolis. The town is built in the traditional white-walled style and has survived relatively unchanged since the 15th century. Perched above the town is the Acropolis, which can be reached by walking or taking a donkey ride. Although more deteriorated than the famous Acropolis of Athens, the Lindos Acropolis offers spectacular views of the seascape and surrounding beaches.

    If you're looking to cool off after your hike up the hill, Lindos Beach and the smaller Pallas Beach boast great views looking back up at the Acropolis while swimming or sunbathing. Alternatively, the natural harbor of Paul's Bay is a unique lounging spot.

    Lindos Rhodes Greece Lindos Rhodes Greece Lindos Acropolis Rhodes Greece Lindos Acropolis Rhodes Greece Agathi Beach Rhodes Greece

    Butterfly Valley

    Perfect for families, butterfly valley is famous for its annual migration of butterflies that congregate here in late May. The high humidity of the shaded, green valley with its small river and beautiful waterfalls is the perfect mating ground for the animals. Even if your trip isn't timed perfectly with the event, the hike wanders past beautiful scenery until arriving at the monastery at the top. It is always worth the family-friendly trek.

    Valley Of The Butterflies, Rhodes

    Photo via Flickr/aogg

    Butterflies at Butterfly Valley

    Photo via Flickr/Leonora Enking

    Kalopetra Monastery, Rhodes

    Photo via Flickr/aogg

    Other Islands Not only is Rhodes a great destination in itself, but it is also a great stepping-stone to the rest of the Dodecanese Islands. From Rhodes, it's just a few quick ferry rides to the islands of Leros, Kalymnos and Samos. It also makes the perfect transition to continue on to Turkey.

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    Rhodes is a large island, and this introduction only scratches the surface. Have you made the trip to Rhodes Island? What were the highlights of your trip?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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