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Rhodes

When examining the map of Greece one cannot miss the arrow-shaped island of Rhodes in the south-east Aegean.

An ancient Greek myth traces the birth of the island to the union of the Sun-God, Helios and a strikingly beautiful nymph, Rhode. It was to the memory of this mythical father that the Rhodians erected the famous statue of Colossus which stood over 30 meters high silently guarding the entrance of the harbor.

The island's strategic location and the renowned seamanship of its people were the reasons why this jewel of the Aegean changed hands a number of times. Initially occupied by the Romans, Rhodes later became part of the Eastern Roman Empire, better known as Byzantium, but the list of conquerors does not end there - from Arabs to Crusaders, Ottomans and later Italians, until Rhodes was finally reunited with Greece in 1947. Every single one of those invaders left its own mark on Rhodes' history and culture, making the island a fascinating melting pot of cultures.

Today Rhodes is cherished by visitors where they can combine relaxation and fun. Well-traveled visitors enjoy walking on the cobbled stone streets of the Medieval City of Rhodes (which is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site) and seeing the history of the ancient knights, who controlled this isle for generations, unravel before their eyes.

Eclectic film enthusiasts are enchanted by the picturesque bay at Ladikó, where the epic movie, "The Guns of Navarone" was shot. Add to this, the serene "Anthony Quinn" Bay for more of the spectacular 'land meets sea' aspects that dominate this island.

The Roman Baths of Kallithea could very well be part of a movie setting as their romantic, oriental atmosphere and elegant architecture attract wedding connoisseurs from around the world.

Yet the most magical spot on the island is the famous Valley of Butterflies. From mid June through September, dreamy clouds of butterflies gather in this beautiful green valley to mate and transform the visitor to a wonderful, fairytale-like setting, unique within Europe.

For the seekers of adventure, Lalissós is the place to be. What used to be one of the most powerful cities of the Ancient World is now a paradise for windsurfers and water sports enthusiasts, in general, who are advised by experienced travelers not to pass up a visit to the southernmost tip of the island, Prassonisi.

Last but not least, one of the most iconic places in Rhodes is the village of Lindos. Lindos is a prime destination for history lovers who brave the donkey-ride to the top of the Acropolis to observe its time-honored remnants. The Acropolis of Lindos also affords breathtaking views of the village and the bay below. For the more relaxed tour, one can wear sensible shoes and wander through the winding stone paths, admire the traditional artwork or take your coffee in one of the many authentic kafeneia.