A visit to Rhodes wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the main town, also named Rhodes. It is a town with two very distinct parts. It is a place where the old and the new are separated by double walls. Once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes, the town has a long and glorious history.
Yes, the town's name is just Rhodes, the same as the island. To make it easier to distinguish we are using the term Rhodes Town throughout this post.
A Waypoint on the Way
We got our rental cars in the morning and were soon off towards the main town on Rhodes. The roads on Rhodes are quite easy to navigate until you reach the towns. Especially Rhodes Town is a maze with roads and crossings of multiple roads. This makes it hard to navigate without a GPS, thankfully Google Maps led us to the correct spots.
Our first stop was the big toy store Jumbo, which is something similar to Gekås in Ullared in Sweden. Some of us were happy that this is something we don’t have in Sweden.
Driving into Rhodes Town
Driving into Rhodes Town is not a big challenge in itself. The problem you most likely will encounter is how to find the way to a parking space. There are several one-way roads, several steep stops where you will have to stop and start multiple times and of course, other cars.
Make sure to take your time and you will be fine. We did eventually find a calm parking area close to the Acropolis of Rhodes. This meant that we could evade driving into the real center of the town and still just had a short walk to the historical Old Town.
The Old Town of Rhodes
Entering the Old Town of Rhodes is in itself an impressive feeling. Walking through the gates of the huge city walls and entering a new world where the modern residential buildings are replaced by something that more resembles the scenes from the movie Troy.
Rhodes has a long history as being on the crossroad between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Have you ever heard about the Knights Hospitaller? The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem was formed during the First Crusade. You might have encountered a few embassies around the globe belonging to the Knights of Malta. The order ended up in Malta in 1530, but it had had another important stop before the Mediterranean island. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1291, the Knights moved through Tripoli and Cyprus before ending up with their seat in Rhodes. That historical importance is felt when walking the streets of the Old Town. There are small streets and cozy buildings, all surrounded by that massive wall encircling the Old Town of Rhodes. Even more, majestic sights within the walls are the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes as well as the Medieval Clock Tower Roloi.
It is easy to spend hours just walking around and enjoying the scenery. We found a small restaurant for lunch before walking the streets and enjoying the mandatory ice cream in the sun.
The City Center of Rhodes
Eventually, the street took us back out of the Old Town towards the more modern city center in the north. Here we were greeted by an almost empty Nea Agora – New Market. Our walk took us along the waterfront before we turned back.
Visit Cut Short by Thunderstorm
Dark clouds were gathering outside the coast and we could hear the thunder in a distance. We had originally planned to explore the Acropolis of Rhodes, which was located close to where we had parked. Unfortunately, the rain was soon upon us and after a short second look at the Old Town, we were back in the car and on our way back towards Vlycha Beach. Luckily we had several more days left to explore the island, but we would not return to Rhodes City.