Greece's third-largest island, Rhodes actually lies closer to the coast of Turkey than it does to the Greek mainland. Rhodes city, at the island's northernmost tip, is where visitors arrive by plane or ferry, and where the medieval Old Town and the ancient ruins of the Acropolis are found. Southwest of the city lies the coastal—and extraordinary—valley of Petaloudes, where millions of butterflies converge annually. Midway down the island's east coast is the famously picturesque beach town of Lindos; from here, Rhodes's most beautiful beaches stretch south all the way to the island's southern end.
WHEN TO GO
The holiday period is from May to mid-October. Go toward the end of the season, when the weather isn't too hot and you can still see the tiger moths ("butterflies") at Petaloudes. The best month is September, when daily temperatures average in the mid-70s.
HOW TO GET THERE
Travelers flying from the U.S. need to transfer in Athens before making the one-hour connecting flight to Rhodes. Delta has direct flights to Athens from a few different American cities (www.delta.com); Greece's national carrier, Olympic Airlines, also flies direct, from New York (www.olympicairlines.com). Rhodes Paradissi Airport is eight miles from the town center. Reach it by bus (Plateia Rimini) for $2.50 or by taxi for $20. You can also visit Rhodes by boat, via sea links from Athens, Crete, and Turkey. Several companies offer ferry service between these points, with varying timetables and rates; check www.ferries.gr to compare different options. Ferry schedules can also be found at the Municipal Tourist Office.
You don't need a car inside the city of Rhodes, but you will need a map, because many streets have no signs. For journeys outside town, a vehicle is a must. There is a good public bus system on Rhodes, but you may find it's more convenient to rent a car. Drive Rent a Car, which has a branch at the airport, is the largest rental agency on the island (www.driverentacar.gr). Alternatively, you can take a guided tour or cruise (to Lindos, for example). Contact Triton Holidays in Rhodes city for details (9 Plastira; 30-22-4102-1690; www.tritondmc.gr).
The Rhodes Tourist Office is located at the intersection of Makariou and Papagou streets in Rhodes City and is open year-round from 8 a.m.–2:45 p.m.
Tel: 30 22 4104 4333