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Last updated : Nov 2009
Rhodes, Kos, Simi and Karpathos
Rhodes, Kos, Simi and Karpathos - TravelPuppy.com
Rhodes

(Piraeus, 267 nautical miles.) One of the most popular and most-developed islands in the Mediterranean, Rhodes offers international-class hotels, varied nightlife and good sports facilities. It has 370km of coastline and a good, well-surfaced road network, with bus services linking most of the towns and villages. Travel agents organise daily sightseeing trips to the archaeological sites and the beauty spots.

Rhodes Town, lies almost at the northern tip of the island, it is made up of two distinct parts – an old town and a new town. The old town, contained within the walls of a medieval fortress, centres of the Avenue of the Knights, lined with outstanding medieval buildings, including the monumental 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters. The 15th-century Knight’s Hospital houses the Archaeological Museum. 2km west of the town walls lies the Acropolis of Ancient Rhodes. Many imposing ruins can still be seen, including the Temple of Apollo, and a theatre and stadium dating back to the second century BC.

Just out of town lie the main tourist complexes of Faliraki on the east coast, and Ixia and Ialissos (also known as Trianda) on the west coast, all with several hotels and good beaches. At Filerimos, 15km (9 miles) from Rhodes Town, lie the ruins of ancient Ialisos, and 25km (16 miles) southwest from here stand the remnants of ancient Kameiros. 56km southeast of the capital stands the delightful town of Lindos, made up of winding streets and whitewashed buildings, crowned by a 15th-century hilltop fortress standing aside an imposing ancient Acropolis. From Piraeus Rhodes can be reached by ferry. There are regular flights to Athens and many other Greek islands, plus a number of European cities.

Kos

(Piraeus, 201 nautical miles.) This fertile island boasts sandy beaches (some of black volcanic sand) and plenty hotel accommodation. Most places of historical and sightseeing interest lie in or close to the main settlement, Kos Town, and can be visited on foot or bicycle. Activity centres on Platia tou Platanou, a piazza named after the Plane Tree of Hippocrates, a huge tree (12m (39ft) in circumference), beneath which the philosopher Hippocrates is said to have taught his students. Nearby, the 15th-century Castle of the Knights of St John is accessed across a drawbridge. There are also interesting ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites. From Kos Town, a road passes through the length of the island all the way to Kefalos, a town on the southwest coast with an old Fortress and a splendid beach. Also of note is Kardamena, a beautiful fishing village and well-developed resort with several hotels and beautiful sand beaches.

Kos can be reached by ferry from Rhodes and Piraeus. There are regular flights to Athens and Rhodes.

Simi

(Piraeus, 235 nautical miles.) A wonderful mountainous island with several good beaches, Simi offers limited hotels and tourist facilities. The main settlement, Simi Town, is divided between Ano Simi (upper town) and Kato Poli (lower town). The lower town, also known as Yialos, is made up of delightful pastel-coloured, neoclassical mansions built close to the port, while the upper town is capped by the ruins of a castle, built by the Knights of St John. Southwest of the coast stand the 18th-century Monastery of St Michel of Panormitis.

Simi can be reached by ferry from Piraeus and Rhodes.

Karpathos

(Piraeus, 227 nautical miles.) Karpathos, a mountainous island with fertile valleys and numerous good beaches, lies between Rhodes and Crete. The chief settlement and port, Karpathos Town (also known as Pigadia), sits in a bay on the southeast coast. It was built primarily from funds sent home by immigrants to the USA and does not reflect the traditional style found in the older villages, but has excellent tourist facilities and several hotels. From the island’s second port, Diafani, on the northern coast, a road leads to Olimbos, a secluded but well-preserved medieval village where local customs are very much alive.

Karpathos can be reached by ferry from Piraeus and Rhodes. There are regular flights to Athens and Rhodes.