Kos, Simi and Karpathos
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.