In two weeks'time, you will have time to combine a visit to Rhodes and to explore the Dodecanese, without too much hurry.
The main island of the Dodecanese retains an unparalleled medieval heritage. The knights of Saint-Jean have shaped the face of the old town, to be convinced, you will have to take the rue des Chevaliers and stop for a long time in the Palais des Grands-Maîtres, the most beautiful architectural example of this period. Then go to their former hospital, which now houses the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. The old town, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well worth spending two full days in.
It is the Ottoman historical origins of Rhodes-ville (Seat of Rhodes in 1522) that will catch your attention: in the old city, the district called "Chora" offers a striking testimony with its Suleiman the Magnificent mosque or its Turkish baths. The former Jewish quarter (juderia) is also to be visited from Martyron Evreon Square; the Jewish Museum of Rhodes reminds us how important the Jewish community of Rhodes was before the Second World War, and the synagogue is the oldest in Greece.
Enjoy the new city, its Quartier district (old harbour) and sunny beaches all year round (or almost). Remember to grant half a day to the rest of the island, the Acropolis of Lindos is undoubtedly the point of interest not to be missed.
The most mystical of the Dodecanese islands (Saint John the Evangelist is said to have received the visions related in the book of Revelation) is still preserved from mass tourism. A chic bohemian population takes its quarters there every summer. The Byzantine village of Patmos Chora is one of the most beautiful in the Dodecanese
The monastery of Saint John is classified as World heritage of Mankind. A visit is required before a small walk and a good restaurant.
Take the time to immerse yourself with a slower lifestyle and to isolate you in paradise coves.
You can enjoy a day to take a trip to one of the islands around the island of Arki.
This tiny island visits Patmos in a day or more if affinity (count 35 minutes of transport). You eat well, you live in the rhythm of the premises and you can randonner it without difficulty.
Lipsi, in addition to beautiful strolls, is a nice opportunity to find a small quiet beach.
From Symi, take 2 hours to Pothia, the port of Kalymnos. This island is known to all Greeks like the sponge fisherman island. A little less busy but sincere and charming, it is an incentive to relax on its beautiful beaches.
Kalymnos can be used to make beautiful strolls and climbing on its sharp walls and volcanic cavities.
The small pearl of Dodecanese is reached in only 1 hour by boat from Rhodes. You can hike at your own pace inland in surprisingly green landscapes lined with cypress trees, the island has 200 churches and monasteries, enough to justify some efforts
No complex on one of Symi's beaches, at least photogenic.
Return to Rhodes and, if time permits, visit Lindos.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette