Stretching almost 50 miles from Rhodes Town in the northeast to Prasonisi in the southwest, the island is over 200 miles from the Greek mainland, but only 11 miles from the southern shores of Turkey. This extreme location lends Rhodes an exotic air, and a plethora of different cultures have left their unique mark on the island. A short stroll in the UNESCO protected Old Town unveils the echoes of this historical melting-pot of civilisations, from the imposing medieval Grand Master’s Palace to the delicate Suleymaniye Mosque, juxtaposed with the elegant Jewish Quarter and the surprising Italian colonial architecture of the New Town.
A cosmopolitan city, Rhodes Town plays host to a never-ending rosta of cultural events, cafes, restaurants and bars, and retains its liveliness even in the winter period. Dinner at the exclusive Marco Polo Mansion is a memorable event, housed in a 15th century Ottoman townhouse belonging to a prominent Milanese artist and collector. Come sunset, the cream of Rhodian society gathers at Mavrikos in Lindos, ordering up plates of fresh sea urchin pasta and lobster risotto. Meanwhile, roof-top dining at the Melenos Hotel is an experience like no other. During the summer months, take a front row seat for views of the Aegean and Lindos Acropolis, or reclining in the intimate interiors of the indoors Fouli Restaurant during the winter – either option guarantees and elegant evening of premium food, drink and people watching.
The windward northern coastline is a noted location for windsurfing and other water- sports, and, come summer, becomes the meeting point for water-sports enthusiasts from around the world. Kite-surfers will love Prasonisi, a remote cape on the island’s most westerly corner and home to the Prasonisi Kitesurf Centre. Prasonisi’s constant cross-shore winds make it one of the top water-sport destinations in Europe: from one side the strong waves of the Aegean Sea are a draw for top-level surfers, whilst on the opposite side the softer currents of the Mediterranean are perfect for beginners.