No wonder the Italian king made this his holiday residence – Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes is one of the biggest Greek islands. It lies very close to the westcoast of Turkey. The main city of the island is also called Rhodes and it is located on the north-east of the island. Since 1988, the city of Rhodes is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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I went for a day trip to Rhodes with two friends in 2013, while we were on holiday in Turkey. Boats leave regularly from Marmaris to Rhodes. We had gone out the night before in Marmaris, so we only had three hours of sleep, but we still managed to explore a large part of the old town of Rhodes.

I really liked the atmosphere in Rhodes. The city had a lot of cute little streets with little restaurants and market stalls. We barely saw any cars in the old town. The weather was also beautiful and it was lovely to stroll around for a bit and eat some ice cream.

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The most famous attraction in the old town is the Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes. This is a huge medieval castle built in the 7th century. It has been used as a fort first by the Knights Hospitaller and then by the Ottomans. Then it was used as a holiday residence by the king of Italy and almost seventy years ago, when the island was given to Greece, the castle was turned into a museum. It still is today, but we didn’t go inside (it’s 6 euros if you’re interested). So we just took a long walk around the castle.

We had lunch in a cute little restaurant in one of the small streets. We sat in the shade under a roof of leaves. At the end of the trip, while we were waiting for our boat to arrive, we sat on the beach for a while, looking out over the harbour. The harbour of Rhodos used to contain one of the ancient world wonders, a huge statue of the sun god Helios. Today, it’s just a nice view over a clear blue sea and some boats. Still beautiful though.

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