With an area of 1400 km2, Rhodes is the fourth largest Greek island and the capital island of the Dodecanese Archipelago in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Also located near the Turkish coast, Rhodes was an incredibly important port in the ancient times of the region, and the presence of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes, presence here was a testament to the island’s illustrious history. The bronze statue of Helios, the Greek sun god, was more than 30 meters high and was erected in the third century BC. For almost 70 years, it stood proudly at the entrance of Port Mandraki in Rhodes capital city of the same name before being destroyed by a violent earthquake. Today, in the place where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood, lush fauna grows and supports the existence of the island’s many deer, which, because of their prevalence, are also the official emblem of the island. Hibiscus plants are also typical of the region, and add an extra touch of beauty to the island’s background. After the Ottoman occupation between the 14th and early 20th centuries and the turmoil of the Second World War, Rhodes has become the second most popular Greek vacation island after Crete. Rhodes has 117,000 inhabitants, 90% of whom live off the island’s tourism industry. Rhodes enjoys a solid 3000 hours of sunshine per year, meaning the 250 kilometers of coastline as well as the many bays can be enjoyed thoroughly. The neighboring islands Karpathos, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Astypalea, Kasos, Symi, Tilos, Nisyros, Patmos, Halki, Leipsoi, Megisti (also known as Kastellorizo), Agathonisi, along with Rhodes’ extensive coastline and the coast of Turkey just 20 kilometers away make Rhodes a multifaceted and exciting destination for sailors and skippers. Surfers especially appreciate the winds in the region: the typical summer Meltemi winds, which are fairly strong and can reach up to a six on the Beaufort scale. They are well known on the north and west sides of the island, especially in Ixia, a surfing paradise. The Prasonisi peninsula in the south also has a good reputation for windsurfing, and Fanes, Kremasti, Theologos and Trianda are known as good surf spots. Divers also appreciate Rhodes for its numerous beautiful underwater areas, the best known of which include those near the hot springs of Kallithea on the northeast coast, where there is also a diving school. There are guided dives offered from Kolymbia, Lindos, Pefkos, and Plimiri. The water park in Faliraki, with water slides, a wave pool, an aqua gym, a pirate ship and a man-made river, is also a fun way to enjoy the water. At Sabina’s Watersport Rhodos, where both English and German are spoken, you can also rent out water skis and wakeboards.
Fittingly, there are many selections for ports, marinas and berths for sailboats on Rhodes, the current largest of which is Rhodes Marina, directly on the city’s main port and which has 600 berths in a 120,000 square meter area. There, guests have access to 200 dry dock paces, a gas station and a wastewater treatment station, a helipad, and a large parking lot for cars. There is also a diverse selection of cafés and restaurants, which are open all day, seven days a week. The area, which is always under surveillance, also features the offices of the harbor police as well as customs offices. Due to its ideal location, the Rhodes Marina can be overcrowded, especially in the summer. However, there are some bays not too far away, which have mooring spots along with excellent infrastructure and scenic views. The closest second option is the Anthony Quinn Port, near the 5,500-person town of Afandou, south of the city of Rhodes. A sister city of the German town Gummersbach, Afandou features Gummersbacher Platz, or Gummersbach Square, as part of its landscape. Further south, after passing by the citrus fruit and olive trees as well as the Stegna and Tsambika beaches for which it’s known, the town Archangelos is situated on the Bay of Lindos. The bay features nice, but unfortunately not very many, berths for boats. These few docking areas have places to pick up groceries around the corner in the old city, but the docking facilities themselves are without water and electricity. Captains also anchor their sailing boats by the big, popular sand beach Prassonisi in the very south of the island, despite the area because firmly in surfers’ hands as a surfing paradise. A bit further north, but before you get to the Bay of Plimmyri, the local pier is usually occupied by fish trawlers, meaning one needs to find an anchoring spot further out. Before getting to the bay, watch out for buoys marking the wreck of a freight ship hidden under the water. Though it would be bad to encounter while on a boat, the wreck is an interesting and cool spot for a dive. For a pleasant alternative to docking in Rhodes, there are also berths on the small island Halki, just 35 to 40 nautical miles from Rhodes. There, with some luck, you can find a nice free spot north of the city harbor on the pontoons as well as on the Ormos Potamos Bay, even in the high season.
Throughout their long histories, Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese have been of great interest particularly in the areas of art and cultural history. These are two important aspects of the region for many holiday goers who visit Rhodes. The most famous sites the island has to offer are the ancient Minoan Ruins of Lalysos at Cape Zonari on the northeastern part of Rhodes, the remains of the old city Kameiros on the west coast, and the site of the nearby ruins of the Fortress of the Order of Saint John in Monolithos, which today is widely used as a viewpoint and an ideal place to take some photos. Other than the Acropolis in Greece’s capital, the Acropolis in Lindos in southern Rhodes is the most visited in the country. The center of the complex, which you can visit for a small fee, forms part of the reconstructed Temple of Athena, built in the 4th century BC. Also worth seeing is the Byzantine chapel Agios Nikolaos Foundoukli, close to Eloussa, which was built in the 15th century. There are many ancient wonders to see on the Dodecanese islands around Rhodes: the ruins of a castle of the Order of Saint John can be found on the small neighboring island Alimia, just seven kilometers to the west of Rhodes; Karpathos boasts the ancient Roman cistern in Lefkos; on Kos you will find the remains of the Andimachia Fortress; Astypalea will show you a view of the Venetian castle which overlooks Chora; the Brouzi fortress on Leros sits at the entrance to the Agia Marina; you can take a visit to the Panormitis monastery on Symi; have a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Agios Ioannis monastery on Patmos; and see the magnificent churches of different eras on Lipsi.
All the boats are built by internationally renowned manufacturers, and most were made between 2005 and 2012. In general, the boats cost between 500 and 9600 Euros per week, the 9600 Euro price being attached to a luxury catamaran with more than 11 beds in over seven cabins, best for a charter holiday with the whole family or for a bunch of couples. Despite that high price, there are other lovely, luxurious boats from around 900 Euros per week.