With an endless sun-soaked season, earthy history and vibrant culture, the island of Rhodes has it all. At the crossroads between continents, and sandwiched between Crete and Turkey’s coastline, Rhodes has swayed between many mighty civilisations throughout its tumultuous history. Part of the Dodecanese Islands, which are sprinkled across the blissfully blue Aegean Sea, dive into this island of dazzling beaches, historic medieval towns, and whitewash villages. Crusted with turrets and walls, alluding to its strategic significance over the years. Incredible history has been left behind, and the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site listed Old Town are some of Europe’s best. Wander back through time, with occasional minarets from Ottoman-era mosques rising from the tangle of Medieval history, and the smells of cinnamon, cumin and pepper lingering above stone-paved streets. Discover inviting outdoor restaurants, which spill across flower-filled courtyards, and enjoy fresh Greek cuisine with an eastern influence. The preserved columns of Lindos's spectacular Ancient Greek Acropolis watch out over electric blue water, while the Gothic Medieval stronghold of the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes, adds more fascinating history to explore. Fragrant, pine tree coated hills, and gorgeous beaches of eye-watering blue water, offer your choice of unbridled relaxation or thrilling action, and you can raise the pulse with water sports, or shelter in coves with shocks of turquoise water and monolithic rock formations.
3 Included Shore Excursions:
- The Acropolis of Lindos - Explore the ancient grandeur and spectacular beauty of the Acropolis of Lindos.
Depart the pier in Rhodes for the scenic drive to Lindos. En route, make a stop at Mount Smith to enjoy the splendid panoramic views of Rhodes and the surrounding countryside. Continue passing by picturesque villages and a landscape dotted with citrus groves, vineyards and gnarled olive trees.
Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the narrow, cobblestone streets of this ancient Doric village, then proceed up a long, narrow, path en route to the summit of the Acropolis.
Perched on a bluff overlooking a village of whitewashed houses, narrow streets and souvenir shops, the Acropolis offers a splendid view of St. Paul's Bay. The top of the Acropolis is accessed via a steep flight of stairs. Here, see the magnificent remains of past civilisations, including the 4th-century BCE Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, a double-winged portico, a Byzantine church and the fortifications of the Knights, including the remains of the Governor's quarters.
Next, re-board your coach and commence the drive back to the pier.
- Rhodes Old Town & Grand Masters Palace - Discover the wonderful highlights of Rhodes during this picturesque, half-day walking tour through the historic Old Town.
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximate 30-minute drive to Rhodes. En route, pass by the old port of Mandraki, and stop for photos at Agios Stefanos, which offers lovely views over the Bay of Rhodes. Upon arrival in Rhodes, enter the Old Town from D'Amboise Gate, the closest point to the Palace of the Grand Masters. A visit is then made to the palace, which served as a wartime fortress, a peacetime residence for the Grand Master and a meeting place for senior knights.
Next, take a guided walking tour along the cobblestone streets of the Avenue of the Knights, where the knights once lived. To this day, the street exudes a noble and forbidden aura; its lofty buildings stretch in a 1,968-foot-long (600-metre-long) unbroken wall of honey-coloured stone blocks, and its flat façade is punctuated by huge doorways and arched windows.
A visit is then made to the Archaeological Museum, which is housed in the 15th-century Knights Hospital. Here, see many artefacts and exquisite statues dating back as far as the 4th century B.C. The most famous exhibit in the museum is the parian marble statue, the Aphrodite of Rhodes. At the conclusion of your tour, you may opt to re-board the coach for the brief drive back to the pier, or remain in town for further exploration and return to the ship on your own.
- Rhodian Pottery Workshop - Learn the ancient art of Rhodian pottery making during this half-day tour.
Enjoy a one-hour panoramic drive of the new town of Rhodes to Mount Smith, passing the Temple of Apollo and Ancient Stadium and then onto Afandou where the Bonis Ceramic Workshop is located. Upon arrival at the workshop, each guest will be given a special apron and a general introduction on the art of ceramics. Simultaneously, this will be done by a demonstration on the pottery wheel by the instructor.
All the guests, in groups of 3, will then be given the opportunity to make their own vase pottery under the guidance of the instructor, using the pottery wheel. After this, the guests will then be able to carve a design of their choice on a raw plate provided by the workshop.
These, the vase and plate, will then be baked and colored by the ceramic technicians, and in turn, at a later date be sent to each guest's home. There will be ample time after the pottery lesson for the guests to browse through the Ceramic Workshop's exhibition to admire the beautiful Rhodian Ceramics on display while enjoying a glass of ouzo with local snacks.
The tour concludes back at the pier
- As you sail into Symi harbour don’t be surprised if you’re left speechless. With its rows of elegant cream and beige neo-classical houses, its unique blend of gentle aristocratic beauty and its bleating hillside goats, Symi seems set in another time. This is the Greece of history; well preserved mansions, pretty inlets and film set prettiness that is the real deal. As part of the Dodecanese Islands, Symi is one of the lesser known Greek Islands. Once a thriving sponge-diving and ship building centre, the island attracted riches that far outstripped its neighbour Rhodes (and placed it among Greece’s richest islands). The island’s history is too, rich and rewarding. Although not much is known pre-14th century (bar a mention in Homer’s Illiad), it is known that the name comes from Greek mythology, and the island is widely thought to be the birthplace of the Syme, daughter Ialysos and Dotis. Syme was one of the wives of Poseidon, God of the Seas, and mother of Hthonios. But Symi is above all a place to relax, whether it be in by splashing in the achingly beautiful waters, climbing the rocky hinterland (be on the lookout for these goats) or just gazing at the Aegean Sea. The Panormitis monastery, on the south of the island is well worth visiting. Foodies should note that Symi’s eponymous shrimps are a must try - pan fried and eaten with the shell, they are a quintessential delicacy of the island. Enjoyed in a seaside taverna, we can think of no better way to experience authentic Greece.
1 Included Shore Excursion:
- Symi Self Exploration - Chorio literally translates to Village in Greek. This is the upper village of Symi island, starting exactly where Gialos (the Port area) ends. It is also called Ano Symi, which is exactly Upper Symi. Boasting picturesque traditional houses of neoclassic feel and vivid colors, the village is accessed upon climbing Kali Strata which it consists of 450 steps! You can choose to climb on foot, or take the Shuttle Bus provided by Silversea. However, the view from the village is spectacular and it offers travelers the absolute sense of tranquility.
Both in Gialos and Chorio show a vibrant lifestyle, with various restaurants, traditional taverns and bars. Chorio offers the chance to see some little churches, the old pharmacy, and a museum. Walk through the cobbled pathways to admire the mansions and especially Hatziagapitos House from the 18th century.
A few hours at Chorio will give you that special vibe of Symi and make you feel like a local.
Take the Shuttle bus back Gialos at your leisure and before rejoining the ship, take a walk along Symi's lively port.