250km (135 nautical miles) E of Piraeus
Selecting a divine patron was serious business for an ancient city. Most Greek cities played it safe and chose a mainstream god or goddess, a ranking Olympian: someone like Athena or Apollo or Artemis, or Zeus himself. It's revealing that the people of Rhodes chose Helios, the sun, as their signature god.
Indeed, millennia later the cult of the sun is alive and well on Rhodes, and no wonder: The island receives on average more than 300 days of sunshine a year. What's more, Rhodes is a destination for sun-worshipers from colder, darker, wetter lands around the globe.
But Rhodes gives visitors more than a mere tan. A location at the intersection of the East and West propelled the island into the thick of both commerce and conflicts. The scars left by its rich and turbulent history have become its treasures. Hellenistic Greeks, Romans, Crusader Knights, Turks, Italians -- all invaders who brought some destruction -- also left behind...more local info