The Dodecanese islands have a rich tradition and folk culture that has been enforced and developed over time and conquerors. Ancient Greek, Byzantine, and Oriental details are interconnected in the traditions of the islands. Rhodes is a cosmopolitan island that has adopted to a large extent the modern way of life, but has managed at the same time to maintain the arts, the traditions and the customs of the past, especially in the villages, and with emphasis on the big religious celebrations.
The utilitarian as well as decorative art of ceramic making flourished here and created the famous Rhodian painted ceramic plates. Another characteristic was the architecture of folk houses, with “pataros”, a high-rise bed, the elevated roofs and the wooden railings. The textile industry also flourished here, with the technicians of the loom making embroideries and textiles of incomparable technique and beauty, while the excellent wines of Rhodes have been very famous, already since ancient times.
Rhodes is famous for its traditional kitchen, which is based on natural ingredients abundantly offered by the earth and the sea of Mare Nostrum, the Mediterranean. As an authentic crossroad of civilizations, Rhodes has assimilated in its cuisine elements from the East and the West, and has managed to create dishes of great nutritional value, as well as high gastronomy.
The island’s cuisine is based on local meat, such as goat and lamb, as well as seafood. Here you can try all kinds of shellfish, from oysters, sea urchins and limpets to razor shells and species unique to the Mediterranean.
“Melekouni”, the traditional sweet of weddings, with pure honey and sesame, is one of the most widespread and tasty sweets of the island, while “xerotigana” and “diples” are still prepared at the traditional bakeries of the island.
The vines of Rhodes produce high quality wine and essenses, and many small producers, along with the two main wineries of the island, contribute to the promotion and exploitation of this local treasure and produce excellent wines, which have been repeatedly awarded in international exhibitions.
Dedicate a day to the explore the Medieval City with the bastions, the museums and the unassailable trench, and discover, besides the colofrul and busy commercial streets, the deserted alleys in order to experience the unique atmosphere of the best preserved medieval city of Europe.
Visit the Contemporary Art Museum, at 100 Chourmadies area, which includes typical works of the most important representatives of the Greek artistic movement of the 20th century.
Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in one of the many religious festivals of the island, such as the festival of Virgin Mary on August 15th or the Strawberry, Souma and Honey Fairs.
Look out for the events of the Medieval Festival, like the Magical Moon of Lindos and the Feasts of the Castles, and live as Knights for a while.