The Italians rebuilt it in the 20th century as an over-the-top imagining of a medieval fortress that scarcely resembles its original self — but in some ways, that makes it even more interesting to tour. Get the most out of every day and dollar with Rick Steves Greece & Turkey guidebooks, Snapshot guides and Pocket travel guides So, they honored Helios by building a colossal statue. Greece Travel Tips I - Audio Europe: Greece by Rick Steves Audio Europe published on 2013-10-01T21:15:22Z Greek travel expert Penny Kolomvotsou discusses the spruced-up capital of Athens, the villages of the mainland and the islands, and how travelers can best experience Greece's rich history in the ruins of its ancient past. For more info on traveling in Europe, see www.ricksteves.com. “Rhodes Private Tours” is a Leading Provider of Exclusive and Personalized Tour Experiences. Its wild, mountainous landscape has hosted the interminable rise and fall of cultures which makes for fascinating sightseeing today. The island of Delos is a 30-minute boat ride from Mykonos; boats depart three times each morning and return to Mykonos three times afternoon — and in peak season a late-afternoon boat may run as well (boat schedules can change depending on weather, cruise-ship arrivals and departures, and other factors). Post questions and answers about travel in Greece. Rick Steves European tours and vacations feature the best value and travel experience around. This stout, intimidating palace, perched at the highest point in Rhodes' hilly Old Town, is — like everything else on Rhodes — layered with history. In the morning, we'll be in Santorini. Cruising is designed for the masses, and it has its pros and cons. If you prefer a quieter scene, more remote beaches are a short drive farther out. The pope recognized the Knights of St. John as a religious order, and they eventually became "soldiers of the cross" — with an economic agenda and a mighty navy. The difference with the local salad is that we use the local tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes, the local cucumbers, and instead of the feta cheese, we use the goat cheese, and we add the capers and the caper leaves. In the 14th century the knights built the Palace of the Grand Master — an imposing residence and capital for their leader. Rick Steves' Europe Travel Guide | The thriving capital of Greece sprawls out from the foot of its magnificent Acropolis. My reward? This is a stop that lends itself to unstructured free time — just lazing on the beach, wandering, and browsing the shops. Delos has virtually no shade and minimal services, beyond a café selling basic snacks. The dazzling white-washed town of Lindos, originally a wealthy maritime center because of its harbor, is now totally overrun by tourists. And I love the way the blue and white of the townscape seems inspired by the colors of the Greek flag. Being on the top deck as you approach the day's destination gives you a quiet, bird's eye view. While pricey, if two couples split the cost, enjoying the services of a private guide can cost about the same as the cruise line's bus tour. We'll island-hop through the Aegean, sampling three classic Greek getaways — Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes — and basking in their dramatic beauty. The real attraction here is the beaches. Rick Steves' Europe. Island getaways are fun, but the real heart of Greece is found in the Peloponnese Peninsula. 2–3 days: Athens Rick Steves The words "Greek Isles" evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder-to-shoulder against a hillside with a mesmerizing view of glittering blue water. Viewpoints here are some of the most striking in the Greek seas, as tourists clamber for just the right angle. An hour's drive south takes us to the island's other popular attraction. Post questions and answers about travel in Greece. About a century before Christ, Delos was devastated by a terrible war. The knights then retreated hundreds of miles west to the island of Malta, where they built an even more fortified headquarters. Rick Steves’s guidebook to Greece is of course loaded with practical advice for trip planning and for consulting during a trip, but it also has a large narrative thread commenting on the history, culture, and character of Greece and its people, and it has many focused threads addressing particular places and features. Presided over by hotels that run bars for young beachgoers, the Paradise action is nonstop. Rick: Very nice. Locals manage to eke out an existence as they have for centuries. This idyllic ensemble of whitewashed houses and characteristic domes is delicately draped over a steep slope at the top of a cliff. For 2,500 years, a hill-capping acropolis has overlooked the town. Explore the Greek Islands! With each port you've got sightseeing options: You can take the organized tour and be on their time table, or, you can hire a private guide. Punctuated by romantic nights at sea, our itinerary promises plenty of unforgettable sightseeing. Ippocratus Square is the busy heart of the old town. Rick's 48 itineraries include Italy, France, Turkey, Ireland, Britain, Spain, and much more! Rick Steves provides all of the essential information needed by visitors to Greece. Gradually these cheapest bits of real estate were developed, and, with tourism, they became today's expensive villas, hotels, and restaurants. I found Rick to be as pleasant as he appears on his shows. The black sand is a reminder of the island's volcanic origin. Tell us about your Tour! Rick encourages travelers to become what he calls “temporary locals,” not just visiting big cities but venturing out to experience small towns and villages away from popular tourist sites. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe.His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. The Ottoman Turks finally defeated the Knights of St. John in the 1500s. In 1309, the Knights of St. John claimed Rhodes as their headquarters and transformed it into a bustling, highly fortified European city governed by their "Grand Master.". Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. Cruisers enjoy toggling effortlessly between their daily adventures on shore and evenings back "home" on their floating resort. The bazaar-like back lanes are a delight to wander, and the main shopping drag still feels a bit like a Turkish bazaar. Local guides demonstrate still-working wells. The palace was fortified with three walls and two moats for good reason: the ever-present Turkish threat. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. Culture thrived here, enough to keep this theater — which could seat 6,000 — busy. He was a thoroughly nice and professional gentleman and clearly loves what he does. Coming from all over Europe, they gave Rhodes a cosmopolitan feel. Greek Islands - Audio Europe: Greece by Rick Steves Audio Europe published on 2015-02-11T02:09:15Z. Once a complete island like its neighbors, it was a volcano that about 3,500 years ago blew its top, creating a caldera — this flooded crater. There are 3,000 passengers on this ship. Of its hundreds of islands, we'll visit three: Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes. Oblivious to the rich historic heritage surrounding them, vacationers here are expert at relaxing under the steady Greek sun. And, like most of them, we're heading for the beach. I've left our bus tour early for a rendezvous with a private local guide. While it's traffic-free, if you need to get somewhere you can always hop on what's nicknamed the "Lindos taxi." And it retains a certain hip cachet. Mykonos' status in the last generation was as a fashionable destination for jet-setters. Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, here are my recommended priorities. Travel with Rick on this video guide to the islands of Greece (including Santorini … Many of these dwellings originated as humble caves. In a few minutes they're pulling up the gangway and I'm back on the ship. The famed statue called the "Colossus of Rhodes" once towered above the city. Because Santorini's pier is small, giant cruise ships drop anchor and tender their passengers in on small shuttle boats. A humble Greek Orthodox chapel celebrates that visit to this day. I hope you've enjoyed our Greek island cruise as we've explored just three of the countless islands that make the Aegean Sea such a popular destination. I'm Rick Steves. With little building material on the island, it just made sense to dig into the cliffs. Within minutes you'll be powering up the switch-backs into the island as your guide narrates the drive. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. There were fine mosaics — like this one of the god Dionysus riding a panther. It's destroyed. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on the Greek Islands. If you do opt for a cruise, you'll live within a strict schedule: sail by night, sightsee by day — about 10 hours per stop. Greece, like all of the other Rick Steves tours, I have taken, was an excellent venture with a conscientious tour guide and congenial travel mates. Visitors here can enjoy the building's fine interiors, a wide-ranging collection of artifacts, and the highlight of the entire palace: its fantastically detailed floor mosaics. To help you get started, I've listed my top picks for where to go in Greece, and my plan for your best two-week trip to Athens and the Peloponnese. Rick: This is a healthy diet. From Athens to Mount Ararat, join Rick as he meets the people and explores the ancient sites of Greece and Turkey. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. I cap my visit by climbing to the summit of the island. Wear good shoes, and bring sun protection and plenty of water. Just plop onto whatever appeals — don't worry; the drinks will come to you. And it's hard to imagine having had more Greek island fun in a few days than what we just experienced. Greece. And those once-formidable walls now seem only to protect a fun-loving tourists' mecca and a vibrant artist's colony. Visit Rick’s blog to learn about his visit to Rhodes While cruisers may miss evenings in port, what they do get to experience are the evenings at sea — whether it's a dance party by the pool or quietly enjoying the full moon and anticipating new adventures tomorrow. Of Santorini's many beaches, Kamari is one of the best. Prices are high, and, in season, the island is crammed full of vacationers. The last tender isn't leaving for 15 minutes…that's plenty of time for one last ouzo. Rhodes, or "Rhodos," as locals call it, is the fourth largest of the Greek islands. Dimitris: Well, we have here a Greek salad and a Santorini salad. We're sailing to three iconic Greek islands: Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes. He prioritizes attractions and provides recommendations on how to make the most out of a traveler's limited time. Until next time, keep on travelin'. Survey the remains of the ancient harbor: foundations of shops and homes, and hillsides littered with temple remains. So for more than 2,000 years, water has come out of this well. As in many Greek island towns, on Mykonos the windmills have harnessed the steady wind for centuries — grinding grain to feed its sailors. No problem, we can create and customize a personalized itinerary for you. Plan your own trip or take one of Rick's value-packed European tours and vacations. And we'll see how a cruise ship can be an efficient way to link up great island stopovers. The formidable Thalassini Gate is a reminder of the age of chivalry and the famed Knights of Malta. Artists fall in love with Oia and move in. And with Dimitris, I know exactly what I'm eating. Delos was important in three different ancient eras: first as a religious site, then as the treasury of the Athenian League — that was sort of the "Fort Knox" of the ancient world. While the beach becomes a raging dance floor after dark, the DJ is busy all day as the cruise set joins backpackers from around the world to enjoy the scene. Dazzling mansions of wealthy merchants with colonnaded inner courtyards. Today these mansions have been refitted as restaurants and bars for tourists enjoying fresh fish and romantic views. Rick Steves in Rhodes Island. To protect Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, and provide hospitals for their care. The windy roads feel like a fairground racetrack for tourists, busy with an array of easy-to-rent vehicles. From Athens, we sail into the Aegean Sea. The island of Rhodes, while arid, is fun to explore. This was one of the Aegean world's finest cities. Along with its beaches, Mykonos offers a major historic attraction. You can use a guidebook and be your own guide, or you can just hang out and be thoroughly on vacation. Typical of Greek island resort beaches, it's lined with rentable lounge chairs and a strip of seafood restaurants. As we enter the historic harbor, the walls of the fortified town seem to tell a story. My Account. And we'll connect it all by cruise ship, enjoying fun on board as we sail. To get the absolute most out of our Santorini day, I've booked half a day with Dimitris. Antonis: You can still drink if you want. -Back on board, we sail farther east toward the island of Rhodes, and we have another evening on board. With Rick Steves. While Rick Steves Greece covers a few islands (Hydra, Mykonos and nearby Delos, and Santorini), most travelers headed to more islands will want to supplement their Rick Steves book with a guide to the islands (we recommend Lonely Planet Greek Islands). 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