Lindos, cradled between two harbors and dominated by its massive hilltop acropolis, is remarkably well preserved. Steep paths wind past its famous "captain's mansions," beautifully built houses of finely cut Lindos limestone decorated with elaborately arched windows and delicate hohlaki flooring (black-and-white pebble mosaics). Stacked alongside these are whitewashed Cycladic-style homes with square, blue-shuttered windows. It all makes for a charming, if thigh-sapping, stroll once you rise out of the maul of the covered market streets.

Before the existence of Rhodes Town, Lindos was the island's principal maritime center. By the 6th century BC, an impressive temple dominated the settlement, and after the foundation of Rhodes, the Lindians set up a propylaia (monumental entrance gate) on the model of that in Athens. Lindos prospered into Roman times, during the Middle Ages, and under the Knights of St. John. Only at the beginning of the 19th century did the age-old shipping activity cease, by which point its streets were lined with well-to-do mansions.

Like Rhodes Town, Lindos is enchanting in off-season but can get unbearably crowded when summertime pilgrims make the trek from Rhodes Town daily. Passage through narrow covered streets lined with shops selling clothes and trinkets slows to a snail's pace. At these times, an overnight visit allows you to enjoy the town's beauties after the day-trippers leave.

Only pedestrians and rather sad-looking donkeys are allowed in Lindos because the town's narrow alleys are not wide enough for vehicles. If you're arriving by car, park in the lot above town, next to the bus stop, and walk the 10 minutes down (about 1,200 feet) to town.

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