A few years ago during Kurban Bayram the FT team were given the opportunity to visit the island of Rhodes as guests of the island’s administration.
We were driven all over the island and were amazed by what we saw.
In this, the second in a series of three articles, we introduce the extraordinary architectural masterpiece of Kalithea.
A glorious Italian meringue
Classical temples or crusader castles are usually what spring to mind when thinking of Rhodes but the island was under Italian rule for several decades in the first half of the 20th century. One relatively modern building shines brilliantly amongst the island’s many architectural gems, like a gleaming Italian meringue.
A must see by the sea
The Kalithea Springs are only 9km from the city of Rhodes and easily accessible by public transport, taxi or hire care. Obviously the bus is the slowest, so check times if your planning this as a day trip. This spectacular building re-opened its doors on 1 July 2007 after years of careful refurbishment by the Kalithea municipality and although when we visited a couple of years ago it was not quite finished it is a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting the island.
It is fair to say that this must be one of the most photogenic buildings in the southern Aegean: every angle offering a different perspective, so it’s a great place for photographers.
Zorba et al
The Italians designed and built a spa on the beachside area, and over the years it became a popular haunt for the rich and famous. It was very popular with film stars, including Anthony Quinn. There is a gallery showing photos of both Greek and foreign celebrities, including the world famous star of Zorba the Greek.
A divine dip
In ancient times Rhodian athletes bathed in the thermal springs before travelling to the Olympic Games, as the waters were said to give them divine strength.
Over the centuries the spring water has diminished to a trickle but Kalithea is nonetheless a romantic place to visit and spend the day. It is a popular venue for weddings and conferences and for people that just want to marvel at its beauty. There is a pretty beach and a café, and all of this is available for a small entrance fee of a just a few euro.
For more information about visiting Rhodes click here.