The island of Rhodes is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey.
Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the island.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of land area and also the island group's historical capital.
Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region.
The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011.
Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The island was inhabited in the Neolithic period, although little remains of this culture. In the 16th century BC, the Minoans came to Rhodes.
Later Greek mythology recalled a Rhodian race called the Telchines and associated the island of Rhodes with Danaus; it was sometimes nicknamed Telchinis.
Mycenean necklace of carnelian found in Kattavia
In the 15th century BC, Mycenaean Greeks invaded.
After the Bronze Age collapse, the first renewed outside contacts were with Cyprus.
In the 8th century BC, the island's settlements started to form, with the coming of the Dorians,
who built the three important cities of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros, which together with Kos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus (on the mainland) made up the so-called Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities).
In Pindar's ode, the island was said to be born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhode, and the cities were named for their three sons.
The rhoda is a pink hibiscus native to the island. Diodorus Siculus added that Actis, one of the sons of Helios and Rhode,
travelled to Egypt. He built the city of Heliopolis and taught the Egyptians astrology.