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The Greek island of Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands and lies in the eastern Aegean Sea, to the north east of the island of Crete and south east of Athens. The island is also a short distance off the coast of Turkey. Rhodes Town is the island's capital and main town and its Old Town is a rich tapestry made up of different civilisations and cultures. The city's medieval walls, its fortress like buildings, the gates, bastions, narrow alleys, old houses, fountains and busy squares combine to make all visitors feel as though they have stepped back thousands of years. Outside of Rhodes Town the island has a number of small villages and beach resorts that are popular with tourists. The main ones are Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Pefkos, Archangelos, Haraki, Koskinou, Afantou, Paradisi, Trianta and Embona.
From the island's port, ferry services depart to Piraeus by both conventional and high speed ferry. The island is also connected to the rest of the Dodecanese Islands, the Cyclades Islands and to Crete during the summer months.
The Greek island of Syros is one of the Cyclades group of islands and is unusual in that the island's architecture is more medieval rather than the more typical Cycladic. The island's capital is Ermoupolis and has some fine examples of Venetian mansions to see. In the Vaporia quarter of the capital visitors will find some lovely large churches and impressive neoclassical buildings, such as the Town Hall and Apollo Theatre in the central square. Also popular with visitors are the island's beaches which are well equipped for tourists and have a good range of facilities.
The island can trace its history back to the 3rd millennium BC where signs of inhabitation have been found in the Halandriani and Kastri parts of the island. Artefacts found indicate that there was some kind of metal workshop on the island which possibly had a trading relationship with Asia Minor. The Samians occupied the island in the 6th century BC and is when many of the island's inhabitants moved to the island. At that time, the important physician and philosopher Pherecydis was born in Syros and some years later he went to Samos and became the teacher of Pythagoras.