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Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is their historical capital; it is the ninth largest island in the overall Mediterranean Sea. 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. In 2022, the island had a population of 125,113 people. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens. Rhodes has several nicknames, such as "Island of the Sun" due to its patron sun god Helios, "The Pearl Island", and "The Island of the Knights", named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who ruled the island from 1310 to 1522.
Historically, Rhodes was famous 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 has been known as Ρόδος (Ródos) in Greek throughout its history. It was also called Lindos. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville incorrectly reports that Rhodes was formerly called "Collosus", through a conflation of the Colossus of Rhodes and Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, which refers to Colossae. The island's name might be derived from erod, Phoenician for snake, since the island was home to many snakes in antiquity.
The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km (49.5 mi) long and 38 km (24 mi) wide, with a total area of approximately 1,400 km2 (541 sq mi) and a coastline of approximately 220 km (137 mi). Limestone is the main bedrock. The city of Rhodes is located at the northern tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient and modern commercial harbours. The main airport is the Diagoras International Airport (IATA code: RHO), located 14 km (9 mi) to the southwest of the city in Paradisi. The road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts. Outside the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages of whitewashed homes and spa resorts, among them Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos).
Rhodes is situated 363 km (226 mi) east-southeast from the Greek mainland, and 18 km (11 mi) from the southern shore of Turkey. Mount Attavyros, at 1,216 m (3,990 ft), is the island's highest point of elevation.
Rhodes has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Köppen climate classification) with mild winters and hot summers. The South East of the island experiences a significantly warmer climate with Lindos registering for the period 2010-2019 a mean annual temperature of 21.9 °C (71.4 °F), making it the warmest area in Greece. Moreover, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, South East Rhodes records the highest mean annual sunshine in Greece with over 3,100 hours.