Mandraki Harbour has been in use since ancient times and was formerly the military port of Rhodes; it was protected from attack by gigantic chains across its narrow mouth and later by the impregnable bulk of the Fort of St Nicholas, built in 1467 and still watching over the marina. Over the centuries the harbor was also a successful and rich trading port but these days its role in Rhodes life is entirely peaceful; a fetching clutch of billionaires’ super-yachts bob in the marina alongside traditional fishing boats and a multitude of tour boats, which depart every day in summer to visit islands off the coast of Rhodes – including Symi and Nisyros – as well as ferrying visitors to local beaches and on diving trips.
The harbor mouth, reputedly bridged by the Colossus of Rhodes in classical times, is now guarded by bronze statues of Elafos and Elafina – the deer that symbolize the island – atop slender stone columns; little remains of Mandraki’s commercial past except three corn mills lined up along the breakwater, where merchant ships once offloaded grain. Nowadays the quays are packed with late-night bars and cafés and floating restaurants have taken the place of cargo ships; a new addition to the Mandraki landscape is the Nea Agora (New Market), built in ornate style by the Italians in the 1930s.
Rhodes Town. Open 24/7. Best accessed on foot.