PhotoRhodes is the largest of Dodecanese islands and the fourth largest in Greece next to Crete, Evia and Lesvos. It is situated in the south eastern part of the Aegean Sea and its surface area is 1,400 sq. km. The coasts are 220 km long and the distance between Rhodes and Piraeus is 250 n.m. The island's terrain semi-mountainous, and only a few lanes are fertile. The highest peaks are: Ataviros (1,215 m.), Akromitis (825 m.) and Profitis Ilias (799 m.). Small plains stretch near the slopes of the hills which are covered with bushes and trees. The island's flora and fauna "co-habitate" at Rodini, a forest with running waters creating ponds with wonderful nenuphars and other aquatic plants. White and black swans swim in the ponds, and thousands of birds sing to the tourists, while here the peacocks with their beautiful exotic colours, are in abundance. The Valley of the Butterflies is also of extreme beauty. Millions of rare butterflies -which came from Himalayas- form clouds, as they move at every human gesture. The island's climate is very healthy. The winter is mild, the summer is cool, it is sunny most of the year and the rain helps the growth of the vegetation. The mild climate and the running water are the primary reasons for the production of agricultural products. The island produces the best vegetables and fruit, in the entire Mediterranean Sea, while agriculture and stock-breeding were the primary occupations for the locals, until the end of 1950s. Today, in many areas, there are grapevines producing the famous wine of Rhodes, while other local products are: cereals, oil, fruit and meat from the mountainous areas of the island. The 90,000 people of Rhodes are polite, hospitable and heavily influenced by the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the island. The locals are very social, comfortable with strangers, warm and lovers of their island and their country. They work hard, they are very clever and open-minded, thus the thrive on exploiting the island's beauty and history.