Rhodes: The Ultimate Guide
Known for its glorious beaches, ancient ruins and natural wonders, the Greek island of Rhodes offers beautiful sea vistas, plenty of history and some respite from the world.
Best things to do in Rhodes
Lindos This postcard-perfect town in Rhodes is a must-visit for anyone spending time on the island. Visit the magnificent Acropolis which overlooks the town of whitewashed homes, before wandering through the muddle of pretty lanes filled with craft shops, eateries and tavernas.
Profitis Ilias This mountain stands at 798 metres tall and is the highest point in the whole of Rhodes. Embark on a day trip here to experience breath-taking views of the island while surrounded by greenery and forest. Visiting this spot is about more than the beauty of nature, as a villa built for Mussolini can also be found here. Day tours of Rhodes including a stop at Profitis Ilias start from €50 per person.
Kallithea Springs The healing properties of the thermal waters at Kallithea Springs have been known about since ancient times. Go for a swim or soak in the thermal waters before making use of the other facilities here, including a café and a diving school. Entry to the Kallithea Springs costs €4.
Artistic Village Contemporary Art Visit this art gallery and shop to take in the fascinating work of local artists and to buy some one-of-a-kind souvenirs made by the craftspeople of Rhodes. With everything from ceramics to sculptures, it’s certain there will be something that catches your eye here. Artistic Village Contemporary Art is open Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 21:00.
Experience Greek island life on a smaller scale by going on a day trip to the neighbouring island of Symi. This boat trip from Rhodes takes around 1.5 hours and is a fantastic way to catch a glimpse of Rhodes from a different perspective. The charming island of Symi has a wonderful harbour with a choice of high-end seafood restaurants to wend away lunchtimes in. Elsewhere on the island, pay a visit to the Symi Folk Museum, enjoy the traditional architecture and pristine views offered by Megali Panagia Church, and buy a sea sponge from one of the world’s top sea sponge diving centres!
Things to do in Rhodes Town
Old Town Rhodes Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by medieval walls and seven gates. Rhodes Old Town was built by the Knights Hospitallers – also known as the Order of St John – in the 1300s, following the persecution of the Knights Templar. Said to be one of the best preserved medieval cities in the whole world, have a wander around the cobbled lanes filled with architectural history from Classical, Ottoman and Italian eras. Be sure to visit Street of the Knights too, which is one of the most beautiful lanes in the city where the knights spent much of their time.
Palace of the Grand Masters This castle found in the Old Town was originally built in the 7th century and has been rebuilt, repaired and extended a number of times throughout history. Visit the castle to explore artworks and antique furnishings while soaking up the feeling of history. It’s also possible to walk atop the castle walls, which gives an impressive bird’s eye view of the city below. This is most definitely one of the best things to see in Rhodes. The Palace of the Grand Masters is open daily from April to October from 08:00 to 20:00, and Tuesday to Sunday from November to March from 08:00 to 15:00. Entry costs €6. It’s possible to walk the castle walls from Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 15:00 for an extra €2.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes This museum is found inside a building in the Old Town that was previously the hospital of the Knights of St John. The contents of this fascinating building are just as interesting, with a whole host of objects discovered in Rhodes that date back to Roman and Hellenistic periods. The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00. Entry costs €8.
Museum of Modern Greek Art This museum is well-loved by art fans thanks to the range of 20th century Greek paintings, engravings, sketches and sculptures to be discovered here. There is also a rotating calendar of exhibitions and special events such as engraving workshops. The Museum of Modern Greek Art is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 08:00 to 15:00. Entry costs €3.
New Town There is so much fascinating history to explore in Rhodes Town, but don’t miss out on the modern side of city life too. Rhodes New Town is home to an alluring harbour, pleasant waterfront bars and an indulgent dining scene. There are also a number of high-end shops just waiting to be explored.
People’s Street Market This twice-weekly market is the perfect place to visit for those who want an insight into traditional island life. Farmers and food producers from across Rhodes come along to sell their goods, which range from the freshest fruit and vegetables, to jars of capers and stuffed vine leaves. The People’s Street Market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08:00 to 14:00.
Romantic things to do in Rhodes
Kato Petres beach Being an island, Rhodes is full of beaches – some well-known and others a little further off-the-beaten-track. For some quality time with a loved one, go on a romantic beach stroll to enjoy outdoor beauty at its best. Kato Petres beach is an idyllic option, with its small strip of white sand and enchanting views over the turquoise sea. To reach this beach, follow the trail from the southern tip of Psaropoula beach – there are plenty of spots to sit along the way to make even more of an occasion of it.
Wine tasting in Embonas Certainly one of the more fascinating places to visit in Rhodes, the mountain village of Embonas is the primary wine-producing region of the island. The pretty traditional village is home to several wineries that offer free wine tasting, so pay a visit to Embonas to share a glass or two of wine with your other half while soaking up the atmosphere of a traditional Greek village. There is also an annual wine festival in the village every September.
St Paul’s Bay This heart-shaped bay is one of the most romantic spots in Rhodes. When viewed from the hills up above, the bay clearly resembles a heart shape, while the captivating church on the coastline is a popular setting for weddings. Spend a day on the quiet beach, go snorkelling in the calm waters, or visit on a boat trip to take in other areas of the coastline too. Some boat trips even include champagne and food.
Places to eat in Rhodes
Romios Restaurant This pretty restaurant with shady outdoor seating amid incredible trees is one of the best places to eat in Rhodes Old Town. The menu is filled with traditional Greek cuisine and locally-sourced ingredients, with a wonderful wine list to match. Romios Restaurant is open daily from 12:00 to 00:00.
Mavrikos This Lindos restaurant is a long-standing favourite in Rhodes and has been running since the 1930s. It’s a must-visit for many foodies visiting Rhodes, serving Greek fusion food in an interior that blends the old with the new. Mavrikos is open daily from 09:00 to 23:30.
Fournariko For the best baked goods on the island, visit this Rhodes Town bakery. Fournariko is the perfect place to get a breakfast pastry and coffee in the morning, or a savoury stuffed filo pastry treat for a quick lunch. Fournariko is open daily from 07:00 until 23:00.
Marco Polo Café
For an upscale evening meal in Rhodes Old Town, this restaurant in the old Marco Polo mansion is the place to go. Sit among the vibrant flowers in the enchanting courtyard to enjoy the exquisite cuisine and intimate setting. Marco Polo Café is open daily from 19:00 to 23:00.
Kyma Beach Restaurant For an evening meal enjoying some of the best sea views on the island, Kyma Beach Restaurant is the place to go. Indulge in a range of traditional Greek dishes offered on the menu together with a range of innovative cocktails to sip while the sun sets. Kyma Beach Restaurant is open daily from 18:00 to 23:00.
Things to do in Rhodes with kids
Beach time Rhodes has a choice of beaches to suit all occasions, ranging from quiet patches of coastline to beaches with tavernas, water sports and sun loungers aplenty. Visit one of the island’s family-friendly beaches on a trip to Rhodes to keep everyone entertained. Tsambika beach is a great option for families, with crystal waters, tavernas and water sports on offer. Anthony Quinn beach is ideal for those who like snorkelling and a choice of seafood restaurants for lunch, while Prasonisi beach is perfect for families who want to try their hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Butterfly Valley A beautifully named area of natural beauty in Rhodes, Butterfly Valley is an ideal day trip for visitors with families. This forested area 20 miles away from Rhodes Town is full of Oriental Sweetgum trees, which in turn attract hundreds of thousands of butterflies between May and September every year. Walk along boardwalks, take a picnic to enjoy at the numerous seating areas and revel in the amazing butterflies to be seen all around.
Water Park This outdoor fun-land of water slides, swimming pools and a lazy river is the ideal place to visit on a family day trip in Rhodes. Water Park promises a day of fun for children and relaxation for adults, with plenty of sun loungers and food options. Water Park is open from May until October every year. Adult tickets cost €24 and tickets for children cost €16.
Unusual things to do in Rhodes
Segway tour If you want to explore the amazing history of Rhodes Town without walking too much, going on a Segway tour is a great way to soak everything up. No prior Segway experience is needed! Two hour Segway tours of Rhodes Town start from €59 per person with Rhodes Segway Tours.
Drink in a clocktower Exploring the ancient highlights of Rhodes Town sometimes comes with an unexpected modern twist. The Roloi Clock Tower dates back to the 7th century, so paying a visit here offers an astounding piece of history and architecture, as well as panoramic views of the island. Nowadays, the clock tower is also the location of a ground floor bar with a picturesque terrace – and entry to the clocktower includes a free drink! Roloi Clock Tower is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 22:00. Entry costs €5.
Free things to do in Rhodes
Acropolis of Rhodes This archaeological site is actually the ancient Hellenistic city of Rhodes, now known as the Acropolis. Parts of this ancient city have been restored, making for a history-filled excursion. In particular, explore the Temple of Apollo, a stadium and a small theatre. Part of the ruins are found on the Monte Smith Hill, which is perfect for exploring some green space while enjoying views over the island.
Seven Springs Just 20 miles away from Rhodes Town is an area of natural beauty, with a lake and seven springs flowing into it. This is a place to simply enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, with boardwalks, trails and tranquil seating areas. There is also a traditional local restaurant to enjoy authentic cuisine.
Rodini Park This ancient park just a few miles from Rhodes Town is thought to be the first landscaped park in the world. The Romans are even known to have enjoyed the park and added some features to it that are still present today. Visit the park for short, peaceful strolls and beautifully shaded areas to sit and relax.
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