Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece, is renowned for its rich history and stunning landscapes. Often referred to as the “Island of the Sun,” it boasts a unique blend of ancient and modern attractions.
Historically famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the island’s Medieval Old Town has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, Rhodes is a popular tourist destination in Europe, offering visitors a chance to explore its charming villages, lush forests, and beautiful beaches.
Whether it’s the historical allure of the ancient ruins or the vibrant nightlife in the city, Rhodes promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler.
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Attractions and Things to do in Rhodes
1. The City of Rhodes
The capital of Rhodes Island, the City of Rhodes, is a blend of medieval and modern architecture. The mediaeval town, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list, is home to the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Master and the renowned Street of the Knights. The new town showcases impressive buildings from the Italian Rule era. Outside the city walls, you can explore Mandraki harbor, the Aquarium, and Rodini park, known for its peacocks.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss a stroll through the picturesque alleys of the old town and a visit to the Clock Tower for wonderful views.
2. Northern Rhodes
Northern Rhodes offers a mix of cosmopolitan resorts and historical sites. Visit Kallithea for its beautiful beaches and healing hot springs, and Ialysos for its archaeological site on Filerimos Hill. The area is also known for water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Travel Tip: If visiting in August, catch the annual cultural festival in Ialysos for a taste of local tradition.
3. The Valley of the Butterflies
A unique natural attraction, the Valley of the Butterflies is home to millions of butterflies of the genus Panaxia quadripunctaria. Visit between June and September to witness this breathtaking phenomenon.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and consider visiting the nearby small museum of Natural History.
4. Archangelos and Seven Springs
Archangelos is a large inland town known for its colorful old houses and traditional way of life. Nearby, the Seven Springs offers a beautiful countryside landscape with shady pine and plane trees.
Travel Tip: Explore the castle built by the Knights of the Order of St. John in 1320 and enjoy a relaxing walk through the Seven Springs.
Kameiros was one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes, and its ruins lie in an open-air archaeological site surrounded by lush vegetation. Explore the traditional villages nearby for a taste of local life.
Travel Tip: Bring a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes and historical ruins.
6. Ancient Lindos
Ancient Lindos is known for its rich history and imposing acropolis perched on a high rock. The modern village of Lindos offers traditional white houses, churches, and cobblestone alleys. The location affords stunning views of the open sea.
Travel Tip: Visit the ancient acropolis early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and heat.
7. Southern Rhodes
Southern Rhodes is a haven for nature lovers, with long beaches stretching from Kiotari to Prasonisi. The area offers beautiful natural scenery, traditional villages, and opportunities for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Travel Tip: Consider taking a day trip to nearby islands like Symi and Chalki for a complete experience of the region.
Unique Activities in Rhodes
1. ATV Quad Relaxed Pace Adventure Guided Tour
Discover the southern part of Rhodes on an ATV quad. Enjoy a relaxed pace guided tour that takes you through picturesque landscapes, traditional villages, and offers panoramic views. A unique way to explore the island’s beauty.
2. 4×4 Self-Drive Jeep Tour
Drive a 4×4 jeep and explore the northern regions of Rhodes. Experience the thrill of driving off-road, visiting hidden gems, and enjoying breathtaking views. A self-drive tour that offers both adventure and scenic beauty.
3. Cooking Lesson and Wine Tasting with Lunch
Dive into the culinary delights of Rhodes with a cooking lesson. Learn traditional recipes, enjoy a wine tasting session, and savor a delicious lunch. A gastronomic experience that showcases the flavors of Rhodes.
Day Trips from Rhodes
1. Symi Island
From Rhodes, hop on a ferry to the neighboring Symi Island, where picturesque neoclassical buildings line its harbor and the Panormitis Monastery beckons for a peaceful visit. Explore its hidden coves and vibrant waters, perfect for a refreshing swim.
Travel Tip: The ferries can be busy during peak season, so consider booking your ticket in advance to ensure a spot.
2. Marmaris (Turkey)
Cross the Aegean and find yourself in the bustling resort town of Marmaris in Turkey, where bustling bazaars, ancient ruins, and a vibrant marina await exploration. Dive into Turkish culture with a traditional hammam experience or taste the local cuisine.
Travel Tip: Remember to check visa requirements and bring your passport, as you’ll be transitioning from Greece to Turkey.
3. Chalki Island
A serene escape awaits at Chalki Island, situated to the west of Rhodes. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of its car-free main town and be enchanted by the pastel-colored houses that dot its coastline.
Travel Tip: Chalki is known for its calm vibe, making it a great spot for those looking to get away from tourist crowds. Don’t forget to try the local seafood dishes at the tavernas.
Where to stay in Rhodes
Rhodes, a picturesque island in Greece, offers a wide array of hotels to suit every traveler’s needs. From luxurious 5-star resorts to budget-friendly accommodations, the island ensures a memorable stay for couples, families, and solo travelers alike. With over 1,662 hotels scattered across popular cities like Rhodes Town, Lindos, Faliraki, and more, visitors can enjoy stunning sea views, impeccable services, and Greek hospitality. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly vacation, Rhodes has something for everyone.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Esperos Village Blue & Spa – Adults Only (★★★★★)
- Description: Set on 78,000 m² area on a green hill with panoramic sea views, this 5-star resort in Faliraki offers stylish village design and amazing food & beverage team.
- Price: €276 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Ammades All Suites Beach Hotel – Adults Only (★★★★★)
- Description: Located in Faliraki, this 5-star hotel provides modern boutique accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a fitness center.
- Price: €403 per night
- Rating: 9.5 (Exceptional)
3. Budget Hotel
Ladiko Inn Hotel Faliraki – Anthony Quinn Bay (★★★)
- Description: A 3-star beachfront hotel in Faliraki, offering clean and comfortable rooms near a beautiful beach, with very kind and smiling hosts.
- Price: €79 per night
- Rating: 9.0 (Superb)
4. Hotel for Family
Ixia Dream Hotel – Adults Only (★★★★)
- Description: A 4-star hotel in Ixia, located steps from Ialyssos Beach, offering a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a peaceful pool area.
- Price: €111 per night
- Rating: 9.7 (Exceptional)
5. Hotel for Couples
Ancient Knights Luxury Suites (★★★★)
- Description: Located in Rhodes Old Town, this 4-star hotel offers extraordinary rooms and amazing beds, perfect for couples looking to explore Rhodes City.
- Price: €125 per night
- Rating: 9.3 (Superb)
6. Hotel for Solo Travelers
Vanik Suites (★★★★)
- Description: Situated in Kallithea Rhodes, this 4-star hotel features a garden and views of the pool, making it an ideal choice for solo travelers.
- Price: €125 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
Did you know? Facts about Rhodes
- Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is known as the “Island of the Sun” due to its patron sun god Helios. It also has nicknames such as “The Pearl Island” and “The Island of the Knights.”
- Historically, Rhodes was famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site.
- The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead, with a total area of approximately 1,400 km² and a coastline of approximately 220 km. The interior of the island is mountainous and covered with forests of pine and cypress.
- Rhodes is home to unique fauna, including a genetically distinct population of fallow deer, and the Valley of the Butterflies, where large numbers of tiger moths gather during the summer months.
- The island has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, and the South East of Rhodes records the highest mean annual sunshine in Greece with over 3,100 hours.
- In ancient times, Rhodes was known for its schools of philosophy, science, literature, and rhetoric, sharing masters with Alexandria, and became a cultural and educational center for Roman noble families.
- The island’s settlements started to form in the 8th century BC with the coming of the Dorians, who built three important cities: Lindos, Ialyssos, and Kameiros.
- Rhodes was besieged by Demetrius in 305 BC, who created huge siege engines, including a 180 ft battering ram. The siege ended in a peace agreement, and the Rhodians erected the Colossus of Rhodes with the leftover equipment.
- The island became a part of Alexander the Great’s empire in 332 BC and later formed strong commercial and cultural ties with the Ptolemies in Alexandria, controlling trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century BC.
- Rhodes remained a significant maritime and commercial center throughout history, with its coins circulating nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean. Its influence extended to the shores of Caria, known as the “Rhodian Peraia.”
FAQ about Rhodes
What Makes Rhodes Known as the “Island of the Sun” and a Popular Tourist Destination in Europe?
Rhodes, also known as the “Island of the Sun,” is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is famous for its rich history and beautiful landscapes. Historically, it was known for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
What Are the Must-Visit Villages and Resorts in Rhodes for Travelers?
Outside the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with picturesque villages and spa resorts, including Faliraki, Lindos, Kremasti, Haraki, Pefkos, Archangelos, Afantou, Koskinou, Embona (Attavyros), Paradisi, and Trianta (Ialysos). These locations offer unique experiences for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration.
How Can Travelers Explore the Natural Beauty of Rhodes, Including Its Flora and Fauna?
Rhodes is known for its mountainous interior, forests of pine and cypress, and arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables, and olives are grown. The island is also home to unique fauna, including the Rhodian population of fallow deer and the Valley of the Butterflies, where large numbers of tiger moths gather.
What Is the Climate Like in Rhodes, and When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Rhodes has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The South East of the island experiences a significantly warmer climate, making it the warmest area in Greece. With over 3,100 hours of sunshine annually, travelers can enjoy pleasant weather throughout the year, with the summer months being particularly popular.
What Are the Historical Landmarks and Cultural Attractions in Rhodes?
Rhodes is rich in historical landmarks, including the ruins of the Colossus of Rhodes, the Acropolis of Lindos, the Temple of Apollo, and the Medieval Old Town. The island’s history spans the Minoan Era, Mycenaean Era, Classical Era, Hellenistic and Roman periods, offering a diverse range of cultural attractions for history enthusiasts.
How Can Travelers Experience the Unique Geography of Rhodes, Including Its Mountains and Beaches?
The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead and offers a diverse geography, including Mount Attavyros, the island’s highest point, and a coastline of approximately 220 km. Travelers can explore the limestone bedrock, rocky shores, and beautiful beaches, as well as the city of Rhodes, located at the northern tip of the island.
What Are the Transportation Options in Rhodes for Travelers?
Rhodes offers various transportation options for travelers, including the Diagoras International Airport, located 14 km southwest of the city. The road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts, providing easy access to different parts of the island. Public transportation and rental services are also available.
How Has Rhodes Influenced Art and Education, and What Can Art Lovers Explore on the Island?
Rhodes has been a center for art, philosophy, science, literature, and rhetoric, sharing masters with Alexandria. The island’s school of sculptors developed a rich, dramatic style known as “Hellenistic Baroque.” Art lovers can explore the works of Agesander of Rhodes and other Rhodian sculptors, as well as the island’s influence on rhetoric and education.