The best place to visit in Rhodes
1. The Medieval City of Rhodes
Rhodes’ medieval city is clearly the island’s must-see attraction.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest and best-preserved fortified city in Europe!
This impressive citadel was built by the knights of Saint-John when they arrived on the island in 1309. The 4-km long fortified walls, with many strongholds and towers, are extremely well-preserved.
Must-visit locations of the old town:
- The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes: one of the first castles built by the knights. Inside, you will discover a museum dedicated to Rhodes’ History and the Grand Master’s apartment, with its magnificent mosaic floors. The Street of the Knights: there, each of the languages had its own inn (also called “auberge” or “palatial residence”). You will discover the Inn of the Tongue of France, or the Inn of the Tongue of England for example.
- The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is located in the medieval Hospital of the Knights. There, you will find many ancient objects found in Rhodes and the other Dodecanese Islands.
- The Byzantine Art Museum and its many frescoes and icons from the Byzantine period.
- The Churches of Agia Triada and Agia Aikaterini.
- The Suleman Mosque, built during the Turkish occupation of Rhodes.
2. Mandraki / New town of Rhodes
Outside the fortified walls Mandraki harbor and the modern city are worth a visit.
In the harbour, you will see the 3 wind mills of Rhodes as well as the place where it’s said that the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, was built. The 30-meter high statue of the sun-god Helios was entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
It was replaced by 2 small statues representing a deer and a doe (the symbol of Rhodes), built on 2 pillars at the port’s entrance. Surrounding Mandraki harbor, you will find many monumental buildings built during the Italian occupation of Rhodes: The Bank of Greece, the Archbishops Palace, the City Hall and the National Theatre of Rhodes.
Fashioned in the form of an underwater sea cave, the Aquarium is the ideal place for those wishing to get acquainted with the marine wealth of the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
On the highest point of Rhodes town, Monte Smith, dominated the Acropolis of Rhodes with the remains of the Stadium, the Theatre and the Pythian Temple of Apollo.
The village of Lindos is a real postcard landscape, classified as a major archaeological site, it will amaze you with its pretty white houses built around the hillside of its Acropolis.
The Acropolis is Lindos’ main point of interest. You can walk there or get a ride on a donkey. It was built on top of a huge rock, 116 meters above the sea, and it is surrounded by fortified walls built by the Knights of Rhodes. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the island’s many strongholds.
Inside the walls, you will discover the remains of an ancient theatre and the last vestiges of the Temple of Athena, built on top of the Acropolis.
4. Rhodes’ best beaches
The best beaches to take a dip, with crystal clear waters in Rhodes are:
- Tsambika Beach: A beautiful fine sand beach with shallow waters, ideal for children.
- Anthony Quinn Bay: A small cove with turquoise waters, once owned for a season by the famous actor.
- Saint Paul’s Bay: Two small organized beaches with a stunning view of Lindos’ Acropolis.
- Afandou Beach: Approx. 6km long, pebbled beach, ideal for children.
- Prasonisi: Located at the southern tip of the island, it is one of Rhodes’ most beautiful beaches. This sand beach separates the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. With the strong and stable Meltemi wind it is a great spot for Windsurfers!
- Gennadi Beach: A nice and quiet pebble beach, perfect for snorkeling.
- Kiotari Beach: A sand beach with a private part and several taverns.
- Pefki, Located only 4 km away from Lindos, ideal for a family outing.
- Agathi: A sandy beach with shallow waters, ideal for children and favored by locals.
- Vlicha (or Vlycha): It is a great choice if you’re with children. There, you can rent deckchairs and enjoy a few restaurants.
- Glystra: With its fine sand and crystal-clear waters.
5. Rhodes’ castles
When visiting Rhodes, you should also discover the island’s many castles.
Most of these castles were built in the 15th century by the Knights of Saint John and were used as observation posts:
- Kritinia Castle
- Monolithos Castle
- Feraklos Castle
- The Castle of Archangelos
- The castle of Asklipio
6. Ancient site of Kamiros
This must-see archaeological site is located around 35 km Southwest of Rhodes City.
With Lindos and Ialyssos, Kamiros is one of the 3 ancient cities founded by the Dorians. It was built on 3 levels following the Hippodamian grid system (urban planning):
- On the lowest level, you can discover a Temple and the Doric fountain.
- The middle level, with the inhabitants’ houses, was the main part of the city,
- The upper level was dedicated to the Temple of Athena and the Acropolis
7. The Valley of the Butterflies
It’s located in the North of the island, 26 km from Rhodes city, between the villages of Paradisi and Theologos.
Between June and September, you can observe thousands of nocturnal butterflies covering all the trees, in this unique biotope. The valley is one of Europe’s best sanctuaries for the Panaxia Quadripunctaria or Jersey tiger butterfly and the only natural forest of Liquidambar orientalis in Europe, a rare species of plane tree. As the butterflies are in the final stage of their lives and are reproducing it is very important not to disturb them by making loud noises or walking off trails.
Located in the valley as well is the Natural History Museum where you can learn more about the wildlife in Rhodes.
8. Kallithea Springs
Located East of the island, 9 km away from Rhodes City, you can visit the buildings, discover the beautiful mosaic floors and admire a magnificent sea view.
Opened in 1929, the springs were renowned for Kallithea spring water’s curative and therapeutic properties. Visitors came from around the world to find a cure for arthritis, diabetes or asthma. At some point the springs were left in a state of decay for many years to finally re-open in 2007.
Kallithea hosts many art exhibitions and concerts and was used several times as a filming location.
9. Tsambika Monastery
Tsambika Monastery is another place worth visiting.
In order to reach the tiny Byzantine church, built on top of a mountain, you have to climb more than 300 steps to get there! Once on top, you’ll be rewarded by a magnificent view of Tsambika Beach and most of Rhodes. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and many women who cannot get pregnant were climbing up here on their bare feet to pray. If they got pregnant, they would dedicate their babies name, Tsambikos for a boy, and Tsampika for a girl.
10. Seven Springs
The Seven Springs are located 4 km from the village of Kolymbia, not far from Tsambika Monastery.
Seven small springs are gushing from the mountain and create a river. The most famous attraction here is its tunnel. The river is channeled through a narrow tunnel to the other side of the hill. You can follow the watercourse and walk through the narrow and dark underground tunnel for approx.180m and reach a small lake on the other side.
11. Full-day trip to Symi Island
Boat trips are among the best things to do in Rhodes as you can discover unique nearby destinations. In just 60 minutes you can reach the island of Symi, one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.
During this one-day trip, you will have time to explore the colorful beauty and hospitality of the island with its long naval and sponge diving tradition. You will also visit the Panormitis Monastery, dedicated to the archangel Michael, renowned worldwide for its miracles. A great day out for the whole family. More information for Symi visit www.allaboutsymi.gr
12. Full-day trip to Marmaris / Turkey
Another boat trip nobody should miss!
A 60-minute cruise away from Rhodes lies the resort of Marmaris along the shoreline of the Turkish Riviera. A town surrounded by natural beauty and a magnet for travelers from around the world. The historic old town with its castle, and the lively new town invite you to get lost in a story of one thousand and one nights. Explore the busy Bazaar, discover new tastes and aromas and shop ‘til you drop. Relax with a walk along the endless promenade, listening to and watching street performers along the way.