While the true landmark of Rhodes, the Colossus of Rhodes, collapsed in 200 BC due to an earthquake, this Greek island itself is still a great holiday destination. You can spend days relaxing on the island with its quiet bays of sky-blue water and white sandy beaches.
Along the rocky shores stretch charming little white-fronted villages. On the surrounding hills, ancient castle ruins are enthroned and tell the island’s thousand years of history. Known for their hospitality, the Greek restaurateurs happily invite you inside to spoil your taste buds with delicious dishes. In the evening, you can dive into the Mediterranean nightlife of Greece.
The Old Town of Rhodes
Impressive gates carved out of stone lead you into the old town along distinct, dark cobblestone streets. You will walk dreamily through more archways than you can count as you are brought deeper into the city center. Here, you will find the Grand Master Square.
A multitude of high-ranking warlord statues watch over this mosaic-decorated plaza. To the left and right are even more arches rising above the statues. This truly magical place is over 700 years old and looks like it was ripped right from the set for Game of Thrones.
Around the corner you will find the Street of Knights, which is also worth a visit. From the city wall, you get a phenomenal view of the old town. In the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, you will be shown the world of Ancient Greece. Thousand-year-old sculptures and other relics from the time when Greece was the centre of the world can be found in this museum.
The tiny streets of the city will lead you to other beautiful buildings, such as the medieval churches of Agia Triada and Agia Aikaterini. The marketplace of Hippocrates Square is however a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, prepare yourself for a rather busy time given the tourist-nature of all the restaurants and souvenir shops that ensue with such a splendid site.
Rhodes’ Caves of Afantou
Where the rocky shores meet the sky-blue sea waters is where you can find the Cave of Afandou. Here, you can kayak, swim, or simply enjoy the beach and cave by foot. There are also small hidden beaches and caves all around that are worth exploring. In some caves, it is possible to go snorkelling inside and discover the sea creatures living there. After a little adventure, you can relax on the beach of Afandou and listen to the Mediterranean Sea.
Lindos, with its unique panoramic view, is one of the loveliest villages on Rhodes. The turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea flowing into the bay, the white houses, and the castle ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos crowned upon the hills of the village create an impressive backdrop.
As there are no motorable roads, you can only explore the village itself by foot. However, you will stroll through the gorgeous, snow-white alleys that are embellished with deep green flowers. You will pass by the small restaurants and stores of Lindos. On the 116-meter-high rock at the foot of the village is the Acropolis. This is not to be confused with its sister of the same name from Athens. You’ll break a sweat on the way up to the ruins, but it is worth it. In addition to the temple, the Acropolis of Lindos also has a theatre and from up here there is a wonderful view of the bay and village.
Lindos shows its true beauty in the evenings. Yellow lights illuminate the streets, creating a dazzling picture that is best enjoyed from the mountain opposite the Acropolis. The village itself also has a particularly magical atmosphere. On small roof terraces, you can have a glass of olives and enjoy the tranquil evening air with a refreshing glass of white wine.
About 9 kilometres from the capital, you will find a wonderful place to relax. The Kalithea Springs were once a mecca of medicine. People from all around the world came to this place to be cured of various diseases. Unfortunately, the springs have since dried up, but are still worth a visit. The main building looks like a film set from a Greek myth, with the floors of the springs covered in grand mosaics. The Kallithea Springs also have their own private beach where you can snorkel among the rocks.
In the summer, exhibitions and concerts are even held here. Admission to this little oasis only costs a few euros. In return, you get a calming day by the sea. This is a wonderful way to relax on this little southern island.
Petaloudes – The Valley of the Butterflies
Between June and September, a true natural spectacle takes place in Petaloudes. The Valley of the Butterflies is home to a special type of tree whose sap gives off a scent that attracts a native species of moth. These beautiful and colourful moths, or “butterflies”, swarm by the thousands through the small valley and cover the tasty trees with their wings.
Small wooden pathways lead you through the lively valley. In addition to the moths, a number of tiny lizards live here and can be found warming themselves on the rocks in the midday sun. Even on a hot day, a trip to the Valley of the Butterflies is quite enjoyable. The trees provide shade and the crystal-clear stream with its small waterfalls and lakes ensure a refreshing breeze.
If you are a culture vulture, you don’t want to miss the city of Kamiros, or what is left of it. These ancient ruins are more than 3,000 years old. Once a temple and several houses, the structural outlines of these ruins are still visible today. Archaeological excavations at this site have unearthed ancient Greek relics such as pottery that dates back thousands of years.
Epta Piges – The Seven Springs of Rhodes
A path leads you through a densely overgrown forest. Here and there, you will encounter free-roaming peacocks. The highlight of the trip is a path through a 186-meter-long tunnel that leads to the reservoir. Through ankle-high water, you will walk along a dark corridor. At the end, is the incredibly beautiful reservoir. As tempting as it may seem, swimming in the reservoir is not allowed as it still provides drinking water for the surrounding villages.
Further inland on the island, seven springs form a stream that flows into the Loutanis River. In the 20th century, Italian engineers built a dam to draw drinking water from these springs. The turquoise water flows almost elegantly over the edge of the dam. This is reachable via a small set of stone stairs. There is also a tavern near the springs where you can stop and take a break.
If you like the colourful island of Burano near Venice, you will love Koskinou. The village consists of many small, vibrant houses, and the narrow streets are covered with blooming flowers. Traditional taverns invite you to lounge on delightful terraces in the afternoon sun. Here, you will find small plazas adorned with fountains and ornate floors, as if you were living in a perfect Greek dream.
The Castle of Monolithos
One of the most magnificent viewpoints on Rhodes is from the ruins of the Monolithos Castle. Your gaze will wander out over the endless expanse of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea and over the spectacular rocky coast. On clear days, you can see the island of Chalki in the distance. Located only three kilometres away from the village of Monolithos, you can easily reach the castle ruins. An ancient stone staircase leads you up the 236-meter-high mountain. Succulent trees tower over the left and ride sides of the path. Once at the top, you can enjoy the splendid view and explore ever inch of the ruins.
Anthony Quinn Bay
Probably the most beautiful swim spot is the emerald-blue Anthony Quinn Bay. This bay lies sheltered from the wind on the east coast of the island. The beach is very small but ideal for diving and snorkelling as there is a gorgeous underwater world to admire. If you’re an explorer at heart, it’s worthwhile to climb the surrounding hills. Here, there are magical views of the bay. However, it’s better not to come here during the peak visiting times, since the small beach is easily overcrowded. Though, this just means that this bay is the perfect place for any off-season traveller.
The Most Beautiful Beaches of Rhodes
You will find thousands of beautiful beaches to relax and unwind on. These sandy havens and their turquoise bays dot the coastlines of the island. Although, Prasonisi Beach are where things get a little wilder. A constant wind provides ideal conditions for kiting and windsurfing along the 800-meter-long sandbank. On good days, there are countless colourful kites dancing over the water. You can rent surfboards from several rental shops and improve your own skills with a surf course.
If you prefer to take it a bit easier, we recommend Glystra Beach. Natural dunes surrounded by trees kiss the edge of the beach and make for a picturesque sight. While many beaches are developed and are covered with cafés and restaurants, Glystra Beach is great for relaxing in peace.
When you have recovered, you can go to Tsambika Beach to take in the evening sun. The white sandy beach and turquoise water make for yet another wondrous scene. In the evenings, there are some beach parties which are ideal for meeting new people or to just dance under the moonlight with the sand under your feet.
The Greek Island of Rhodes has a lot to offer. Whether you want to take a stroll through the old town, experience Greek culture, or just relax on the beach all day. All of that, and more, are possible here. When you’re ready, visit the many beaches and bays while enjoying the breathtaking nature found here.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go to Rhodes!