Best Things to Do in Rhodes: The Best Places to Visit ! (Full Guide)
You want to visit Rhodes and you’re wondering about the best places to see?
Here we are !
In order to help you plan your stay, we have prepared for you this guide of the 12 best things to do in Rhodes, with all points of interest and must-see attractions.
You will discover the Medieval City of Rhodes, Lindos Acropolis, the best beaches of the island and much more.
And as always, this travel guide contains all the best tips to make the most of your stay.
So, what to do in Rhodes? Where to stay?
Let’s start with the best places to visit on the island!
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!
When the knights of Saint-John arrived on the island in 1309, they decided to build this impressive citadel. The 4-km long fortified walls, with many strongholds and towers, are extremely well-preserved.
There are only pedestrian streets inside the walls. You will be able to take a nice stroll and enjoy its charming paved alleys and historical monuments.
Nowadays, the medieval city of Rhodes is entirely dedicated to tourism: you will find there many taverns, restaurants and shops. The place is also very busy (even if I visited Rhodes at the end of September!).
The best places to see in Rhodes are:
- 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. Unfortunately, most of the furniture was destroyed when a stock of ammunition exploded in 1856.
- 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 Clock Tower, to admire a beautiful view over the Old City from the top.
- 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.
After visiting Rhodes’ old town, you can go outside the fortified walls to visit Mandraki, the modern city.
In the harbour, you will see the 3 mills of Rhodes as well as the place where the famous Colossus of Rhodes was built. This 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 (the symbol of Rhodes), built on 2 pillars at the port’s entrance. It’s clearly not as spectacular as the Colossus, considered as one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world!
In Mandraki, you will find many beautiful monuments built during the Italian occupation of Rhodes: the Bank of Greece, the Archbishops Palace, the City Hall and the National Theatre of Rhodes.
There is also a casino and many international clothing brands stores such as Zara or H&M if you want to do a bit of shopping.
If you’re visiting Rhodes with children, you should go to the Aquarium, located North of Mandraki, right next to the Casino.
In Rhodes’ modern city, you will also discover the vestiges of Rhodes’ Acropolis, located 2 km away from the medieval city, on the slopes of Monte Smith.
There, you can see the remains of the Stadium, the Theatre and the Pythian Temple of Apollo. This archaeological site is quite small, but the entrance is free.
Lindos is one of Rhodes’ most beautiful villages, and clearly one of the best places see on the island.
It takes around 1 hour to reach the village, located 50 kilometers South of Rhodes City. Classified as a major archaeological site, Lindos is a real postcard landscape: you will be amazed by the pretty white houses built on the hillside and its Acropolis overlooking the village and the sea.
As Lindos is a pedestrian only town, you should park your car in the free parking lot above the city, then walk down to reach the village’s entrance. When taking a stroll on its paved alleys, you will enjoy numerous souvenirs and clothes shops, as well as many cafés and restaurants.
If you’re looking for a lively and unique atmosphere, then Lindos is clearly a great place to visit!
The Acropolis is Lindos’ main point of interest. You can walk there or get a ride on a donkey, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as the animals are often abused.
Built on a huge rock, 116 meters above the sea, Lindos’ Acropolis 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. There are only a few columns left, but the place is still worth a visit: from there, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea and the village of Lindos.
Rhodes’ best beaches
If you want to relax at the beach and swim in crystal clear waters, then Rhodes’ is clearly a great destination for your holidays.
The best beaches to take a dip in Rhodes are:
- Faliraki Beach: located 10 km South of Rhodes City, it’s one of the island’s most famous and crowded beaches. On the seaside, you will discover many hotel complexes offering all-inclusive stays.
- Tsambika: a beautiful fine sand beach, ideal if you’re with children. You can rent deckchairs and umbrellas as well as enjoy many nautical activities.
- Anthony Quinn Beach was named after the main actor of the movie “Zorba the Greek”, as it was his favorite beach!
- Saint Paul’s Bay, where you will find 2 small beaches with a beautiful view of Lindos’ Acropolis. Most of the beach is private. There is also a pretty white chapel hosting a few weddings every year.
- The beaches close to Lindos, located below the village. It’s clearly a great place to relax and take a dip after visiting the Acropolis.
- Afandou, ideal if you’re with children.
- Prasonisi, (at the Southern end of the island) is one of Rhodes’ most beautiful beaches. This sand beach separates the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also a great spot for Windsurfers!
- Gennadi, a nice and quiet pebble beach. the water is very clear there, so it’s perfect for snorkeling. You can also rent deckchairs.
- Kiotari, a sand beach with a private part and several taverns.
- Pefki, located only 4 km away from Lindos. It’s way quieter than the beaches closer to Lindos.
- Agathi, a small beach mostly frequented by locals.
- Vlicha (or Vlycha) is a great choice if you’re with children. There, you can rent deckchairs and enjoy a few restaurants.
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 is located close to the village of the same name. Climb a few steps to access the entrance and go inside the fortified walls. From there, you will enjoy a great view over the sea.
- Monolithos Castle is located 5 kilometers after the village of Siana. It was erected at the top of a 236-meter high hill by the Grand Masters in 1476. It’s a great viewpoint, with a panorama of the bay, Chalki island and the mountains. There is also a small church and a pretty stone arch. It’s the perfect place to take a beautiful picture!
- Feraklos Castle, a medieval castle located close to the Charaki village and right next to Agathi beach. This huge fortress was erected on top of a hill, overlooking the bays of Agathi and Malonas. You might have the chance to be alone during your visit, as the place isn’t mentioned in any tourist guide. Don’t forget your hiking shoes, as the short trail is steep and rocky.
- The Castle of Archangelos, built by the Knights on the ruins of a former Byzantine Castle.
- The castle of Asklipio, built by the Byzantines. The view of the hills and the village is quite nice too.
Ancient site of Kamiros
If you’re interested in Rhodes ancient History (before the Knights), then you should definitely visit the ancient site of Kamiros.
This 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):
- At the top of the Hill, you will find the Temple of Athena and the Acropolis.
- The middle level was the main part of the city, with the inhabitants’ houses.
- On the lowest level, you can discover another Temple and the Doric fountain.
The Valley of the Butterflies
The Valley of the Butterflies is among the best things to do in Rhodes.
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 hundreds of butterflies literally covering all the trees, as the valley’s climate and environment is perfect for their reproduction. The valley is one of Europe’s best sanctuaries for the Callimorpha Quadripunctaria butterflies.
The valley hosts a rare specie of plane tree, and the butterflies are really fond of its sap! That’s why you will find so many of them there.
This natural site is quite large: you can walk along the marked trails in the woods and near the river to observe the butterflies.
And if you want to learn more about Rhodes’ wildlife, you can visit the Natural History Museum located in the valley.
You’re spending a few days in Rhodes, and you want to relax a bit? Then, you should definitely go to Kallithea Springs!
The Springs are located East of the island, 9 km away from Rhodes City.
Opened in 1929, the springs were renowned for Kallithea spring water’s curative and therapeutic properties. People were coming from all over the world to find a cure for arthritis, diabetes or asthma. Then, the springs were left in a state of decay for many years to finally re-open in 2007.
Once you’re there, you can visit the buildings, discover the beautiful mosaic floors and admire a magnificent sea view.
There is also a small beach with deckchairs, umbrellas and a restaurant. It’s one of Rhodes’ most famous private beaches.
Kallithea hosts many art exhibitions and concerts and was used several times as a filming location.
Tsambika Monastery is another place you should visit in Rhodes.
The Monastery is, in fact, a really small Byzantine church built on top of the mountain. You have to climb more than 300 steps to get there! Hopefully, The place is mostly shady and there are many benches to rest. Just take your time and it won’t be difficult.
Once you’re up there, you’ll be rewarded by a magnificent view of Tsambika Beach and most of Rhodes. It’s clearly worth the (small) effort!
The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. As an anecdote, you should know that women who cannot get pregnant were climbing up here on their bare feet to pray the Virgin Mary. If they got pregnant, they had to call their babies Tsambikos for a boy, and Tsampikas for a girl.
Seven Springs / Epta Piges
It’s time to continue this Rhodes tourist guide with a really great place if you want to relax by the water: the Seven Springs.
The Seven Springs (or Epta Piges in Greek) are located 4 km from the village of Kolymbia, not far from Tsambika Monastery.
There, 7 springs are gushing from the mountain in the same place to create a river. On the site, you will find a marked trail as well as a restaurant by the water. The place is very frequented by locals, and people are coming here to enjoy the beautiful natural environment and taste Greek specialities. There is also a playground for children.
Epta Piges’ most famous attraction is its tunnel. The river goes underground for a moment, to come out on the other side of the hill. You can follow the watercourse and walk in a very narrow and dark underground tunnel.
You will walk for around 180m underground to reach a small lake. Don’t do it if you’re claustrophobic or afraid of the dark, as you can’t turn back once you’re inside. It feels a bit like being in a zombie movie!
If you don’t want to go underground, you can reach the other side of the tunnel using the short trail through the forest.
The other best villages to visit in Rhodes
During your trip to Rhodes, you will certainly go to Rhodes city and Lindos. But don’t miss the other villages of the island!
- Emponas (or Embonas): built on the hillside of Rhodes’ highest mountain, this village is renowned for its great wines.
- Archangelos and its colorful old houses.
- Koskinou, a picturesque village with authentic Rhodian houses.
- Ialyssos and its neo-classical mansions.
- Afantou, one of Rhodes’ oldest villages.
- Kritinia, where you can visit the castle I mentioned above.
- Kattavia, the closest village to Prasonisi beach.
Full-day trip to Symi Island
Boat trips are among the best things to do in Rhodes. The most famous is a 1-day cruise to discover Symi Island.
It takes 1h45 to reach Symi from the Port of Mandraki, Rhodes’ modern city.
During this one-day trip, your will first stop by Panormitis Monastery (1h visit). Then, you will discover the famous Saint George’s Bay and its turquoise waters.
In the afternoon, you will have around 3h30 to visit Symi. There, you can admire beautiful and colorful neo-classical houses.
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