20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN RHODES
20 BEST THINGS THAT SHOULD DO IN RHODES, what makes Rhodes unique and worthwhile a visit given that Greece is home to more than 200 islands? There are 42 beaches to pick from where you can enjoy the warm summer sun. There are lots of historical attractions, medieval villages, and picturesque landscapes to visit if swimming or tanning are not your thing.
Rhodes Town, the island’s capital, is the largest Medieval city in Europe, and here you will find architecture dating back to the 14th century. If you love ancient history, there is an Acropolis above Rhodes Town and another one in Lindos, a small village 50 km (31 miles) south of the capital. It’s easy to immerse yourself in the island’s history, both classical and more recent.
Rhodes is where two seas meet, the Mediterranean and the Aegean. You can swim in both seas within a matter of minutes. The waters are crystal clear and perfect for swimming and water sports. Rhodes isn’t an out-and-out party island like Mykonos, but Rhodes Town still has good nightlife.
In Lindos and the resort of Faliraki, you will find many bars and clubs and people who party until sunrise. There are plenty of tavernas where you can while away time over an ouzo and a leisurely meal. You are never rushed in Greece. Here are the best things to do in Rhodes.
20 THINGS TO DO IN RHODES
1- EXPLORE THE PALACE OF THE GRAND MASTER OF THE KNIGHTS OF RHODES
Also known as The Kastello, the palace is in the Old Town of Rhodes and was constructed on top of temple ruins dedicated to the ancient sun god, Ilios.
It was built in the Middle Ages and is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture.
The Knights of Saint John built the palace and it is notable for its arched gate and spherical towers.
It was largely destroyed in 1856 but was restored in the 20th century by the Italians, who occupied the island until the end of the second World War.
The Palace Of The Grand Master Of The Knights of Rhodes has 158 rooms, 24 of which are open to the public.
It’s well worth spending time wandering around the rooms as they are spectacular and filled with jaw-dropping treasures like well-preserved pieces of furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries, exquisite marble sculptures and Oriental vases.
Highlights are the frescoes painted by renowned artists such as F. Vellan and the mosaic floors, dating back to Roman and Byzantine times.
Don’t miss going to the inner yard as here you will see statues from the Ancient Greek and Roman periods.
The Kastello is at Ippoton, 85100, Rhodes. Skip the line and reserve your tickets here. This is one landmark in Greece you won’t want to miss.
2- TAKE A GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF OLD TOWN RHODES
It’s a good idea to take a guided tour of Rhodes Town to familiarise yourself with the town as you can then decide if there are places you want to revisit and spend more time.
Most tours enter the Old Town through one of the seven surrounding gates, including a visit to the Kastello and a walk down the Street of the Knights towards the Jewish Quarter.
A century ago, 5500 Jews lived here.
Half fled in the 1930s, while 1673 were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Only 151 survived.
The next stop is the Church of the Virgin of the Burgh.
This is a 14th-century Gothic Roman Catholic church that was used by the Knights of St John’s Hospitaller.
It survived many attacks during the Second World War.
Wandering the Old Town’s narrow lanes, listening to stories about Ancient and Medieval Rhodes is extremely atmospheric.
An experienced guide will give you a good introduction to the island.
After the tour, visit a bar in the Old Town to have a traditional Greek ouzo with a meze plate and contemplate your journey through the history of Rhodes.
3- SEE LINDOS ACROPOLIS
The main archaeological site in Rhodes is the Acropolis of Lindos. Lindos is a small, picturesque village 50 km (31 miles) south of Rhodes Town.
The Acropolis towers above the village on a cliff 116 m (381 feet).
Climb 297 steps from the village to the Acropolis and admire the views before wandering around the site.
The main use of the Acropolis was as a fortification, and it was used as such by the Ancient Greeks, the Romans and then by the Byzantines, the Knights of St John, and the Ottomans.
Worth seeing is the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, built in the 4th century BC. People worshipped their patron goddess here with offerings and sacrifices.
There is also a temple dedicated to the emperor, Diocletian, and a Hellenistic wall surrounds the Acropolis.
You will also see a Mediaeval castle, built in the 14th century, protecting all these sites. Although much of it is now in ruins, two towers are still in good condition.
When you have seen enough of the Acropolis, head back to the village.
It is a protected site with small white cubic houses built in the traditional style. Have lunch at one of the tavernas with a glass of locally produced wine. Join this day trip to Lindos by boat.
4- VISIT A WINERY AND LINDOS VILLAGE
This is a lovely day trip that will introduce you to traditional beverages as well as immerse you in nature.
The tour starts in Lindos Village, where you can wander around the narrow streets before setting off for the mountains.
Here you will have amazing views across the island and out to sea, offering excellent photographic opportunities.
The next stop is the Cava Stafylos, a small winery in Emponas Village.
You will be able to taste different wines produced in the village.
Despite the small size of the winery, there is a wide variety of wines on offer, including dry wine, semi-dry, semi-sweet or sweet wine and they produce red, white and rose wines.
Try the Muscat, a delicious, sweet dessert wine that pairs perfectly with nuts and fruit.
At the winery, you will also have the opportunity to try olive oil and honey from local producers. This is a tour that will tantalise your taste buds.
You will then be taken to the award-winning restaurant Elias, where you will enjoy a traditional Greek lunch with unlimited wine.
What could be better?
The final stop is Butterfly Valley, a green valley full of the rare butterfly, Panaxia Quadripun.
It is an amazing sight to see so many butterflies in such a peaceful setting.
Take a stroll by babbling brooks, miniature waterfalls and lakes. This is a place to relax and be at one with nature.
5- FEEL THE SAND BETWEEN YOUR TOES AT THE BEACH
As we have said, there are 42 beaches on the island of Rhodes, so you are bound to find one to suit your needs.
There are sandy beaches, pebbled beaches, isolated beaches, crowded beaches and beaches of all different sizes.
Anthony Quinn Beach is a famous beach in Rhodes, formally called Vagias Beach.
The name was changed after scenes from the film, ‘The Guns of Navarone, starring Anthony Quinn, were shot there.
This beach is 20 km (12.24 miles) from Rhodes Town and is between Ladika Beach and Faliraki Beach.
There are plenty of hotels nearby to choose from if you want to stay in the area.
The setting of Anthony Quinn Beach is perfect if you are looking for somewhere to relax. The landscape is natural, and the water is warm and calm.
Divers and snorkellers head here to take advantage of the perfect waters.
Faliraki Beach is busier than Anthony Quinn Beach and has more of a party atmosphere.
It is in the cosmopolitan resort of Faliraki, which is 16 km (9.94 miles) from Rhodes Town. There are tavernas, cafes, and beach bars spilling onto the beach.
The beach is long and sandy. It stretches for 4 km (2.48 miles) and has plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas.
Stay in one of the hotels in Faliraki or drive from Rhodes Town for a fun day out.
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6- COOL DOWN IN FALIRAKI WATERPARK
Faliraki Waterpark is the place to go if you enjoy having fun in the water.
The park has a wide variety of activities to suit families with children and adults.
Enjoy the lazy river if you want to relax or pretend you’re in the sea in the wave pool.
There are slides for everybody, from children to adults. If you are a thrill seeker, have a go on one of the extreme slides.
Have fun in the Pirate ship with its water cannons, slides and climbing nets.
Get soaked underneath the Tipping Bucket and enjoy original games in the pools.
There is enough to keep you occupied for the whole day and for you to leave wanting more.
You will find deckchairs in the garden if you want to relax while the kids have fun.
All this exercise will make you hungry, and there are cafes where you can have anything from a snack to a full meal.
Faliraki Waterpark is at 0ff Leof, Kalitheas, 85100, Faliraki, Rhodes.
7- PARTY ALL NIGHT
There is plenty to do in the evenings in Rhodes, whether you want to relax or to party.
All the resorts have tavernas and bars, but if you want to have fun clubbing, Rhodes Town, Faliraki and Lindos are the places to go.
In Rhodes Town, you will find many bars in the Old Town and around Hippocrates Square in the New Town.
Most of the nightclubs are in Bar Street and Orfanidou Street.
You will find that different tastes in music are on offer, from the latest sounds to traditional Greek music.
In Faliraki, there are many clubs where you can dance until the early morning hours.
Most of the clubs have professional and sometimes famous DJs.
One of the most popular spots in Faliraki is Bedrock, a karaoke bar where people party all night.
Apart from the excellent tavernas and the classy rooftop restaurants in Lindos, there are plenty of nightclubs.
The Amphitheatre Boutique Club is the place to be seen, and after partying all night, you can watch the beautiful sunrise over Lindos and Acropolis Bay.
8- VISIT THE FILERAMOS MONASTERY
Go off the beaten track and visit Fileramos Monastery, which usually isn’t included in guided tours but is well worth the visit.
It is on a hill above the village of Ialyssos, only about 10 km (6.2 miles) away from Rhodes Town, but it seems a world away.
The monastery pays homage to the Virgin Mary and is built in the Gothic style, which is quite unusual for Greek monasteries.
The Knights of St John built this 15th-century historic gem on the site of an older Byzantine monastery.
The monastery houses ancient icons, including the icon of the Virgin of Fileramos, and within the site, you will find a temple dedicated to Athena.
Visitors are allowed to enter the early Christian Basilica and a small Byzantine church.
The surrounding area has interesting sites not to be missed.
Go and see the ruins of the ancient village of Ialyssos, the underground church of Saint George, dating back to the 14th century, and the remains of a baptistery shaped like a cross.
The path to Golgotha begins at Fileramos Monastery. It is worth the hike up the hill if only for the spectacular views.
However, there is an impressive cross representing the cross of Jesus and engravings showing the Passion of Christ.
9- TAKE A BOAT TRIP TO THE ISLAND OF SYMI
Symi is a small mountainous island not too far from Rhodes, with a picturesque harbour town, beaches and places of historical significance.
The boat ride to Symi takes up to an hour and a half, but it usually stops at St George Bay first so that you can swim and snorkel in the clear waters.
At Symi, you’ll have three hours to explore the island. Perhaps you would like to have something to eat or drink first?
Most of the bars and tavernas are around the harbour.
Have a coffee in a traditional kafenio or an ouzo and meze plate in an ouzerie.
If you like fish or seafood, you will be in your element.
Symi is legendary for its seafood, especially prawns, and all the fish and seafood are caught fresh.
Replenished, wander around the town with its beautiful neo-classical houses.
If you have the energy, climb the 500 steps to Chorio, a small village above the main town.
You will have fantastic views over the harbour.
Visit the ruins of the ancient Acropolis and Venetian castle built by the Knights of St John in the 15th century.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much left, but you will still get an impression of the buildings.
If the climb has tired you out and made you thirsty, visit one of the bars for a cooling drink.
Perhaps you want to explore a little more of Symi? If so, get a bus or taxi and visit the southwest coast.
Here you will find the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis, a major Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site.
There is also a Byzantine Museum next to it.
10- EXPLORE NORTH RHODES ON AN OFF-ROAD ADVENTURE
Get off the beaten track and do a bit of off-roading in a 4 X 4 Polaris buggy on a tour of the north of the island.
You will have a guide whom you will follow through the mountainous landscape and quaint villages.
You will make stops along the way to try local products such as honey and olive oil.
There is the chance to try souma which is like Cretan raki and is made from grape marc and wine.
It is called Greek firewater and is said to cure all ills.
However, if you are the one driving, we suggest you give it a miss and try it when you are back in your resort.
11- GO ON A SUNSET CRUISE FROM FALIRIKI
Enjoy the spectacular Greek sunset on a cruise from Faliraki past Anthony Quinn Beach and Ladiko Bay.
It is a romantic way to spend a couple of hours as gentle music is played throughout the trip and unlimited drinks are on offer.
You can choose from Aperol spritz, Prosecco, wine, beer and soft drinks.
Don’t forget to take photos of the sunset.
Another cruise you may like is a catamaran day cruise that includes lunch from Rhodes town.
12- FEEL THE EXCITEMENT OF A SELF-DRIVE JEEP TOUR
Follow your guide in a 4 X 4 Suzuki Jimny over rugged off-road terrain.
There are four stops, and the drive takes around six hours, so prepare to dedicate the day to this tour.
Stop first at Seven Springs, a great place to get away from the summer heat and enjoy the natural scenery.
The Seven Springs generate water all year long and flow into a small man-made lake home to tortoises, eels, crabs, and a rare fish called gizani only found on Rhodes.
You walk through a narrow tunnel with your feet in running water to get to the lake.
It is a strange but exciting experience; if you are claustrophobic, there is also a path.
The lake is the only place in Rhodes to swim in freshwater.
The second stop is in the village of Archipoli, where you can taste local products such as honey, olive oil, souma, local sweets, and fresh seasonal fruit.
Fill up your water bottle at the third stop at a small chapel.
Finally, you will head to a beachside restaurant where you can have a leisurely lunch and dip in the Aegean Sea.
Then it’s back to your resort on another bumpy ride through the mountains.
13- EXPLORE ON THE HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS
If you want to get to know Rhodes Town, buy a day ticket for the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, which stops at 12 different places, and you can get on and off whenever you want.
The bus stops at Elli Beach, the main beach in Rhodes Town and one of the most popular on the island.
It is a pebbly beach, but there are sunbeds, so you don’t have to lie on the stones.
The water is crystal clear and usually calm.
Another stop is the Aquarium, where you can see dolphins, turtles, seals, sharks and other marine life.
If you’re keen on the history of Rhodes, an interesting stop is the Acropolis towering over Rhodes Town.
Here you can discover what life was like over 2000 years ago.
The bus also stops at the Palace and the Archaeological Museum.
If you love to shop, the bus stops at the entrance to the Old Town.
The Old Medieval Town has plenty of shops, from bakeries to souvenir shops to art shops.
This is the place to find classic, modern gold and silver jewellery and antique reproduction jewellery.
Many shops are family-run and stay open from morning until night.
14- ESCAPE TO SOUTH RHODES
The south of Rhodes is the place to get away from the crowds and see what life is like for Greeks living away from the tourist areas.
You can hire a car and explore the area on your own or book a tour and be taken to places you might not find by yourself.
One excellent tour is in an off-road vehicle with an escort driver.
You will drive through the Archipelagos and the Kalathos Mountains, passing through traditional villages and by monasteries and churches.
There will be stops for photos as the views are amazing.
There is a lunch stop in the village of Siana at a traditional taverna.
Try Greek delicacies like moussaka, fresh fish, or briam, a Greek ratatouille.
The journey then continues southwest between the mountains and the sea.
You will feel like you are in another world and probably won’t want to return to the busy north of the island.
15- GO STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING AND SNORKELLING
If you enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, there are opportunities to book a session. If you are new to the sport, you will get an introductory lesson before you start.
You will be able to explore coves and caves that you can only get to by sea. Most paddleboarding experiences give you the opportunity to go snorkelling.
A rest stop allows you to recharge your batteries by relaxing on the beach with a traditional Greek snack.
16- TAKE A COOKING LESSON AND GO WINE TASTING
If you would like to learn a little more about Greek cuisine, why not take a cooking class with a wine tasting?
In the village of Apollona, learn about what the locals grow and visit a women’s agricultural co-op. It is an eye-opener.
While many of us go to the supermarket, these people manage to live off the land.
The next stop is at a winery to taste local wine. The wines are natural with no chemical additives.
Following the wine tasting, you will have a cooking class from a local cook to learn how to make tzatziki, melitzanosalata (an eggplant dip), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and tiropitas (cheese pies).
The best thing is that once you have made these delicious dishes, you can enjoy them with a glass of wine.
The final stop is at a traditional kafenio, where you will learn to make Greek coffee and enjoy it afterwards.
Greek coffee is a strongly brewed coffee with a rich flavour and is enjoyed the country over.
17- VISIT THE ACROPOLIS OF RHODES
The Acropolis of Rhodes towers over Rhodes Town and dates back to the third and second centuries BC.
At that time, it was an extensive city with temples, sanctuaries and public buildings.
Much of the Acropolis is now in ruins, but you can still see the Temples of Athena and Zeus and the Odeion, a small outdoor theatre seating 800 spectators.
Here musical events and lectures were held. You will also be able to see the stadium used for athletic events.
18- HIKE MOUNT PROFITIS ILIAS
Mount Profitis Ilias is a 642 m (2100 feet) mountain southwest of Rhodes Town and a lovely mountain covered in trees.
It is a gentle climb, and as long as you have a reasonable fitness level, you won’t have a problem conquering the climb.
Even children are allowed to climb the mountain as long as they are at least eight years old.
Enjoy views towards the Aegean Sea as you climb.
At the top, you will see a dilapidated building, a cottage belonging to the Italian dictator Mussolini and a Byzantine church.
There is also a taverna, Elafaki, where you can have a traditional meal or a drink.
19- GO ON A SEA KAYAKING ADVENTURE
You can take a tour along the coast of eastern Rhodes in a kayak and explore three beaches.
Dive into the sea from your kayak, discover sea caves, and try snorkelling.
If you’re really brave, cliff-jump off the surrounding rocks.
If you take a guided tour, you will get a safety lesson and a picnic lunch at one of the beaches.
20- JOIN A WINERY TOUR
Take a tour of a winery just outside Rhodes Town.
You will be taken around the vineyards and told about the different grapes and what wines they produce.
Your guide will take you to the cellars and explain how the wine is made.
Then comes the best bit; trying the wines.
You will be presented with five red and white wines served with snacks and locally produced olive oil.