What to do on the island of Rhodes?
To visit Rhodes is to discover the largest island of the Dodecanese, in Greece.
The discovery of the medieval city of Rhodes and the Acropolis of Lindos, swimming in the crystal clear water of Tsambika beach or Anthony Quinn bay, a walk in the Valley of the Butterflies are all things to do on the island of Rhodes.
In order to organize your stay, I have prepared a complete guide to Rhodes with all the places of interest not to be missed.
And to optimize your tour of the island, also find my itinerary suggestions for visiting Rhodes in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days and my selection of the best hotels according to your budget.
So, what to do and see in Rhodes?
Visit Rhodes: the must-sees
1. The Medieval City of Rhodes
The medieval city of Rhodes is the place to see absolutely on the island.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it would be a shame to miss out on the largest and best-preserved fortified city in Europe.
Built from the year 1309, when the Knights of Saint John arrived on the island, the old town is surrounded by nearly 4 km of fortifications reinforced by bastions and towers. Everything is extremely well preserved.
Inside the ramparts, the area is entirely pedestrian. You can therefore take a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets and discover the historic buildings. It should be noted that the place is entirely dedicated to tourism, so there are everywhere taverns, restaurants, shops and especially a lot of people (and yet we were there at the end of September).
What to see in Rhodes:
- The Palace of the Grand Masters: it was one of the first buildings built by the knights. The interior is now a museum where you will learn more about the history of Rhodes and can also discover the apartments of the Grand Master, with floors covered with mosaics. Unfortunately, most of the furniture was destroyed in the explosion of an ammunition store in 1856. For a private guided tour of the palace, book here!
- Rue des Chevaliers where the inns reserved for knights are located according to their country. You will be able to see the Auberge de France or the Auberge d’Angleterre.
- The archaeological museum located in the former hospital of the knights. It brings together the majority of the objects discovered on Rhodes and the other islands of the Dodecanese.
- The Clock Tower whose top allows you to admire the old town.
- The Byzantine Museum and its frescoes and icons from the Byzantine period
- The churches of Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) and Saint Catherine (Agia Aikaterini)
- The Suleiman Mosque built during the conquest of the island by the Turks.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
To visit the medieval city of Rhodes, you can opt for a guided Segway tour. The perfect opportunity to learn more about historical sites while having fun and without getting tired!
And if you’re already familiar with the segway, you can also take this tour by electric trikke, which looks like a 3-wheel scooter. A super fun and very handy means of transport!
After your visit to the old city of Rhodes, you can leave the ramparts and go for a walk in the modern part of the city, called Mandraki.
Around the port, you can see the 3 mills of Rhodes as well as the place where the famous Colossus of Rhodes stood, more than 30 meters high, completely destroyed by an earthquake in the year 226.
It has been replaced by 2 statues, one of a stag and the other of a doe (a symbol of Rhodes), placed on 2 pylons framing the entrance to the port. Certainly much less spectacular than the colossus, considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
Mandraki also has some beautiful buildings dating from the time when the Italians occupied the island such as the Bank of Greece, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Town Hall or the National Theatre. There is also a casino and many clothing stores such as Zara and H&M.
If you are visiting Rhodes with your children, you can take them to the aquarium. It is located to the far north, after the Casino.
Finally, the modern city is home to the remains of the Acropolis of Rhodes. The site is about 2 km from the old town, on the slopes of Monte Smith.
Here you will see the remains of the stadium, the theater and the Temple of Apollo Pythien. It’s not very big but access is free.
Lindos is the essential village to visit during your stay in Rhodes.
It is located 50 km south of the city of Rhodes, about 1 hour drive. Classified as historical monuments, Lindos is a very beautiful village with white houses built in amphitheatres, dominating the sea and overlooked by the Acropolis.
As entry to Lindos is forbidden to cars, you have to park in one of the (free) car parks at the top of the town and then walk down. The town is made up of a maze of alleys lined with countless souvenir shops, clothes shops, cafes and restaurants. The place is really very touristy.
It is at the top of the village that is the site to see in Lindos, the Acropolis. You can get there on foot or by donkey, but I don’t recommend this means of transport, given how the animals are treated.
Built on a rock 116 meters above sea level and surrounded by walls erected by the knights, the Acropolis was one of the most fortified places on the island of Rhodes.
Inside are the ancient ruins of a theater and especially the Temple of Athena, built at the highest point of the Acropolis. A few columns remain. From the archaeological site, you will have a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the village of Lindos below.
If you are staying in Rhodes and you don’t have a car, you can still visit Lindos quite easily. There are 2 types of day trips from Rhodes town.
They must be reserved in advance by clicking on the links below:
- Lindos day trip – For 25€ per person, a bus takes you from Rhodes to Lindos. You will then enjoy 4 hours of free time in the village to visit the Acropolis and/or go to the beach.
- 1 day cruise to Lindos – Here no transport by bus but by boat! Depart early in the morning from Mandraki port in Rhodes and reach Lindos by sea. Enjoy free time to visit the town and the Acropolis. On the return from the cruise, stops are planned to see Tsambika beach and Anthony Quinn’s bay and to swim. For only 20€ per person, it’s a really nice activity to do on the island of Rhodes.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
The best views of Lindos and the Acropolis can be found along the road just before arriving. Several points of view have been set up and allow you to take beautiful photos of the village.
If you want to visit the Acropolis, prefer the early morning or the end of the day, there will be fewer people and it will be less hot.
4. The Beaches of the Island of Rhodes
Where to go to the beach in Rhodes?
If you like to spend part of your vacation sunbathing and swimming in crystal clear water, then Rhodes is a good destination.
Here is a selection of beaches where to swim on the island of Rhodes:
- Faliraki beach: located 10 km south of the city of Rhodes, it is one of the most popular and busiest. It is bordered by huge hotel complexes welcoming vacationers on an all-inclusive stay.
- Tsambika: a beautiful fine sandy beach ideal for families. A part is organized with deckchair and parasol. You can also do water sports here.
- Anthony Quinn which would be the favorite beach of the star actor of “Zorba the Greek”.
- The bay of Saint Paul where there are 2 small enclosed beaches and which offers a magnificent view of the Acropolis of Lindos. Most of the beach is private. Here you will find a quaint little white chapel that hosts several weddings a year.
- The beaches of Lindos, located below the village. A good way to cool off after visiting the Acropolis.
- Afandou, ideal for families and well appointed
- Prasonisi, (at the extreme south of the island) one of the most beautiful with a strip of fine sand marking the limit between the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. It is very popular with windsurfers.
- Gennadi, a beautiful, very quiet and uncrowded pebble beach. Transparent water, great for snorkeling. Deckchair rental possible.
- Kiotari, a partly private sandy beach, with several tavernas.
- Pefki, just 4 km from Lindos, is however much quieter.
- Agathi, a small hidden beach popular with locals
- Vlicha, ideal for families with deckchair rentals and restaurants
- Glystra, sandy beach and clear water
5. Castles in Rhodes
To visit Rhodes is also to discover the castles of the island.
Mostly built in the 15th century, they served as observation posts for the knights:
- Kritinia Castle is near the village of the same name. Built on a promontory, you have to climb a few steps to access the entrance and the surrounding wall. A nice view awaits you after crossing the walls.
- Monolithos Castle is about 5 km from the village of Siana. The fortress was built in 1476 by one of the Grand Masters on a rock 236 meters above sea level. From the ruins, you can contemplate a beautiful panorama of the bay, the island of Chalki and the mountains. There is also a small church there and another building below that makes for a cool photo opportunity through a stone archway.
- Feraklos Castle is a medieval fortress that lies towards the village of Charaki, just before arriving at Agathi Beach. It is built on a rocky promontory overlooking the bays of Agathi and Malonas. Given the size of the enclosure, the castle must have been damn impressive and as it is not mentioned in the travel guides, you will most certainly have the pleasure of visiting it alone. Provide hiking shoes because access is via a stony and sloping path.
- Archangelos Castle, a fortress built by the knights on the ruins of a Byzantine castle.
- The castle of Askilipiio which allows you to admire a magnificent view of the hills and the village. It was not built by the knights but long before by the Byzantines.
Admission is free for all castles in Rhodes.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
It is from the road before arriving at the castle of Monolithos that you will have the most beautiful points of view to photograph it.
6. The Ancient Site of Kamiros
If you are interested in the history of Rhodes, but long before the times of the knights, the ancient site of Kamiros is a must see.
Kamiros is located about 35 km southwest of the city of Rhodes.
It is one of the 3 ancient cities of the island founded by the Dorians with Lindos and Ialysos. It was built on 3 levels : the Acropolis being at the very top with the temple of Athena, the houses of the inhabitants in the middle and on the last level was another temple and public baths.
You can visit Kamiros for 6€. Do not hesitate to climb to the last level to have an overview of the site and realize its immensity. Note that for once, there are some explanatory panels in Greek and English, which is generally quite rare in Greece.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
A visit to the ancient site of Kamiros is a must on any organized tour in Rhodes. Try to get there early to avoid the tourist coaches disembarking.
7. Butterfly Valley
The Valley of the Butterflies is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rhodes.
It is located in the northern part of the island, 26 km from the city of Rhodes, between the villages of Paradeisi and Theologos.
It is here, that between June and September, you will be able to observe hundreds of butterflies which literally cover all the trees. The valley is in fact an ideal refuge in Europe for butterflies of the species Callimorpha Quadripunctaria or “flecked scales”. Its climate and environment provide the right conditions for their reproduction.
They are also strongly attracted by the sap flowing from a rare species of plane tree found in the valley and which butterflies love.
The site is really natural and quite large. You can walk along the paths in the woods, follow the course of the stream, cross wooden bridges and of course observe the butterflies.
In the valley of the butterflies, there is also a natural history museum where you will learn more about the fauna and flora of the island.
There are 3 different entrances to the valley, each with a car park and an information kiosk where you can also buy your entrance tickets. The site being on a slope, if you want to walk a little less, it is possible to take a small train to take you up.
Price: 5€ in high season from June to September and 2€ in low season. Know that at this time, there are no more butterflies but the place is pleasant for a walk in the shade and at the edge of the water.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
Do not leave the paths and do not make too much noise to preserve the tranquility of the butterflies.
8. Baths of Kallithea
If you want to enjoy a day of complete relaxation during your trip to Rhodes, the Baths of Kallithea are the ideal place.
They are located in the east of the island, 9 km from Rhodes.
Opened in 1929, the thermal baths were renowned for the healing and therapeutic virtues of the water from the Kallithea spring. People came from all over the world to treat arthritis, diabetes or asthma. Subsequently abandoned for many years, the place was refurbished in 2007.
Do not hesitate to take a walk to discover the different buildings, the mosaics on the ground and admire the view of the sea.
You will also find a small beach equipped with deckchairs and parasols as well as a restaurant for snacks. It is one of the most popular private beaches on the island of Rhodes.
Kallithea also hosts exhibitions, concerts and has been used several times for film shoots.
Entrance to the thermal baths costs 3€. If you also want to rent a deckchair on the beach, it’s 5€ with a drink included.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
If you don’t have a car and want to experience the thermal baths plus other sights in Rhodes, I recommend booking this day bus tour.
You will be picked up directly in front of your hotel and you can visit the thermal baths, the Valley of the Butterflies (which I have just told you about) and the monastery of Filerimos with a guide.
9. Tsambika Monastery
Another thing that I recommend you do in Rhodes: the walk to the monastery of Tsambika.
To reach the monastery, which is actually a very small Byzantine church, you have to climb 300 steps to the top of the mountain. Much of the climb is shaded and there are benches to rest on so take your time and it won’t be that difficult.
The effort is worth it for the magnificent view that awaits you at the top, especially on the beach of Tsambika below and a good part of the island of Rhodes.
The church built at the top is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. For the anecdote, the story has it that women who are unable to have children climb the path barefoot in order to pray to the Virgin. If they subsequently become pregnant, they should name their baby Tsambikos, if it is a boy, or Tsampikas for a girl.
10. Seven Springs / Epta Girls
Continuation of this guide to Rhodes by a rather nice place where you can relax at the edge of the water and in the fresh air : the Seven Springs (“7 sources” in French).
Seven Springs or Epta Piges in Greek is 4 km from the village of Kolymbia, not far from the monastery of Tsambika.
7 springs come out of the mountain here at the same place and feed a stream. The place is laid out with a path and a restaurant right on the water’s edge. During our visit, it seemed to be very popular with many Greek families who came to enjoy the setting and taste the local specialities. There is also a playground for children.
We mainly come to Epta Piges to have a little scare. The stream goes underground at some point and comes out on the other side of the mountain. You can follow the stream through a very narrow underground tunnel without any lights.
After 180m underground, you will come out into the open air at the level of a small lake. Not recommended for claustrophobes and people who are afraid of the dark as it is impossible to turn around. A unique and original experience worthy of a zombie movie!
If the experience does not tempt you, you can always go to the lake by following the path that crosses the forest.
Tips for your Rhodes itinerary:
Plan 2 pairs of shoes if you pass in the tunnel because you will have water up to the ankles and it slips.
11. Other Villages of Rhodes
In addition to the main places of interest in Rhodes, such as the old town or Lindos, I advise you to go through the other villages on the island:
- Emponas is built on the slopes of the highest mountain on the island. It is renowned for the quality of its wines.
- Archangelos and its brightly colored old houses
- Koskinou, a village with typical houses of Rhodes
- Ialysos and its neoclassical villas
- Afantou is one of the oldest villages in Rhodes
- Kritinia where is the castle I told you about above
- Kattavia, the closest village to Prasonisi beach
12. Excursion to Symi
An excursion to the island of Symi is one of the most popular activities to do from Rhodes.
Departures are from the port of Mandraki, the modern town of Rhodes. Then count 1h45 to reach Symi by boat.
On this day trip, you will first stop at the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis to visit it for one hour.
Then once back on the boat, you will pass by the famous bay of Saint-Georges, with turquoise water and overlooked by cliffs.
You will then be disembarked in Symi to visit the city for a free time of about 3h30. You can admire the magnificent, colorful neo-classical style houses and stroll around the island.
13. Boat Trips from Rhodes
If you want to enjoy a great day by boat during your tour of Rhodes, I have prepared my selection of the most beautiful sea trips.
You just have to click on the links in orange to access all the details and especially to make your reservation because these excursions are very popular, so you have to book in advance:
- Day cruise in a luxury catamaran with lunch included – Discovery of the beaches of the east coast of Rhodes and 3 swimming stops at Antony Quinn bay, Afandou beach and Kallithea.
- 3-hour cruise with swimming stops at great spots and unlimited drinks – Round-trip pickup included from Faliraki hotels.
- 6-hour cruise + snorkeling + buffet lunch – Departure from Mandraki port
- Romantic Sunset Cruise with Dinner – Departure from Rhodes Port
- Boat trip in the port and around the old town to enjoy beautiful views – You can also descend into the hull to observe the fish thanks to the glass walls. Duration: 45 minutes.
- Sea trip from Rhodes to Lindos with 2 swimming stops + 3 hours of free time to visit Lindos – Pick up from your hotel in Rhodes, Kallithea and Faliraki.
- Speedboat cruise from Rhodes to Lindos + 4 hours Lindos sightseeing – No pick up/drop off at your hotel.
- Boat party with DJ + drinks + barbecue on the boat
14. Nautical Activities in Rhodes
If you want to enhance your stay in Rhodes with water activities, here is my selection!
Just click on the links in orange to access the details and make your reservation:
- Parasailing flight 100 meters high from Tsambika beach
- Paddleboarding with an instructor from Stegna Beach – What’s great is that the pick-up in Rhodes, Lindos, Falikari and other villages of Rhodes is included!
- Jet Ski Rental at Theologos Beach
- Jet ski rental in Ixia Bay
- Wakeboard session in Tsambika
- Scuba diving – Ideal for an initiation!
- Initiation to diving in Lindos
- Exploration diving in the most beautiful spots of the island for certified divers
- Introduction to stand up paddle yoga – Pick up and drop off at your hotel.
- Kitesurfing Lessons for Beginners – Theologos Beach
- Advanced kitesurfing lesson
- Course de windusrf – Plage de Theologos
- Windsurfing Lessons – Beginner and Intermediate – West Coast of Rhodes in Ixia Bay.
To explore the small hidden coves and sea caves, I highly recommend booking a sea kayaking tour. The tour lasts 5 hours and additionally includes pick-up from your accommodation.
Your guide (who is also super nice) will show you splendid hidden corners where you can also snorkel and swim.
This kayak trip in Rhodes also exists for a whole day. The kayaking route is the same but additionally includes lunch at a local tavern and entry to the archaeological site of Lindos.
15. Sports Activities to Do in Rhodes
In addition to nautical activities, you can try many other sports activities during your holidays in Rhodes:
Here too, do not hesitate to click on the links to book your activities:
- Quad excursion of 3h30 off the beaten track
- 3h Off the Beaten Track Buggy Tour – Another Awesome Experience!
- Jeep safari to explore the North of Rhodes and the tracks that are not accessible by car – You can choose to drive the jeep or have a driver.
- Jeep Safari in the South of Rhodes – To drive yourself or with a driver
- All-inclusive Jeep tour with lunch included and guide – North of Rhodes
- All-inclusive Jeep tour but this time south of Rhodes (lunch + guide included)
- Mountain bike tour with an instructor – Duration: 1 day
- Rock Climbing and Abseiling Session – Hotel pick up included!
- Hiking with a guide – 3 half-day itineraries to choose from.
- Hike with a guide around Lindos.
- Hike with guide to the summit of Mount Akramitis
- Hike in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset on Mount Profitis Ilias.
Which Dodecanese Islands to Visit around Rhodes?
If you have been around Rhodes, I recommend that you visit the other Dodecanese islands around:
- Symi which I told you about earlier and which is easily accessible from Rhodes.
- Halki to spend holidays in complete serenity and away from the crowds.
- Kos, the third largest island of the Dodecanese is characterized by its sandy beaches and lively nightlife.
- Leros if you want to hike.
To reach the other islands of the Dodecanese from Rhodes, you will have no choice, it will be by ferry.
How many days to visit Rhodes?
4 days seems to me a good duration to see the main places of Rhodes.
This will allow you to visit the medieval city of Rhodes but also Lindos and most of the things in this top.
You can of course spend more time in Rhodes if you want to enjoy the beach and do some activities.
1 Day Rhodes Itinerary
Are you planning to spend a day in Rhodes? This is enough to see the main place of interest, the old town.
Here is the program to visit Rhodes in one day:
- Morning to discover the medieval city with the Palace of the Grand Masters, the street of the knights and the ramparts.
- Do some shopping in the shops inside the fortifications.
- Lunch break
- Walk to Mandraki, the modern part of the city
- Passage through the Acropolis of Rhodes and Monte Smith
- End of the day on one of the nearby beaches.
You can also take the hop-on hop-off bus that travels through the old town and the modern city of Rhodes.
To book here:
2 Days Rhodes Itinerary
For 2 days in Rhodes, repeat the program above and for the second day, add:
- The visit of the city of Lindos and the Acropolis
- Lunch break
- Passage through Baie Saint-Paul for the photo
- Climb to the monastery of Tsambika to admire the view of the island
- Swimming at Tsambika beach
- Epta Piges if you are tempted by an experience in a tunnel.
3 Days Rhodes Itinerary
If you have 3 days in Rhodes, in addition to the program of the previous 2 days, I suggest:
- A walk in the Valley of the Butterflies
- The discovery of the ancient site of Kamiros
- Lunch break
- Passage through the castle of Kritinia and that of Monolithos
- If you still have time, go down to the very south of the island to end the day on Prasonisi beach
- Or, from Monolithos, you can also reach the east of the island where there are many beaches.
4 Days Rhodes Itinerary
If you stay 4 days in Rhodes, I advise you to take the excursion to Symi Island.
Accommodation in Rhodes
During your stay in Rhodes, I recommend that you either stay in the medieval city or its surroundings, or if you prefer the large hotel complexes on the beach, on the Faliraki side and on the east coast of the island.
Based on these 2 places, I have made a selection of the best hotels to sleep in Rhodes.
The best hotels in Rhodes Town
- Hotel Angela Suites & Lobby: Located in the heart of Rhodes Town, 600 meters from the Palace of the Grand Masters. Double room with modern and recent decoration from €60 per night, breakfast included. Most: the outdoor swimming pool, the location, the tranquility.
- Ibiscus Hotel: Located just 200 meters from the aquarium and 1 km from the old town. Spacious and bright double room from €90, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the location on the seafront, the good breakfast.
- Bellevue Suites: Located 15 minutes from the medieval city. Double room with large bay windows and sea view from €180, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the attentive staff, the rich and varied breakfast.
- Rodos Park Suites & Spa: This 5-star hotel is a 5-minute walk from the entrance to the medieval town. Spacious and comfortable double room with balcony overlooking the garden or the city from €210, breakfast included. The pluses: the swimming pool, the garden, the Spa, the setting. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Rhodes.
The best hotels on the east coast of Rhodes
- Dias Studios Aparthotel: Located 10 minutes walk from the beach and the center of Faliraki. Studio with kitchenette and balcony from €40, breakfast included. Most: the atmosphere, the cleanliness, the family hotel.
- La Marquise Luxury Resort Complex: 4 minutes from the beach and set in a 12 hectare park. This 5-star hotel offers double rooms with a lounge area and a view of the garden from €100, breakfast included. The pluses: the 6 outdoor and 1 indoor swimming pools, the exteriors, the superb decoration of the rooms. It is our favorite for its price / performance ratio in Rhodes.
- Esperos Village Blue & Spa – Adults Only: This luxurious resort is located in the resort town of Faliraki. Bright and spacious room with sea view from €150, breakfast included. The pluses: the free shuttle service to get around the complex, the tennis courts, the access reserved for adults and therefore the calm. This is the ideal 5-star hotel where to sleep in Rhodes as a couple!
- Elysium Resort & Spa: Located in Kallithea, by the sea. The spacious and elegant rooms open onto the sea. From €180, breakfast included. The pluses: the lagoon-style swimming pool, the 800 m² Spa, the gourmet restaurant, the private beach, the fabulous breakfast.
- Mitsis Alila Resort & Spa: 5 star establishment in Faliraki. Double room decorated with great taste and sea view from 270€ all inclusive. The pluses: the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the quality catering, the private beach, the infrastructures. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay at a resort in Rhodes.
How to get to Rhodes
To go to Rhodes, the fastest and most practical way is undoubtedly the plane. Rhodes has an international airport which is located about 16 km southwest of the city of Rhodes.
There are direct flights but you may also have to make a stopover in Athens or Thessaloniki.
You can also reach Rhodes by plane from other Dodecanese islands or from Crete.
To see the different possibilities and prices, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner.
To reach Rhodes, you can also take the ferry but it will take much longer than the plane.
From Athens, departures are from the port of Piraeus, itself easily accessible by bus from Athens airport. Count all the same 18 hours of boat for about 65€ per person.
You can also go to Rhodes by ferry from the other islands of the Dodecanese : Symi (1 hour), Kos (between 2h30 to 5h), Halki (2 hours) or Leros (between 4 to 8 hours).
And you? What are you planning to visit in Rhodes?
Are you going to Greece? Read also
Discover all our articles on Greece: all articles on Greece are listed here.
- Itinerary: 3 or 4 days in Greece – Guide to visit Athens, Peloponnese and Delphi!
- Itinerary: 6, 7 or 8 days in Greece – The guide to visiting Athens and the Peloponnese in one week
- Itinerary: 4-5 days in Crete – Itinerary to prepare a short stay in East or West Crete
- Itinerary: A week in Crete – The perfect itinerary to visit West Crete
- Itinerary: 7 days in Crete – The itinerary to visit East Crete in 1 week
- 3 Days in Athens: Itinerary with Top 18 Things to Do
- 3 Days in Santorini – The best 72h itinerary on the island!
- Paros: Top 10 things to do and see