Situated on the cusp of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, Rhodes is a captivating island that beckons to be explored at least once in a lifetime. With its rich history, awe-inspiring architecture, beautiful beaches, and lively ambiance, Rhodes is a destination that offers a little something for everyone. If you’re eager to discover the most exciting things to do in Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese Islands, allow me to be your guide.

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15 Exciting Things to Do in Rhodes Island, Greece

1. Explore the Old Town of Rhodes

I could only start the list of things to do in Rhodes by mentioning the beautiful Old Town Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The medieval city of Rhodes is filled with narrow streets, hidden nooks and crannies, and a rich history that captivates you.

You can enter the Old Town through one of seven gates: Gate D’Amboise, St. Antonio’s Gate, St. Paul’s Gate, St. Mary’s Gate, Arnauld Gate, Marine Gate, or St. Catherine’s Gate. Each gate has a unique history and architectural features, making the journey fascinating.

wandering around Rhodes Old Town and discovering hidden corners

As you approach the Old Town’s thick stone walls, you will be greeted by a breathtaking sight. The Medieval Town, with its imposing architecture and rich history, unfolds before you from every angle, inviting you to explore its many facets.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Old Town’s winding streets, bustling with local restaurants, coffee shops, and souvenir stalls. From flimsy souvenirs to handmade jewelry and local crafts, the shopping opportunities here are as diverse as the town itself.

wandering around the empty streets of Rhodes Old Town

While wandering around, you can admire the beautiful Ipokrateous Fountain, a symbol of the town’s prosperity and a meeting point for locals and tourists alike. You can also admire the picturesque Seahorse Fountain, a testament to the town’s maritime history.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the Old Town’s magical transformation from day to night. Each visit offers a unique perspective, with the town’s charm shifting under the changing light.

During the day, walk on the shiny pavements made of stone mosaic, take in the colors of the fragrant flowers, and grab as many photos as you want of the cats wandering everywhere.

In the evening, it will be a perfect place to hang around, have a drink and relax after a day well spent at the beach or sightseeing.

2. Visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

One of the best things to do in Rhodes Old Town is to visit the magnificent Palace of Grand Master. This architectural marvel, originally a Byzantine citadel dating back to the 7th century, was transformed into a palace in the 14th century. Serving as the Knights Hospitaller’s headquarters, it is an excellent example of Gothic architecture in Greece, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich history.

While the exterior of the Palace remains unchanged since the time of the Knights Hospitaller, the interior was unfortunately damaged in an explosion in the 19th Century. However, the museum inside still houses a captivating collection of medieval artifacts, mosaics, and furniture that tell the story of Rhodes and the Knights. Located near the Liberty Gate, this iconic landmark is easily accessible, making it a must-see for anyone visiting Rhodes, especially on a hot summer afternoon.

The Palace is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Grab your skip-the-line ticket HERE.

the imposing Palace of the Grand Master in Rhodes Old Town

For a truly immersive experience, stroll along the Street of the Knights, where you can almost feel the echoes of the past and imagine the footsteps of those who walked here centuries ago.

The cobbled 600-meter-long medieval street, a unique and living testament to the past, is adorned with buildings that once served as Inns dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Each structure, with its distinct architectural style, holds a history waiting to be discovered.

You will find the Hospital of the Knights at the end of this historical journey. Its unique blend of medieval architecture and rich history will captivate you.

strolling the empty Street of the Knights was one of the best things to do in Rhodes

3. Pamper yourself at Kallithea Natural Springs

Indulge in a unique experience at Kallithea Springs, a historic spa that has been a magnet for visitors since ancient times. Constructed in the 1920s, this spa, located 9 kilometers from Rhodes town, offers a blend of luxury and tranquility. The mineral-rich waters, renowned for their healing properties, have captivated people for centuries, making a visit to Kallithea Springs a pampering session and a voyage through time. 

For an entrance fee, you gain access to the beach and spa complex. While sun loungers and umbrellas are available at an additional cost, the overall experience at Kallithea Springs is worth every penny.

Located in a natural cove, Kallithea Springs’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. It is definitely one of the best things to do in Rhodes.

Once you’ve decided to take a break from the sun, stroll around the pebble mosaics and learn about Kallithea Springs’ fascinating past in the small museum. There is a cozy in-house cafeteria where you can get a light snack or a refreshing drink. Several restaurants are nearby if you’re looking for something substantial.

General admission is from May 1st to October 31st, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. From November 1st to April 30th, the admission is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

beautiful setting at Kallithea Natural Springs in Rhodes

4. Awe, at the Valley of the Butterflies

The Valley of the Butterflies, spanning over 600 acres, is a natural wonder that captivates every nature lover. Its lush, verdant foliage provides a perfect sanctuary for the butterflies, transforming the valley into a living, breathing kaleidoscope of colors from May to August.

Imagine being overcome by swarms of butterflies swirling around you at every turn.

The drive to the valley follows a very picturesque route through lush hillsides and winding roads. For a small fee, you can access the park and walk along the beautiful river Pelekanos. You have to be quiet not to disturb the butterflies, as they rely on conserving energy to reproduce, and the more they fly off when frightened or disturbed, the less efficient they are.

Exploring the Valley of the Butterflies is a truly unique experience, exclusive to Rhodes and Paros Islands. This makes it one of the most exciting things to do in Rhodes.

lovely butterfly spotted on a delicate flower at Butterflies Valley in Rhodes

5. Explore the streets of the traditional fisherman’s Lindos Village

About 47 kilometers from Rhodes Town lies a place that will captivate you with its unique charm- the traditional fisherman village of Lindos. Its whitewashed houses, paved streets and byways, and lush greenery set it apart, creating a picturesque scene that is sure to pique your interest.  

Embark on an adventure by exploring the streets of Lindos Village. The thrill of unexpected discoveries, from hidden corners to charming shops, cozy cafes, and local restaurants, is part of the exhilarating Lindos experience. Don’t miss the Castle of the Knights of St. John and the Virgin Mary of Lindos’s church.

When researching things to do in Rhodes, I knew I had to dedicate a half-day to Lindos. The village’s iconic white architecture, adorned with vibrant blue accents, is a sight that beckons every traveler to experience an authentic Greek escape.

amazing view over Lindos and Acropolis in Rhodes

6. Head to the Acropolis of Lindos

No visit to Lindos village is complete without hiking to the Acropolis, Rhodes’s most impressive archaeological site. The hike, which is of moderate difficulty, takes about 30-45 minutes. Perched on top of the 116-meter-high rock, you’ll be granted spectacular views over the valley and the beautiful St Paul’s Bay below. You can witness the whitewashed city of Lindos in its entirety here.

The Acropolis, a testament to the rich history of Lindos, traces its origins back to the Mycenaeans, who first set foot here in the 7th century BC. Despite its smaller size than its Athenian counterpart, the complex spans various architectural eras, from the 10th century BC to the Byzantines and the Knights. The remarkably preserved temples, remnants of houses, squares, marketplaces, and the centerpiece, the temple of Athena Lindia from roughly 300 BC, all bear witness to the Acropolis’s enduring legacy.

For an optimal experience, I recommend planning your visit to the Acropolis during the morning or afternoon. The sun’s rays are more forgiving in these times, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the ancient Greek ruins.

visiting Acropolis of Lindos is one of the best things to do in Rhodes

Best tours for Lindos and Acropolis 

Discover Lindos on a delightful cruise from Rhodes City. Indulge in 3 hours of free time in Lindos and savor a traditional meal in one of the charming taverns. Sail to Tasambika Beach and plunge into the invigorating water. Snorkel at the majestic Anthony Quinn Bay. The full bar on board caters to your every need with a variety of cold drinks, cocktails, and coffee, or you can treat yourself to an ice cream or a snack. Find out more HERE.

For a comprehensive Lindos experience, consider joining a boat tour from Rhodes Town. Embark on a day of enchantment, beginning at Seven Springs, a scenic nature spot. This tour ensures you have ample time to explore the village and the Acropolis of Lindos, leaving no stone unturned in your journey. After that, relax on a sandy beach. At the end of the day, you will realize that it was one of the most exciting things to do in Rhodes. Find out more HERE.

view from the Acropolis over the crystal clear waters of the Aegean sea

7. Snorkel at Anthony Quinn Beach

Yes, you guessed it. The beach was named after the leading actor in the movie Zorba the Greek, who fell in love with this bay. He bought this bay for a future project that was never realized.

The beach is 250 meters long and 10 meters wide, located within a small cove. It is an excellent place for beach activities like kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Near the top of the stairway is a beach bar offering a variety of snacks, salads, and beverages.

If you’re here to relax, you can find sun loungers and umbrellas for rent.

For the adventurers, there is a cliff-side path leading to the southern side of the nearby Faliraki. While challenging due to the rocks and uneven surface, this path rewards you with breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding landscape. You will find the beginning of the footpath on the left-hand side of the beach, marked by a sign.

snorkeling at Anthony Queen Bay is one of the best things to do in Rhodes

8. Hike to Tsambika Monastery

If you’re up for another adventure, hiking to Tsambika Monastery is one of the most exciting things to do in Rhodes.

Many centuries ago, the icon of Panagia Tsambika resided at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kykkos in Cyprus. In a miraculous turn of events, the icon found its way to the mountain Zambiki of the Archangel in Rhodes. This divine journey, witnessed by a shepherd who saw a guiding light, led to the establishment of the Tsambika Monastery. The icon’s repeated return to this spot was interpreted as a sign from the Virgin, a story that inspires awe and wonder.

A visit to this Dodecanesian-style church from the 18th century is the best way to uncover another beautiful place on the island. Situated on top of a hill, you’ll have to climb 350 steps to reach the monastery. But once here, you will be granted the most beautiful views. From here, you can even catch a glimpse of the Lindos Acropolis, the stunning sight that’s over 20 kilometers away.

The pilgrimage to the church is a deeply emotional journey for women longing to have a baby. Walking barefoot, they pray to the Virgin, hoping for a miracle. The church’s walls are adorned with countless photos of mothers with their children, a testament to the power of faith and hope.

The best time to visit the monastery is early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water as the climb can be strenuous.

Tsambika Monastery in Rhodes

9. Relax at Tsambika Beach

After you’ve explored the miraculous Tsambika Monastery, take a moment to bask in the natural beauty of Tsambika Beach. Nestled beneath the imposing rock on which the Tsambika Monastery perches, Tsambika Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

Tsambika Beach offers beach facilities and water sports activities. But if you’re after a more laid-back experience, you’ll appreciate the broader region. There are also a few beach bars and restaurants. Its 800 meters of pristine golden sand and the shallow, crystal-clear water make it the perfect place to unwind on hot summer days.

View from Tsambika Monastery over Tsambika Beach

10. Indulge in delicious Greek food

Of course, no trip would be complete without tasting traditional cuisine.

Rhodes offers a variety of dining options, from traditional Greek taverns serving delicious Moussaka and Souvlaki to amazing fresh seafood and fish plates. Don’t miss the chance to try some local specialties, such as Pitaroudia and Pasteli.

It is impossible to pick the best restaurant since plenty of great ones exist. Usually, you will find a beautiful, family-run, traditional taverna with wonderfully passionate and knowledgeable staff who cook delicious eats. 

Traditional Greek cuisine: fresh fish, salad and wine

11. Go on a day trip to Symi Island

If you’re after an exclusive, serene, and authentic Greek island, Symi Island is the one for you. It’s a haven for those seeking a unique experience: dining in local tavernas, shopping in tiny shops and markets, strolling through picturesque cobblestoned alleys, and unwinding on pristine, secluded beaches.

Getting to Symi Island is easy, with regular ferry services from Rhodes. The journey from Rhodes generally takes around one hour. Once on the island, you can explore its charms on foot or rent a scooter.

We always use Ferry Scanner to find the best deals and timelines.

As soon as you reach the shoreline of Symi, you have a few hours to discover the island. Hike to Chorio for the best vistas, rent a scooter and explore the hidden places, indulge in authentic Greek cuisine at one of the tavernas, and do some souvenir shopping.

Find out from my article everything you need to know about Symi Island: when to visit, how to visit, and other travel tips.

THINGS TO DO ON SYMI ISLAND

If you don’t feel like organizing a trip to Symi Island, let others do the work for you. In case you’re wondering where to start, I already made a selection for you, so feel free to choose one:

Take a speedboat cruise to the picturesque island of Symi. Enjoy free time to explore the island and make a 30-minute swim stop at one of the most beautiful bays in the world, St. George Bay.  FIND MORE ABOUT THIS BOAT TRIP HERE

Another amazing tour with great reviews takes you to the small island of Symi. You can spend 3.5-4 hours visiting Symi town and another hour at the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis. BOOK YOUR TICKETS TO SYMI ISLAND HERE

going on a day trip to Symi Island is one of the best things to do in Rhodes

12. Take in the views from the Monolithos Castle

Perched 236 meters above sea level, Monolithos Castle stands as a testament to history, with its remaining outer fortifications, towers, bastions, and two 15th-century chapels. This medieval citadel, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century, bears the scars of countless battles, as it served as a formidable defense against Ottoman attacks.

Apparently, the name Monolithos comes from a black monolith with metaphysical powers that the Knights Hospitaller brought from the Holy Land.

This historical gem is a scenic 3-kilometer drive from the village of Monolithos. Park your rental car in a shaded spot, and embark on a thrilling adventure on foot, following the steep footpath. At the summit, a majestic, rugged rock commands the view. It unveils breathtaking vistas over Akramitis, the island of Halki, and the pristine waters of the Aegean Sea, a sight that will surely captivate any nature lover.

Access to Monolithos Castle is free, meaning anyone can experience the site and its stunning views over the Aegean Sea.

views from the Monolithos Castle

13. Try on watersports at Prasonisi Beach

Swimming in the Aegean Sea and jumping into the Mediterranean waters are two of my dearest memories of Rhodes. It sounds intriguing, but it is possible at Prasonisi Beach, located on the southernmost coast of Rhodes.

What makes it so different is that depending on the season, it is an island or peninsula. When the water level is low in summer, a sandy stretch overlooks, and Prasonisi becomes a peninsula attached to Rhodes. When winter comes, and the water level rises, the beach disappears under the sea, and Prasonisi becomes an island again.

Renowned for its unique geography and ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing from May to September.

Prasonisi Beach hosts several schools offering lessons for all skill levels, equipment rentals, and professional guidance to ensure a safe experience.

Apparently, Prasonisi Beach is one of the few places in the world where you can encounter two entirely different kitesurfing and windsurfing conditions starting from the same shoreline.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider seeking exciting conditions, Prasonisi Beach caters to all skill levels. 

If you’re not into water sports, you should take advantage of a walk around the island peninsula of Prasonisi. And if you decide to stay for sunset, the island of Karpathos and the silhouette of the mountains visible on the horizon will leave you in awe.

Although located 90 kilometers from Rhodes town, exploring Prasonisi Beach is one of the best things to do in Rhodes.

trying out sports at Prasonisi Beach is one of the best things to do in Rhodes

14. Explore the grounds of Kritinia Castle

If you’re drawn to unique historical sites, Kritinia Castle is a must-see. This Venetian castle, a testament to the 16th-century skills of the Knights of the Order of St. John, stands proudly on a hill 131 meters above the village of Kritinia. Thanks to its strategic perch, the Knights had a clear view of enemy and pirate activity in the open sea.

In 1480, the Ottomans launched a fierce assault on Kritinia Castle. Despite the Turkish forces’ persistence, the Knights’ resilience forced them to retreat. Unfortunately, the Castle was destroyed.

Today, you can visit the outer defensive walls and spot some wall paintings and the relics of an old chapel. It is considered the village’s gem, so exploring the old Castle grounds is one of the best things to do in Rhodes. Wear comfortable shoes and protect yourself from the sun while admiring the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and Halki Island. Access to the castle is free.

After your visit, stop by the lovely village of Kritinia, which has a rich history. Here, you’ll find some small cute tavernas serving delicious local dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and baklava.

view over the imposing Kritinia Castle

15. Witness the beauty of Rhodes from the sea

You can’t leave Rhodes without joining a boat tour and witnessing the beauty of this wonderful sea. For the adventurous ones, a kayak trip out in the sea is a fantastic way to discover some hidden gem. Down bellow you can find my favorite tours:

Step aboard the Aphrodite Duchess on a day cruise. Enjoy a Greek BBQ, hot dog hour, and waffles. Immerse yourself in the waters of Anthony Quinn Bay, Afandou Bay, and Kallithea Springs. Savor a tasty Greek BBQ meal for lunch, prepared by a chef right in front of you, engaging all your senses. An open bar with beers, wine, soft drinks, and iced coffee is also available to keep the spirits high. More about this tour HERE.

Go on a half-day sea kayaking tour to explore the East Coast of Rhodes. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Mediterranean Sea, with its stunning colors and fascinating rock formations. Dive into the sea directly from the kayak, snorkel and cliff-jump from the rocks. Discover sea caves and local beaches before indulging in regional cuisine. More about this tour HERE.

Things to Know Before Visiting Rhodes Island

The best time to visit Rhodes

The best time to visit the island of Rhodes is between March and early November. However, during the peak season in July and August, when many visit during the summer holidays, booking your accommodation in advance is crucial to secure your stay.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, the best time to visit the island is spring and autumn. The temperatures drop, and the weather is sunny and warm, making the experience more pleasant.

How to get around Rhodes Island

The best way to get to Rhodes is by flying into Rhodes International Airport. Once on the island, you can get around by renting a car, grabbing a taxi, using the local bus service, or taking a guided tour.

The easiest and most obvious option would be renting a car and discovering the island on your own terms. Some parts of the island are less developed, meaning you’ll need transport to get there. Traffic is accessible, and you’ll drive through empty roads and scenic coastal drives most of the time. It’s a fairly big island, and the attractions are far apart. A rented car will open up many options and allow you to be more spontaneous. 

The best site to book a rental car in Rhodes is DISCOVER CARS. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from many trusted companies, which enables them to secure the best car rental prices. And they usually include insurance.

How many days to spend on Rhodes

You can easily spend 3-4 days on the island and get a glimpse of its treasures. Ideally, spending at least one week on Rhodes would be best. It will give you enough time to visit everything without rushing. You can relax at the beach, enjoy traditional cuisine, visit historical monuments, and glimpse the Greek culture.

Day trips to other Dodecanese islands and Turkey

If you’ve seen most of Rhodes and want to explore more, you can venture to other islands or even Turkey:

Halki Island

The lovely Halki island is the perfect choice for those searching for a serene and less touristic island. Its chill atmosphere and untouched beauty will surely help you relax and unwind.

The mountainous Halki (Chalki) Island is renowned for its secluded beaches, some of which can only be reached on foot. Ferries from Rhodes Town and Piraeus dock at the port in the delightful Nimborio, home to seafront tavernas and open-air bars. Scenic hiking trails pass by whitewashed chapels and the Castle of the Knights of St. John, leading to the abandoned village of Chorio.

Kos Island

Kos, the third-largest island in the Dodecanese, stands out for its unique blend of beautiful sandy beaches, ancient ruins, many outdoor activities, and vibrant nightlife in and around Kos Town. The 15th-century Neratzia Castle dominates this harbor town.

Despite its small size and tourism inflow, Kos has a quiet and uncrowded beach, even in the summer months.

Leros Island

Enchanting and captivating, Leros is another gem in the Aegean Sea waiting to be explored. According to mythology, the goddess Artemis sought refuge here. Leros is a treasure trove of hidden beaches and bays, enchanting hiking trails, a variety of traditional and neoclassical houses, a deep-rooted history, and a culinary culture. Those seeking a break from the bustling crowds can truly find a sense of escape on their holidays here.

You can check the rates and schedules and book tickets on the Ferry Scanner WEBSITE.

Marmaris

Can you imagine visiting Turkey on a day trip from Rhodes? Embark on a boat journey from Rhodes and cross the Aegean to the magical seaside resort of Marmaris. Opt for a shopping tour by bus in Marmaris, where you can explore local shops crafting exquisite jewelry and Turkish delicacies.

Take a leisurely stroll through the Old Town, and don’t miss the chance to pick up unique souvenirs at the bustling bazaar. For a more relaxed experience, walk along the 10-kilometer-long beach and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters. More about his tour HERE.

Get an eSIM before the trip

Because phones have become our most important devices, it’s necessary to have a data connection as soon as you step foot in a different country. Your home data plan might only work if you paid for a much more expensive package. Finding wifi connections in airports or train stations might be tricky, and seeking a local store to buy a SIM card might be exhausting. Forget all of that!

You just purchase an e-SIM, install it on your phone, and activate the plan when you’re ready to use it. Getting out of the plane and instantly connecting to data was a game changer for me. I didn’t have to waste time standing in line to get a local SIM card or finding a wifi connection to book a taxi to reach my hotel.

Getting an e-SIM is a quintessential part of traveling. There is no physical installation and no long-term commitments. And the best part is that you can always top up or purchase a new plan through the app. Pretty convenient, right? Find the best data plan for GREECE HERE.

Secure your travel insurance

If you’re still looking for travel insurance for your trip to Greece, I highly recommend HEYMONDO. It is a trusted insurance provider for leisure and business trips, backpackers, long-term travelers, and digital nomads. Their travel insurance protects against theft, flight delays, injury, illness, cancellations, and much more. The best part is that you can access a 24/7 doctor chat through their app and, most importantly, instant assistance. 

As a Lizy Travels The World reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo Travel Insurance.

Final Thoughts on the Best Things to Do in Rhodes

Are you ready to embark on a journey to discover the best beaches, charming ancient sites, and exciting outdoor activities on the captivating island of Rhodes? I hope my article has sparked your adventurous spirit and you are ready to book those flight tickets immediately.

If you wish to visit other Greek Islands, you can find some inspiration from my articles:

14 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN ZAKYNTHOS

THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON SYMI ISLAND FOR FIRST TIMERS

Happy Travels!

Lizy

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15 exciting things to do in Rhodes, Greece

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