Visit Rhodes: What are the Best Things to do and See on this Wonderful Aegean Island this Summer?
What to do on Rhodes Island? Plane ticket received by e-mail, it is time to organize your idyllic stay. Situated to the south-east of the Aegean Sea and only 17.7 km from the Turkish coast, Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese and is seven times smaller than Corsica. Populated since ancient times, this paradisiacal island is today an ancient open-air museum. But it is also one of the most touristic of all the Greek islands. If you come to visit Rhodes in the summer, there will be many people, but it will be possible to find small, peaceful and sheltered corners of mass tourism. Here is our selection of the five best things to do to visit Rhodes and enjoy an unforgettable stay.
The Old Town of Rhodes
With 49,541 inhabitants (2011), the city of Rhodes is the capital of the eponymous island, founded in 408 B. C. its medieval Old Town, enclosed in the walls of high walls built in the time of the Knights of Rhodes, is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1988. It is considered the largest and best preserved walled city in Europe. Built between 1309 and 1523, it is an old Byzantine city entirely pedestrian, where you can contemplate a unique blend of styles of historical architecture : gothic influences in the Upper Town and ottoman style in the Lower Town. It is a must for a stay to visit Rhodes. Its state of preservation is staggering : one could imagine in the Middle Ages, during the course of time, that the paved streets and the Gothic towers have retained their authenticity of the past. Within its walls, the churches Agia Triada – Sainte Trinité – and Agia Aikaterini – Sainte Catherine – are among the immanquables of the district.
Rhodes is also known for hosting the famous Colossus of Rhodes, the sixth of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, built around 292 BC. Don’t look for it; there is no trace of it today as it was destroyed in an earthquake in the 6th century. In the streets of the Old Town, stroll through the main street of the Grand Master’s Palace at the incredibly well-preserved archaeological museum of Rhodes. The Archaeological Museum contains most of the major ancient remains excavated from the soil or sea of the Dodecanese islands. The museum building-built in the 15th century as a hospice-houses statues, pottery, urns, epitaphs, altars and sarcophagi of inestimable value. Finally, climb the stairs of the clock tower to gain height and admire the city from above, a fabulous panorama from the Acropolis and Mount Smith. More info about visits to Rhodes.
On the road between Rhodes-city and Lindos, discover one of the jewels of the eastern coast of the island: the beach of Tsambika. What can we do in Rhodes if we are not going to get wet in the crystal clear and warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea ? The beach of Tsambika has the not inconsiderable advantage of being covered with sand, which is quite rare on the island of Rhodes. Sunbathing, swimming, water activities and hiking in the Panagia Tsampika Psili Dimou Archagkelou Park: this is all you can do in Tsambika Beach. After climbing 350 steps on a hillside, you will come face to face with the Monastery of Tsambika, a byzantine church built on a rocky hilltop 300 meters high. The site offers a majestic view of the coast, including Kolymbia, Tsambika beach and even Lindos. The beach, below, is enclosed between two rocky promontories along a strip of fine sand : in the program, deckchairs and parasols to bully peacefully!
The village of Lindos
Located 55 kilometers south of Rhodes-City on the East Coast, Lindos is an unmissable if you’re wondering what to do on the island of Rhodes. Recognizable by its White Houses, it is considered the only village to have retained the authentic Greek charm. As such, it is classified on the list of historical monuments. Lindos would have been founded in the 10th century BC by the Dorians : to say that its basement, 3,000 years old, saw many things ! Perched on a hill, it offers a splendid view of the Bay of Saint-Paul, south of the village. Unusual thing : the city center is pedestrian, but is also reserved for donkeys ! Be careful, the prices may be higher than elsewhere because the village attracts the wealthy classes of Rhodes, mostly artists. Visit the Acropolis overlooking the village, with its ancient ruins and imagine the daily life in the time of ancient Greece. The archaeological excavations carried out on the hill attest to a human occupation in the Neolithic (4th millennium BC). In Lindos, visit the ruins of the Temple of Athena to punctuate your excursion to visit Rhodes. Learn more about a trip to Lindos.
Pefkos and its beach
While Lindos is the second attraction for visitors to Rhodes, a jewel of Rhodes Island is a few kilometers south of Lindos: Pefkos Beach. This one is much quieter than the others. It is an ancient fishing village, more relaxing but not less popular, precisely, tourists in search of tranquillity. To see if you’re tirelessly looking for what to do in Rhodes.
The ancient site of Kamiros is located northwest of the island of Rhodes. This archaeological site allows its visitor to immerse himself in the history of ancient Greece: the city was founded by the Dorians, occupied by the Persians, then by Athens – and the league of Delos -, by the Warriors of Sparta. Kamiros was a prosperous city, and cultural life was highly developed. The remains reveal construction on three levels, the highest being the Acropolis and the Stoa, at the top of a hill. Two earthquakes in the 3rd and 2nd centuries bc J-C reduced the city to rubble. The ancient site of Kamiros – or Caminos-is one of the unmissable to see on the way to Rhodes.
Activities in and around Rhodes
How to get to Rhodes?
Rhodes-Diagoras International Airport is located 22 kilometers from the center of Rhodes. The airlines Smartwings and easyJet offer direct flights to Rhodes from Paris Orly and Paris CDG. The average flight time is 3h40. Other airlines, such as British Airways, Air France or Lufthansa, offer stopovers. Find a cheap flight on the website of our partner, Skyscanner.
Where to stay in Rhodes?
One of the oldest medieval towns in Europe, Rhodes will delight you with its impressive cobbled streets, Gates, and fortifications. But the Old Town can be a little crowded in the summer. You will have to choose another place to stay in Rhodes: Lindos, Faliraki, Ialyssos, Archangelos, to find a cheap hotel in Rhodes, search our hotel comparator.
How to get around Rhodes ?
On the island of Rhodes, there are several ways to get around, mainly through the cargo hold. You can first use the local buses, which you will find in two places in the city of Rhodes: the first Rimini Square, just next to the new market, which serves the East Coast (tel company); and another Averof Street, 50 m away, which serves the entire West Coast (RODA company). The timetables are displayed in a box on the Port of Mandraki and at each stop, as well as at the tourist office.
The island of Rhodes is 85 km long and 35 km wide. If you want to move freely between the beaches and coves and visit Rhodes as you please, it is best to rent a car, a bike or a scooter. You can find a cheap car rental in Rentalcars.