Visiting Rhodes - What to See and Do
(Rhodes Diagoras International Airport RHO, Greece)
The popular Greek holiday island of Rhodes
offers the perfect combination of great beaches, a picturesque medieval old town, archaeological remnants of early settlements, a party peoples' hub along the northern coast and a laid-back lifestyle on its southern coast. The famous Greek hospitality is warm and welcoming in every resort and town.
The beachside resort of Faliraki is the heart of the action on Rhodes, with lively nightlife in its clubs, pubs and bars, and a gorgeous, crowded beach. Nearby Kalithea is the place for water sports, being quieter and more family friendly, with several good stretches of beach fanning out from its main drag. Kalithea Bay is the hotspot for divers, since it boasts clear waters and diverse marine life.
History buffs should head to Rhodes Town for its medieval walled Old Town attractions and the ruins of the ancient Acropolis, just 2 km / 1.5 miles away. Crusader history is big here, and there is an interesting museum displaying artefacts from the days of the Knights of St. John. For unspoiled coastal beauty, the deserted beaches between Gennadi and Prasonisi are a must.
Ten things you must do in Rhodes
- Even if history isn't your thing, walking the ancient Street of the Knights is an atmospheric journey back in time. The buildings were used as inns for the crusader knights, and each has the coat of arms of a different European country over its door. The steep alleyway leads from the ancient walls and its magnificent 14th-century architecture makes for unrivalled photo opportunities.
- While you are in Rhodes' Old Town, take a refreshing afternoon's relaxation at the Municipal Baths - far more interesting than the name implies. Set in an upgraded 7th-century Byzantine building, this traditional Turkish bath offers domed chambers, where you can sit and let the billowing steam clear your body and mind.
- The Acropolis of Rhodes was once the site of the legendary Colossus and is a pleasant site to explore at your leisure. There is a small stadium, the ruins of the Temple of Pythian Apollo and superb views from the high point, which stretch over the sea and the island. This is a great place for a picnic, as there is plenty of shade.
- For night owls, there is plenty of choice, both in the island's capital and along the northern coast's dedicated beach resort complexes. In Rhodes New Town and around the harbour is a great choice of bars and tavernas and, for serious partying, those in the know head for Faliraki's Ermou Street, the focal point for late-night clubs, pubs and bars.
- The little hilltop town of Lindos is one of the loveliest spots on Rhodes, set on the island's eastern coastline and boasting an imposing acropolis overlooking a charming bay. Byzantine and medieval architectural examples are here, as are romantic bars and tavernas in the quaint small streets and around the harbour.
- Getting away from it all is easily done with a trip to Prassonissi Beach on the southernmost point of the island. Set some 40 km / 25 miles from Lindos, the waters here are a paradise for windsurfers during July and August, due to the northern Meltemi winds. The two sandy coves look out onto a tiny island reached on foot or by swimming.
- Built by the Knights of St. John some 600 years ago, the stone-built Gothic-style Monastery of Filerimos is perched on a hill overlooking Ialysos. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this imposing building once held a holy icon brought from Jerusalem, which is now in the National Museum of Montenegro.
- For nature-lovers, the Valley of Butterflies is a must-see attraction for its lush greenery, rivers and waterfalls. From May to September, the valley is called home by many thousands of colourful butterflies. Located in the west of the island, this beautiful valley is crowned by the Monastery of Panagia Kalopetra.
- The Rhodes Archaeological Museum is found in Rhodes Old Town, in the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master. On display are ancient artefacts dating from pre-Roman times through the Hellenistic era to tomb vases and figurines from Ialysos and Kameiros, as well as funerary slabs from the Knight's tombs.
- Always popular with families, the Faliraki Waterpark is the largest themed water park in Europe, with exciting rides, wave pools, swimming pools, slides and special children's attractions. A perfect day out for families, the park offers a selection of eateries and all the watery treats are equipped with lifeguards.