5 things to see and do in Rhodes

Must see Attractions and Activities in Rhodes

Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and charming medieval towns, Rhodes offers something for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or an adventure seeker, this island will captivate your heart. Here are five must-see attractions and activities in Rhodes that you shouldn’t miss.

1. Explore the Medieval Old Town

Step Back in Time

The Medieval Old Town of Rhodes is like stepping into a time machine. As you wander through the cobbled streets, you’ll be surrounded by the history and architecture of the Knights of St. John, who once ruled this island. The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why.

Must-See Spots

  • The Palace of the Grand Master: This imposing fortress is the centerpiece of the Old Town. Inside, you’ll find impressive mosaics, grand halls, and historical exhibits that tell the story of Rhodes’ past.
  • Street of the Knights: One of the most well-preserved medieval streets in Europe, this street was once home to the Knights of St. John. Each “inn” along the street represented the knights from different countries.
  • Socrates Street: This bustling street is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or enjoy a traditional Greek meal.

Insider Tip

Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and experience the Old Town at its most peaceful.

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2. Relax on Pristine Beaches

Sun, Sand, and Sea

Rhodes boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Whether you prefer secluded coves or lively stretches of sand, you’ll find a beach that suits your style.

Top Beaches to Visit

  • Elli Beach: Located near the center of Rhodes Town, Elli Beach is a popular spot with crystal-clear waters, sun loungers, and plenty of water sports.
  • Tsambika Beach: This golden sandy beach is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and clear turquoise waters. It’s ideal for families and those looking for a peaceful day by the sea.
  • Anthony Quinn Bay: Named after the actor who fell in love with Rhodes while filming “The Guns of Navarone,” this picturesque bay offers excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Beach Tips

Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a good book. Many beaches also have nearby tavernas where you can enjoy fresh seafood and cold drinks.

3. Visit the Ancient Acropolis of Lindos

A Journey Through History

Lindos is a charming village located on the east coast of Rhodes. Its most famous attraction is the Acropolis of Lindos, perched high on a hill overlooking the sea.

Exploring Lindos

  • The Acropolis: The climb to the top can be steep, but the views and ancient ruins are well worth the effort. You’ll see the remains of a 4th-century BC temple dedicated to Athena Lindia, a Hellenistic stoa, and Byzantine fortifications.
  • The Village: Wander through the narrow, winding streets of Lindos village, where you’ll find whitewashed houses, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Donkeys are available for those who prefer not to walk up the hill.
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Photography Tips

The Acropolis offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding landscape. Visit at sunrise or sunset for the best lighting and fewer tourists.

4. Discover the Valley of the Butterflies

Nature’s Sanctuary

The Valley of the Butterflies is a unique nature reserve located in the western part of Rhodes. During the summer months, thousands of butterflies flock to this lush, green valley, creating a magical and serene atmosphere.

What to Expect

  • Butterfly Sightings: The valley is home to the Jersey Tiger Moth, which is attracted to the area by the sweet scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees. The best time to visit is between June and September.
  • Walking Trails: Enjoy the shaded walking paths that wind through the valley, past streams, waterfalls, and wooden bridges. It’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the island’s more touristy areas.

Conservation Efforts

Respect the butterflies and their habitat by staying on the designated paths and refraining from disturbing them. The valley is an important breeding ground, and conservation efforts are in place to protect this unique environment.

5. Experience Greek Cuisine and Nightlife

A Feast for the Senses

Rhodes offers a culinary journey that will delight your taste buds. From traditional tavernas to modern eateries, there’s no shortage of delicious food to try. And when the sun sets, the island’s nightlife comes alive.

Culinary Highlights

  • Meze: Enjoy a variety of small dishes such as tzatziki, dolmades, and grilled octopus. Meze is perfect for sharing and sampling different flavors.
  • Seafood: Being an island, Rhodes has access to fresh seafood. Try dishes like grilled calamari, octopus in vinegar, and fresh fish straight from the Aegean.
  • Local Wines: Rhodes has a long history of wine-making. Sample some local wines, particularly the white wines made from the Athiri grape.
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Nightlife

  • Rhodes Town: For a lively night out, head to Rhodes Town where you’ll find bars, clubs, and live music venues. The area around Orfanidou Street is known for its vibrant nightlife.
  • Faliraki: If you’re looking for a party scene, Faliraki is the place to be. This resort town is famous for its beach parties and nightlife.
  • Lindos: For a more laid-back evening, enjoy a rooftop bar in Lindos with stunning views of the Acropolis and the sea.