Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands with over 50 000 inhabitants and is this island group’s historical capital, principal town, and seat of the municipality.
The Colossus of Rhodes (a bronze statue to honor the sun god Helios), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, made the island famous worldwide. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus and completed in 280 BC and stood about 33 meters (103 feet) high, approximately the height of the Statue of Liberty. But the bronze statue collapsed during the earthquake of 226 BC.
The Oracle of Delphi made the Rhodian’s afraid to rebuild since they must have offended the Sun God Helios. Because of this, the remains lay on the ground for over 800 years. Even broken, the remains were so impressive that people traveled far to see them. In 654 AD the Colossus was melted down and sold to a Jewish merchant.
Rhodes continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The Medieval Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. In 1309 AD, The Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered Rhodes and built strong fortifications to protect it; they are the reason that Rhodes now has the nickname The Island of the Knights.
Popular attractions on Rhodes include the port of Mandraki, the Acropolis of Lindos, the ancient cities of Kamiros and Ialyssos, the Valley of the Butterfly and of course the Medieval Town. Rhodes offers much natural beauty, vast sandy beaches, traces of ancient civilizations as well as many amazing gourmet restaurants, tavernas serving local delicacies and villages where women still bake the bread in out-door wood-burning ovens.
Rhodes Town is the capital of Rhodes and the capital of Dodecanese group of islands. It is divided into two parts: the Old City, or medieval city, and the New City. The Old City is surrounded by strong walls and is one of the biggest and best-preserved Medieval settlements of Europe. This fortified medieval city is full of buildings testifying about the past and the history of the island, from antiquity, the Byzantine times, the Middle Ages to Turkish rule. The imposing Palace of the Grand Master, the building of the Colloquium, the beautiful hospital of the Knights, the beautiful inns that were used by the Knights, and the Gothic churches, along with the narrow stone-paved alleyways, the stone arches and apses, the Palace of the Castellan, the various mosques, the plethora of Byzantine churches and the traditional Rhodian houses and the mansions influenced by Venetian and Arab architecture form a magical and unique image.
The New City of Rhodes was constructed when the inhabitants living inside the walls of the Old City built new settlements outside the walls, after the siege of Suleiman the Magnificent (1522). Most of the buildings in this part of the city date from the Italian rule and are of Neogothic and Venetian architectural style. Careful planning, numerous parks, and squares and wide streets complete the beautiful aspect of the New City of Rhodes where all the tourist, commercial and cultural activities are gathered. The many luxurious hotels of the town have been designed with a modern aesthetic, matching with the impressive Italian buildings. A casino, a National Theater and the traditional Dance Theater add to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Rhodes and its fame as a city full of entertainment and life. The City of Rhodes provides all kinds of accommodations of all categories, numerous bars, cafes, restaurants, taverns, clubs, cinemas and more. It has a great reputation for its shopping with luxurious shops providing the famous perfumes, drinks, and umbrellas of the City of Rhodes.
Lindos is one of the most attractive and beautiful villages of Rhodes, located south of the capital. It is dominated by a magnificent and imposing acropolis that lies on top. The village is built amphitheatrically and consists of whitewashed houses with pebble-paved courtyards, narrow alleys, and buildings influenced by Byzantine, medieval, Arab and Rhodian architecture. Apart from the beautiful Acropolis that can be reached by foot or donkey, one of the main attractions of Lindos is the old theatre of the town, carved from a rock, and the Doric sanctuary of Athena Lindia which are also worth seeing. Various accommodations of all categories as well as taverns, cafes and romantic bars can be found in the enchanting Lindos.
Archangelos is located south of the City of Rhodes, on the eastern coast of the island. The narrow streets of the village, its picturesque houses and squares and the kindness of its friendly inhabitants charm every visitor who visits this lovely place. Despite the fact that this village is one of the biggest in Rhodes and has a population of 6000 people, the inhabitants of Archangelos preserve their local customs and traditions; bread is still baked in the traditional wood-fired ovens, in the courtyards of the houses, wedding ceremonies are still held according to the traditional way, and the idiom of the village is still spoken by many of the inhabitants. Some streets of the village are particularly picturesque because of the traditional houses filling them which are painted with vivid colors and have arches and walls beautifully decorated with ceramic plates from the village of Lindos. On the main square of the village are a post office, banks, a health centre, and a taxi stand. Fine accommodations, cafes, and taverns are also available. The castle of Saint John, built by the Knights, is standing on the top of a hill a 10 to 20-minute walk from the village.
Ialysos is the third largest settlement in the island of Rhodes, with approximately 7,000 inhabitants. It is located 8 kilometers northwest of the town of Rhodes and close to an ancient city with the same name, also known as Trianta. This ancient city constitutes an important archaeological site. During the last decades, this village has become a popular tourist destination, with a good variety of hotels, apartments, studios, and campsites placed along the coast. The place also has several traditional restaurants, as well as an active nightlife, with various bars and clubs. The village gets particularly busy in summer when the European Windsurfing Championship is also held in the beach of Ialyssos.
Faliraki used to be a quiet little fishing village, a few kilometers south of Rhodes City but is now the major tourist resort of the island. Organized beaches with clean waters can be found in front of the resort of Faliraki as well as a plethora of hotels and other kinds of accommodations, clubs, bars, cafes, shops, and restaurants. The nightlife in Faliraki goes on all night, and the cosmopolitan aspect and atmosphere of the place attract thousands of visitors during high season.
Kremasti is located 12 kilometers southwest of Rhodes town. It is a tourist settlement that has developed rapidly and combines the tourist resort with the old village of the island. It is worth seeing the remains of the Medieval Castle and the impressive temple of Virgin Mary Kremasti. The area offers many options for accommodations, food, shopping, and entertainment. The visitors enjoy the sandy beach that begins from Kremasti and reaches Theologos. The access to Kremasti from the town of Rhodes is effortless. There are many taxis and public buses running frequently.
Kritinia is one of the most beautiful villages in Rhodes. It has a population of 500 people and a magnificent panoramic view of the sea. Over the years the village has become a place of tourist interest due to the Venetian castle and the church of Agios Ioannis with the magnificent wall paintings that date back to 16th century. At the center of the village are many traditional cafes (kafenia) and taverns.
Siana is a beautiful mountain settlement located 65 kilometers south of Rhodes town. It is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of Mount Acramitis, the second highest mountain of the island, offering a breathtaking view to the surrounding areas. Locals have preserved the traditional layout and their customs. The village is well known for local products like honey. Their local wine is famous for its strong taste, and you can only find it in the traditional cafes of the village, along with some local delicacies. Saint Panteleimon, a 19th-century church, dominates the center of the village. The streets of the village are full of tourist shops where the visitor can find a plethora of local products, from clothes to jewelry and carpets to wine and desserts.
Theologos is a charming village located 22 kilometers south of Rhodes town. It is a modern tourist resort with 3,000 inhabitants, most of whom are engaged in tourism. The locals preserve an openhearted and friendly mood that matches with their simple way of life. Theologos is known as the Valley of Butterflies; a magnificent area situated 8 kilometers south of the tourist settlement. The surrounding region is full of amazing sights, including the famous Monastery of Kalopetra and the white chapel of Agios Soulas which is built in a great environment. The beach offers many facilities and water sports for the visitors, and it is the ideal spot for the windsurfers with the right conditions.
Monolithos is 73 kilometers southwest of Rhodes Town and is set amidst lush hills and olive tree groves. Visitors can walk for a couple of kilometers to reach the beautiful 15th-century Venetian castle of Monolithos, built by the Knights on top of a rock. Stone built houses and picturesque alleys compose the charming atmosphere of Monolithos. The view from the fortress is breathtaking while inside there is a lovely single-aisled church dedicated to Saint Panteleimon. The picturesque cove at Fourni is surrounded by pine trees, and golden sands and caves create magical scenery. From Monolithos you can also reach the beautiful villages of Siana, Apolakia and the Monastery of Skiadi.
Afandou Village is one of the largest villages of Rhodes, surrounded by verdant hills lying south of the island’s capital. The name Afandou is believed to have come from the word “afandos,” which means invisible in Greek, because it was built out of sight from the sea, to remain unnoticed by the pirates. A lovely square can be found in the heart of the village, surrounded by cafes and bars. A good selection of taverns, restaurants, and shops is also available. Various accommodations of all categories can be found in Afandou as well as a golf course. Afandou village is the centre of Rhodes for carpet making, and a lot of shops offer these high-quality and fine carpets. One reason the village is so popular is the fact that it is located only 1 kilometer from a beach of the same name which is a pure marvel – combining sand and pebbles along with crystalline waters; this long beach that spreads for over 4 kilometers has been awarded the EU Blue Flag for its cleanliness. The Church of Our Lady Katholiki (Catholic) is also worth seeing for the beautiful 17th and 18th-century frescoes that it hosts.
Apolakia Village is a quiet town near Lindos, between the villages Genadi and Vati and 92 kilometers from the capital of Rhodes. The village seems to be built in a pit, from which it has taken its name. In the village square, there is the Old Italian building, a typical example of Italian architecture, one of the most beautiful in the village. Small traditional houses with tiled roofs, old windmills, and quiet monasteries are some of the most exceptional features in Apolakia. The magic of this place comes from the beautiful Lake of Apolakia where people can swim in the blue waters and relax under the shade of the trees. Next to the lake is the small Byzantine temple of Agios Georgios built in 1290 with a superb view to the beach. The village is surrounded by the natural environment of olive trees and extended cultivations, with rich flora and fauna. The roads in the village are ideal for hiking especially the road towards Arnitha and Mesanagros or the Monastery of Skiadeni. The beach near Apolakia is a vital biotope and amazingly beautiful. In Apolakia there is a great variety of taverns where the visitors can enjoy fresh seafood.
Skala Kamirou is a small port 50 kilometers west of Rhodes town. It lies on the bottom of Kritinia village and serves as a safe shelter for fishing boats. In summer, excursion boats depart for the nearby island of Halki (1 hour) or the deserted islet of Alinda (30 minutes) with numerous beaches to swim. Delicious taverns that serve fresh fish dot the waterfront of Skala Kamirou. Next, to the port, there is a beach with small pebbles and clean water. This is a beautiful beach if you want to stay away from the busy crowds. Few rooms to rent can also be found in the region. Close to Skala are located the remains of Ancient Kamiros, one of the most powerful towns of Rhodes during the antiquity. The town was founded in the Prehistoric times, and it was destroyed twice by an earthquake in the 2nd and 1st century BC. Excavations started in the early 20th century and continued to this day, however, the site is open to the public.
Asklipio is located 64 kilometers southeast of Rhodes capital. This lovely mountainous village is built amphitheatrically and stands out for its unique natural surroundings. The most important feature of Asklipio is the Medieval Castle which was built by the Knights of Saint John in the 13th century. The cluster of small white traditional houses is a typical example of folklore architecture. During August the village organizes two important festivities, celebrating the Metamorphosis of Sotiros and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. The village has several types of accommodation from luxury villas to low-cost apartments.
Eleoussa is located 37 kilometers south of Rhodes Town, set in the middle of a lush green forest. It used to be an Italian settlement, which is the reason you will see an old Italian sanatorium and an Italian aqueduct on a hill above Eleoussa. The fresh country air and the running water make Eleoussa a nice place for hiking or mountain biking. Many taverns in the region offer delicious meals one you get tired from sports.
Embonas is a picturesque village and is the highest village of Rhodes, south of the capital of the island, at an altitude of 850 meters. The high location of the village has kept it almost untouched by tourism and completely unspoiled; some of its inhabitants still wear local costumes and continue to keep the local customs and traditions, passing from one generation to another. Fine multicolored embroideries are produced in Embonas and are part of the local traditions. Almost all the houses of the village are fine examples of the traditional architecture of Rhodes and are well-maintained. A few rooms for rent can be found in Embonas, as well as traditional cafes and taverns serving some mouth-watering specialties.
Genadi is a small village located 60 kilometers south of Rhodes town and has very nice taverns, small hotels, apartments, and villas extended in its length. Visitors can admire the picturesque white-washed houses, the old olive press and enjoy dining on delicious Greek cuisine. There are stairs which lead to the magnificent Byzantine churches of Ioannis Theologos and Agia Anastasia that were built with the structural material from the wreckage of the Knights Tower. There are various local shops with great souvenirs and handmade objects of folklore art. You can take a short walk in Genadi barrage with its small lakes in the green scenery. Prassonisi (Green Island) is only 15 kilometers away, ideal for those who love to surf.
Hohlakas is located about 65 kilometers south of Rhodes Town, close to the beach of Prassonisi. Hohlakas has very few inhabitants. The surrounding region consists of few trees and dry cultivations, as well as high hills. This is not a tourist place, and the nearest tourist facilities are located in Prassonisi. Hohlakas is found on the way from the eastern to the western side of Rhodes island, which is the reason why it can be visited.
Kalithies Village is a traditional town located 13 kilometers south of Rhodes Town and 2 kilometers from the cosmopolitan resort of Faliraki. The architecture of Kalithies is distinguished by narrow paved streets and stone houses, while its position offers a great view of the bay of Kallithea. There are nice monasteries to visit close to Kalithies, such as the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savor with a 16th-century iconostasis and the Monastery of Virgin Eleoussa with two Medieval coats of arms. Close to Kalithies, there is also the Cave of Kalamonias with impressive stalactites and with human traces from the Neolithic Era (5,000-3,700 BC) If you go to Kalithies in September, you can witness the festival of the Holy Cross, one of the most impressive festivals in Rhodes.
Kattavia is a well-preserved town located in the middle of a fertile plain, in the southern end of the island. This is a charming traditional village. It was built during the medieval times, and until now it has retained its traditional character, with houses of typical folklore architecture. A tour around the village will help the visitor to travel through time and explore the culture of Rhodes. Kattavia is surrounded by hills and every season of the year the colors alternate according to the climate. The visitors have various options for hiking since there are numerous paths and rural roads going in many directions. Kattavia is also a place of archaeological interest, because of the Temple of Agia Paraskevi and the church of Virgin Mary, built in the 8th century.
Koskinou is located 6 kilometers from the capital of the island and consists of 2 parts: The old village and the newer coastal area. The modern side of Koskinou is considered one of the most popular destinations for family holidays in Rhodes. It is well known for its narrow streets, churches and numerous traditional old houses decorated with the Rhodian style. It has numerous cafes and taverns where you can enjoy delicious food, even international cuisine, and good wine. However, the place will astonish you once you enter the labyrinth with the countless paths that will lead you to the other part of the Koskinou, the old village. The village has beautiful cobbled streets, and whitewashed squares filled with colorful flowers. It is worth visiting the famous Traditional House, decorated with handmade wefts and ceramic figs. Koskinou has a great archaeological interest and rich history since the 4th century AD. The 13th-century Medieval castle and the chapels built in the 4th century are worth visiting.
Laerma is a small traditional village located at the center of the island. It is built on the slopes of a hill and has numerous well-preserved old houses. Visitors can find accommodations in the neighboring tourist resorts of Lindos while there are numerous taverns and restaurants in Laerma serving delicious food. About 4 kilometers southwest is a Byzantine Monastery built amidst impressive greenery. The village is accessible through a wonderful route from Lardos to Lindos.
Lardos Village is located 54 kilometers from the town of Rhodes. It is a pretty village with a water fountain in the middle of the village, many taverns and kafeneia and local shops. It is worth taking a walk through the small paths and the olive groves that compose the beautiful environment of this village. It also has great archaeological interest, and it is worth seeing the remains of the Byzantine Castle of Lardos or the female Monastery of the Virgin Mary. Lardos has many facilities found in a typical modern holiday destination.
Massari Village is located 35 kilometers south of Rhodes town. It is easily accessible from the Rhodes-Lindos highway. It is surrounded by lush green vegetation and beautiful mountainous landscape. Walking around the village, visitors see the simplicity and the natural beauty of the olive tree forests and the surrounding landscape. This place is not known for its tourist development or activity but for the serenity and the peacefulness it offers to the visitors as well as the religious sights including the church of Saint John and the Monastery of Kamiri from the Byzantine times. The festival of the Metamorphosis of Sotiros (the Saviour) on August 6th is an interesting event for the locals in Massari village.
Mesanagros Village is located 87 kilometers north of Rhodes Town, close to Lachania. The village lies hidden between the mountains at an altitude of 400 meters. It is a historic and privileged village that has survived many invasions from pirates. Today, the village is a cluster of ruins where you will find many caves and countless findings which bear the art and way of life of the people. At the center of the village stands the temple of the Annunciation of the Virgin built in the 13th century. There is also a great selection of monasteries and churches.
Paradisi is one of the most attractive and charming villages of Rhodes, located 16 kilometers west of the capital. The name Paradise derives from the beautiful surrounding with the exotic gardens that Arabs once brought to the village. This is a true paradise, just like its name indicates. This village has 2,500 inhabitants, but during the summer months, it gets quite crowded because the airport is only a couple of kilometers away. The nearby beach is a developed tourist settlement with numerous local shops, traditional houses, and several renovated buildings. Despite the fact that today Paradisi constitutes a popular tourist destination, the locals have preserved their sociable and friendly character. The area has various options for accommodation, food, shopping and any kind of entertainment. Most people visit Paradisi for the sandy and organized beach that stretches for 10 kilometers from Kremasti to Theologos. The access to the village is easy from the town of Rhodes. There are public buses running frequently as well as taxis.
Salakos is a wonderful village located 38 kilometers south of Rhodes town. This is a village well-maintained enough to be recognized as “traditional” with all the customs and folklore elements that locals have preserved. Salakos is of special archaeological interest because it is surrounded by ruins and traces from the Hellenistic period and a few churches from the Byzantine times. Close to the end of the village, there is the cave of Makarouna which is easily accessible and in a short distance from the village. On the coastal side, there are ruins of three cities of Ancient Rhode, definitely worth visiting. Salakos combines mountainous and coastal beauty.
Pastida is 15 kilometers north of Rhodes town and 7 kilometers from the popular resort of Ialyssos and is close to the airport. Pastida stands out for its authenticity and traditional character and consists of whitewashed houses, paved alleys, and a picturesque square. The surrounding region is covered with olive groves and vast vegetation. Pastida is a calm village with a tranquil atmosphere; it is an ideal destination to escape from the noisy crowds. Although the population is small, Pastida has restaurants and taverns where homemade dishes are offered. Even with easy access to the town of Rhodes and many beach resorts, it remains a peaceful destination. There are local buses connecting Pastida to Rhodes Town and other surrounding places.
Medieval Town – One of the best-preserved medieval sites in the world, this old town showcases a history of 2400 years inside its 4-kilometer-long imposing walls. The most famous road within the walls of Old Town is the cobblestoned Street of the Knights, restored to show how it looked like during the Middle Ages. The Palace of the Grand Masters of the Order of the Knights and the administrative headquarters of their state is now an interesting museum, which is located at the highest point of this street. The Archaeological Museum is housed in the old hospital; the Byzantine Museum is located in the former Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes.
Walking on Polidorou Street leads to a square lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants. Sokratous Street is an extension that is full of shops and cafes. After exploring the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, the harbor will be in full view. In the Turkish District, the Mustafa Pasha Mosque and the 16th century Yeni Hammam (Turkish Baths) can be found.
New City – The New City is located outside the walls of the Old Town, and magnificent Venetian, neoclassic and modern buildings offer a contrast. The Prefecture of the Dodecanese was in former times the Italian Governor’s Palace and resembles the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Murat Reis Mosque with its elegant minarets is located next to the Prefecture. Evangelismos Church, the Town Hall, and the National Theater are worth a visit as well. Rodini Park with its beautiful flora and fauna is said to be the site of the famous School of Rhetoric, where prominent Greeks and Romans from Julius Cesar to Cicero and Pompey to Brutus studied.
Acropolis of Rhodes is one of the finest specimens of the Hellenic style of architecture that blended harmoniously with the surrounding environment. The renowned Italian Archaeological School was entrusted with the work of excavating the Acropolis during the period from 1912-1945, and from 1946 on, the Greek Archaeological Service carried out excavations that provided a fascinating insight to the history and topography of the Acropolis. The entire Acropolis is yet to be excavated. Some of the significant monuments discovered by archaeologists in the core archaeological zone are: The Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus, The Nymphaia which is four cavernous constructions cut into the rock with entrance steps, passages, water cisterns, and luxuriant foliage; The Odeon – archaeologists are of the opinion that the Odeon was used for musical performances or for conducting classes in rhetoric; The Temple of Pythian Apollo; The Stoa Building had an impressive facade that was visible from the lower town as well as the harbor; The Artemision was the place of worship of the Artemis cult; The Stadium was 600 feet in length, but now the only original components are the Sphendone, Proedries and a few rows of seats in the auditorium; and The Library, which in the past used to be well stocked with priceless works of Rhetoric.
Afándou presents sandy beaches, skillful weavers and an 18-hole golf course that is open year around. If walking and cycling is a favorite pastime, the road from the beautiful seaside resort of Kolimbia leads through a forest along the banks of the river Loutanis to Archipoli, a picturesque traditional village.
The Aquarium is one of the most important marine research centers in Greece and a wonderful place to see many of the marine species living in the Aegean in an environment reminiscent of an underground cave. The building was constructed in 1934-36, during the Italian occupation, to house the Institute of Biological Research. It constitutes a circular area with 13 big tanks and 15 small ones. The tanks are made of cement, and their bottoms are covered with sand, shingles, and corals. This place is frequently used to hospitalize sea turtles and seals from the nearby waters. The museum displays embalmed sea species, like dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks that are certainly worth to visit.
Castle of Kritinia now ruins of the original medieval castle, is on a hill approximately 131 meters above the village of Kritinia. With elements of Byzantine and Venetian architecture, this castle was constructed by the Knights of Saint John. It was originally built on three levels, and each level was assigned to a different Grand Master. The castle is a short climb from the asphalt road and its location offers a breathtaking view to the Aegean Sea, the neighboring island of Halki and the port of Kameiros. Inside the walls, there are the remnants of a chapel. In the nearby monastery of Saint John, you can view lovely wall paintings from the 16th century. In summer, there are few events taking place in this Castle, such as festivities from the Medieval Rose Festival that is organized every June.
Castle of Monolithos in the village of Monolithos is on top of a huge, 300-foot rock standing above the village. This Venetian Castle was built in 1480 to protect the area from pirates and enemies. The Castle is today ruined but offers great views to the beach of Fourni and the two islets just opposite the coast. To reach this Castle, you have to climb a narrow path with many steps, among lush greenery.
Great Hammam of Rhodes is one of the few remaining Turkish baths in the Medieval Town of Rhodes, built in the 14th century during the Ottoman occupation of the island. This hammam is also known as the Baths of Souleiman, Mustafa Baths and Yeni Hammam (New Baths). The Great Hammam was originally constructed in 1558. The first part of the Great Hammam was the men’s baths, a beautiful square of a symmetrical structure. The women baths were added some years later, under the rule of Mustafa Pasha. The interior is even more impressive, the men’s chamber is embellished with luxurious marble and elegant fountains. The rest of the areas also have a distinctive character with small apertures in the domes. The building today has been renovated, and it is used as a hammam-spa, offering massages, exfoliation, and traditional head-to-toe wash.
Jewish Museum of Rhodes is found in the Old Jewish quarter of Rhodes Town. The museum, founded by Aaron Hasson in 1977 is housed in two rooms at the historic Kahal Shalom Synagogue of Rhodes, built in 1577. The museum reopened in 2006 after undergoing several renovations. The original objective of the Jewish Museum of Rhodes is to present historic facts from the life of Jewish people on the island.
Lindos Acropolis – The ancient town of Lindos, 45 kilometers to the south of Rhodes Town, was founded by the Dorians in the 10th century BC. The archaeological remains found inside and around the Acropolis of Lindos reveal the wealth of this ancient town. Part of its worth-visiting monuments is a Doric 4th-century temple devoted to Athena Lindia, where people used to worship their patron goddess with offerings and sacrifices. The Propylaea (the gateways) of the Sanctuary consists of a staircase and five-door openings. You will have the chance to see the relief of an ancient warship, called trireme, at the foot of the staircase. There is also a Roman temple dedicated to the emperor Diocletian and a Hellenistic wall that surrounds the Acropolis. All these ancient sites are protected by a Medieval Castle, built in the early 14th century by the Knights of St John. Two towers of the castle are well-preserved till today. The excavations in the archaeological site of Lindos started in the early 20th century.
Monastery of Panagia Tsambika is located about 25 kilometers south of Rhodes Town, between Kolymbia and Archangelos. The old monastery of Tsambika is built on top of a hill with a gorgeous view to the sea and the surrounding area, while the new monastery, which works today, is found on the road that connects Archangelos to Rhodes Town. It is not known when the old monastery was founded, but we know that it was reconstructed in 1770 by a monk. This monastery was built according to the Dodecanesian architecture with hollow roof tiles. The floor of the temple and the yard are covered with pebbles and shells. Some icons date from the 19th century, while the iconostasis is even older. The icon of Panagia Tsambika is considered miracle-working, particularly for the childless women, which is why many women offer to the icon of Panagia child dolls. This monastery is considered a protector of the island, and in fact, many locals are named Tsambikos for men and Tsambika for women.
Petaloúdes (Butterflies) is an area that includes the villages of Kremasti, Paradisi, and Theológos. The most famous and popular attraction of this region is the Valley of the Butterflies, a unique nature-preserve since it is also the site of the only natural forest of Oriental Sweetgum trees in Europe. It is an excellent place for families with children to enjoy the peaceful walk up towards the monastery through a shaded green valley with small rivers and waterfalls where one is constantly surrounded by butterflies. A spectacular phenomenon, rarely seen in nature, can be witnessed here when butterflies congregate in this small valley during the final stage of their life cycle. In late May, attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum tree, thousands cover the entire landscape, migrating here to reproduce. Since the moths cannot eat during this final state, the rest to conserve energy and can be observed, well camouflaged, as they “sleep”. A visit is not complete without a tour to the Museum of Natural History. The most interesting section of the museum is a hatchery where many butterflies reproduce in a protected and ideal environment with stable climate conditions.
Springs of Kallithea have been famous for therapeutic powers since ancient times. People from the surrounding islands, the coasts of Asia Minor and other Mediterranean countries would come to Rhodes to get healed with baths in these springs. In December 1928, the first buildings were constructed above the thermal springs. The Spa was built in Moorish style and included pebble stone mosaics, Rotonda Hall, a terrace, impressive patio and stairs at the entrance. The beautiful gardens have palm trees, pine trees, flowers, and many other plants. Below the spring facilities, there are small coves with crystal thermal water. At the end of the 20th century, the Spa Building fell in abandonment and neglect. The local council overtook the restoration work that lasted for many years. Finally, the renovated Springs of Kallithea opened its doors in July 2007.
Elli Beach is the closest beach to Rhodes Town. It is one of the most popular beaches in the Dodecanese, and according to Lawrence Durell, it is the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean. It is organized, with colorful umbrellas and rented sundecks, beachfront taverns and comfortable restaurants as well as lovely hotels with safe pools. The place has an amazing atmosphere that attracts many photographers to capture the wonderful panoramic images of Rhodes. Elli Beach features a choice of water sports, diving or even beach volleyball.
Tsambika Beach is a long sandy beach located 25 kilometers south of Rhodes town, under the imposing rock on which stands the miraculous Monastery of Tsambika. Turquoise waters and golden sands create beautiful scenery, ideal to relax and enjoy the sun. Dozens of colorful beach facilities are available as well as water sports. The region offers plenty of amenities.
Fourni Beach is located 80 kilometers southeast of Rhodes town. It is a small pebbled beach with a few wild rocks on the sides and no beach facilities. Some trees provide nice shade. The nicest part is that the beach is pure and natural with few visitors. There is a tiny path leading to the left side of the beach with small and secluded bays, ideal for some privacy. You can access the beach from Monolithos as it is only 3 kilometers away by car.
Ixia Beach is a nice cosmopolitan resort located 5 kilometers south of Rhodes town and is often referred to as one of the most beautiful places on the island. It is a popular windsurfing destination. Over the years, the area has developed into an international meeting place that attracts many visitors and offers various types of accommodation from luxury hotels to apartments and rooms to let. Ixia village has delightful restaurants and traditional taverns to choose from and plenty of bars to enjoy a drink.
Ialyssos Beach is a long beach located 8 kilometers northwest of Rhodes town. Its waters are crystal-clear, and it is well organized as a tourist resort with many facilities, including many accommodation options, seaside cafes, and taverns. The coastline is covered with sand and pebbles. The beach of Ialyssos plays an important role in the Greek surfing scene and is visited by many surfers in summer. Some freestyle competitions are held at Ialyssos Beach, such as the European Windsurfing Championship.
Prassonissi Beach is a long and sandy beach 85 kilometers south of Rhodes Town and 40 kilometers southwest of Lindos Village. Prassonissi is known as a windsurfing paradise for many lovers of this sport, particularly during July and August, when the Meltemi winds are blowing. This beach is crowded, and every day you will enjoy watching skillful windsurfers. The beach consists of two sandy coves which both end in a rocky island that can be either reached on foot or by swimming, depending on the level of the waters. Windsurfing equipment is available for rent. Taverns and rooms for rent can be found close to the beach. The landscape is idyllic and the waters amazingly crystalline.
Anthony Quinn Beach – The famous Anthony Quinn beach is located 20 kilometers south of Rhodes Town between the beaches of Faliraki and Ladiko. The original name of the beach is Vagies; however, the beach was made famous by the film ‘The Guns of Navarone’ that was filmed there. Since then the locals decided to name the beach after the great protagonist Anthony Quinn. The beach was always considered as one of the calmest and most beautiful spots of the island, and its excellent waters have attracted many tourists. It is a rather small and narrow beach with a combination of sand, pebbles, and rocks. It is not entirely organized, and the only facilities a visitor can enjoy are a few umbrellas and sundecks. The rocky hills that surround the beach create a wild yet impressive scenery adding to the greenery landscape of pine trees. Faliraki is the closest area from the beach, at a 3-kilometer distance, where you can find many services available after a full day under the sun.
Kolymbia Beach is a quiet resort, one of the most beautiful of the island. It is a small natural bay located on the eastern coast of the island, about 26 kilometers south of Rhodes Town. It is one of the many organized pebbled beaches of Rhodes, with umbrellas, sundecks and a great variety in water sports. The crystal-clear waters combined with the green background are a huge appeal to the visitors and a great theme for photos. Today it is a popular spot for a lot of families. Although the beach has seen rapid tourist development during the last years, it remains a calm and peaceful beach without the bustling crowds of the other known beaches in Rhodes.
Afandou Beach is an extremely long and large beach located 19 kilometers south of Rhodes Town. The beach is made of sand and pebbles and offers many rental facilities. It is relatively crowded during the high season, and most importantly it receives many windsurfing lovers. Its deep, clear sparkling waters are ideal for swimming and remain quite fresh even under the hot sun. Some fine taverns can be found nearby the beach and, in the village, visitors will find even more taverns and all kinds of accommodations.
Kallithea Beach is famous for its hot medicinal springs which were built by the Italians (unfortunately they no longer function). It is located 8 kilometers south of Rhodes Town, and it is a truly magnificent place with palm and pine trees and beautifully renovated buildings with impressive mosaics influenced by Arabic architecture. The emerald waters of the sea match perfectly with this idyllic scenery, adding one more touch of beauty to the whole picture. Kallithea is easily accessed from the main town of Rhodes.
Faliraki Beach is one of the most cosmopolitan resorts of Rhodes located 16 kilometers south of the main town and 10 kilometers from the airport. It is well-organized with dozens of colorful sunbeds covering the sandy coast, umbrellas and many watersports facilities for water skiing, windsurfing and more. In the wider region, plenty of taverns, restaurants and beach bars are found. The golden sands of Faliraki extend over 4 kilometers and, along with the crystalline blue waters of the Aegean, this creates a relaxing and attractive environment. The whole area is full of luxurious hotels and other kinds of accommodations.
Lindos Megali Paralia Beach is a large beach in walking distance from the picturesque village of Lindos. Megali Paralia is a fully organized beach with sunbeds, umbrellas, fish taverns, and some water sports. The golden sand and the clean water amaze visitors. The environment has sparse vegetation and high hills, while at the background people can see the amphitheatrically built village of Lindos and the Acropolis on top of the mountain.
Lardos Beach is located 65 kilometers from Rhodes Town and 6 kilometers from Kiotari village. Lardos Beach has sand, pebbles and emerald bright waters. The hills surrounding Lardos Beach offer nice scenery, and some green tamarisk trees offer shade. There are some accommodation options in the area of Lardos Beach, such as hotels, studios, and rooms to rent.
Haraki Beach is located 36 kilometers south of Rhodes Town. It is quiet with crystal clear waters ideal for numerous activities and interesting water sports like scuba diving. The cove offers an impressive landscape. Some taverns are found in close distance offering some excellent seafood dishes. It is the ultimate choice for families traveling with younger members where they will be happy to pick up shells among the shiny pebbles of the beach. There are a few umbrellas and sundecks. The beach has an archaeological interest as well, on the left side there is the imposing castle of Feraklos, the first fortress in Rhodes used by the pirates as a base of operations. In a short distance from here is the picturesque village of Archangelos, authentic and traditional.
Kalathos Beach is located 50 kilometers southeast of Rhodes Town and 65 kilometers from the airport. The sands on Kalathos are soft and golden and the waters are crystalline and clean. Wooden sun beds and bamboo umbrellas are available for rent. A few accommodations can be found near the sea while more are available in the village of the same name.
Kathara Beach (meaning ‘clean’ in Greek) is located 13 kilometers from Rhodes Town and a few hundred meters from Faliraki. It is a magnificent sandy beach, surrounded by rough rocks with crystal clear and shallow water which form an ideal environment for all ages, especially the children. It is nicely organized offering umbrellas, sundecks, and showers. Despite its proximity to Faliraki it still does not get very crowded and offers visitors an oasis of peace. The beach is easily accessible from the town of Rhodes with frequent bus routes, or else by car or taxi.
Glystra Beach is a small sandy beach located 55 kilometers southeast of Rhodes Town and 11 kilometers away from Lindos village. Glystra Beach is ideal for swimmers who seek a tranquil tourist environment. Glystra Beach has wonderful green vegetation, golden sand, and clear blue sea. It extends about 200 meters, and it is covered by small pebbles. The beach is quite organized offering the visitor all the beach facilities including some water sports equipment. Most importantly, the water is shallow and ideal for the children. Visitors can swim towards a few rocks that are situated some meters away.
Vlicha Beach is a scenic beach located 47 kilometers from Rhodes Town. Vlicha is a charming little beach, and there are plenty of sun loungers at this superb beach. The sea here grows deeper progressively. The best part about this beach is that it is never too crowded. Vlicha Beach is preferred by the residents of neighboring Lindos who go there to find some solitude away from the busy crowds of the resort. If you prefer silence and isolation, you will do well to venture to the extreme right-hand side of the beach.
Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Surfing: Avid surfers head to Prassonissi on the south side of the island where a long narrow spit of land connects Prassonissi with Rhodes. It is easy to rent a wetsuit and start riding the waves in the strong wind. Also desirable for wind and kitesurfing are Theologos, Ixia and other beaches close to Rhodes Town.
Diving: Many dive centers on the island offer courses and organized dive trips to old wrecks.
Hiking: Ample hiking trails on the island lead to green valleys, mountainous villages, medieval castles, and secluded beaches.
Swimming: A vast variety of beaches, from sandy to rocky, can be found on this amazing island. Or one can just bask in the sun on one of the most beautiful beaches.
Yoga Retreat and Cooking lessons: Offered in Teologos. Cooking lessons with hands-on experience or a yoga course to revive the spirits.
Waterpark, close to Faliraki, is one of Europe’s biggest water parks with many fun and thrilling slides.
Shopping and Entertainment: In addition to a multitude of tavernas, restaurants, and nightclubs there is an open-air theater near Arionos Square where regular folklore dances take place every summer. Rhodes Town offers a 24 hour a day shopping and café culture.
- April 23rd – Feast of Agia Kyriaki in Kalathos.
- June 9th – Festival of Saint Paul in the small bay at Lindos.
- August 15th – Celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin. Many churches on the island start the day with Holy Mass in the morning, followed by festivities in the village square in the evening. Kremasti, one of the liveliest and biggest villages on Rhodes, is famous for its festival of the Virgin Mary.
- The Medieval Rose Festival usually takes place the last weekend in May and includes various exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical plays. It gives the visitor the chance to participate in the Witches and Fairies Dance, watch tricks by Fire Eaters, Jugglers, and Jesters. The venue is the Medieval Town of Rhodes, the most fitting and perfect location for this event.
- International Film and Visual Arts Festival is usually held in June and is the perfect occasion for guests to enjoy documentaries, short films with environmental and ecological content geared to all ages.
- Sound and Light Show, held sometime between May and October, is an impressive show held in the Old Fortress of Rhodes Town and is one of its major tourist attractions. The show is presented in 5 languages and lasts for a week. With a blend of light, sound, and speech the greatest stories from the history of Rhodes are beautifully projected.