Rhodes is the largest of the 165 islands in the Dodecanese in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. The island has a rich history and was once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Colossus of Rhodes. Today, Rhodes’ Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. There are so many wonderful and unique things to do in Rhodes. So, whether you’re interested in history, culture, natural beauty, fun, shopping, or simply relaxing, here are my personally recommended top things to do in Rhodes, Greece.
My Personally Recommended Top Things to do in Rhodes, Greece
Visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in Rhodes and a symbol of the island’s medieval town. It was built in the 14th century under the command of Grand Master M. de Villeneure, on the foundations of another Byzantine fortress that didn’t manage to survive the repeated Arab-Persian attacks from the 7th century.
The fortress, with its 4km walls, was a refuge for residents during wars and a safe place for the more than 19 Grand Masters of the Order of the Knights of St. John to live, as well as for several foreign conquerors after the end of the Knights Era on the island.
The palace has weathered many storms, especially during the Ottoman Turk’s invasion in 1522 and strong earthquakes. It was built to withstand assaults and military sieges however, no one could have predicted the disaster to come almost three centuries later, in 1856, when an explosion in an adjacent gunpowder warehouse took place and destroyed most of the castle as well as a big part of the old town, while the casualties were found to be more than 900 residents of the settlement.
Take a tour of the Acropolis of Lindos
The Acropolis of Lindos is number two on my list of things in Rhodes, Greece. The Acropolis of Lindos is located in the town of Lindos, about 30 kilometres from the city of Rhodes.
The Acropolis is a complex of ruins that date back to the Bronze Age. The site was inhabited by the Dorians in the 7th century BC. The Acropolis is best known for its Temple of Athena Lindia, built in honour of the goddess Athena. The temple is one of the best-preserved examples of Greek architecture.
It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the Acropolis, including its temples, theatres, and shrines. There are also several places where you can take photos and selfies with stunning views of Lindos Bay and Rhodes Town in the background.
Visit the Butterfly Valley
Have you ever wanted to visit a real-life butterfly valley? Well, now you can. The Butterfly Valley, or in Greek “Petaloudes Valley” is home to over 50 different species of butterflies.
The Butterfly Valley is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rhodes. It is located in the northern part of the island, about 26 km from the town of Rhodes, and about 10 km from the airport. In fact, it’s only about 1.5 km from the Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo.
The Butterfly Valley is an excellent place for families with children who wish to enjoy nature’s beauties and examine butterflies’ life cycles as part of their summer holidays. The valley is a natural habitat with dense flora, breathtaking natural beauty, rhythmic structures of bridges with the environment, paved paths, ponds, small inexhaustible waterfalls, and a serene atmosphere. The only sound the visitors can hear is the chirping of the cicadas and the murmuring of the cool water.
Visitors can witness a spectacular phenomenon which occurs only rarely in nature. Vast numbers of butterflies congregate in this small valley during the final stage of their life cycle. Every year, at the end of the wet season (May), thousands of butterflies attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees cover the entire landscape. Adult insects follow the waterways and migrate here to reproduce.
The females leave for other suitable areas to lay their eggs in the early fall due to the high humidity. The butterflies sleep on the shady sides of logs of trees or around the roots. The sight of the colony itself is magical. Still, if the butterflies are awake, they form a cloud, which is very impressive as it reveals their striking orange colouration.
Take a Boat for a day-trip
Rhodes is perfect for boat trips, and there are many: Visiting villages, stopping at beaches, full-day trips to famous islands, party the evening or night away, or a romantic dinner…it’s up to you. I’ve selected my personal favourites below.
From Rhodes City: Boat Day Trip to Lindos
Visit the beautiful village of Lindos by boat. Stop at magnificent beaches along the east coast and go for a swim. Enjoy 3 hours of free time to explore the ancient Acropolis of Lindos on your own. Book here
From Rhodes: Symi Island Full Day Trip by Boat
Take a full-day trip by ferry to the beautiful Symi island. It is famous for colourful neo-classical house facades, charming fishermen’s boats, sponge diving traditions, and the Monastery of Panormitis. Book here
Rhodes: Cruise to Quinn Bay, Afandou & Kallithea with Lunch
Take a boat trip from Rhodes Town to Anthony Quinn bay, Afandou Beach, and Kallithea Springs. Stop to swim and snorkel amid scenic bays, savour lunch on board, and enjoy the sights of the east coast. Book here
Rhodes: Boat Party Cruise with Live DJ
Enjoy a tailor-made party cruise for those who love to dance until the sun goes down and beyond. Play fun games onboard like champagne diving and swim in the beautiful Anthony Quinn Bay. Book here
Rhodes: Sunset Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Wine and Beer
Relax on a sunset cruise where two traditional boats take you on an exciting journey. Listen to live music and enjoy dinner with a drink. Book here
Relax on one of the Top Five Beaches on Rhodes
Faliraki beach is one of the most popular and well-organized beaches on Rhodes. With more than 5 km of coastline, it has something for everyone – from beach fun and shallow waters to bars, nightclubs, restaurants and water sports. There are also plenty of hotels and apartments to rent if you want to stay in the area.
The sand at Faliraki beach is golden, with small rocks and pebbles mixed in. Different parts of the beach are well taken care of, with many trendy beach bars dotting the coastline. Parts of the beach in front of certain hotels are reserved for guests only.
Tsambika beach is a stunning stretch of sand, flanked by dozens of colourful little flags that mark the various eating establishments and beach sports centres. With its fine golden sand and beautiful surroundings, Tsambika is one of the most lovely beaches on Rhodes.
Tsambika beach is a fascinating place where you can find both bikini-clad beauty queens and pious pilgrims worshipping a miraculous Marian icon. This popular destination for excursion boats is one of the most beautiful beaches on the east coast of Rhodes. It remains unspoiled despite its popularity.
On Tsambika beach, you can enjoy water sports, relax in the sun, or play beach volleyball. Just be careful of the hot sand – it can get so scorching during summer that you’ll need sandals just to walk around! With its warm temperatures, Tsambika beach is truly one of the hottest places on the island.
Anthony Quinn Bay
The beach at Anthony Quinn bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on Rhodes. The waters owe their deep emerald colour to the beach’s lush green vegetation. There’s natural stone surfaces ideal for reclining under the sun, pine trees reaching down to the water edge and emerald green water.
The famous actor Anthony Quinn showed impeccable taste when he fell in love with this small bay. The beach is known today by the actor’s name since he bought this part of the island when filming ‘The Guns of Navarone’ here. It’s an exciting place with a lot of history.
Lindos offers two different beaches that share the same bay. Sunbeds and umbrellas are everywhere, but the beaches are not necessarily crowded. This makes Lindos an interesting place to visit for those who want to enjoy some sun and sand without being surrounded by too many people.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Pallas Beach – it’s Lindos’s best secret. The waters here are shallow and ideal for young children and toddlers. Sun beds and umbrellas line the shores, while small, sophisticated tavernas offer delicious meze and fish plates. Yachts and small excursion boats take shelter in the well-protected bay, adding to the beach’s atmosphere, especially as dusk settles. Canoes are available for rent.
St Pauls Bay
If you are coming by car, you’ll have to leave it behind before you reach the beach, but it’s worth it when you get there. At St. Paul’s Bay, you’ll find a mixture of sand, pebbles, and rocks perfect for diving into the crystal-clear water. You can also hike here from Lindos if you’re feeling adventurous.
St. Paul’s beach is a beautiful spot for swimming, with two small creeks and a chapel at the end. The right side of the beach offers sunbeds, food and island music, while the left side is more peaceful and secluded. It’s popular with locals from the upper part of Lindos village, but there are also quite a few foreign tourists.
It’s believed that St. Paul came to this bay in 51 AD to teach Christianity to the Rhodians. The pretty little church built on the hillside to the right of the bay is now a popular wedding venue.
St. Pauls Bay is known for its lovely scenery and stunning view towards the rock on which the Lindos Acropolis stands. The golden sand and turquoise waters make it a truly special place.
Journey Back in time at the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is a must-see for history buffs. Housed in a medieval building once the Hospital of the Knights, the museum showcases some of the most fascinating artefacts from the island’s rich past. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this unique site, as it will be an exciting and enlightening experience.
You’ll notice the Hellenistic statue of a lion in the courtyard and heaps of stone catapult projectiles – a ‘souvenir’ of the dozens of sieges the city has experienced. Along the porticoes, you’ll see numerous inscriptions, funerary steles and circular altars. The museum galleries are on the first floor.
The small rooms overlooking the inner courtyard house grave finds from ancient Ialysos and Kamiros, dating from the geometrical, archaic and classical periods: vases, figurines, jewellery and metal objects. On the facade side of the building, in the large single ‘patients ward’, you can see funerary plaques from the period when the island was administered by the Knights (14th, 15th and 16th centuries) as well as heraldic crests.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my personally recommended top things to do in Rhodes. It is a wonderful place with a rich history and culture, and there are so many more great places to explore.