Rhodes Travel Guide
Rhodes is an island embedded in the ancient history of Greece. Millenia ago, it was home to one of the Wonders of the World. That massive statue fell a long time ago, but the island remains a popular destination.
From the Old Town where Crusader Knights held court, to world-famous beaches, you’ll have plenty to do here.
Come check out our Rhodes travel guide as we cover the best things to do on Rhodes, Greece.
Begin your time on one of Greece’s best-known islands by touring the Medieval City of Rhodes. This Old City was the stronghold of the Knights of Saint John, who settled here during the Crusades. They defended this corner of Greece with valour from the 14th century until 16th century.
Ultimately, the might of the Ottoman Turks was too much to withstand. After a six-month siege, they signed a deal with Suleiman the Magnificent and exiled themselves to Malta. Apart from a 19th-century ammunition explosion, most of the Old City survived intact to the modern era.
Its significance to history has earned the medieval quarter of Rhodes a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. As you walk its cobblestone streets, you’ll find scores of attractions, some of which we’ll describe later. However, take your time – there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can soak in your surroundings.
After eating or enjoying a coffee, take on the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. A palace, fortress, and administrative HQ all-in-one, this was the nerve centre for the Knights. Its near-mint condition represents what many consider to be a castle in the popular imagination. From its watchtowers and ramparts to its magnificent arches and windows, it is simply breathtaking.
Within its walls, you’ll find priceless art treasures that date back to the days of the Romans. The oldest is a mosaic of the Medusa – its creator made this piece in the 2nd century BC. Other pieces date from Byzantine and medieval times – these include frescoes, mosaics, and oil paintings.
At the admission gates, get a combined ticket. For only 10 Euros, not only can you get into the palace, but the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes as well. This institution used to be the hospital of the Knights of Saint John. In recent times, authorities converted it to a museum dedicated to artifacts dug up by archaeologists.
In its galleries, you’ll find busts, sculptures, beautiful pottery, and other items dating to the times of the Greeks. When you are done examining these ancient items (some are as old as 5,000 years), head out to the garden. Its lushness pairs well with this beautiful structure, making it a great place to catch your breath. Be on the lookout for cats, who frequent this area looking for friendly humans!
Finally, scale the coastal cliffs near Rhodes to the remains of Monolithos Castle. Today, only the outer walls stand, but hiking up here is well worth the effort. For one, you’ll find a pair of picturesque 15th-century chapels. Their whitewashed appearance gives them a photogenic appeal that will make for many excellent photos.
Secondly, the walls of this castle stand 236 metres above the ocean. The views of the sea, and Rhodes below, will make even amateur photographers look professional!
If you have time to make some side trips while on Rhodes, include the village of Lindos in your itinerary. This picturesque town was the principal settlement on Rhodes, as it dates back to the 10th century BC. However, once the Greeks founded the city of Rhodes, Lindos declined in importance.
Nonetheless, it has an acropolis that will make your day trip out here worthwhile. From the Doric Temple (built in honour of Athena) to Roman temples, history nuts will be in their glory here.
Are you travelling with kids? Treat them to an afternoon at the Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo. Unlike petting zoos back in North America, you’ll be interacting with more than just ponies. Here, you’ll have a chance to get up close and personal with camels, ostriches, llamas, and other animals.
Admission tickets are 7 Euros for 12 years+, 4 Euros for children over three, and free for infants/toddlers. As such, it is an affordable way to spend a day away from the beach.
Speaking of which, Rhodes has its share of amazing beaches. If you’re all about the scene, make for Faliraki Beach. It is a small pebble beach with abundant restaurants, bars, and opportunities for watersports.
If you want to set foot on a sandy beach, make for Tsambika Beach. It features fine white sand, satisfying those who get snobby about these seaside attractions. However, it can get fiendishly hot in peak summer, so bring sandals.
Young people make Anthony Quinn Bay their summer HQ. Lacking sand, it isn’t the best for families. However, its stunning emerald waters has given it popularity among local and visiting youth.