Visiting Rhodes: the complete guide

Visiting Rhodes: the complete guide

From the best activities to the most eye-catching beaches, read our up-to-date guide on visiting Rhodes and plan your Greek holiday.

Rhodes is a fabulous island, where beaches and limpid waters meet fascinating historical sites and untouched nature. With plenty of activities to do, it’s a destination that suits all types of visitors and all age groups. To help you better plan your holiday on one of the most popular Greek islands, we thought we’d ask an expert for some advice.

We interviewed Adam Gore, TUI’s Service Delivery Manager, who has been living and working in Rhodes for three years. Originally from Cardiff, Rhodes’ landscapes, food, attractions and culture have literally made him fall in love with the island, and he now knows it so well that he has more than a few tidbits to share with us. He highlights Rhodes’ plethora of things to do, from its abundance of coastlines and picturesque mountains to its bustling old town and rustic villages.

With a seemingly endless variety of activities, the island promises something for every traveller. It’s also a popular and sometimes very touristy destination, however, it still manages to boast an authentic, slow-paced and traditional side, remaining a great option even for those who do not like crowds and prefer quiet beaches and natural oases. With his help, we have put together a real guide for visiting Rhodes.

Read on or scroll through the sections that will let you start planning your Greek holiday:

The best things to see and do in Rhodes:

  • Archaeological site of Camiro: This is a must-see for history buffs who want to learn more about the island’s early settlements. Camiro was founded by the Dorians and reached its peak between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Today, it is possible to visit the well-preserved ruins from the Hellenistic period.
  • Kritinia Castle: Perched on the top of a hill on the west coast of Rhodes lies a sturdy fortress. Built in 1472, a Kritinia Castle radiates a fascinating legacy of the Knights of Rhodes, who built it to protect themselves from attacks by the Turks. In addition to being an interesting historical attraction, the site also boasts eye-popping panoramic views.
  • Monolithos Castle: This is another place in Rhodes worth visiting, just over half an hour’s drive from the capital. The castle ruins are located 3 kilometres from the village of Monolithos, 236 metres above sea level. From here you can soak up striking vistas of the gulf and the sea.

  • Boat tours: This is a great way to embrace the island’s ways of life and relax with the wind in your hair – an ideal activity to do as a family, especially if you join a themed cruise. TUI’s pirate-themed cruises are a fun experience for all ages, with games, a treasure hunt and all the amenities to make for an unforgettable half-day trip.
  • Valley of the Butterflies: Located near the village of Petaloudes, this valley’s name already explains why it is a must-see Rhodes attraction. During the summer months, an abundance of colourful butterflies flutter amid gushing waterfalls and blends in with its natural surroundings. The best month to visit is August, when the population of these elegant creatures is at its peak.
  • Dine in village taverns: Do you want to experience the most authentic flavours of the island? Then you must dine in the traditional, often family-run taverns found in inland villages. The less touristy the place, the more authentic and delicious the food will be. Two examples are the Paraga restaurant in Apollona and the Ilias tavern in Embonas.


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  • Acropolis of Lindos: Perched 160 metres above sea level, the acropolis of Lindos is one of the most important archaeological sites on the island. In addition to exploring the ruins of the temple of Athena Lindia, the propylaeum and the remains of the Byzantine church of St John, you can get birds-eye views of the Aegean Sea and the village of Lindos from above. After visiting the acropolis, seize the opportunity to visit the village of Lindos, one of the most picturesque areas in Rhodes.
  • Archaeological site of Ialysos: Ialysos, or Ialyssos, along with Lindos and Camiro, was one of the three Doric cities on the island of Rhodes. Today, the ruins of the temple of Athena Polias can be seen at the site on Philerimos Hill.
  • Street of the Knights of Rhodes: One of the must-see places in Rhodes Old Town is the historic Street of the Knights. Lined with 16th-century inns and considered one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe, this famous street connects the Palace of the Grand Masters with the Knights’ Hospital, which today houses the archaeological museum.

  • Kalithea Baths: After several years of renovation, the Kalithea Baths reopened in 2007. This spellbinding architectural complex, with its wide terraces and stone mosaics, blends perfectly with the surrounding nature and offers a splendid view of Kalithea Bay. Can you think of a better place to discover the healing powers of thermal waters?

The best beaches in Rhodes

Rhodes has beaches to suit all tastes, so whether you like well-equipped beaches or wilder ones, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out which are Adam’s favourites.

  • Agathi Beach: Just 15 minutes from Lindos, this laidback beach boasts golden sand and crystal-clear waters and is one of the best on the island. Its shallow waters make it an ideal choice for families. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be hired and there are several beach bars where you can have a bite to eat or a drink.
  • Agios Pavlos Beach: Overlooking the impressive acropolis of Lindos, Agios Pavlos Beach is concealed in an enclosed bay, where the rocks and the sea create a unique landscape. Its turquoise waters are a snorkellers paradise and the blend of sand-kissed and pebbled shores are ideal for a relaxing day. The small white chapel dedicated to St Paul gives this beach a special touch making it even more picturesque.
  • Traganou Beach: Nestled in the north-east of the island, right between Afando and Faliraki, lies Traganou Beach. It is not your typical sandy beach; in fact, it is covered with small white pebbles. So, if your feet are a bit delicate, don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear. The more adventurous will be happy to know that at the end of the beach, between the steep cliffs, is a cave to explore.
  • Tsambika Beach: This huge sandy beach has everything you could possibly need and more! If you like water activities, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. You can hire a pedalo, try your hand at water skiing or have fun on the dinghies, among many other options. And if you want to relax under the sun, don’t worry, because sunbeds and umbrellas are also available.


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The best sunrises and sunsets in Rhodes

The east coast of Rhodes is the perfect place to admire glowing sunrises. Adam particularly recommends the areas of Tsambika and Kalithea. For sunsets, however, you’ve got to head to the west coast. The castle of Monolithos, perched on a 236-metre-high rocky outcrop, is an ideal place to watch the sunset. Another good option is the castle of Kritinia, where panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby islands of Chalki and Symi await.


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Eating in Rhodes: dishes and restaurants

Typical products and dishes of Rhodes:

Greek cuisine is reliably delicious and the specialities of Rhodes are no exception. Dishes are fresh and made from tasty products, with influences coming from different culinary cultures and a huge variety of traditional dishes. During your trip, try the kapamas, a slow-cooked stew that can be made with various types of meat, but is usually cooked with lamb or pork. Greek-style lamb chops and feta, with honey and sesame, are also excellent. Other typical dishes are psarosoupa, a fish soup, and pittaroudia, chickpea balls that are very popular on the island.

As for dessert, try the sesame and honey melekouni and bougatsa, baked phyllo dough filled with cream.


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The best restaurants in Rhodes:

Choosing a good restaurant on holiday can be a complicated task, which is why Adam is kindly sharing some of his favourites with us:

  • Restaurant O gialos in Stegna: On the east coast of the island is this beachfront restaurant that is particularly good for eating fish dishes. In addition to the good food, the restaurant’s other strengths are its location and its stylish and cosy décor.
  • Enigma Restaurant in Pefkos: Less than a ten-minute drive from Lindos is this restaurant that serves local and international cuisine. The portions are plentiful, the restaurant is well-kept and there is also a beautiful terrace.
  • Taverna Ouzaki in Kolymbi: A traditional tavern where you can feel at home. The dishes are tasty, the quality is outstanding and it’s great value for money. The menu ranges from fish to meat, salads and meze. There really is something for everyone!


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The best time to visit Rhodes

Rhodes has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Even though it’s a year-round destination, the summer season is highly recommended. And in Rhodes, summers are long on is this Greek island, beginning in June and lasting until October. This is why Rhodes is also an excellent destination for a week at the seaside in early autumn, when the days are still fine and the sea temperature quite warm.

Must-see events in Rhodes

  • Apokries: It may not be Rio but carnival in Rhodes is very popular and is celebrated in a big way. The origin of this festival comes from the cult of Dionysus and, according to tradition, it is celebrated ten weeks before the Orthodox Easter. Masks, dancing, food and wine are all part of the celebrations.
  • Greek Independence Day (March 25th): The 25th of March commemorates the start of the Greek Revolution against the rule of the Ottoman Empire and is one of the country’s most valued national holidays. Although the most important event on this day is the Armed Forces parade in Athens, school parades and military marches take place in most Greek cities.
  • Rhodes Marathon (April 21st 2024): The 42-km race runs along the seafront in the northern part of the city of Rhodes and is an unmissable event for sports enthusiasts. The marathon starts and finishes at the central Eleftherias Square.
  • Rhodes Street Food Festival (dates to be confirmed): Although this year’s dates have not yet been confirmed, the Rhodes Street Food Festival usually takes place in the Thermae Municipal Park in Rhodes Town. In past editions, visitors have savoured the strong flavours of street food and be entertained by fantastic musical performances.
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary (August 15th): Many call this day the ‘Easter’ of summer and the whole country, including Rhodes, celebrates it with passion. In all regions, pilgrimages are made to churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary and many localities organise popular festivals, with music, traditional dances and good food. On the island of Rhodes, visitors from all over the island and the Dodecanese archipelago come to Kremasti to celebrate this important date.
  • Day of No (October 28th): No Day commemorates Greece’s defiance against Mussolini’s ultimatum, refusing to submit to the Axis occupation during World War II. Today, streets are filled with Greek flags and students participate in parades dressed in their uniforms across the country.


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Practical tips

Don’t forget to pack sun cream and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. We also recommend mosquito repellent and a light jacket, especially for the evening. As for tipping, it is not compulsory but is much appreciated, especially considering that many people have seasonal jobs.


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Want more inspiration for your holiday? Have a look at our activities and excursions in Rhodes.

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