Last Updated 9 June 2021
So you’ve decided to go to Greece. Or at least thinking about it.
But, with so many islands (6000 to be exact!), it can be hard to decide exactly where to go… (Well, at least only 227 of them are inhabited!)
Honestly, when we went to Greece, I was mostly excited to go to Santorini. And, while Santorini is the quintessential Greek island with its whitewashed buildings and blue domed churches, I was surprised to find that I actually preferred Rhodes.
Rhodes just kind of snuck up on me. I had zero expectations but I absolutely loved it!
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Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese groups of islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Dodecanese means “The Twelve Islands” although it actually consists of 15 larger and about 100 smaller Greek Islands!
With 300+ days of sunshine a year, Rhodes has the longest summer of any Greek island! And, with more than 40 beautiful beaches and pretty coves, it’s no wonder Rhodes is so popular with tourists.
According to Greek legend, Helios (the sun god) saw the beauty in Rhodes and asked Zeus whether he might have it. But, it’s not only for the Gods! Rhodes is the perfect destination for both sun-seekers and history-buffs.
As I said, Rhodes is not a small island. So, even narrowing your Greece trip down to Rhodes leaves you with lots of options on where to stay and what to see.
The good news is that even though Rhodes is relatively large, it’s easy to do day trips around the island and visit beaches, towns and sights outside of where you decide to base yourself.
Personally, I would opt for the east coast of the island, which is more or less one long stretch of beach. After all, most people are drawn to Rhodes for its stunning beaches.
But, don’t forget to indulge in some history as well, with its heritage sites and Acropolis. Rhodes is known as the island of the Knights and has a rich history.
Either way, whether you’re looking for pure relaxation or an action packed holiday, Rhodes offers something for everyone!
The medieval old town of Rhodes is perhaps one of the best preserved medieval settlements in the world, and has been declared a World Heritage Site.
With a current population of around 6000 inhabitants, the old town of Rhodes is surrounded by almost 4km of medieval walls with no less than seven gates!
The walls were severely damaged during the siege of 1480, and you can still see plenty of evidence of the attack. But, the walls are 12 meters thick so they’re pretty secure!
Inside the walls, you’ll find shops, restaurants, cafes, tavernas and more.
It’s closed off to cars so it’s a lovely and peaceful place to visit.
You can easily spend a couple of days strolling along the cobblestone streets and soaking in the atmosphere of the old town, and perhaps indulging in a cold beer or buying a few lovely souvenirs to take back home.
The Street of Knights has been completely restored to exactly as it was in the Middle Ages, and walking up to the impressive Grandmaster’s Palace at the street’s highest point is like taking a step back into history.
I absolutely fell in love with Rhodes old town and can’t imagine anyone who visits here wouldn’t want to return.
Insider Tip: A fantastic way to see Rhodes city is on the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus! At only €12 per person, it’s an absolute steal!
Where to Stay In Rhodes Old Town:
In Camera Art Boutique Hotel – This is the stuff dreams are made of! Extremely centrally located, this lovely boutique hotel is the perfect spot to explore Rhodes Old Town from. It’s only 500m from the Medieval Castle, with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. And, if you don’t fancy going anywhere at all, very room boasts a view to the Medieval Town, and there’s a lovely little garden area with outdoor hot tub (some rooms even have their own!)
The idyllic Kallithea is less than 10km from Rhodes Town. It’s a popular beach destination for tourists and locals alike.
The Bay of Kallithea became famous for its healing waters way back when Rhodes was under Italian occupation. Thermal baths were built in 1929 and since restored, although the spa is no longer in operation.
These days the complex is used for art exhibitions, weddings, concerts and more.
Along the coastline there are a multitude of little coves surrounded by pine and palm trees, including a small private beach just below the Kallithea Baths.
It costs 3 euro to get access and a couple more to hire a sun-bed, but it does give you access to a great snorkelling spot!
With plenty of little cafes and tavernas at every turn, you can easily while away your days lounging in the sun or participating in some water-sports.
Kallithea is the perfect spot of tranquility, where you can enjoy relaxed days at the beach and quiet evenings in one of the laid back bars.
Where to Stay In Kallithea:
Rodos Palladium Leisure & Wellness – This stunning 5 star hotel has a true beach-front location right on Kallithea’s Blue-Flag (pebble) beach. Alternatively, the massive swimming pool will keep you cool and comfortable during the heat of the day. The luxurious rooms are well appointed and there’s plenty to keep you busy on-site including yoga classes, a spa offering a variety of treatments, and even cooking classes!
If Kallithea sounds too quiet for you and you’re looking for more vibrant nightlife, Faliraki might be for you. It is one of the more cosmopolitan resorts of Rhodes, with plenty of tavernas, cafes, restaurants and beach bars.
But it’s not all about partying.
The long (5km!) sandy Blue-Flag beach along the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea is arguably the best in Rhodes. With that comes crowds though, and it does get busy during high season!
There’s a great selection of water-sports here if you’re looking for adventure during the day. Take your pick from parasailing to jet skiing, windsurfing to scuba diving.
There’s also a Water Park full of adrenaline-inducing slides for a fun family day out.
Just around the bay, you’ll find Anthony Quinn Bay, a popular little cove with large rocks jutting out from the clear, emerald green water.
This is another place ideal for snorkelling and diving!
If you’re up for a bit of a wander, you’ll find a road just north of the bay which will bring you to a stunning view of the coastline and Anthony Quinn Bay from above.
Conveniently, there’s a regular water taxi that can take you to Rhodes Town if you base yourself in Faliraki, and want to indulge in some history and culture for the day.
Where to Stay In Faliraki:
Madison Boutique – This small hotel is a great budget option located a short walk from the center of Faliraki in a quieter location. The rooms are modern and comfortable, and there is free parking which is great if you plan on renting a car to explore more of Rhodes island.
I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself, but the Blue-Flag Kolymbia beach is fantastic! (And – bonus – mostly sandy!)
The good news is that it doesn’t get nearly as busy in Kolymbia as some of the other beaches on Rhodes, even in the summer. It is a much quieter resort, with one of the most beautiful beaches on Rhodes.
Kolymbia is the top pick if you want to enjoy the quiet life, a sunset cocktail, and some trusty Greek dishes at one of the tavernas.
You definitely have to try a gyros kebab while you’re here!
Kolymbia is also a great spot to base yourself if you’d like to indulge in some Greek island-hopping.
Symi Island, for example, is a very do-able day trip (Around €20-40 return).
Where to Stay In Kolymbia:
Leonardo Kolymbia Resort Rhodes – This lovely 5 star all-inclusive resort only opened in May 2019, so the rooms are brand-new, modern but comfortable. There’s plenty to do here with tennis courts, table tennis, fitness studio, aqua aerobics and more on offer. And, it is ideally located just 250 meters away from an amazing sandy bay with crystal clear waters. This hotel is really great value for money!
The town of Lindos was the original capital of Rhodes and is home to the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, housing the temple to Athena.
While not as large, it can get as crowded as the Acropolis of Athens, so plan accordingly.
Like the old town of Rhodes, the village of Lindos itself is closed to cars and is a maze of tiny cobblestoned streets and alleys.
The town of whitewashed, cube-shaped houses surrounds the pretty, closed harbour and slopes up towards the Acropolis.
Lindos Castle serves as the entrance to the Acropolis and was once the administrative building of the Knights.
Be prepared for a bit of an uphill hike to get to the entrance of the Acropolis. The trail takes you through town and up the hill towards the Acropolis.
Feel free to stop off at one of the cute cafes on the way up for a refreshing drink 😅
You’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in Rhodes once you get to the top though, so it is definitely worth it!
Alternatively, you could always opt for a donkey ride instead!
With the Acropolis as your backdrop, St Paul’s Bay in Lindos is another beautiful golden sand and pebble beach on Rhodes.
Yup, there are quite a few!!
Again, the water here is crystal clear and quite shallow so it’s perfect for the kids too.
Insider Tip: If you’re short on time, you can join a day trip from Rhodes to Lindos instead, giving you 4 hours to explore at your own pace.
Where to Stay In Lindos:
Lindos Village Resort and Spa – This luxury adults-only hotel is is a haven of relaxation and indulgence. Absolutely perfect for a couples’ getaway! Built in Greek village style, it is a tribute to the simple yet elegant island living. The hotel is situated just above Vlycha Bay, one of the most idyllic sandy beaches of Rhodes, with a private section specifically for hotel guests. The traditional village of Lindos is just 4km away.
Honestly, Rhodes is the absolute BEST Greek Island to visit!
So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Rhodes today!
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