Rhodes

Dodecanese

Rhodes is a major ferry destination at the hub of the Dodecanese, and the main port is right in the centre of Rhodes Town. You can easily walk into the Old Town from Rhodes harbour, and there are many hotels, shops, and restaurants within walking distance.

Rhodes harbour in Rhodes Town on Rhodes in the Dodecanese Islands of GreeceRhodes Harbour

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanesian islands and also their capital. Much of the coast on the northern end of the island is given over solidly to tourism, as one town has merged into the next resulting in one long stretch of hotels, tavernas and souvenir shops. 

This part of the island has good beaches, so it’s a great place to be if you simply want to lie in the sun and then have a good time at night in the bars and discos. But the island is big enough to provide alternative attractions too.

Read our review of the Best Guidebook to Rhodes

Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town is a mixture of the very old and the very new, with the medieval walled Old Town being one of the jewels of the Aegean. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1988. Many cruise ships use the harbour, giving visitors a few hours ashore to explore the Old Town… or the good shopping in the New Town, if that is their preference. There are also several museums worth visiting.

Rhodes Old TownRhodes Old Town

The Old Town, which goes back to the arrival of the Knights of St John in 1306, although a town has existed on the spot since 408 BC and Rhodes as an island has been historically significant since at least the 5th century BC. It was the Knights of St John, though, who stamped their lasting identity on the place by building the Old Town, which they ruled until 1519.

Their Palace of the Grand Masters and the Street of the Knights are unrivalled in the Dodecanese for their splendour and beauty. The fact that the Old Town has also turned into a tourist bazaar is inevitable, but only the few main streets have been affected and if you venture into the back streets you will see life going on as it does in any close-knit Greek community.

Rhodes Old TownRhodes Old Town

Near the main entrance to the Old Town is the Archaeological Museum, a place of historical interest in itself as it is within what was the hospital of the Grand Knights, built between 1440 and 1481. Rhodes is rich in archaeological discoveries, and there are examples here from its main sites, including Kameiros, Ialyssos and Lindos. Its star exhibit is the Aphrodite of Rhodes, a sensuous 1st century BC carving in marble. 

Rhodes Old TownRhodes Old Town

There are several other museums within the Old Town’s thick walls, including the Byzantine Museum which is in what was an 11th-century church which later became the Mosque of Enderum during the Turkish occupation.

The Decorative Arts Museum has a very good collection of works that are unique to the island, including decorative tiles from Lindos and a reconstructed house showing the local tradition for patterned courtyards made from black and white pebbles, and the raised sleeping platforms.

City Walls, RhodesThe City Walls

There are numerous other buildings to see in the Old Town, including several mosques and a hammam (Turkish baths), while the most notable building in the centre of the New Town is the Nea Agora market building, just across the main street from the harbour. It is small but invariably lively, with some simple but good cafes and restaurants.

Take this hour-long walk through Rhodes Old Town, starting at Mandraki Harbour, to see all the highlights that the Old Town has to offer. Also see our page of brief suggestions for What to Do on Rhodes, and one for Where to Stay in Rhodes Town.

Where to Stay in Rhodes Town

Lindos

South of Rhodes Town, on the eastern side of the island, the resorts at first merge into each other though eventually the towns do regain their distinctive identities. There is no town more distinctive than Lindos, which has something for everyone. It is a popular holiday spot with an excellent beach, yet the back streets of whitewashed houses manage to retain their beauty, while above the town and the beach stands the grandly impressive acropolis. See our full page about Lindos.

The Acropolis at LindosThe Acropolis at Lindos on Rhodes

Don't miss this account of spending Easter on Rhodes Greek-style.

Petaloudes

The most popular destination on the western side of Rhodes lies at the end of a turning off the main coastal road, just past the airport. The turning leads to Petaloudes, which has been renamed Butterfly Valley. Slightly misnamed, in fact, but Moth Valley doesn’t sound quite so appealing. Between June and September literally millions of Jersey tiger moths live in the valley, attracted by the unusual storax trees, whose resin smells like vanilla and is used in the manufacture of frankincense.

Jersey Tiger Moth on RhodesJersey Tiger Moth

Sadly the tour guides who lead coach parties up here daily in summer all encourage the visitors to clap their hands to disturb the moths and make them fly into the air, a deplorable if understandable practice which has led to serious declines in the numbers of moths over the last few years.

Ancient Kameiros

Ancient KameirosAncient Kameiros

Further south is the site of Ancient Kameiros, which is one of the best-preserved examples of a classical Greek city. Many of the remains go back to the 6th century BC, including a cistern that was the water supply for about 400 families, and the Temple of Athena. In those days Kameiros was a big and busy city, sadly destroyed in an earthquake in 142 BC, after which it lay undiscovered until 1859. Local farmers found a few graves, and after these were reported excavations took place in earnest and produced the remains of a city that has been compared to Pompeii in its significance.

Monolithos

Monolithos on RhodesMonolithos

Further south still is a site that is impressive both geologically and historically. Monolithos is the main village in the southwest corner of Rhodes and it is easy to see how it acquired its name. The area is dominated by a huge monolith of a rock that towers 235m above the surrounding woods and drops almost sheer down to the sea. At the top of the rock is a 15th-century castle that was built by the Grand Master d’Aubusson, and within its walls are two 15th-century chapels, both with some original frescoes. It is rather a demanding and precarious walk to the top, but this does not deter many people from going, particularly to watch the sunset over the sea and the offshore islands, relaxing with a drink in one of the stunningly-set tavernas.

Getting to Rhodes

Flights to Rhodes

In summer there are regular cheap charter flights to Rhodes from many European destinations. Visitors from the USA and other countries outside Europe should consider flying to London or other European city and taking a connecting flight from there.

Within Greece, you can also fly to Rhodes direct from Athens International Airport, with several flights a day. There are also daily flights to Iraklion on Crete, and to Thessaloniki and Santorini, from various Greek airlines like Olympic, Aegean Air and Sky Express. Sky Express has flights between Rhodes and several Greek islands so it's worth checking out their website.

Other islands with flight connections to Rhodes currently include Kos, Leros, Lesbos, Samos, Chios and Karpathos, and a few other islands. The Greek airline situation is constantly changing, though, so always check in advance and never make assumptions.

Ferries to Rhodes

There are daily ferries to Piraeus for Athens, several a day to the nearby island of Symi (a popular day trip from Rhodes), and less frequently to places including Kos, Karpathos, Kalymnos, Santorini, Patmos, Crete, Tilos, Halki and Thessaloniki.

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Rhodes Weather

Rhodes Weather

Where to Stay on Rhodes

Where to Stay in Rhodes Town

Where to Stay in Northern Rhodes

What to Eat and Drink on Rhodes

Where to Eat in Southern Rhodes

Where to Eat in Rhodes Town

Where to Eat in Northern Rhodes

Read our guide to Rhodes Food and Drink.

Driving on Rhodes

Southern Rhodes Drive

Where to Stay on Rhodes

Lindos
If you want to know what's going on in Lindos, and find out about where to stay in Lindos, visit the excellent website of Exclusively Lindos.

More Information
Visit the official Rhodes website

Other Rhodes pages

  • This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

    A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Rhodes Town, including boutique and historic hotels in the Old Town and modern hotels in the New Town.

    Where to Stay in Rhodes Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Rhodes Town, including boutique and historic hotels in the Old Town and modern hotels in the New Town.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the Old Jewish Quarter, which you’ll see if you visit the Old Town of Rhodes.

    Rhodes Town Old Jewish Quarter

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to the Old Jewish Quarter, which you’ll see if you visit the Old Town of Rhodes.

  • Lindos is one of the main attractions on the Greek island of Rhodes, with its Acropolis, other ancient sites, beaches and historic captain’s houses.

    Lindos

    Lindos is one of the main attractions on the Greek island of Rhodes, with its Acropolis, other ancient sites, beaches and historic captain’s houses.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends its choice of where to eat in Southern Rhodes, including restaurants and tavernas in Lindos, Gennadi, Pefki and Monolithos.

    Where to Eat in Southern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends its choice of where to eat in Southern Rhodes, including restaurants and tavernas in Lindos, Gennadi, Pefki and Monolithos.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Northern Rhodes with hotels and apartments in Faliraki and elsewhere from 5-star luxury to family-friendly.

    Where to Stay in Northern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Northern Rhodes with hotels and apartments in Faliraki and elsewhere from 5-star luxury to family-friendly.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to Rhodes food and drink including the Greek words for meze, meat dishes, and fish dishes, and a guide to the best Rhodes wine.

    Rhodes Food and Drink

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to Rhodes food and drink including the Greek words for meze, meat dishes, and fish dishes, and a guide to the best Rhodes wine.

  • Several mosques in Rhodes Town offer a reminder of Ottoman Rhodes, along with a delightful Muslim cemetery.

    Ottoman Rhodes

    Several mosques in Rhodes Town offer a reminder of Ottoman Rhodes, along with a delightful Muslim cemetery.

  • Rhodes festivals and events include those celebrated throughout Greece like Easter and Greek Independence Day, and others that are unique to the island.

    Rhodes Festivals and Events

    Rhodes festivals and events include those celebrated throughout Greece like Easter and Greek Independence Day, and others that are unique to the island.

  • Rhodes Town museums include an archaeological museum, Byzantine museum, a museum of decorative arts, and exceptional collections of modern Greek art.

    Rhodes Town Museums

    Rhodes Town museums include an archaeological museum, Byzantine museum, a museum of decorative arts, and exceptional collections of modern Greek art.

  • Greece Travel Secrets’ guide to places to see in Southern Rhodes include Gennadi, Glystra, Pefkoi, Kiotari, Lardos, Moni Thari, Lindos, Kattavia and Prasonisi.

    Places to See in Southern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets’ guide to places to see in Southern Rhodes include Gennadi, Glystra, Pefkoi, Kiotari, Lardos, Moni Thari, Lindos, Kattavia and Prasonisi.

  • This Southern Rhodes drive starts and ends in Lindos and takes in Gennadi, Kattavia, Monolithos and the chance to stop at several good beaches.

    Southern Rhodes Drive

    This Southern Rhodes drive starts and ends in Lindos and takes in Gennadi, Kattavia, Monolithos and the chance to stop at several good beaches.

  • Mandraki Harbour is the main harbour of Rhodes Town for travellers and from here you can catch ferries to Piraeus, Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos, and to Turkey.

    Mandraki Harbour

    Mandraki Harbour is the main harbour of Rhodes Town for travellers and from here you can catch ferries to Piraeus, Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos, and to Turkey.

  • During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

    Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

  • If you’re wondering what to do on Rhodes then our suggested highlights include Rhodes Old Town, Lindos, Kameiros, and a visit to Symi.

    What to Do on Rhodes

    If you’re wondering what to do on Rhodes then our suggested highlights include Rhodes Old Town, Lindos, Kameiros, and a visit to Symi.

  • Rhodes weather is hot in summer and mild in winter, so read Greece Travel Secrets’ advice on the best time to visit Rhodes and why you should consider Lindos.

    Rhodes Weather

    Rhodes weather is hot in summer and mild in winter, so read Greece Travel Secrets’ advice on the best time to visit Rhodes and why you should consider Lindos.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Rhodes Town with fine-dining restaurants and inexpensive tavernas in the Old Town and the New Town.

    Where to Eat in Rhodes Town

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Rhodes Town with fine-dining restaurants and inexpensive tavernas in the Old Town and the New Town.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Northern Rhodes, including fish restaurants and roadside tavernas in Faliraki, Ixia, Kamiros and Charaki.

    Where to Eat in Northern Rhodes

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to eat in Northern Rhodes, including fish restaurants and roadside tavernas in Faliraki, Ixia, Kamiros and Charaki.

  • The best Rhodes guidebook is undoubtedly the A-Z Travel Guide to Rhodes, including Symi, with a new revised and updated edition for 2022.

    Best Rhodes Guidebook

    The best Rhodes guidebook is undoubtedly the A-Z Travel Guide to Rhodes, including Symi, with a new revised and updated edition for 2022.

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