Rhodes Travel Guide for 2024

Written by James
 Last updated: February 15, 2024

Why visit Rhodes?

Rhodes is a beautiful destination with near-perfect weather, stunning natural landscapes, rich historical sites, a bustling old town, vibrant Greek culture and diverse attractions.

Rhodes has something for everyone to enjoy, from its secluded beaches and crystal clear waters to its bustling ancient towns and charming coastal villages.

This Greek island in the the Aegean Sea is the largest of the Dodecanese, and often one of the most affordable islands to visit. Flight prices are usually cheaper than for many other Greek islands, and if you visit outside of the main holiday season, you can still get incredible weather.

Out of everywhere in Greece, this is the island I've returned to the most, and my first destination after the lifting of restrictions from the Coronavirus pandemic.

James in Pisa scaled

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Rhodes is the perfect place to savour local culture and stunning panoramic views.
Explore its ancient ruins, medieval architecture, traditional Greek hospitality and fantastic food.


Looking for incredible sea-view shots from your hotel?
I recommend to book in Ixia, where you can wake up to the incredible backdrop of Turkey's mountains in the distance.


James Turtle Trip's founder

James and the Turtle Trip team, seasoned travellers and industry experts, aim to simplify travel.

Our guide is designed to make trip planning enjoyable and stress-free, catering to both novice and experienced travellers. Enjoy our top tips in this Turtle Trip guide, and have a fantastic journey!


Where to go & what to do in Rhodes

These are our top places to visit in Rhodes, from historical sites to charming mountain-side villages and a captivating valley of butterflies.

Relax on Rhodes' best beaches

Rhodes has very little rain through the year, with near-perfect weather and more than 300 days of sun. To help you relax, the island has plenty of excellent sandy beaches to enjoy.

For swimming, visit between late May and early October, or between July and August for the best temperatures to spend hours in the water.


Explore Rhodes Old Town 

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Rhodes. This walled city is full of Byzantine, medieval, and Ottoman architecture. Here you'll find trinkets and souvenirs of everything you can imagine, but do expect to pay a little more.

Just outside of the old town walls you'll often find artists offering caricatures, and pop-up shops with far better prices than in the more touristy areas - I bought two large bags of freshly-picked mountain tea outside of the walls for just 2 euros each, versus almost double the price within old town.

Climb the Acropolis of Lindos

An ancient citadel perched on a hilltop that offers impressive views of the island and the surrounding sea. This was one of our favourite parts of our last trip and it was fascinating to think back to how this acropolis must have looked a thousand years ago.

The acropolis is perched above Lindos, a quaint village of whitewashed homes, tiny, winding alleyways, and cobbled paths.

Lindos is a popular spot for tourism so it can get feel busy at midday and when the boats come in, but here you'll experience real, local culture and charm.

Be careful not to get lost, as the village is like a maze. Listen out for the bustle of tourists to get back on the right path.

lindos view from the acropolis scaled

A view of Lindos village from the acropolis

Read our travel guide to Lindos

Lindos

Visit the Valley of butterflies

An enchanting nature reserve featuring thousands of colourful butterflies and moths. We visited in September - out of the main season - and found that if you wear a floral dress you will attract dozens of butterflies!

Set in a forested valley in Petaloudes, the valley is home to Rhodes' own subspecies of the Jersey tiger moth, which can be difficult to see against the backdrop of trees.

The best time to see the butterflies and moths is in June, where locals say you can see millions. Although, if you do visit in September like we did, you'll still see thousands of them. For best results, wear brightly coloured clothing, or a floral dress, to get up close with nature!

Kallithea Springs

An ancient thermal spa with crystal-clear mineralised waters and a perfect coastline. The springs were once visited for their ability to heal and provide relief from daily stresses.

They're no longer active, but the area is very well preserved, beautiful, and has excellent facilities to offer everything you need.

The surrounding landscape is stuning, lined with lush trees and vegetation, so it really feels like you're on a tropical island paradise.

Kallithea Springs

Local Foods to Try

The food is probably my favourite part of visiting Greece, and is sure to leave a lasting impression as a key part of your trip.

Greek food is often served meze style, similar to tapas - a number of small sharing plates for all the table to enjoy. If you're eating meze, I'd suggest you share five plates between two diners, and no more than seven plates if you're feeling like you could eat a horse.

You will often be given a small plate of honey or syrup sweets to share after your meal, even if you don't ask for it, as well as a shot of ouzo or a local liqueur.

Souvlaki: A classic Greek dish of skewered meat, usually pork or chicken, roasted over open coals and often served with pita bread, tzatziki, various fresh salads, herbs and spices.

chicken souvlaki scaled

Chicken souvlaki and a plate of calamari

Greek Salad: A classic Greek salad with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, raw onion, feta cheese, olives, and oregano, and laced with olive oil.

These salads are usually quite large and could easily be split between two or three diners, so don't make the mistake of ordering one each - it is not like most side salads! 

It's quite common for us to have one Greek salad each day of our trip, usually during lunchtime, and accompanied by a few meze dishes.

greek salad scaled

A Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion, and feta

Loukoumades: Greek doughnut balls, traditionally topped with honey and walnuts.

These are delicious and very moreish, especially with a chocolate hazelnut cream called bueno.

loukoumades scaled e1705155751913

Loukoumades (Greek doughnuts)

Gyros: A sandwich from grilled meat served on pita bread and topped with raw onions and tomatoes.

Pronounced yee-ros, they're incredibly popular as food on the go and are absolutely delicious.

As a tourist you may want to seek out the best gyros every day, but to the locals these are more of a fast food than a staple in their diet.

Tzatziki: A delicious dip made from yoghurt, cucumbers, mint, lemon juice and garlic, served with pita bread.

Tzatziki seems to go with everything, so spread it on your gyros, dip your fries in it, lather it over dolmades...

Once you try it, you'll want more, and you'll return home to immediately find a recipe - it takes just five minutes to make and quench your thirst for Greek flavours.

Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry, nuts, and honey or syrup, topped with chopped nuts.

Some can be very sweet so you may only need one. Tavernas often don't have a wide selection of desserts but many will offer a couple of baklava to end your meal.


Souvenirs to Buy

Olive Oil: Sample the local variety of olive oil, which is regarded as some of the best in the world. Many shops selling food, health products, or souvenirs, will usually carry a range of oils to choose from. Picking the best oil can be tricky, but if you see words such as 'organic', 'single origin', or '0.2% acidity' you know you've found a very high quality oil.

Prices can vary by how touristy the shop is, but you can find a litre of good quality olive oil for under €15 anywhere.

Greek Mountain Tea: This plant grows locally and is a favourite among locals. It's usually steeped in hot water with a spoon of wildflower honey, and it great served hot or iced. Shops in the old town have small bags of tea for €3-5, but head outside the walls to find stalls along the path that sell large bags of freshly picked tea for just a couple of euros.

Ceramics: Hand-crafted ceramics and pottery make beautiful souvenirs depicting the area's culture and heritage. It's best to stroll through the old town and take a peek at local pottery studios and shops as you go, as there are many talented artists here, each with their own unique style.

Jewellery: Greek jewellery is always unique and beautiful, from classical to modern. Tourist areas will be lined with jewellery that's beautiful but often overpriced, and while vendors are usually open to haggling, you would get a better deal by finding a shop in a less crowded area further away from the tourist traps.

Spices: Enjoy buying spices like oregano, anise, and cinnamon, which are all traditional to the island. Again these are very popular in tourist areas and you'll usually find a multi-pack selection of spices for as little as €5, but, if you find a non-touristy supermarket (not a mini market) used by locals, you'll get much cheaper prices.


Is Rhodes Expensive?

Not at all, Rhodes isn't an overly expensive destination to visit.

Prices in restaurants, cafes and bars tend to be pretty reasonable, with one beer costing around €2.50, a small meal around €5-€6 and a 3-course meal around €15-€20.

Shopping and travel fares are also reasonably priced, with Rhodes being one of the most well-developed Greek islands for tourism with a very functional and well-placed airport.


Flights to Rhodes


Where to Stay

Our #1 hotel recommendation:
Olympic Palace Resort Hotel

See prices for Olympic Palace

Cruise-ship style architecture makes this hotel stand out as one of the largest and grandest we've seen on the island. It boasts 334 rooms and a stunning view of the sea and Turkey in the distance, with excellent facilities to cater to every need. 

Six restaurants and four bars made each of our stays complete, with a buffet-style main restaurant that serves the best breakfast we've ever had on holiday -seriously! 

The resort has two pools and plenty of areas and hidden spots to relax and unwind, while the private beach is just a two minute walk away. Our only slight complaint is a fairly busy road disconnects the hotel from the beach, but that's a small price to pay.

The private beach is uncrowded and with beautiful soft sand (just watch out for a small line of pebbles as you enter the water). To the right of the beach entrance is Anna's Place, a food stall that's been serving our favourite authentic gyros and souvlaki for over 40 years, and is a must-visit on your trip.

Here's five other fantastic hotels we picked to make your stay in Rhodes genuinely unforgettable:

  1. Lindos Blu Luxury Hotel & Suites is just four minutes from the enchanting town and its Acropolis. This adults-only oasis offers three swimming pools, a beachfront view, free WiFi, a fitness centre, and an unmissable dining experience at the Five Senses restaurant. The resort centre is just 2km away, providing easy access to local attractions.
  2. Marco Polo Mansion in Rhodes Old Town offers a unique, home-away-from-home atmosphere, brimming with bohemian flair and warmth. This former Ottoman official's residence is nestled amidst a wealth of dining and sightseeing options within 0.3 miles. Guests can enjoy free high-speed Internet, breakfast, and air conditioning.
  3. Bellevue Suites offer spacious self-catering suites with stunning beach views, a heated rooftop pool, and a Greek fusion cuisine restaurant. Just a five-minute drive from the UNESCO-classed mediaeval city of Rhodes, you're never far from the heart of the action. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a mere 19-minute walk away.
  4. Lindian Village Hotel is a beautiful choice for an ideal romantic or family getaway. Despite its name, it's distant from Lindos (so car hire is recommended). The hotel offers two outdoor pools, a spa, water sports, a tennis court, and more. You're less than a ten-minute drive from the famous village of Lindos and an hour from the Medieval City of Rhodes.
  5. Finally, the Allegory Boutique Hotel is a restored family home turned boutique hotel set within the walls of the Medieval City. This gem is just 1km from the city centre and offers free WiFi, family rooms, an exceptional breakfast, and even bicycle rental for those who want to explore the city on two wheels.

Helpful Recommendations

Transport: The public bus system is also affordable and very reliable - far more reliable the disjointed bus system on Crete. 

Taxis are also fairly reasonable, especially around the old town, and you're unlikely to be overcharged by the many honest local drivers.

However, the best way to get around the island is by renting a car, as Rhodes has good roads and little traffic. 

Travel from one end of the island to the other can be quite slow by public transport or very pricey using a high-speed boat or taxi, so hiring a car is the most reasonable way to explore everything that Rhodes has to offer.

What to wear: As Rhodes is a Mediterranean country, it's best to dress light with breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen. Like elsewhere in Greece, you won't look out of place wearing shorts here, unlike other countries such as Italy where locals rarely dress so casually. Dresses and light blouses are perfectly fine in almost any situation.

If you're entering a church or chapel, please dress appropriately and check with a local if you are unsure - keep your shoulders and knees covered out of respect for traditions.

Water: The tap water is usually safe to drink, but bottled water is commonplace on the island and can be purchased for as little as 20 cents. If it's hot, always keep some with.

Currency: The euro is the currency used in Rhodes. It's best to exchange cash or use an ATM to withdraw money. If you're in the old town, look for the National Bank of Greece, as exchange desks often have higher fees.

Tipping: There isn't a set rule for tipping, as it's traditionally not part of the culture. As tourism has increased it's become more common to leave 10%, or round up your bill. While we do leave a tip of 10% for good service, it is not expected, but still appreciated.


A Short History of Rhodes

It's thought that Rhodes has been occupied for at least the last seven thousand years, with the earliest known settlement dating back to the Neolithic, likely around 5,000-12,000 BC.

If the legend is true, it was home to the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - but it was demolished in the year 656. As tall the the Statue of Liberty, it was a statue of Helios, the Greek sun god, and welcomed ships into the harbour as they entered.

colossus of rhodes

What the Colossus of Rhodes could have looked like. A legend also says that its legs straddled either side of the harbour.

The Genoese, Venetians, and Ottoman empires ruled the island before Italian rule in the early 20th century, and the Island joined Greece in 1947 after the second world war. Because of the diverse rule over the years, Rhodes has a unique culture and diverse architecture that can only be found on the island.

For decades, it has also been one of the more popular islands among tourists for its stunning beaches, culture, and culinary scene. 


Rhodes FAQ

Where is Rhodes?

Rhodes is nestled in the southeastern Aegean Sea, the largest of Greece's Dodecanese islands. It's near Turkey's coast, a sun-kissed paradise steeped in history.

What is the capital of Rhodes?

The capital is Rhodes Town, a fascinating blend of ancient and modern. It's divided into the UNESCO-listed Old Town and the vibrant New Town.

What do I need to travel to Rhodes?

You'll need a valid passport. UK citizens don't need a visa for stays up to 90 days. Always check the latest travel advice.

Where to stay in Rhodes?

Rhodes offers a range of accommodations. Fiscardo and Assos are popular for their quaint charm, while Skala is known for its lovely beaches. Ixia has incredible views of Turkey's mountains in the distance and is only ten minutes by taxi to the old town.

How big is Rhodes?

Rhodes is quite expansive, covering about 1,400 square kilometres. Despite its size, it maintains a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere.

What languages do they speak in Rhodes?

Greek is the official language, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. A few Greek phrases will always be appreciated, but you won't have any problems if you only speak English.

How long is the flight to Rhodes from the UK?

Direct flights from the UK to Rhodes typically take around 4 hours. However, flight times can vary depending on your departure airport and the airline.

What plugs are used in Rhodes?

Rhodes uses both Type C and Type F plugs, so make sure that you have the correct travel adapters.

How hot does Rhodes get?

Rhodes enjoys a Mediterranean climate and so has very comfortable weather year-round. Summers can reach 31°C, and even early-mid autumn is hot enough to visit, while winters are mild. The island boasts about 300 sunny days per year.

What currency is used in Rhodes?

The currency in Rhodes, like the rest of Greece, is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's handy to have some cash.

Rhodes Weather

Rhodes has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, minimally-wet winters. Spring and autumn are generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 25°C. July and August are the hottest months when temperatures reach around 30°C, so it's best to avoid visiting if you can't stand the heat.

JAN

14.6°C / 58°F

7 days rain

FEB

15°C / 59°F

5 days rain

MAR

16.5°C / 61.7°F

4 days rain

APR

19.6°C / 67.3°F

3 days rain

MAY

24.1°C / 75.4°F

2 days rain

JUN

28.5°C / 83.3°F

0 days rain

JUL

30.3°C / 86.5°F

0 days rain

AUG

30.8°C / 87.4°F

0 days rain

SEP

28.1°C / 85.6°F

1 days rain

OCT

23.8°C / 74.8°F

3 days rain

NOV

19.3°C / 66.7°F

5 days rain

DEC

15.8°C / 60.4°F

7 days rain

Best time to visit Rhodes

The best time to visit Rhodes is during the summer months of June to September when the weather is warm and the sea temperatures are perfect for swimming. However, if you prefer a quieter vacation with fewer tourists, the shoulder months of May and October also offer pleasant weather.

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