A Travel Guide to Rhodes, Greece
Rhodes is a beautiful and exciting destination in Greece known for its stunning landscape, historical sites, vibrant culture and diverse attractions.
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.
This Greek island in the Aegean Sea is the largest of the Dodecanese islands. Rhodes has something for everyone to enjoy, from its secluded beaches and crystal clear waters to its bustling ancient towns and charming coastal villages. It has been a desirable travel destination for centuries.
It is the perfect place to savour the local culture and stunning panoramic views while exploring its ancient ruins, medieval architecture, traditional Greek hospitality and fantastic food.
For some incredible sea-view shots from your hotel, I would recommend to try staying in Ixia, where you can wake up to the incredible backdrop of Turkey in the distance.
A Short History of Rhodes
It is believed that the earliest known settlement on Rhodes occurred in the Neolithic, likely around 5,000-12,000 BC.
The Genoese, Venetians, and Ottoman empires ruled the island before Italian rule in the early 20th century, with the Island joining Greece in 1947 after the second world war.
For decades, it has been making waves among tourists for its stunning beaches, culture, and culinary scene. It was home to the Colossus of Rhodes – one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Where to Go
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 pop-up shops with lower prices – 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.
Valley of butterflies: An enchanting nature reserve featuring thousands of colourful butterflies. We visited in September – out of the main season – and found that if you wear a floral dress, you will attract dozens of butterflies!
Lindos Acropolis: An ancient citadel perched on a hilltop that offers impressive views of the island and the surrounding sea. This was one of our most favourite parts of our last trip and it was fascinating to think back to how this acropolis must have looked a thousand years ago.
Monolithos Castle: A ruin located on the western tip of Rhodes built by the knights of St. John in the 14th century.
Kallithea Springs: Beautiful thermal springs featuring mineral-rich waters and a stunning surrounding landscape.
What to Do
Boating: Sail an electric boat around the island and explore its many coves, beaches, bays, and coastal villages.
Swimming: Enjoy the many docks, coves, and beaches that the island has to offer for swimming, sunbathing and other beach activities.
Scuba Diving: Explore the world beneath the waves with a scuba diving adventure around the island.
Horseback Riding: Take a guided horseback riding tour and explore the island uniquely and excitingly.
Hiking: Hike outdoors, discovering ancient ruins and stunning views.
Local Foods to Try
Souvlaki: A classic Greek dish made from grilled meat served on pita bread with various fresh vegetables, herbs and spices.
Gyros: A sandwich from grilled meat served on pita bread and topped with raw onions and tomatoes.
Greek Salad: A classic Greek salad with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, olives, and oregano.
Tzatziki: A delicious dip made from yoghurt, cucumbers, and garlic, served with pita bread or crackers.
Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry and honey or syrup, topped with chopped nuts.
Souvenirs to Buy
Olive Oil: Sample the local variety of olive oil, which is regarded as some of the best in the world.
Ceramics: Hand-crafted ceramics and pottery make beautiful souvenirs depicting the area’s culture and heritage.
Jewellery: Greek jewellery is always unique and beautiful, from classical to modern.
Spices: Enjoy buying spices like oregano, anise, and cinnamon, which are all traditional to the island.
Knitted Goods: Buy an authentic knitted item, like a scarf, hat or bag, to take home.
Is Rhodes Expensive?
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.
Where to Stay
Here’s a roundup of five fantastic hotels that will make your stay in Rhodes genuinely unforgettable:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Transport: The best way to get around Rhodes is by renting a car, although the public bus system is also sound.
Dressing: As Rhodes is a Mediterranean country, it’s best to dress light with breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen.
Water: Try to drink bottled water instead of tap water to avoid getting sick.
Currency: The euro is the currency used in Rhodes. It’s best to exchange cash or use an ATM to withdraw money.
Tipping: There isn’t a set rule for tipping, but most restaurants add 10% to the food bill, or you can leave a few euros if you think the service was good.
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.
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!
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. Summers can reach 30°C, 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 has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, 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.
14.6°C / 58°F
7 days rain
15°C / 59°F
5 days rain
16.5°C / 61.7°F
4 days rain
19.6°C / 67.3°F
3 days rain
24.1°C / 75.4°F
2 days rain
28.5°C / 83.3°F
0 days rain
30.3°C / 86.5°F
0 days rain
30.8°C / 87.4°F
0 days rain
28.1°C / 85.6°F
1 days rain
23.8°C / 74.8°F
3 days rain
19.3°C / 66.7°F
5 days rain
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.