From visiting Lindos Acropolis, to relaxing on beautiful beaches and eating delicious food, these are the best things to do in Rhodes, Greece.
When it comes to Greek island adventures, there are a few that have long been popular with British travellers. Rhodes is one of those. It’s an island that’s closer to Turkey than the Greek mainland, and has its own distinct culture. It also happens to be one of the richest in history of anywhere in Greece, with its amazing acropolis in Lindos dating back to 4 B.C.
If you’re craving relaxation, Rhodes offers a lot. There are amazing spots such as Anthony Quinn Bay and Kalithea Springs. Or if you want to immerse yourself in the island’s nature, you could tour the Butterfly Valley or the Seven Springs. To be honest, there are so many amazing things to do in Rhodes, you might struggle to fit them all into one trip, particularly if you want to include a day out at neighbouring island Symi!
So, whether you’ve got one week on the island and want to dive head first into the island’s history or you’re keen to enjoy a few chilled days on the beach, these are the best things to do in Rhodes, Greece.
Where is Rhodes, Greece?
The Greek island of Rhodes is located in the far southeast of Greece, in the Aegean Sea. It’s the largest of the Dodecanese group of islands, which includes Kos and Karpathos amongst others. It’s a lot closer to mainland Turkey than mainland Greece, separated by the Strait of Marmara. In fact, the ferry from Rhodes city to Marmaris takes just one hour!
Rhodes is 79.7 km long and 38 km wide, so essentially, it’s a long, thin island. The key tourist attractions are dotted all over, so I’d recommend organising a rental car for a day or two and road tripping to see the sights.
Weather in Rhodes, Greece
If you’re looking for a holiday destination in Europe with warm summers and mild winters, Rhodes is a great option. The island has a Mediterranean climate, so you’re pretty much guaranteed sunshine all through the summer months. Did you know this island boasts the most days of sunshine of any of the Greek islands too? There are more than 300 each year!
It gets pretty scorching in peak summer, with temperatures around 30 C. You might think that’s manageable but it feels hotter than that in the sun, especially when there’s no breeze. For the most comfortable temperatures, I’d recommend visiting in May-June or September-October.
In winter, you can expect average highs around 14 C, so it’s still a great option if you want to escape icy conditions at home!
14 top things to do in Rhodes, Greece
Visit Lindos Acropolis
If you’re a history lover, then you’re going to find so many amazing places to visit in Rhodes. The island is full of amazing Greek historical sites, and they don’t come much better than the Lindos Acropolis. I’ll tell you more about the pretty town in a moment, but if you head uphill, you’ll eventually reach the entrance to the Acropolis. When we visited, it cost 12 EUR to enter. Then it was time to explore!
Located 160m above Lindos, this is one of the most important archaeological sites of Greece. The town was founded by Dorians in the 10 B.C. and in 4 B.C. an amazing temple was built dedicated to Athena Lindia. There is even an old plaque that mentions some of the temple’s visitors, which included Hercules, Helen of Troy and Alexander the Great!
You’ll also get the chance to see the relief of an ancient warship, dating back to 280 B.C. plus a Roman temple dedicated to the emperor Diocletian. Then there’s a 14th century Medieval Castle, with two towers still in existence. You can also see a small section of what would have been a huge ancient theatre.
There’s so much to see in such a small space. Take your time to walk in the footsteps of the greats. You’ll appreciate your time on the island so much more after visiting.
It’s difficult not to fall in love with Lindos! This pretty town is filled with white buildings, cascading down from the impressive Acropolis, with the stunning blues of the Aegean for a backdrop. If you’re the sort of person who loves spending a day ambling on foot and absorbing places with your eyes, you’ll enjoy an afternoon here.
The historic sights attract a lot of tourists every year, so the town caters to that market. You’ll find lots of shops selling souvenirs, plenty of cafes to stop at for drinks and snacks, plus several rooftop restaurants with impressive views over the region.
Take a dip at St Paul’s Bay
After visiting Lindos, the next place on your Rhodes itinerary should be St Paul’s Bay. This pretty spot is moments from the town centre. Nestled below the Acropolis, and seemingly enclosed, this stunning beach has some of the most turquoise water on the island. It’s not totally enclosed, there’s a small channel in and out, but the location makes it really sheltered and the water is usually nice and calm.
It’s a popular place to spend a day in the sun, although be warned – the sun loungers on the beach area here are pricey! When we visited they started at 20 EUR. It’s free to swim though, so you can always pop down for a refreshing dip after exploring the town’s charming streets.
Visit Kalithea Springs
This natural spa at Kalithea is renowned for its healing waters, so much so, a beautiful attraction has been constructed here. The pretty domed building merges nature, history and architecture, to create a very special place on the island.
It costs a few Euros to enter, and once there you can explore the beach, take a swim in the purifying waters, visit the café or just relax and enjoy the views.
Go for a seafood lunch in Stegna
If you’re a fan of fresh fish and seafood, you’ll love the beach restaurants in Rhodes. Forget the big bustling beaches on the island, head to Stegna for an unspoiled experience. This tiny village has a handful of great seafood restaurants lining the beachfront, and one of the best is Stegna Kozas.
This restaurant oozes charm, with its nautical-themed ceiling decorations hanging down to its pretty location, right on the waterfront. The menu is full of tasty ocean delicacies including octopus, king prawns and mussels. There’s also a large fish counter, so you can pick whatever you fancy.
Everything we ate here was delicious, from the toasted bread with tapenade, to the charred octopus and the enormous prawns in ouzo sauce. I don’t think there’s a bad dish on the menu! If you’re looking for a restaurant with a view in Rhodes, this is my top recommendation.
Wander The Butterfly Valley
Nature lovers will adore this spot, the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes Valley in Greek), located in the northwest of Rhodes. It’s a nature reserve unlike any other in the world. It has beautiful plants and trees, serene water features and even waterfalls.
The region attracts thousands of Rhodes’ species of Jersey tiger moths each year. They flock to the area for its humidity and the scent of Oriental sweetgum trees.
A visit here is one of the best things to do in Rhodes and a great way to connect with the island’s nature. You can take a seat on a bench and take in all the gorgeous scenery, listening to the sounds of birds and critters around you.
Relax in Anthony Quinn Bay
Would you like to visit the prettiest beaches in Rhodes? Then take a trip to Anthony Quinn Bay. Follow the road towards Ladiko Bay, then continue along to the car park. Once there, take a stroll down the stairs and you’ll catch the first glimpse of this amazing beach!
Anthony Quinn Bay is enclosed by rocky cliffs, and has some of the most turquoise waters on the island. There’s a beach bar and restaurant located above, from which you can enjoy the views while sipping on your favourite cocktail. Alternatively, hire some sunbeds for the day and relax in this serene setting.
Take a day trip to Symi Island
If you’re looking for popular day trips from Rhodes, how about taking a cruise to the island of Symi. When I put a message out on Instagram to find out where you guys loved visiting in Rhodes, this was the top answer! Everyone falls in love with the charm and natural beauty of this tiny island.
There are a few ways to reach the island. You can book an organised day trip, which is likely to include a short stop at Panormitis Monastery or St George’s Bay. Alternatively, you can make your own way there, using one of the ferry services. The journey takes just over an hour.
There’s a lot to see in Symi too. Take in the views of the harbour in Yialos, hike up to the amazing viewpoint in the village of Chorio, visit Panormitis Monastery, wander the charming streets and taste some traditional Greek cuisine. This is an island that is relatively untouched, so contrasts nicely with the hustle and bustle of Rhodes Old Town.
Explore Rhodes Old Town
I’ve visited a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites on my travels, but I think this beautiful old town is one of the most charming. It’s officially the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe – just get your head around that for a moment! It’s amazingly well-preserved too. Amble along the ancient stone pavements, taking in views of medieval buildings, intricate archways, huge gates, towers, clocktowers and battlements. There’s something so special about seeing an antique city so alive, and so loved too.
Top tourist attractions in the medieval city include The Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes Archaeological Museum and the spectacular Street of the Knights. Walking the cobbles here was a highlight of our time in the town and definitely a must-see in Rhodes.
As with many tourist hotspots, there’s a bit of a dent in the old town’s charm. There are a lot of souvenir shops selling generic items, as well as restaurants with servers hustling you in with deal after deal. It can get a bit draining, so a top tip from me… go get lost! Literally turn down a skinny alleyway or side street and see where you end up. There are lots of enchanting spots tucked away from the tourist traps around Sokratous Street.
Learn about the Colossus of Rhodes
Before visiting, I’d heard of the Colossus of Rhodes, but to be honest (and forgive my ignorance) I hadn’t realised that no part of it remained! One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus was a gigantic statue of the Greek sun-god Helios which stood at a height of 33 metres. It’s thought it was the tallest statue in the ancient world. It was constructed in 280 B.C. but was destroyed by an earthquake just 60 years later.
There’s a point by the harbour where it’s thought the vast statue would have stood, straddling the entrance. When you wander this area, take a look and imagine the Colossus standing there.
Also, during my research I’ve been reading about new plans to construct a 21st century Colossus, five times taller than the original. How amazing would that be?
Visit Rhodes’ Seven Springs
If you’re looking for some charming trails to explore in Rhodes, I’d recommend visiting the Seven Springs. This is a pretty gorge with seven springs and a lake created by a dam. Despite Rhodes’ scorching summer temperatures, the water never runs dry… even in 40+ degrees! To reach this unique attraction, you’ll need to walk through a tunnel that’s 150m long and just 2.5m wide, with spring water running through the base.
While visiting the springs you can take a swim in the cool natural springs, explore the forest and take lots of photos of the views. There are plenty of wild creatures around this area too, including peacocks, wild birds and fresh water fish. It’s easy to see why a trip here is one of the best things to do in Rhodes.
Feast on delicious Greek food
One of the best things to do in Rhodes? EAT! Yes, this cuisine is a huge reason to visit the Greek islands! Greek food is full of simple fresh ingredients prepared lovingly. Some of the most delicious items on the menus are simple dishes like Greek salads, hummus, tzatziki, souvlaki and gyros. One of my favourite things about Greek food is that you can fill a table with mezze dishes and enjoy a huge shared feast.
Some of my favourite things I ate in Rhodes were the prawns in ouzo sauce and the chargrilled octopus at Stegna Kozas seafood restaurant. I also loved the mezze spreads we had in Rhodes old town, including grilled aubergine, feta rolls, meat koftas and all of the delicious dips. It’s a great cuisine, so dive in head first!
See the merging of two oceans at Prasonisi Beach
There are lots of gorgeous beaches in Rhodes, including Tsambika Beach, Elli Beach and Anthony Quinn Bay to name a few. Head to the south of Rhodes though, and you’ll get to see something particularly unique!
Prasonisi Beach is where the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas meet. Two beaches for the price of one! You get two totally different experiences too – with one usually being calm and sheltered while the other offers some of the best surfing conditions on the island. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places to go kite surfing and wind surfing in Rhodes.
The sand spit leads to an island too, which you can reach by swimming or walking at low tide. This is a special spot in Rhodes, and one I’d definitely recommend visiting if you have a car.
Enjoy a luxury holiday in Rhodes
I loved my stay at The Ixian Grand – one of the best 5-star hotels in Rhodes. It’s a smart beachfront spa hotel with luxury amenities, four dining options, two bars and great service. I stayed in one of the property’s beachfront grand suites. These are the top class of room and are perfect for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life. There was a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, a large sundeck and a wraparound private pool with views of the ocean.
If the 5-star suites are a little steep for you, there are plenty of options of rooms at this hotel. Even the standard deluxe rooms offer a great escape, with access to a vast and varied buffet and all-inclusive cocktails!
You can find out more about my experience in my Ixian Grand review.
I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out the top things to do in Rhodes Greece. If you’re looking for other travel tips or inspiration, check out my 7-day Greece itinerary and my guide to the best Greek islands for couples.