A belfry, small water well, and stone arches at the Acropolis of Rhodes in Greece

Things to do in  Rhodes

A scholarly delight

The largest of Greece’s Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes combines spectacular scenery and heaps of history—once home to one of the Seven Ancient Wonders, its medieval Old Town remains the oldest continuously inhabited medieval city in Europe. While exploring historical landmarks and archeological sites is one of the top things to do in Rhodes, visitors shouldn’t miss the many beautiful beaches along the coast, the charming villages that dot the coast, and the mountains, which are also home to lush forests and a valley teeming with butterflies.

Top 15 attractions in Rhodes

Anthony Quinn Bay

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Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the actor who filmed The Guns of Navarone on Rhodes in 1961, is one of the most popular spots on the island for sun seekers. The picturesque pebble beach features shallow emerald green water—perfect for swimming—framed by dramatic coastal rocks that form underwater reefs teeming with fish.More

Acropolis of Lindos

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An important site in ancient Greece, the Acropolis of Lindos is one of the most important historical monuments on the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese Islands. Parts of the site were built more than 2,500 years ago, and this remarkably well-preserved ruin draws tourists from all over the world.More

Profitis Ilias

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Standing at 2,619 feet (798 meters, the pine-clad peak of Profitis Ilias is one of the highest on Rhodes and offers sweeping views over the island's Aegean coastline. Head to the top to admire the scenery and explore the hiking trails, drink from the Koskinsiti spring, and visit the Monastery of Fountoukli’s historic St. Nikolaos Chapel.More

Symi Island

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Hailed as one of Greece’s prettiest islands, Symi is characterized by pastel-colored town houses and a quaint harbor full of wooden fishing boats. Restaurants serving fresh seafood and Greek delicacies line the seafront, while the heavily forested inland offers an abundance of walking and cycling trails.More

Mandraki Harbour

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In use since ancient times, Mandraki Harbour was reportedly the site of the Colossus of Rhodes. Today, statues of Elafos and Elafina, symbols of the city, mark the entrance to the harbor, which is used by yachts and boats cruising to nearby islands, while a jetty is home to three historic windmills and the Fort of St. Nicholas.More

Acropolis of Rhodes

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Keeping watch over the northeastern tip of the island, the remains of the ancient Acropolis of Rhodes dominate the Dodecanese capital's skyline from atop Monte Smith hill. Highlights of the active archaeological complex include the exquisitely restored and partially reconstructed Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Pythian Apollo.More

Medieval City of Rhodes

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The beautifully preserved walled old town, the historic core of Rhodes, is the oldest continuously inhabited medieval city in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The medieval center is still encircled by its original fourteenth century fortification walls, which took more than 200 years to construct.More

Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes)

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Each summer, thousands of colorful butterflies congregate in the humid Petaloudes Valley, earning it the nickname Valley of the Butterflies. It’s one of the island’s most remarkable natural attractions, where you’ll find several species of the winged beauties, as well as the only natural Oriental Sweetgum forest in Europe.More

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes

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Though originally constructed in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, the current Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a Mussolini-era reconstruction built after the original was destroyed by a 19th-century explosion. The lavish palace now serves as a museum displaying furniture, statues, and ancient mosaics.More

Waterpark Rhodes

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With almost 25 acres (10 hectares of water slides, swimming pools, and a lazy river, Waterpark Rhodes is the largest of its kind in Greece and an ideal spot for family-friendly fun. Shoot down the extreme water slides or gently bob in the wave pool—there’s something for everyone from thrill-seekers to tiny tots at his vast water park.More

Afandou Beach

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Claiming the title of Rhodes’ longest stretch of sand is sun-soaked Afandou Beach, which stretches for 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) along the northeast coast. One of the island’s most popular beaches, the Blue Flag–awarded Afandou features a sand-and-pebble beach, calm shallow waters, and shaded alcoves lined with palm trees.More

St. Paul's Bay

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A minuscule cove protected by cliffs, St. Paul’s Bay is reputedly the spot where the Apostle Paul first set foot on Rhodes in AD 51. One of three beaches in Lindos, the water here stays warm as late as October, and the bay is both shallow and protected from winds, which makes it ideal for swimming.More

Tsambika Beach

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Hemmed in by a crescent of jagged rocks, Tsambika Beach is an idyllic stretch of golden sand and crystalline water that is considered one of Rhodes’ most beautiful beaches. A popular stop for boat cruises around the island, the beach is well-served by beach bars and eateries—but with no town nearby, the focus is firmly on the sun and sea.More

Nisyros Volcano (Nisiros)

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The volcanic island of Nisyros (Nisiros, a craggy and fertile speck in the Aegean Sea, lies north of Rhodes and is part of the Dodecanese Islands, along with Kos and Tilos. An unspoiled treasure that has avoided the onslaught of mass tourism, Nisyros offers hot springs, fishing towns, Byzantine chapels, and ancient ruins to explore.More

Seven Springs (Epta Piges)

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One of Rhodes’ most tranquil spots, the Seven Springs (Epta Piges) comprises seven natural springs that feed into a small man-made lake, built by the island’s Italian occupants to provide water to the nearby villages. The springs offer a welcome relief from the Mediterranean heat, as well as a habitat for a surprising variety of wildlife.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Rhodes

Best of RHODES & LINDOS Private Tour

Best of RHODES & LINDOS Private Tour

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Explore the Medieval city of Rhodes on scooters - 2 hours
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Lindos village & 7 Springs

Lindos village & 7 Springs

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All about Rhodes

When to visit

Rhodes boasts Greece’s longest stretch of summery weather, which runs from April to October. Tourist season peaks in July and August, when the beaches are jammed and temperatures hover around 80°F (28°C). Annual festivals, such as the Medieval Rose Festival (which stretches over multiple weeks in the summer), also bring influxes of visitors. For a mellower atmosphere and gentler temperatures, visit in early April, when the island is covered with wildflowers, or in October or November, when the sea is still warm enough for swimming.

Getting around

Rhodes is one of the larger Greek islands, so rent a car to explore inland areas. You can also rent bikes or scooters, but ride cautiously on the highways. Rhodes’ KTEL buses are affordable and connect Rhodes Town to the eastern resorts, and cabs are also plentiful—and have set fares for long-distance trips. Rhodes Old Town doesn’t allow cars, and is easy to explore on foot, but the city does have electric vehicles and hop-on-hop off buses you can use for longer distances.

Traveler tips

If you have a rental car, head off the main tourist track and explore Rhodes’ tucked-away hamlets. One of the most interesting is Asclepios, north of Kiotari. The village is crowned by a crumpled 15th-century castle that was built by the Knights of St. John. Drive or walk up to the ruins for sweeping views of the island, then visit the Folklore Museum and the Byzantine church, and enjoy a well-earned lunch at a local taverna.

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People Also Ask

What is Rhodes best known for?

Aside from constant summer sunshine, Rhodes is famed for UNESCO-listed Rhodes Old Town: Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval city and home to the pristine Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes. The island also boasts the whitewashed, Acropolis-crowned village of Lindos, beautiful beaches, lush valleys, and pine-coated hills.

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How long do you need in Rhodes?

You need a minimum of a week. This allows time to experience Rhodes’ best bits, with tours of history-steeped Rhodes Old Town and picturesque Lindos; and outings to wineries, classical ruins, and spots like the verdant Valley of the Butterflies. Stay longer to enjoy Rhodes’ other star turn—its sun-baked beaches.

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Who built Rhodes Old Town?

Rhodes Old Town was largely the work of the Knights of St. John, who occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523. They constructed the city from what was a fortified Byzantine settlement, protecting it with robust walls and building its imposing Palace of the Grand Master and inn-lined Street of the Knights.

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What is the nicest part of Rhodes?

Many consider Lindos to be Rhodes’ prettiest spot, thanks to its shimmering, bougainvillea-festooned houses, paved lanes, and timeworn Acropolis. Others cite Rhodes Old Town, with its cobblestoned lanes, sturdy walls, and crenelated Grand Palace. Close behind is rural Rhodes, where pine forests, wineries, red-roofed villages, and silvery olive groves reign.

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Which is the best sandy beach in Rhodes?

For looks, it’s hard to beat St. Paul’s Bay. This gorgeous half-moon of sands is washed by teal-blue waters and overlooks Lindos Acropolis but can get busy. Other beauties include Tsambika; the soft, picturesque, and often crammed Pefkos; and, for spectacle, sandy Prasonisi, which is harder to access and quieter.

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Is Rhodes cheap or expensive?

It can be cheap or expensive, depending on your plans. Generally, Rhodes is cheaper than trendy Greek islands like Santorini, but pricier than others like Crete. Accommodation and food costs mirror those across the Mediterranean, but you can go glam with luxe hotels and activities. There are numerous budget-friendly resorts, too, like Faliraki.

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