Introduction to Rhodes

  • Scenic mountains, ancient temples and towers.
  • Beautiful beaches and warm, healing springs.
  • Spiritual sites — Churches, Mosques and Synagogues.
  • Galleries of Greek paintings and theatrical displays.

These are just some of the many wonders that await visitors in Rhodes, Greece – The Island of the Knights.

The Island has been conquered and re-conquered by Christians and Muslims, and the architecture all around it still lives to tell the tale.

The Old City of Rhodes is full of such artifacts, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

Rhodes is one of the largest Greek Islands, and is rich in history and attractions, bringing droves of visitors to its shores every year.

Also known as The Emerald Island due to its wealth of pine and cypress trees, the island of Rhodes is home to about 120,000 people — 30,000 of those living in Rhodes Town.

The island has about 300 days of summer, every year and because of this, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and also in Europe.

Things To Do In Rhodes

From walking the walls of the old city, to learning about the bees of Greece, kitesurfing in Ixia, and exploring the ruins of ancient Kamiros, here are 24 fun and historical things to do in Rhodes, Greece.

If you think we missed something on this list, please feel free to leave a comment below with your recommendations.

Old Town Rhodes Greece

Visit the Old City of Rhodes

The Old Town of Rhodes is a well preserved, fortified city which happens to be known as one of the most important medieval cities of the Middle Ages in Europe.

Ruled by different people and their religions over time, the architecture of Old Rhodes is reminiscent of the Christian Knights who first held sway in the City for about 200 years before being unseated by the Muslims who came after.

Spend a day (or more) exploring Street of The Knights, walk through the walls and halls of the Palace of the Grand Master, or take a look at the historical artifacts of the city while touring the Synagogue (open Sunday – Friday from 10 am – 2 pm) or the Decorative Arts Collection of Rhodes (open Tuesday – Sunday from 9 am – 5 pm).

Rhodes Acropolis

Visit the Acropolis of Rhodes and Temple of Pythios

One of the first thing that strikes you about the Acropolis of Rhodes is that it is not exactly known for being fortified.

But even without walls, this citadel – dedicated to the Sun God, Apollo – is radiant enough to attract guests from all over.

Explorers of this ancient acropolis set on the hill of Agios Stefanos will find many temples, a stadium, sanctuaries and many more places to feast their eyes and absorb history.

Of particular note is the Temple of Pythios, which is the very temple dedicated to the city’s patron god.

From here, tourists can get an expansive, breathtaking view of the city below.

Butterfly Valley

Known in Greek as “Petaloúdes”, Butterfly Valley can seem like something out of a fairytale.

Densely packed with lush vegetation, pools and brooks and structured with unobtrusive man-made bridges and paths, this unique valley is home to the “Zitia” tree.

The Zitia is a rare tree found in a few parts of the Mediterranean which houses millions of butterflies that hang peacefully in it during the day.

The fact that the butterflies come out at night is one of the only downsides for tourists, as the Valley is only accessible from 8am – 6pm daily.

Archaeological Museum of Rhodes

The Archeological Museum of Rhodes can be found in the edifice that was once the Hospital of the Knights of Saint John, which is to be found in the Old Town.

Opened in 1948 after eight years of construction work, the Museum holds important archeological artifacts such as vases, funeral slabs, jewelry, sculptures, mosaic floors and many more pieces excavated from various locations in Rhodes and neighboring Greek Islands.

grand-masters-palace

Visit The Palace of Grand Masters

Also known as Kastellos, the workplace and home of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is one of the most impressive displays of architectural brilliance that Rhodes possesses.

Visitors can walk through its imposingly high towers and large courtyards, and take a full tour of the Hall of the Council, the Grand Master’s private chambers, and the dining halls where the Knights assembled.

Typically open from 8 am – 8 pm, the Palace also holds two archeological exhibitions on “Ancient Rhodes – 2400 years” and “Rhodes from the Early Christian period to the Turkish conquest (1522)

Go to the Venetian Castle of Monolithos Tour

The Castle of Monolithos is a Venetian-style castle that was built on a 300 foot rock by the Knights of Saint John, in order to protect the town from pirates and other enemies.

Unpreserved and damaged over time, tours are available for visitors who are capable of making the climb up the hill to see the medieval ruins of this ancient Rhodesian castle.

Visit Rodini Park

According to historians, Rodini Park is the first landscaped park the world ever saw!

A mere 3km from the city center, the Park is home to hundreds of majestic peacocks, turtles, ducks and other wonderful creatures.

Visitors can find shade from the afternoon sun under tall Cypress and pine trees and take a quick nap in the lush grass.

For families, there is a playground for children and a mini-zoo open for exploration.

Synagogue and Jewish Museum

Over the centuries, Rhodes has been home not just to Christians and Muslims but to Jews as well.

The Jewish Museum can be found in the Kahal Shalom Synagogue of Rhodes, which was built in 1577.

Opened in 1977 by Aaron Hasson, the Jewish Museum displays and preserves historical artifacts that show the lives of the Jews who lived on the ancient Island.

Visit the Museum of Greek Art

Situated right at the entrance of the old town, the Museum of Greek Art is an establishment that is dedicated to promoting the uniqueness of Greek culture and identity.

Presenting hundreds of pieces of art by different Greek artists like Kontoglou, Vassiliou, Theofilos, Spyropoulos, and other great Greeks, visitors will be enchanted as they look upon piece after piece of the best Greek artists in the 19th and 20th century.

The museum is typically open from 8 am to 3 pm.

Walk the Medieval Walls

If you are in the Old Town, you can’t help but feel small as you look at the tall, imposing walls all around them.

For a small fee, you can walk those same walls and spend hours exploring the ramparts and bastions.

Because there is no shade available, this is best done in the early part of the morning, before the sun hits full glare.

Refresh in a Water Park

The sun can get quite hot out in Rhodes, and a great way to get respite from it is to cool off at the Rhodes Faliraki Water Park.

Open from 9:30 am to 6 pm, the WaterPark promises its visitors a fun day of rides and slides, wave pools and jacuzzis.

Tickets also cover shuttle transfers to and from Rhodes Town.

Visit Ancient Kamiros

Kamiros was one of the trifecta of cities that made up an important commercial center in the Classical Greek Period.

The most reserved of the three, the city was rife with life and agricultural production.

The ruins which can be explored, display ancient buildings constructed in the Hellenic-Roman style like the Agora, the Doric Temple, and other temples.

Lindos-Rhodes

Visit Lindos

Lindos is the second of the ancient trifecta, and is one of the most beautiful places in Rhodes with its whitewashed houses set on small streets.

It sits about 31 miles from the island’s center, and is most famous for the Acropolis of Lindos which is set up on a cliff.

Visitors can check out the temples and towers of this magnificent archeological site, which is one of the most visited in Greece.

Visit the Bee Museum

Beekeeping and honey production is a large part of greek life, and is very much a part of its history.

Open from 8:30am – 5pm, the Bee Museum gives guests a unique chance to learn the history of beekeeping in Greece, showing the evolution of the processes that have gone into it for over 200 years.

Through transparent beehives, visitors can view the bees and observe their daily interactions.

They can learn about the types of beehives, and also about the methods of extracting honey, producing wax, royal jelly and more.

Visit the Filerimos – The Cross

Mt. Filerimos is located just 8 miles from the west coast of Rhodes Island.

Giving tourists more than just the amazing expansive view of the Aegean Sea, Filerimos is also home to a number of churches, monasteries and temples.

Of particular note is the Monastery of Filerimos, where a humongous concrete cross was erected.

This location is a popular place for weddings among locals and tourists alike.

Visit the Castle of Kritinia

The Castle of Kritinia (or Kastello, to the locals) is a Venetian-styled castle that was constructed by the Knights of St. John to protect the denizens of Kritinia from attack by the Ottoman fleet.

Initially built for its commanding view over the surrounding areas, visitors to the castle can enjoy the artifacts found here as well as the panoramic views of the sea.

Visit the Monastery of Kalopetra

The Monastery of Kalopetra is located atop the Valley of Butterflies and was built in 1879 by Alexander Epsilantis.

A spot of historical and religious significance, its quiet courtyards offer a great view of the town and valley below.

Visit the Municipal Art Gallery of Rhodes

The Municipal Art Gallery is one of the first buildings you come across when you enter the Medieval City.

It features paintings from some of the greatest Greek artists of the 20th century, including “Chief of patrol. Glues on cloth” by Y. Tsarouchis, and “The hero of the Greek War of Independence, Miltiades Yataganas” by Theophilos.

The Municipal Art Gallery of Rhodes is open from 8am to 3pm.

Visit the Castle of Feraklos

The Castle of Feraklos was built atop a hill 85 metres high, with a commanding view of the sea, set between Ayia Agathe and Charaki Bays.

Taken over by the Knights Hospitaller in 1306, it stands as an important historical icon – being the first place to submit to Christian rule.

Enjoy the Sound and Light Show

In the Municipal Garden of Rhodes, the Sound and Light Show is a theatrical experience that visitors to Rhodes must watch, as there is nothing like it throughout Greece.

Making use of lights, music and architecture, the show tells the history of the Island of Rhodes every day from April to October, every hour on the hour from 8:15 pm to 11:15pm.

Visit the Church of Evanglismos

The Church of Evanglismos is a stunning and superbly built Orthodox church that shines with a Gothic-style design.

Built in 1925, it houses some of the most beautiful murals that visitors have ever seen, and also features a breathtaking view of the Mandraki Harbor.

Refresh in the Neoclassical Thermal Springs

The Thermal Springs of Kallithea have been known for their beneficial healing properties since the Hellenic Age.

Also known to the locals as “Tsillonero”, it is said that visitors who bath in it or drink from it will find healing from common issues that ail them, due to the cleansing nature of the waters springing from the surrounding rock.

Kalithea Therme is a picture of perfection located at the bay of Kallithea.

From ancient times, its spa has been known to possess restorative powers, and it is surrounded by picturesque gardens and man-made mosaics which come together to form an environment more beautiful than words can describe.

Enjoy the Seven Springs

For those not necessarily seeking healing, Seven Springs is a great alternative to Tsillonero.

Located 10 miles from the island’s capital and surrounded by a plethora of pine and palm trees, the seven springs come together to form a lake where ducks, peacocks and geese come to swim.

After enjoying the cool shade and dipping feet in the water, enjoy a meal at a nearby restaurant.

Beach Rhodes Greece

Beaches in Rhodes

  • Go to Prasonisi – Prasonisi is a small bay where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet. Located just 57 miles from the town, the beach is a great place to just relax, or to engage in watersports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
  • Enjoy Pefkos main beach – About 4 km to the south of Lindos lies Pefkos; the recently developed tourist resort. At its center is an alluring beach with sparkling sand and clear clean waters, which is the resorts’ main attraction. On the beach are restaurants and bars, beach chairs and umbrellas for hire, as well as water sport facilities for a fun time.
  • Traganou Beach – Located just 12.5 miles from Rhodes Town, Traganou Beach is known to many as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe – not just Rhodes. More pebbled beach than sand, Tranagou is well organized – with only a small part of it offering sunbeds and umbrella rentals.
  • Anthony Quinn Beach – The waters at Anthony Quinn Beach are a beautiful deep emerald, because of the lushness of vegetation which surrounds the bay. Situated on the east coast of Rhodes, the beach was named after the famous actor who developed it and made it a world-renowned location for tourists. Its beauty is unparalleled, and visitors are always glad they got to experience it.
  • Tsambika Beach – Tsambika Beach runs for 800 meters with pure, golden sand and clear turquoise water. A more popular beach, there are dozens of beach facilities and watersports available for visitors. The beach is also connected to the Tsambika Monastery – a popular pilgrimage spot where women trying to get pregnant go to pray.
  • Kalithea Bay – While Kalithea Springs is a great place to relax, Kalithea Bay is known for being a great scuba diving scene. Home to various fish and plant species, Kalithea is a favorite among divers and is one of the only places on the Island where diving can be done legally.
  • Ixia Beach- Ixia beach is a tourist area that runs from Rhodes City to the airport. The beach is long and often crowded. However, kitesurfers can have fun in the water as it has three surf centers.
  • Ladiko Bay – Ladiko is a beautiful bay with a small, sandy beach. The waters are clear turquoise, and invite visitors in for a scintilating swim. After a swim, you can rent an umbrella and a beach chair and bathe in the sun. There’s also a pub that serves great local meals in case that swim makes you hungry.
  • Agathi Beach – Located on the island’s eastern shore, Agathi beach is a well preserved beach that has been mostly untouched by tourists and is one of the most beautiful beaches that can be found in Rhodes. While it does not have the comforts that a more commercial beach would have like drinks, food and easy service, this beach is a great place for friends to spend a few nights camping for free.

Conclusion

Rhodes is a beautiful island with lots of things to do, and places to experience.

The feel of ancient history all around – by way of the castles and temples, combined with the fun and modern activities like surfing and watching the Sound and Light show, make it a place to be experienced at multiple levels.

When you leave, you will likely find yourself daydreaming about your next visit as you can only accomplish so much in one short trip to the island.

For more information about Rhodes, we recommend you check out our in-depth travel guide to the island here: The Beginner’s Guide to Rhodes, Greece

🗣️ Did you find this article useful? If so, please comment below and be sure to share it with your family and friends.

Pin this graphic to Pinterest to save for later!

24 Fun and Historical Things to Do in Rhodes