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Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes.
The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes’ nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.
Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Things to Do in Rhodes:Best Places to Visit
You want to visit Rhodes and you’re wondering about the best places to see?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this guide of the 12 best things to do in Rhodes, with all points of interest and must-see attractions. You will discover the Medieval City of Rhodes, Lindos Acropolis, the best beaches of the island and much more.
In addition to this list of things to do and activities, I will also give you itineraries to visit Rhodes in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
And as always, this travel guide contains all my best tips to make the most of your stay.
So, what to do in Rhodes? Where to stay?
Let’s start with the best places to visit on the island!
Visit Rhodes:some Must-See attractions
1. The Medieval City of Rhodes
Rhodes’ medieval city is clearly the island’s must-see attraction.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest and best preserved fortified city in Europe!
When the knights of Saint-John arrived on the island in 1309, they decided to build this impressive citadel. The 4-km long fortified walls, with many strongholds and towers, are extremely well-preserved.
There are only pedestrian streets inside the walls. You will be able to take a nice stroll and enjoy its charming paved alleys and historical monuments. Nowadays, the medieval city of Rhodes is entirely dedicated to tourism: you will find there many taverns, restaurants and shops. The place is also very busy (even if I visited Rhodes at the end of September!).
The best places to see in Rhodes are:
- The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes: one of the first castles built by the knights. Inside, you will discover a museum dedicated to Rhodes’ History and the Grand Master’s apartment, with its magnificent mosaic floors. Unfortunately, most of the furniture was destroyed when a stock of ammunition exploded in 1856.
- The Street of the Knights: there, each of the languages had its own inn (also called “auberge” or “palatial residence”). You will discover the Inn of the Tongue of France, or the Inn of the Tongue of England for example.
- The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is located in the medieval Hospital of the Knights. There, you will find many ancient objects found in Rhodes and the other Dodecanese Islands.
- The Roloi Clock Tower, to admire a beautiful view over the Old City from the top.
- The Byzantine Art Museum and its many frescoes and icons from the Byzantine period.
- The Churches of Agia Triada and Agia Aikaterini.
- The Suleman Mosque, built during the Turkish occupation of Rhodes.
After visiting Rhodes’ old town, you can go outside the fortified walls to visit Mandraki, the modern city.
In the harbour, you will see the 3 mills of Rhodes as well as the place where the famous Colossus of Rhodes was built. This 30-meter high statue of the sun-god Helios was entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
It was replaced by 2 small statues representing a deer (the symbol of Rhodes), built on 2 pillars at the port’s entrance. It’s clearly not as spectacular as the Colossus, considered as one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world!
In Mandraki, you will find many beautiful monuments built during the Italian occupation of Rhodes: the Bank of Greece, the Archbishops Palace, the City Hall and the National Theatre of Rhodes.
There is also a casino and many international clothing brands stores such as Zara or H&M if you want to do a bit of shopping.
If you’re visiting Rhodes with children, you should go to the Aquarium, located North of Mandraki, right next to the Casino.
Lindos is one of Rhodes’ most beautiful villages, and clearly one of the best places see on the island.
It takes around 1 hour to reach the village, located 50 kilometers South of Rhodes City. Classified as a major archaeological site, Lindos is a real postcard landscape: you will be amazed by the pretty white houses built on the hillside and its Acropolis overlooking the village and the sea.
As Lindos is a pedestrian only town, you should park your car in the free parking lot above the city, then walk down to reach the village’s entrance. When taking a stroll on its paved alleys, you will enjoy numerous souvenirs and clothes shops, as well as many cafés and restaurants.
If you’re looking for a lively and unique atmosphere, then Lindos is clearly a great place to visit!
The Acropolis is Lindos’ main point of interest. You can walk there or get a ride on a donkey, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as the animals are often abused.
4. Rhodes’ best beaches
If you want to relax at the beach and swim in crystal clear waters, then Rhodes’ is clearly a great destination for your holidays.
The best beaches to take a dip in Rhodes are:
- Faliraki Beach: located 10 km South of Rhodes City, it’s one of the island’s most famous and crowded beaches. On the seaside, you will discover many hotel complexes offering all-inclusive stays.
- Tsambika: a beautiful fine sand beach, ideal if you’re with children. You can rent deckchairs and umbrellas as well as enjoy many nautical activities.
- Anthony Quinn Beach was named after the main actor of the movie “Zorba the Greek”, as it was his favorite beach!
- Saint Paul’s Bay, where you will find 2 small beaches with a beautiful view of Lindos’ Acropolis. Most of the beach is private. There is also a pretty white chapel hosting a few weddings every year.
- The beaches close to Lindos, located below the village. It’s clearly a great place to relax and take a dip after visiting the Acropolis.
- Afandou, ideal if you’re with children
5. Rhodes’ castles
When visiting Rhodes, you should also discover the island’s many castles.
Most of these castles were built in the 15th century by the Knights of Saint John and were used as observation posts:
- Kritinia Castle is located close to the village of the same name. Climb a few steps to access the entrance and go inside the fortified walls. From there, you will enjoy a great view over the sea.
- Monolithos Castle is located 5 kilometers after the village of Siana. It was erected at the top of a 236-meter high hill by the Grand Masters in 1476. It’s a great viewpoint, with a panorama of the bay, Chalki island and the mountains. There is also a small church and a pretty stone arch. It’s the perfect place to take a beautiful picture!
- Feraklos Castle, a medieval castle located close to the Charaki village and right next to Agathi beach. This huge fortress was erected on top of a hill, overlooking the bays of Agathi and Malonas. You might have the chance to be alone during your visit, as the place isn’t mentioned in any tourist guide. Don’t forget your hiking shoes, as the short trail is steep and rocky.
- The Castle of Archangelos, built by the Knights on the ruins of a former Byzantine Castle.
Which island group does Rhodes belong?
listen); Greek: Ρόδος, romanized: Ródos [ˈroðos]) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group’s historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region.
How many islands are in the Greek archipelago?
Greece has many islands, with estimates ranging from somewhere around 1,200 to 6,000, depending on the minimum size to take into account. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166 and 227. The largest Greek island by area is Crete, located at the southern edge of the Aegean Sea.
How many Dodecanese islands are there?
The name Dodecanese means “12 islands.” The term has been applied at various times to groups differently composed and numbering more than 12.
What was the name of the Greek island of Rhodes?
The island has been known as Ρόδος (Ródos) in Greek throughout its history. It was also called Lindos (Ancient Greek: Λίνδος). In addition, the island has been called Rodi in Italian, Rodos in Turkish, and רודי (Rodi) or רודיס (Rodes) in Ladino.
How many people live on the island of Rhodes?
As of today the island has around 115,000 people living here which is not that many at all when you consider other cities around the world! Around 65,000 of these live in The City of Rhodes itself! As you can see on the graphic below with the simple map of Rhodes, the island can almost be said to be in the shape of an arrow.
Where to see butterflies on the Greek island of Rhodes?
The Butterfly Valley or Petaloudes is the name of a valley on the Greek island of Rhodes, where many butterflies can be seen in the months of June, July and August. Petalouda means butterfly in Greek. A special butterfly species, the Dotted Harlequin, lives in the Butterfly Valley.
Where are the beaches on the Rhodes Islands?
They are located on the Bay of Trianda, at a distance of six kilometers (4 mi) ) and nine kilometers (6 mi) from Rhodes town. These beaches are mainly gravel-beaches. Both villages are very touristy and offer a number of facilities for tourists.