If this is your first time visiting the island or you’ve already visited a couple of times and you’re looking to discover or rediscover the gems of the island, look no further. I’ll be covering everything from places to visit, best restaurants, and affordable accommodations while offering tips along the way. After having spent 7 months on the island I had plenty of time to visit everything and experience firsthand all that I’m going to relate. So stick around for a full guide on everything you need to know for a perfect holiday on Rhodes Island.
General Facts and Personal Insights
Rhodes Island is the largest island from the group of Dodecanese islands in the South Aegean sea just 1h away by ferry from the Turkish border. In this southern part of Greece, it gets very hot during July and August. It is so hot that it becomes impossible to sleep without the AC. The temperature reaches almost 40 °C/ 104 °F during these months. For many, this is too much to bear and I recommend visiting in May, June, September, or October.
Throughout the centuries the island has been under Roman, Ottoman, Italian, and German occupation. Each military occupation has left its imprint across the island which can be seen to this day.
The transportation system consists of buses that are connected to all major attraction points. The central station in Rhodes town has 2 main offices, each belonging to a different company The tickets can be bought from the driver or from the ticket office so there is no need to buy it in advance. From one office you can get a ticket to the northern half part of the island and with the other company to the southern half part. The island is quite big and to travel by bus from the north to the south takes approx. 2.5h. By car, it would take around 1.5h (90km). From one side to the other of the island takes around 1h by car. Whenever I took the bus it almost always had a delay of 20 minutes or more when taken from different bus stops. However, when I got a ticket from the main station in Rhodes town or Lindos the bus always leaves on time.
If you’re planning to visit many places in a short amount of time, the best idea is to rent a car. We had our car so we did not have to rent one. To see as much as possible of the island and not spend a lot of time driving from one location to another is best to book accommodations in different places across the island. My recommendation would be to spend 2-3 days in Rhodes town, 2-3 days in Lindos and to rent in Lardos or Pefkos where you can find cheaper studios. Lastly, you can book a stay on the other side of the island like in Kameiros or Monolithos where you can take some time off from the crowded places. There are even gorgeous glamping locations that could be fun to rent for a night. The inland is incredibly beautiful and the drives through the forests are a dream (see pictures below).
In terms of living and holiday, Rhodes is pretty expensive. I would say that it’s as expensive as the famous Santorini and Mykonos or maybe close to it. I remember when we arrived we went to the supermarket and we bought all the things we needed for a week. In Artemida where we lived previously, we were used to spending around 60 EUR a week on groceries. In Rhodes, it was the first time in my life that I paid 130 EUR for groceries for a few days, not even a week. For someone that only earns the minimum wage in Greece which is around 800 EUR/month, Rhodes felt really expensive. As an overview, we must have spent around 12k in 7 months as a couple, living modestly. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience and I am happy to be sharing with you everything you need to know for a perfect holiday on Rhodes Island, Greece.
The locations are in no specific order.
PLACES TO VISIT across the WHOLE Island
1. Rhodes Town (⏰ 4 days)
As the capital of the island, this is one of the highlights of the island and you should not miss it. It is filled with historical buildings, museums, shops, restaurants, and a good atmosphere. First, you can start discovering the old town where you will come across Hippocrates Square humming with people day in, and day out. If you’re into museums you can stop by the Archeological Museum, Path Of Gods – Greek History Museum, Rhodes Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Throne of Helios: The History of Rhodes 9D Experience and the Modern Greek Art Museum of Rhodes. Also, you can go to the top of
Monte Smith for some pretty awesome views of the shoreline and Rhodes town. While in the area you can also stop by
Acropolis of Rhodes which is just some ruins but you can still take some great pictures at the
One place in particular that we’ve been enjoying eating at is the
Art Falafel George & Maria Restaurant. They have many vegan and vegetarian options and the food is fresh and tasty. The street is full of restaurants so for sure you can find a place to your liking. If you miss sushi while in Rhodes try Tokyo Yaki. Is located right in the center and it will not disappoint. I’ve tried two other locations but the sushi was not as good. If you’re a frequent sushi eater you can tell how fresh the sushi is just by looking at it. Also, we wanted to eat at Annie’s vegan food and bar, but it was closed due to the bad weather (we went in mid-October and it happened to be stormy that day). We ended up eating at Soul Kitchen which has a varied selection of foods from tacos, falafel, and chicken wraps to acai bowls. In the touristy area of the old town mainly you find the traditional Greek foods moussaka, souvlaki, pita gyros, and Greek salad, just to name a few. Being on the island for so long we got tired of eating the same foods when going out so that is why we are searching for different kinds of restaurants. If during your holiday you’re in the mood for cooking, you can visit the Public market on Saturdays to get fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs, fish, and seafood. To buy items that you cannot find in the supermarkets in the villages, you can go outside Rhodes town to
2. Lindos (⏰ 2 days)
As one of the major travel destinations on Rhodes island, Lindos attracts annually millions of tourists. It is always a busy spot throughout the summer season and for a good reason. It has the most spectacular views and hosts the magnificent
Acropolis of Lindos which you can visit for the price of 24 EUR/person. It’s quite pricy, but the top views are worth it. Lindos is buzzing day and night. The scenic village is home to many restaurants, bars, clothing, and souvenir shops. The place is like a maze so it’s easy to get lost and walk in circles until you get the hang of it. Lindos has 2 beaches which are always busy but it’s a perfect way to cool down after walking in the scorching heat. Lindos is very photogenic so you can take many great pictures from different angles. One hiking spot that offers a superb view is the walk to the
Tomb of Cleobulus of Lindos.
3. Monolithos Castle (⏰ half day)
Monolithos village is home to the Monolithos Castle which is just 2km by car from the village. Today there are just ruins at the top of a rock offering spectacular views of the lush pine forests, the coast, and neighboring islands. As you arrive at the castle there is a cafe shop from where you can buy water, refreshments, ice cream, and some snacks. The walk to the castle takes only 5-10 min depending on your speed. The food in the villages is generally half the price compared to the touristy places. One restaurant that we’ve enjoyed in Monolithos is
Old Monolithos Taverna. The food is fresh and flavorsome and the portion sizes are big enough. We’ve had Greek salad, hummus with pita bread, and fresh fish on the grill. Read the list at the end of the article with all the villages and other restaurants that we’ve been to. If you want to spend the whole day in the area you can drive to explore Fourni Beach. It’s a breezy and sandy beach with almost nobody around.
4. Kamiros (⏰ half day)
It’s an incredible archeological site of a Roman city built on a hillside. The entrance is 6 EUR/person and I would say that it’s worth a visit. Some structures are still standing which makes for quite an impressive sight. After visiting you can have lunch in a taverna by the Kamiros beach. We enjoyed eating at the
Old Kamiros Taverna. The black sandy beach is not overly crowded so it’s a great place to sit and relax.
5. Prasonisi (⏰ half day)
If you reached this place then you are at the southernmost point of the island where the Aegean and the Mediterranean sea cross paths. Even though it’s not an official campsite many people bring their caravans to spend the summer on the beach. If you’re a digital nomad working from anywhere you can easily enjoy this lifestyle. Since the area is not made for camping there are no toilets or showers. It’s a wild and huge beach with two restaurants and a mini market. As isolated as it is from the rest of the island, it is buzzing with people and it’s the perfect location to kitesurf and windsurf. These sports are done all across the west side of the island since it is usually windier. When you’re driving back, stop in Kattavia village to eat some delicious food. We had a great lunch at
6. Butterflies Valley (⏰ half day)
Contrary to what we might all think when we hear this name, the butterflies are not flying around in millions as soon as we enter the valley. The area is laid out on two levels. In the first one, there are some butterflies, but they are not easy to spot as they fly far from the walking path. As you walk higher to the second level you will find an area that is filled with butterflies. An entire tree trunk and leaves are covered in butterflies (see video). It’s a gorgeous forest with tiny waterfalls along the way. The entrance is 5 EUR/person.
7. Gadoura Dam (⏰2 hours)
For a change of scenery, this man-made lake is a great option. Home to many birds, you can drive around it to admire its beauty. The reservoir was built to help with the water supply for the city of Rhodes. The road is not paved all the way but it’s an even surface so all cars are safe to drive. It is not allowed to swim.
8. Jacob’s Canyon (⏰ 30 min)
This is just a sample version of the canyons in the US, but it’s worth a visit as it’s a unique natural formation. Rhodes’s landscape is mountainous and hilly with evergreen coniferous trees and is wildlife-filled. Driving throughout the island we spotted many deers, squirrels, and rabbits.
9. Faethon Miniature Horses Farm (⏰ 30min/1h)
The place is home to around 12 miniature horses which are taken care of by an old man. He enjoys having people visiting so even if the gate is closed but not locked you can get in. Leaving a small donation is up to you.
10. Campochiaro (former Italian Settlement) (⏰ 30min/1h)
If you’re in for some abandoned buildings that date from the Italian occupation in 1912 you can visit this area in the village of Eleousa. We discovered the place by coincidence while we were on our way to Kamiros. There are 3 big buildings and you can go inside them.
11. Rhodes Toy Museum (⏰ 1/2h)
It’s an ideal place if you’re traveling with children and not only for them but for you too. There are games inside and outside. Not a big building but it can keep you entertained for a couple of hours. Perfect for social interactions.
12. Feraklos Castle (⏰ 1/2h)
As you arrive there is a path to go up the hill where you will see the last few remains of the castle. The hike up takes just around 30 min at a slow pace. From the top you can see the Charaki beach, boats sailing and people going about their day. After you’ve taken all the necessary pictures you can either go down to Charaki beach or move on to exploring Agathi Beach, Red Sand Beach, or Three Cross Beach which I’ll be mentioning below.
13. Tsampika Monastery (⏰ half/full day)
Get a good night’s sleep and get ready for this one cause it might make you tired. If you’re brave enough and enjoy walking you can start the journey right from the main road. Otherwise, you can go by car halfway and stop at the chapel or drive a bit more to reach the point where you have to leave the car and start walking. From here on you have to walk 300 stairs to reach the top of the mountain. As you walk you will meet some wild goats and see sneak peeks of the stunning view that is awaiting you at the summit. Once you’ve reached you have a magical view of the coastline and it’s just incredible to witness. This tiny monastery is said to bring wishes to life so people buy some kind of metal plates that represent health, relationships, love, and family which they tie next to the religious paintings. You can buy them here plus bracelets and many other religious items. The man that works there walks every day up and down the mountain carrying products needed for the monastery. Be careful on the way down as the stairs are slippery and you need soles with a good grip or you can walk barefoot.
14. Faliraki (⏰ half day)
This is the go-to place for wild nightlife. There is a street filled with bars at night and restaurants during the day. There is nothing else to do unless you come to the beach or the water park. In the area, there is Pavo cafe which offers a lovely view. You can enjoy watching the peacocks that roam around and eat a delicious cake.
15. Kallithea Springs (⏰ half day)
Beautiful construction and architecture with an exhibition on the history of the place. Inside there is a restaurant where you can eat while overlooking the bay. There are some sunbeds which are always taken unless you come early morning. There are many rocks which makes it a great place for snorkeling. The entrance to the place is 4 EUR.
16. Italian Arch Bridge (⏰ 30 min)
It’s a random find in the middle of nowhere built by the Italian occupation. It has a beautiful design and elegance to it. While you’re in the area you can drive up to the Kamiri Monastery where you will have an amazing view of a river that is in the area and the bridge. Slide to the next picture to see the view.
17. Temple Attaviros Zeus (⏰ half/full day)
An amazing hiking trail where you can go by car or walk. If you choose to go by car make sure to have a 4×4 as the road is pretty rough, uneven, and dangerous if you’re not an experienced driver. This huge mountain hosts the Temple of Zeus right at the top. Even though there is nothing left but some rocks, the view is worth it. If you’re lucky you might even spot some deers.
18. Holy Monastery of Panagia Ipseni (⏰ 30 min)
I don’t know about you but I enjoy visiting monasteries. I am not religious but the quietness of these places is satisfying. This is a nun’s monastery and as you enter the premises you are welcomed with some refreshments and sweet bread. There’s a small store to buy souvenirs too. Next to the old monastery, the construction of a grandiose one was being finalized.
19. Seven Springs (⏰ half/full day)
We did not know what to expect when we visited but we were surprised in a good way. The place seems like a big forest with paths leading to different areas so it’s easy to get lost at first. As you enter ducks and peacocks will welcome you. There is a small shop to get some refreshments. Don’t go down like we did cause there is nothing there but go the opposite side where you will see a stream of water and a tunnel that people go through. It was quite an adventurous day walking through these water tunnels. The name seven springs comes from the seven natural springs that make up a huge lake through the flowing water from the tunnels. Another fun thing is a waterfall where everyone stops for pictures. From there don’t follow the stream but return the same way to not get lost like us.
20. Asklipio Castle
This was a nice one to see. There is a part of the wall which you can walk on and it makes for some pretty nice pictures. Also, the view over Asklipio village is so nice. It is not a large site and even in October, many people came to visit. The entrance is free.
21. Filerimos Cross (⏰ 1/2h)
Awesome place that offers a view over the west side of the coast. You can see how the airplanes are landing and taking off. As you arrive there are hundreds of peacocks roaming around. I believe they live there in the area all year round. A long walking road with tall standing trees on both sides will then lead you to a gigantic cross from where you have an overview of the island.
22. Kritinia Castle (⏰ 1/2 h)
We had some difficulty finding the right location cause Google Maps was redirecting us toward the wrong road. After asking for directions from a local supermarket we found it. Like all the other castles it is built on a hilltop and offers a spectacular view over the Aegean Sea and Kritinia village. Everything that is left now is just some ruins and walls but is worth a visit. After we stopped by Kopria Beach and ate at Johnny’s Grill Taverna which is a fish and seafood restaurant right by the beach.
23. Traganou Caves (⏰ half/full day)
A perfect location for some snorkeling. There is a lot of underwater activity and it’s just fun to observe the different colored fishes. The cave-shaped rocks makes the location even more appealing and you should visit. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
24. The Guns of Navarone (⏰ 1/2 h)
After thinking that I saw all the places on the island I came across this place that left me speechless. Seriously, you have to come here. I’ve seen this straight-shaped rock wall every time I passed through Lindos and was thinking about how to get up there. It happened that the way was via Pefkos where I stayed for many months. From the top, you will have a view over Navarone Bay and Lindos. The water is of an incredible turquoise color and the stationary boats make the view even better.
It’s not a very large beach but the sand is the softest that I came across in my whole island exploration. It is even known as the Gloden Sand beach due to its soft golden and perfect sand texture. The water also feels and looks divine. It’s totally clean and clear and feels so good. There’s a beach bar where you can eat and get drinks. If you feel like you’re in for a walk, you can start walking on the rocks on the left side. Get a bag with you if you want some free sea salt.
When driving to this beach you will have to leave the car at the top and walk down to discover the beach. From the top, it’s not possible to see what the beach looks like. It is not very big but it’s a scenic location that is worth a visit. Next to this beach, there is Cross beach which is more or less the same length as the other one.
- Pefkos Beach (Pefki or Lee Beach)
It’s a sandy beach with crystal clear water that is very busy throughout the season. There is a water sports company on almost every beach from where you can rent kayaks, boats, paddle boards, jet skis, etc. This village is entirely touristy, full of restaurants, villas, studios, and hotels.
Next to the above sign, there is a path to walk up to a church where you have a great view over Pefkos and Lindos. On this hill is a big cross which is lit at night and can be seen from the beach even.
Another photogenic location that is filled to the top all the season. On the beach, you barely have space to walk. It’s nice to go to see how it looks but I wouldn’t stay in such a busy spot. The place is unique as next to this bay is another one called Ladiko bay.
Located in the east-south of the island this is not a very populated beach since the south is not as touristic. There will be some people but not to the extent that you will have no space to breathe. It’s a very large and wild beach with soft and soothing sand. Nearby you can find the best restaurant in the area called Fish Restaurant Plimmiri. It’s always very busy and their food is really good. They have fresh fish inside and they can cook it for you on the spot. On the way to Plimmiri, you can stop at Mea Terra in Lachania, which is a classy and stylish beach bar restaurant.
It’s a rocky beach but the intense blue-colored water got my attention. For the sweet lovers, visit the Cake box for some treats. The cakes melt in your mouth and you won’t be able to stop yourself. The best cakes on the island.
When I first saw this beach it reminded me of the unspoiled endless beaches in the south of Portugal. It is windy at times with high waves and the sunset is dazzling. You can easily do 10k steps walking around until you reach Apolakia beach which is part of the same beach.
Another must-see beach on the east coast. Even if I didn’t step foot on it, it looked amazing from the top of the Tsambika Monastery. See the pictures above.
- Kolymbia Beach
- Stegna Beach
- Agia Triada Beach – it’s a small rocky beach.
- Charaki Beach – see picture above.
- Glyfada Beach – rocky beach not suitable to swim.
Villages to see
Rhodes has a few big villages and lots of other smaller ones where just a few hundred people live.
Smaller villages: (not a complete list)
- Agios Isidoros – went many times to eat at Aletro Taverna. They have the best dolmades, the food is always fresh and tasty with way better prices than the touristy places.
- Siana – a cute-looking village with some souvenir shops where you can get yourself some local honey and wine.
- Gennadi – a small town on the southeast coast of Rhodes.
- Lardos – an affordable place to eat is Savvas. They have tasty and fresh food. And another place that is outside the village but still within Lardos is Molos Restaurant.
In every village, there are at least 2, or 3 restaurants or tavernas as they are called in Greek, and places to rent.
If you’ve reached all the way here, congrats. Now you know everything about a perfect holiday on Rhodes Island.
Hope you’ve liked it and you’ll embark on your journey of discovering Rhodes Island. Check my other posts here at ADVENTURES.