One of Greece's most sought-after travel destinations today, Rhodes is the first and last stop for legions of visitors to Greece, seeking to see where the ancient Byzantines, Greeks, Turks and Venetians left their mark over the millennia.
Come discover a rich mosaic of cultures and legends at one of the most important Dodecanese islands inhabited since Neolithic times. Your flight to and hotel in Rhodes await!
What to know before visiting Rhodes?
Rhodes is served by Rhodes International Airport (RHO), which is well connected to the Greek cities of Crete, Thessaloniki and Athens. A flight from London or Manchester to Rhodes is quick and easy. The currency in use is the euro, and the island has ample foreign exchange kiosks and ATMs.
Rhodes is two hours ahead of the United Kingdom. The official language is Greek, though English and German are widely spoken at most local attractions. While buses are available, the island's natural beauty and endless archaeological sites are best explored with a rental car or moped.
When is the best time to visit Rhodes?
Rhodes enjoys more than 300 days of annual sunshine, making it a sun worshipper's playground. The lengthy peak season, which lasts from April until November, is best enjoyed with well-crafted Rhodes package holidays. The hottest months – July, August and September – are opportune for swimming and diving. Winter, from December to March, is equally nice, and room rates are slashed considerably. A flight to Rhodes at this time will likely be cheaper, too.
Rhodes's festival calendar is alive and kicking almost year round. The highly awaited Medieval Rose Festival in June transports revellers to medieval times, with witch and fairy dance sequences, jesters, fire eaters and jugglers. June also features the Ecofilms Rhodes International Film and Visual Arts Festival. A flight to and hotel in Rhodes are best booked in advance in summer. Religious festivals such as the Assumption of the Virgin in August, the festival of Saint Paul in June, Easter and Christmas are celebrated with much fervour by islanders. Meanwhile, in the island's main city, also called Rhodes, the Sound and Light Show in the Old Fortress in not to be missed – it's a thoroughly scintillating affair.
What to do in Rhodes
Rhodes's primary beach resort, Faliraki, is where the action is, with rows of beach bars, umbrellas and hotspots. There's also an official naturist beach, Mandomata, to the southern end. The resort is home to Faliraki Water Park, a maze of giant kamikaze slides, wave pools, lazy rivers and cafés. Come unwind during your weekend in Rhodes.
Rhodes is also a great spot to try your hand at deep-sea diving, snorkelling, surfing and kite surfing. For those who prefer quiet relaxation, sunbathing and swimming opportunities abound at the island's idyllic beaches. Once you've recharged your batteries, take a boat excursion to the other Dodecanese islands of Kos, Symi, Tilos, Halki, Leros and Kalymnos. Boats leave from the Rhodes city harbour at regular intervals.
Places to visit in Rhodes
The island is the ideal place to surrender to the simplicity and magic of true island life. Architectural, natural and cultural legacies abound.
It's hard to miss Old Town Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting one of the world's best-preserved medieval settlements. A 2,400-year-old story comes alive as you stroll past the Street of the Knights, the Palace of the Grand Masters, ancient mosques and hammams.
Look out for the 7th-century Roloi Clock Tower, which affords some of the best views and photographic opportunities on city breaks in Rhodes.
Once you've explored the city of Rhodes, plan a boat trip to Mandraki to see its attractive marina, breezy waterfront cafés and tons of historic attractions, including the National Theatre, Archbishop’s Residence, and 1930s-style Grande Albergo delle Rose hotel. The Colossus of Rhodes is believed to have stood nearby. Two columns with deer-like animals sitting atop stand on the site today.
The ancient acropolis of Lindos, situated at the foot of an imposing rock, is also worth seeing. It's home to the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of St John, the Virgin Mary of Líndos Church and its 15th-century frescoes, and the Hellenistic burial site of the Archokratides family.
Nature lovers shouldn't miss the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes), where hundreds of Panaxia butterflies reproduce in August. You'll also find lovely shaded paths, old olive trees and a small museum nearby.
What to eat in Rhodes
Rhodes brims over with dining options, with plenty of classic beachside tavernas, British pubs and fast food chains. Take your pick from traditional Greek fare, fish and chips and Chinese and Italian cuisine. Topping the list of must-try dishes is ever-popular baked moussaka, cooked with aubergines and potatoes, and delicious hilopites pasta cooked with tomatoes and meat. There's also seafood ravioli, and classic Greek kleftiko, marinated lamb.
For desserts, tuck into local sweets baklava, kataifi and belekounia, all served with honey. Syrupy ravani cake and Greek coffee mousse are recommended, too. Finally, city breaks in Rhodes are quite incomplete without savouring the island's wines.
What to bring home from Rhodes
High-street shopping and designer labels keep seasoned shopaholics busy in Rhodes. For something more rustic, pick up some local wine, dried mountain herbs, nuts, olive oil or religious icons. Old Town Rhodes, particularly Aristotelous and Sokratous streets, is lined with shops selling colourful umbrellas, carpets, ceramics, classic antiques and jewellery – all excellent souvenirs of your weekend in Rhodes.
Local street markets (laiki agora) are recommended for clothing, upholstery, shoes and cheeses. Make the most of your visit with package holidays in Rhodes!