Rhodes is usually described as the most cosmopolitan island in Greece. Located in the Dodecanese island group and Aegean sea, just across the Turkish coast, Rhodes provides its visitors with excellent options to spend an exclusive, adventurous, and unforgettable holiday.
In a previous article, we presented you with a Top 10 must-visit location in Rhodes, but this was just the beginning of the story to be told. We continue the story with the list of the most amusing attractions and best things to do in Rhodes.
The town of Rhodes was always at the crossroads of sea routes and turbulent historical events. Rhodes was one of the utmost important points in the ancient world, best known for its monumental statue dedicated to Helios, the Greek god of the Sun, Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.
Nowadays, the landmark of Rhodes is its magnificent medieval old town, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a dominant Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, originally built on a foundation of a temple dedicated to Helios, the 14th century Grand Masters Palace built by Knights of St. Jhon is one of the best-preserved palaces of this kind in the world.
The authentic spirit of medieval times is still alive in Rhodes and is something you should definitely not miss when visiting this island. Picturesque cobbled streets, famous Street of the Knights leading to the Grand Masters Palace, romantic atmosphere framed with the sound of medieval music played within the walls of the old city, a visit to Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, and tour through the Palace, are the best points to start exploring the stories of this wonderful city and island and get knowing Rhodes.
In Mandaraki harbor, an ancient military port on whose entrance once was standing a Colossus of Rhodes, there are three medieval windmills lined up along the sea. Once, these windmills were receiving the grain coming from the commercial ship dockings in the harbor.
Nowadays, the port of Mandraki and its windmills present one of the most scenics landscapes in the harbor. Elegant restaurants and cafes overlooking the windmills, yachts, and boats are a perfect chance to witness a spectacular sunset in the early evening.
Another landmark of Rhodes and Mediterenian overall that children will just love is a famous
Butterfly Valley. This unusual natural reserve is a habitat for millions of butterflies, among which are many endemic and rare species, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Rhodes. Furthermore, Butterfly Valley is notable for the last known forest of Oriental (Sweetgum trees Liquidambar Orientalis) in Europe.
The best time to visit Butterfly Valley is from early June until late September when the breeding season is finished, and butterflies leave the valley.
At the lowest point of this green, shaded valley, with a small river Pelekanos and waterfall, there is situated a Natural Museum of Rhodes, where starts the path that leads to the Monastery of Kalopetra, overviewing the canyon from 470 m height.
Apart from exquisite natural characteristics, in the immediate vicinity of Butterfly Valley are situated a few typical Greek villages that speak in favor of traditional island life.
Folklore House of village Soroni is another attraction of this region. Set in an old stone house with a specific ethnographic exhibition, the Folklore House represents the traditional life of Soroni.
A colorful Theologos village with a long sandy beach is one of the places with the best gastronomic experiences you will have in Rhodes. Family-run tavernas and delicious specialties of local cuisine will be more than desirable after a long walk through the Butterfly valley.
Due to its very favorable geographical position and climate, Rhodes is a perfect destination for windsurfing. The south of Rhodes is the best part of the island for windsurfers, and most demanding as well, because of the strongest winds. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced windsurfer, there is a variety of windsurfing clubs that offer the lessons, support, and equipment rental for this extreme sport.
The best beaches for windsurfing in Rhodes are:
1. Ixia beach – a pebbled, organized beach, 5 km far from the town of Rhodes.
2. Ialissos beach – a pebbled, organized beach, 10 km far from the town of Rhodes
3. Theologos beach – a pebbled, partly-organized beach, located in the north part of the island, 22 km far from the town of Rhodes.
4. Genadi beach – a pebbled, partly-organized beach, located in the south part of the island, 63 km far from the town of Rhodes.
5. Plimiri beach – a sandy, non-organized beach on the way to Prassonissi beach, 65 km far from the town of Rhodes, in the south of the island.
6. Prassonissi beach – the most famous beach for windsurfing. A sandy, non-organized beach, located in the southernmost part of the island, 85 km far from the town of Rhodes.
Another watersport you might be fond of and make your adrenaline go up is paddle surfing. As its practitioners describe it, it is like walking on water.
The tranquil sea waters can be found in the east of island Rhodes which is the best position for paddle surfing which is eligible for all ages.
The best two beaches for paddle surfing are:
1. Ladiko Beach or better known as Anthony Quinn Bay – pebbled, organized beaches, 20 km far from the town of Rhodes.
2. Stegna Beach – with clear and calm waters, 30 km south from the town of Rhodes.
Exploring the waters underneath is a unique experience and certainly one of the best things to do in Rhodes. The warm, clear waters that can exceed 30 m visibility, a variety of diving sites, qualified instructors that will lead you through the whole process and give you the theoretical lessons and support are a great way to start discovering the sea.
The best beaches to try snorkeling or scuba diving in Rhodes are Ladiko beach, Kalithea beach, Faliraki beach, Pefki beach, and Haraki beach.
The south of Rhodes offers an adventurous tour for all adrenaline and wild sceneries chasers. A spectacular view over Gadouras lake, a visit to the fruit gardens of Massari, and small village Archipoli where you can enjoy a honey tasting, or buy some of the local products such as olive oil, fruits, traditional sweets or Greek mezes, will give you a totally different experience of Rodos.
With a glorious 300 days of sunshine, Rhodes is just blessed with a perfect climate for wine production.
Embonas is a mountain village in the central part of Rhodes and the major wine-producer on the island. Visiting this area is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rhodes.
There are more than ten different types of wine produced in Rhodes, some of them are classic ones, red wine, muscat, cabernet sauvignon, some of them are local specialties, Athiri – white wine grape exclusively grown in Greece, Mandilari – oak-aged red dry wine.
Winetasting implies the visit of several different wineries in Embonas village and lunch in a traditional Greek taverna where the greatest specialty of cuisine is grill meat.
The Dodecanese group of the islands consists of 15 larger and 150 smaller islands with very few inhabitants.
Chalki Island is the smallest inhabited island of Dodecanese, with an area of only 28 kam2 and 478 inhabitants. Chalki Island is only 6 km far from Rhodos, and it is certainly one of the most picturesque islands of Greece.
Colorful 18th and 19th-century mansion houses overlooking the port and small fishing boats, narrow alleyways framed with bougainvillea, kind people ready to express a warm welcome will leave every visitor speechless.
The traditional restaurants are lined all along the port overlooking the sea. The dishes of Chalki Island you shouldn't miss locally made pasta – makaronia and ofto – delicious slow- cooked meat. Visiting Chalki island is something you should not miss, and certainly, one of the best things to do in Rhodes!
Symi Island is another island of the Dodecanese group. The main port of Symi, Gialos, is one of the most photographed Greek island cities, and it is a perfect one-day trip to be taken from Rhodes.
With an area of 68,75 km2 and 2.590 inhabitants, life in Symi is still very traditional. Gialos is probably the last place in the world where you can still buy a real, natural sponge. Because, once, Symi was a main commercial sponge fishing, and ship-building center, with a population of 25.000 inhabitants.
Clocktower and the church of Panagia Evangelistria overlooking the harbor, the Byzantine castle above the city, and climbing the 500 stone steps of Kali Strata are the most recognizable landmarks of Gialos and best ways to get familiar with a city.
The fish tavernas are lined up with the sea, and seafood is an absolute delicacy you must taste when you're visiting Symy. Especially prawns, seafood pie – atherinopita, and locally made honey balls.
Deciding on which Greek island should you spend your holiday on is quite difficult, knowing the fact there are more than 200 possible options. However, Rhodes should definitely be at the top of your holiday list destination. Send us an inquiry or join us in the Facebook group Travel to Greece, and find the perfect holiday deal!