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Rhodes Holidays

History in spades

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Welcome to the island of the knights

Rhodes serves up sandy beaches and forested valleys, with a side order of ancient history. According to Greek mythology, the island was given by Zeus as a gift to the sun god Helios, and you too can worship the sun on the island’s bustling east coast. The more remote western coast offers serene beaches with a dramatic backdrop of mountains, shrubs and castle ruins, while adventurers head inland for hiking and biking.

Various occupiers have all left their mark, not least the crusading Knights of St John, whose medieval castles still adorn the landscape. Start by exploring the UNESCO-listed Old Town in the city of Rhodes. Tick off a clutch of historic attractions with a single ticket, including the Palace of the Grand Master, the Archaeological Museum, Church of our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection, before scaling the thick, defensive city walls. Cool off with a mastic-flavoured ice cream at Stani. Enjoy an indulgent Mediterranean feast at Marco Polo Mansion, where you might savour delights such as slow-cooked octopus in sea urchin sauce in a fragrant courtyard before having a nightcap to a jazz and swing soundtrack at L’Eternel French Bar.

Once you’ve exhausted the capital, head to scenic Lindos, where you can combine sampling some history with time at the beach. Check out the ancient Acropolis and its medieval battlements. From here you can explore the island’s many eastern coastal treasures, including Agathi, Traganou and windsurfers’ favourite Prasonisi. Don’t overlook the island’s mountainous interior though. Discover another side to Rhodes and explore pine-clad hillsides, citrus orchards, olive groves, whitewashed villages lost in time and walking trails with only goats for company. In particular, check out the frescoed monastery of Thari, taste wines in Embonas and clamber your way through Koufos Canyon. Book your flights to Rhodes today and start exploring.

Rhodes holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Rhodes holiday

You can eat your way around Rhodes sampling simple yet tasty mezedhes (small plates) like feta wrapped in filo, stuffed vine leaves and chickpea croquettes. The island’s winemaking heritage dates all the way back to the 7th Century BC. Today you should seek out the light-bodied red Mandilaria and sweet white Muscats, plus souma – a potent spirit made from grape waste.

What are the best things to do in Rhodes?

  1. Rhodes Old Town lies like a medieval time capsule hidden behind a double ring of high walls and a deep moat. A tangle of some 200 twisting, cobbled lanes reveals ruins and relics from the Classical, Ottoman and Italian eras. Few cities rival it for antiquity: the 14th Century fortifications make this largely pedestrianised UNESCO World Heritage Site a truly special place to wander.
  2. Faliraki Water Park is one of the largest in Europe with acres of aquatic fun to be had. Splash around in water slides, the lazy river and artificial waves, and play original pool games suitable for all ages, or simply relax in a deckchair in the gardens enjoying the sea views with a refreshing drink and a bite from the cafe. The park is easily reached via a free shuttle service from Lindos or Rhodes Town.
  3. Swing by Anthony Quinn Bay, a sublime stretch of coast named after the American actor who starred in The Guns of Navarone, which was partially filmed here on Rhodes. Drink in the natural splendour of this well-hidden, sheltered cove where shrub-clad cliffs meet a pebbled shore with calm blue-green waters.
  4. Rhodes Acropolis is considered one of the finest examples of Hellenistic architecture, blending seamlessly with its surrounding environment. Dating from the 5th Century BC the ruins of the Acropolis comprise various sanctuaries, temple complexes, public buildings and underground spaces. It’s built on a series of stepped terraces supported by strong retaining walls, which once held a School of Rhetoric where the likes of Cicero and Julius Caesar studied, and while excavations are ongoing several important monuments remain, including the Temple of Pythian Apollo, the Stadium, the Odeion and the Artemision.
  5. Just a few minutes’ drive from Lindos lies Kiotari Beach, a beautiful 300-metre stretch of sand and pebbles with shallow, clear water. There are plenty of facilities here, including sunloungers, parasols, showers and toilets, a wide range of water sports and a modern cafe, while the parking is free. Kiotari is one of Rhodes’ newer resorts and is considered one of the more stylish ones with no shortage of shops, restaurants and supermarkets.
  6. Ixia Bay is a popular cosmopolitan resort around four miles from Rhodes Town. It’s less of a town and more a conurbation of mega hotels catering for all-inclusive holidays. The long shingle beach is popular among windsurfers and Ixia offers plenty of traditional tavernas, souvenir shops and cocktail bars with a low-key nightlife scene. To soak up some history, visit the 2,500-year-old Ancient Ialyssos, just 15 minutes away.
  7. Rhodes is rightfully renowned for its stunning beaches. In 2023 no fewer than 57 of them were given Blue Flag status. You’ll find the best sandy beaches on Rhodes’ eastern coast. These largely offer fantastic facilities, such as sunloungers, parasols, canteens, beach bars and tavernas. Some of the island’s best ones include Anthony Quinn Bay, Elli beach in Rhodes Town, Kallithea for its natural springs, St Paul’s Bay near Lindos, family-friendly Glystra, relaxing Agathi and Tsambika.

Where are the best places to visit in Rhodes?

Just a one-hour drive south east from Rhodes Old Town is the enchanting village of Lindos – brimming with sugar cube-style architecture, cobbled streets and traditional tavernas. Hike up the hillside to see the iconic Acropolis up close and savour the scenery across the horizon. Make tracks down to Lindos beach to cool off in the turquoise sea and unwind on the golden sand. Be sure to book dinner out at least once in the town, with a view of the Acropolis lit up at night. Stay at the adult-only AquaGrand of Lindos for a five-star haven. Stroll through the luscious gardens to the sandy beach and relax beneath a cabana.

Less than three miles from Rhodes Town and a short transfer from the airport is the glistening Ixia Bay. Couples or families with older children can make the most of this popular stretch of coast, with its mile and a quarter of pebbled beach, while those with younger children might prefer to stay by the pool. Discover an array of water sports or hire a sunlounger and laze your days away beneath a parasol. Meander along the promenade and pop into Greek bakeries for baklava. Then choose a taverna to make a dinner reservation and scout out the best bar for a sunset spot. Book a break at the all-inclusive Ixian Grand, for a luxurious break on Ixia’s beachfront, with the swimming pool directly behind the beach – perfect.

Hire a car and make tracks 12 miles beyond Lindos to the Greek seaside village of Gennadi. If you’re dreaming of a quaint destination to unwind with your favourite book, tuck into authentic cuisine and bask in the warming waters of the Mediterranean Sea choose Gennadi for your Rhodes break. Explore this traditional and charming village, then grab your beach towels and sun cream to lounge on the long stretch of beach. Take time out at the five-star Gennadi Grand Resort, for a contemporary and eco-friendly retreat. For a splash more luxury, upgrade to a room with a private pool.

Just nine miles south of Lindos is Kiotari – a quiet, picturesque, up-and-coming resort area with a 2.5-mile stretch of beach. The sand might be several shades of grey, but the sea is warming and crystal clear. If you get itchy feet, there are sailing excursions and an array of water sports to choose from. Feeling peckish? There’s a selection of whitewashed tavernas with sapphire-blue furnishings, serving up deliciously fresh seafood. If you’re ready for more than a dash of opulence, book a stay at the Mayia Exclusive Resort & Spa, a premium all-inclusive, adult-only resort. Did someone say Moet on tap?

Choose to unwind in the laid-back resort area of Kallithea – on the east coast of Rhodes, it’s scattered with mosaics and just a 20-minute drive from the Old Town. Savour the choice of sheltered bays with Blue Flag beaches, perfect for families to splash about in. Couples might prefer to join one of the many secluded creeks, sprinkled with pine trees and popular with locals – just check the depth of the water before leaping in. Be sure to venture along to Anthony Quinn Bay, a Grecian utopia bursting with character. Get ready for ultra all-inclusive, when you book the Amada Colossos Resort. Enjoy the perfect family holiday right on the beach, with a range of activities to keep everyone entertained – including its own water park.

Pefkos, which means pine tree in Greek, is perfectly situated for a relaxing beach holiday, thanks to its large sandy beach sloping gently into the crystal-clear Aegean. There’s plenty of good restaurants to suit all tastes and many of the local businesses are family-run affairs helping retain Pefki’s authentic atmosphere. There’s a scuba diving school to help you have some close encounters with the local marine life. Nightlife is varied with various cocktail bars that stay open long into the night, karaoke bars and Greek dancing nights.

Kolymbia is an east-coast resort some 20 miles from Rhodes Town. The town is wedged between two fine beaches either side of the harbour with water sports and sunloungers provided. A main tourist strip contains a multitude of bars, restaurants and shops, with most of the hotels set outside of this area. Hire a boat or join a harbour tour to explore the coastline. Nightlife is low-key with a good selection of cocktail bars.

Stegna is a typical unspoilt Greek village, a mile or so from Archangelos. Boasting a 700-metre-long sandy beach with patches of shingle and crystal clear waters, its tranquil, uncrowded vibe makes it ideal for those seeking a relaxing beach break. You can hire boats and pedalos and the conditions for snorkelling are ideal. Development remains restrained. There’s only a handful of hotels but there’s a decent selection of fresh fish restaurants to try. There’s very little nightlife to speak of but swing by the Mercedes Bar for a refreshing cocktail.

Faliraki, at the northern end of Rhodes’ east coast, is a lively tourist centre and nightlife hub. Its reputation for being a magnet for drunken 18-30 style revellers is now fading though, as it fights hard to be more family friendly. The vast sandy beach is still one of the island’s best stretching as it does for three miles. It’s lined with loungers, water sports outlets, food and drink options and even a fun inflatables park. With a town centre chock full of amenities there’s plenty to entertain younger visitors, including a mini golf course, a water park and a trampoline park.

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