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Rhodes, the biggest of the Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, offers beaches, history-laden streets, and plenty of Mediterranean cuisine and nightlife. The ancient acropolis of Lindos and the surrounding medieval castle elevates what’s already a picturesque village. Several other sites grace the island, such as the three-level ruins at Kamiros, the Filerimos Monastery, and the castles of Kastello and Monolitho. In Rhodes town, the Colossus of Rhodes—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—is long gone, but the Old Town is nevertheless a beautiful UNESCO-listed area, and it can be seen by a Segway, walking, or bus tour. The Palace of the Grand Master (Kastello) is both a tribute to Byzantine architecture and the history of the Christian Knights that built it and gave the island its nickname, the Island of the Knights. Of course, the island’s near year-round mild, sunny weather make Rhodes an ideal beach getaway, and guided water sports such as stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming are a great way to take it all in. Private tours can also take visitors over to the islands of Symi or the Turkish Marmaris by boat. For an only-in-Rhodes experience, plan a trip to see the summer gathering of colorful tiger moths in the 600-acre (243-hectare) nature park, the Valley of Butterflies; attractions there include a kid-friendly train that leads to a monastery and a museum.
Rhodes boasts Greece’s longest stretch of summery weather, which runs from April to October. Tourist season peaks in July and August, when the beaches are jammed and temperatures hover around 80°F (28°C). Annual festivals, such as the Medieval Rose Festival (which stretches over multiple weeks in the summer), also bring influxes of visitors. For a mellower atmosphere and gentler temperatures, visit in early April, when the island is covered with wildflowers, or in October or November, when the sea is still warm enough for swimming.
Rhodes is one of the larger Greek islands, so rent a car to explore inland areas. You can also rent bikes or scooters, but ride cautiously on the highways. Rhodes’ KTEL buses are affordable and connect Rhodes Town to the eastern resorts, and cabs are also plentiful—and have set fares for long-distance trips. Rhodes Old Town doesn’t allow cars, and is easy to explore on foot, but the city does have electric vehicles and hop-on-hop off buses you can use for longer distances.
If you have a rental car, head off the main tourist track and explore Rhodes’ tucked-away hamlets. One of the most interesting is Asclepios, north of Kiotari. The village is crowned by a crumpled 15th-century castle that was built by the Knights of St. John. Drive or walk up to the ruins for sweeping views of the island, then visit the Folklore Museum and the Byzantine church, and enjoy a well-earned lunch at a local taverna.
Aside from constant summer sunshine, Rhodes is famed for UNESCO-listed Rhodes Old Town: Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval city and home to the pristine Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes. The island also boasts the whitewashed, Acropolis-crowned village of Lindos, beautiful beaches, lush valleys, and pine-coated hills....More
You need a minimum of a week. This allows time to experience Rhodes’ best bits, with tours of history-steeped Rhodes Old Town and picturesque Lindos; and outings to wineries, classical ruins, and spots like the verdant Valley of the Butterflies. Stay longer to enjoy Rhodes’ other star turn—its sun-baked beaches....More
Rhodes Old Town was largely the work of the Knights of St. John, who occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523. They constructed the city from what was a fortified Byzantine settlement, protecting it with robust walls and building its imposing Palace of the Grand Master and inn-lined Street of the Knights....More
Many consider Lindos to be Rhodes’ prettiest spot, thanks to its shimmering, bougainvillea-festooned houses, paved lanes, and timeworn Acropolis. Others cite Rhodes Old Town, with its cobblestoned lanes, sturdy walls, and crenelated Grand Palace. Close behind is rural Rhodes, where pine forests, wineries, red-roofed villages, and silvery olive groves reign....More
For looks, it’s hard to beat St. Paul’s Bay. This gorgeous half-moon of sands is washed by teal-blue waters and overlooks Lindos Acropolis but can get busy. Other beauties include Tsambika; the soft, picturesque, and often crammed Pefkos; and, for spectacle, sandy Prasonisi, which is harder to access and quieter....More
It can be cheap or expensive, depending on your plans. Generally, Rhodes is cheaper than trendy Greek islands like Santorini, but pricier than others like Crete. Accommodation and food costs mirror those across the Mediterranean, but you can go glam with luxe hotels and activities. There are numerous budget-friendly resorts, too, like Faliraki....More
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