Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean Sea and is unlike anywhere else you’ll visit in Greece. Steeped in history with a fascinating medieval old town, the island offers incredible architecture, sweeping beaches and picture-postcard villages punctuated with the sweet scent of bougainvillea.
It’s a place to put at the top of your travel list, and with direct flights departing to the island from Gatwick Airport, you’ve really no reason to miss out on all this…
Rhodes Old Town
The oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe, Rhodes Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site with cobblestone streets, hidden courtyards, eclectic shops and cafes, and imposing medieval buildings.
Firstly, don’t miss The Palace of the Grand Master and its incredible gothic architecture at the highest point of the city.
Then try the 4km walk around the city’s walls for something a little more serene. Just outside the walls sits the commercial centre of Rhodes Town with its high street shops, banks and pharmacies.
Your historic education doesn’t stop at Rhodes Old Town. Unspoilt Lindos is a must visit, with its ancient acropolis, whitewashed buildings and sandy beaches. Many think it the most impressive archaeological site on the island, with the steep climb up rewarding you with ancient remains that include the Temple to Athena Lindia, as well as sweeping sea views.
Other gems to try and make time for include Mandraki Port – the northernmost harbour in Rhodes Town and ideal to explore on foot; Tsambika Monastery – an 18th Century church reached by 350 steps; and Monolithos Castle, which is on the west of the island but well worth the trip.
Unrivalled Food and Drink
If you’re dining in Rhodes Old Town, beware that a lot of the eateries are aimed at tourists and so are overpriced and not that tasty. Instead find out where the locals eat and make sure you try the traditional Greek taverna fare.
Pitaroudia – chickpea fritters – are a local speciality, and you’ll find many of the most delicious dishes feature cinnamon, bulgur wheat and raisins. Keep an eye out, too, for moustalevria – a traditional pudding made from grape must (grape juice). Rhodes Island also produces wonderful thyme honey and several varieties of wine. The wine region sits around Attavyros and the village of Embonas.
You’d be remiss to visit Rhodes without a day on one of its many beaches. St Paul’s Beach offers views of the Lindos Acropolis and though it gets busy in the summer, the sandy bay and shallow, tranquil sea is worth arriving early for.
Tsambika sits below the monastery and boasts 800 metres of golden sand and has a watersports centre if you’re up for something a little more high energy. Anthony Quinn Bay is a rocky inlet on the east coast, with bright emerald waters – but be aware that it’s not one for kids. On the southern tip sits Prasonissi, which is one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing spots in Europe.
Or for something a bit different, head to Prasonisi – a tidal island joined to the mainland by a long sandbar.
And there’s more…
Don’t miss out on Kallithea Springs, a natural spring with serene gardens, a bar/café and sun loungers.
Or if hiking is more your thing and you’ve had enough of the sun, head to Profitis Ilias, a mountain surrounded by shaded woodland walks.