Rhodes is one of the largest and most fertile islands in Greece. It is also one of the most visited due to the fact that here every tourist will find something to their liking. Great beaches? Please. Archaeological sites? As much as you want. Medieval ancient cities with narrow streets, souvenir shops and seaside promenades? Yes, yes, and yes again. The climate of Rhodes is especially good, during the season the weather is usually mild and cloudless: the sun shines here for more than 300 days a year.
Officially, Rhodes belongs to the Dodecanese archipelago, but because of its size and importance in its own right, it is always considered separately. Historians still argue about the name of the island: either it came from the word “rose” (there are many stone roses on Rhodes), or from the word “red”. The north coast is known for its lively tourist resorts, the south coast is quieter and life is slower.
Most of the beaches of Rhodes are pebbly, they are clean, beautiful and great for swimming – including with children. The only negative is that there are a lot of tourists on the island during the season. But even in this you can find positive aspects: the attendants almost everywhere speak at least English and German, and even Swedish, Finnish and Russian.
Regions and resorts of Rhodes
Despite its relatively small size (only 30-40 km wide), Rhodes has a variety of beaches and resorts, where it will be equally good to have a rest for notorious extreme people and sedate pensioners.
In the very north of the island is the ancient capital – the brilliant city of Rhodes, the birthplace of the Colossus of Rhodes, the Palace of the Grand Masters and a whole scattering of unique sights.
The nearest beach, Afandou, is not only a great place to relax, but also a quality golf spot. Moving south along the eastern coast, you should pay attention to Faliraki – perhaps the most active local resort. Nightlife is in full swing here, however, there are also enough family tourists, and all thanks to an excellent water park (in order not to get tired of the crowds of idle youngsters from Germany and England, it is better to look for a hotel north of the center – it is calmer there). Nearby is the beach of Kolymbia – a good place for snorkeling.
Following them, Lindos is the perfect balance of a quality beach holiday and an exciting “excursion”: local attractions can compete in their importance with the riches of the capital. South of Lindos (from Lardos Bay to Plimmiri), the best beaches of Rhodes begin – not as developed in terms of infrastructure as Faliraki or Ialyssos, but very picturesque and clean. This strip of beach paradise lasts almost 30 km, ending at the southernmost resort, which is washed by two seas at once – Prasonisi.
All places along the western coast of the island are wonderful, little-studied, a bit wild and therefore so attractive for tourists who are tired of crowded beaches and ubiquitous discos.
Here you have a whole scattering of monasteries and chapels, and a couple of impressive castles, and a large resort area closer to the capital. In the latter case, we are talking about the villages of Ialyssos and Ixia. This coast is the perfect mix of luxury hotel complexes, appropriate respectability and developed nightlife. Surfing competitions are often held here, and the airport is some 15-20 minutes away. As a “cherry on the cake” – the charming Mediterranean monastery of Filerimos.
Inside the island, only a couple of places attract attention: Archangelos – the second largest city after the capital, Askilipio with its fortress, Monolithos Castle, as well as the small settlement of Laerma, next to which is the monastery of the Archangel Michael – the largest in Rhodes.
Perhaps this material will also be useful to you: holidays in Rhodes: how to choose a resort.
The island is washed by two seas at once: the Aegean (in the west) with pebble beaches and constant waves, and the Mediterranean (in the east) is sand and calm water. Accordingly, the east coast of the island (the areas of Kallithea, Faliraki, Kolymbia, Lindos) is best suited for a traditional beach holiday, and its west (Ixia, Ialyssos) is best suited for windsurfing. Of course, it is the resorts of the east that are more developed and popular, and therefore there are a lot of people here during the season. For example, Faliraki or Lindos, despite all their advantages, you can’t advise fans about a secluded holiday – it’s always crowded here.
In the south of Faliraki, the only official nudist piece of beach in Rhodes is open.
One of the most picturesque is Ladiko beach (Anthony Queen Bay), it is quite small with rocky areas, there is a small platform for sunbathing and sunbathing. Another cozy piece of the coast is located in the south – this is a strip of sand from Gennadi to Prasonisi. The infrastructure is only developing here, but there are already enough nice taverns and hotels. But the people, on the contrary, not so much. In addition, tanned surfers catch the wind here.
The swimming season in Rhodes lasts from May to October. The cost of two sun loungers and an umbrella depends on the village – on average from 6 to 8 EUR per day.
Diving in Rhodes
Dive training on the island with a single dive or a full course for several days is offered by 4 companies – Waterhoppers Diving Schools, Lepia, H20 and Dive Med. The cost of one dive starts from 50 EUR, a three-day course – from 180 EUR.
There are not very many sites, but there is something to see. The most popular spot for beginners is Colitheo Springs. Shallow caves, fragments of ancient amphoras, warm and clear water with good visibility, corals of all colors, octopuses, nudibranch molluscs and similar inhabitants of the underwater world. In Lindos, divers will appreciate the local underwater world at the coral wall that goes deep down. Cape Ladiko is also interesting, which covers the picturesque Anthony Queen Bay, named after the actor who starred in the film “The Guns of Navarone” exactly in this very place. South of the cape – Afandou Bay with a good beach.
What to bring
In the capital, the best shopping is in the Old Town (where, alas, with the end of the season (from November to March), many shops close). Here you can find stylish jewelry, including local designers, and exquisite crafts made of glass, ceramics, and even antiques (at Plateia Simi). Along Sokratous Street there are a lot of boutiques with leather goods and fur coats, mostly Turkish, but there are also furs from Northern Greece.
A typical island souvenir is local wine, which is best to choose on a day off at one of the wineries – in Cair (2 km from the capital) or in Emery, in the village of Embona. Honey or olive oil would be an excellent gift (ideally, hand-bought from local farmers, but such things should be carefully packed, as goods can be “expropriated” at the airport for insufficiently high-quality packaging).
Finally, a gift for connoisseurs is local carpets. Since the time of the Turkish occupation, the ability to weave marvelous carpets has been preserved in Rhodes, now about 40 craftswomen and several monasteries are engaged in such a complex business. The largest selection is in Old Rhodes or at the small Kleopatra factory in the village of Agios Antonios near Afandou. Read more: shopping in Rhodes.
Cafes and restaurants in Rhodes
Being a tourist island, living mostly at the expense of holidaymakers, Rhodes is filled with all kinds of food outlets – from typically English pubs to the most traditional Greek taverns. Moreover, the quality is often at the level everywhere – no one seeks to fool tourists by passing off a thin red mullet for tuna. The portions here are to the conscience, and the quality of the food is on top.
The largest selection of restaurants is in the capital, and if you look closely, you can always see locals at the tables, which speaks of the quality of the institution. In second place in terms of the number of cafes and bars are large resorts – Faliraki and Lindos. You can easily find a nice tavern even on the relatively sparsely populated western coast of Rhodes. What to order? In Greece, and Rhodes is no exception, fish dishes, fresh vegetables and dairy products are traditionally popular. However, meat lovers should not be upset – a good lamb shank is cooked in such a way that you will lick your fingers.
The average cost of a dinner for two with wine or beer is from 30 EUR and more. Snack on the run – from 5 to 10 EUR. Fresh fish (morning catch) in a tavern or fish restaurant depends on the class – for the first grade they will ask about 50 EUR per kg, for scaly second grade, smaller (but no less tasty) – from 35 EUR.
Rhodes has a wonderful climate, Mediterranean, with very mild and sunny winters and fresh summers – not wet, tiring and overheating, but very comfortable even for families with children or for older tourists. A constantly blowing light northeast breeze brings sufficient coolness during the hottest hours of the day. And Rhodes also has about 300 sunny days a year, in other words, as many as 10 months of natural ultraviolet radiation. See CITYPOPULATIONREVIEW.COM for weather information.