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Evita Elite Resort05.05 - 12.05.2023, 8 dníAll inclusive, Letecky Katowice
Sunday06.05 - 13.05.2023, 8 dníBez stravy, Letecky Praha
Hotel Ilyssion Beach Resort01.05 - 08.05.2023, 8 dníAll inclusive, Letecky Katowice
Rhodes is a very weird island. There is a bit of everything: you will find there places living from tourism able to offer you any kind of entertainment, but also areas where tourism hasn’t arrived yet, with beautiful abandoned nature and unspoiled beaches. At the end of this page, you will find a video including the main places of interest in the island. If you want to get a better idea of where all the places are located, see the section Rhodes: Map of beaches and resorts.
Who is Rhodes suitable for?
First of all, I would like to say what my evaluations and recommendations are based on. Only in 2008, I did more than 1 500 km on the island, which is quite lot given that Rhodes is about 75 km long and a bit more than 30 km wide in its widest point. I visited there every single beach, every resort or bigger village, and many other places of interest. When writing the descriptions and recommendations, I don’t draw on travel agencies’ catalogues or other texts, but only my experience.
Therefore I can say: Rhodes is suitable for all except the tourist who want to dedicate themselves to mountain hiking on their holidays. And in case Greece is not enough for you when staying in the island, you can visit Turkey. There are trips being organized to the Turkish resorts of Marmaris (in the same way as you can visit the Turkish resort of Bodrum from the island of Kos).
The island nature is magnificent and you will find there plenty of green vegetation. And, above all, many places are still unaffected by tourism or agriculture, so, a great part of the island, especially the hilly interior (the middle third of the island) and the slightly undulating bottom third of the island, are completely unspoiled. Another thing adding to the beauty of the island are its various kinds of landscape. You will find there valleys with steep hills covered with grass and bushes, beautiful and fresh green forests, but also large areas resembling a savanna, where the goldish fields of grass are followed by occasional little islands of bushes and trees. You can easily bathe in a brook surrounded by blooming oleanders and observing frogs in one moment, and shortly after that, walk through the sand dunes, feasting your eyes on the beautiful blooming ‘cactuses’. This variety is a result of the local climate for the most part. If you are interested in the weather on the island, see the section Rhodes weather
Have you visited the island? Help us with the content of the website!
There is never enough information about Rhodes Island. And who would be more familiar with the island than those who have spent there their holiday? We would like to ask you to dedicate a few minutes of your time evaluating your holiday on the island, telling us what you liked there and what Rhodes means to you, or possibly also to give us tips and advice that could be useful for other visitors who are interested in the island and are thinking of going there for holiday.
WRITE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT RHODES ISLAND
The upper part of the island is densely built-up, being the main tourist area. From nature and the originally green areas, the place worth mentioning is especially the hill of Filerimos, about 260 m high, that is all covered with exuberant vegetation. The hill dominates all the region and it will catch your attention with its green vegetation, but also its 18 m tall cross on its peak. There are a few more green areas but they are not intersting from the tourist point of view.
A more undulating region starts approximately at the connecting line of the airport-Faliraki. The centre of Rhodes can be characterized by a hilly ladscape, with its frequently recommended Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes), Ostrich Farm, and a few studs of different animals. The area consists of a compact and dense broad-leaved forest and is very nice to drive through.
Further in the south-east, you will find Profitis Illias, the second highest peak of Rhodes with 780 m. There is a route passing over the peak through a mixed forest, with a beautiful view on the lowlands and green valleys here and there,
There are many dusty roads leading through the valleys, that can be very treacherous. Despite that, I would recommend you to visit at least the marginal places with a view on the central part. The little valleys are not so impressive for their size, but everything is beautifully green, with some trees scattered all over the area, and the whole region is interestingly segmented.
Even further in the south-east, you will find the highest mountain range, Ataviros, with its peak rising to 1216 m. Its surroundings are really beautiful; especially towards the south, the hills are very steep, looking more like small mountains. Obviously everything is green and there are dense forests, especially on the north-western side. Towards south-west, the region becomes drier, so, there are not so many trees, but you will still find there green vegetation - not only the trees in the gardens, but also continuous cover of the deserted hills. If you climb on Ataviros, at the heigh between 400 and 500 m, you will see forests constisting of huge pines. Further to the top, there is only a bare rock with a beautiful view all around the island.
When driving through this region, you will pass mainly through pine forests and hills covered with grass and bushes.
The last, bottom part of Rhodes island is also unique. It is much drier than the rest of the island, and there are large, sometimes slightly undulating areas. They are mostly little harvested fields, or a blend of fields, bushes and small forests; all that giving an interesting impression. I would especially recommend you to visit the natural area of Kalamafka which is truly extraordinary.
Besides your eyes, on Rhodes you will also please your nose, since the island is impreganted with a heady scent: in some places you can smell the pines, somewhere else it can be thyme or lavender; but the whole island smells nice.
As far as nature in the resorts is concerned, whether the resort is a small one in the middle of nowehere or a large tourist complex, you will always find there trees, gardens, and plenty of flowers. In the places where it is possible, there are also trees and green vegetation even on the beaches or between the individual hotel complexes. The gardens always have palm trees, irrigated lawn and plenty of citrus trees.
In other words, if you don’t stay in your resort only, Rhodes will surprise you with the beauty and variety of its nature. I have never seen an ugly part of Rhodes, maybe except the part around Soroni with an oil power plant.
Beaches on Rhodes are extremely varied. It is impossible to talk generally about the island; it could only be said that basically the whole coast in the north consists of small or bigger pebbles. I don’t remember seeing a sandy beach anywhere from the bottom part of the island up to the town of Rhodes. The other side of the island with the resorts is quite mixed. Near Rhodes, a beach with small pebbles starts, and more downwards, you will find the sandy beach of Agia Marina, a long plane sandy beach near Faliraki, the romantic indented sandy beaches of Ladikou and Anthony Quinn, long and plane pebbly beaches of Traganou and Afandou, a sandy and mixed beach close to Kolymbia, a nice sandy Tsambika beach, a sandy beach near Stegna, a beautiful small sandy beach of Agia Agatha, a rather pebbly long and plane beach of Masari, Kalathoua Vlicha, romantic sandy beaches near Lindos and Pefki (Pefkos), then the mixed small beaches of Lothiarika and Lardos, and a bit further the small and romantic bay with the sandy beach of Glystra. Further to the south, you will find the beaches of Kiotari and Gennadi, a long and plane stretch of seacost with plenty of bigger pebbles and not too much indented.
Yet the truly beautiful beaches start at the very bottom of the island: in the south-east of Rhodes, you will find splendid romantic beaches of Plimiri, Mavos Kavos and Saint Gorge. They are magnificent bays with sand, dunes and a very gentle slope into the water. You can get there only by car.
At the bottom tip of the island, there is the well-known sandy beach of Prasonisi that is said to be the surferes’ paradise. On the island of Prasonisi on the way to the lighthouse, there is one more tiny beach which is quite remote though and can be accessed only by walking.
And that’s all on this side of the island. In its other side, from the tip upwards, you will find the Apolakkia Bay, with its beach resembling more a wild coast, about 20 km long and completely plane. The beach surroundings are very interesting, there are dunes, trees, bushes, and a splendid panorama… The pebbly beach itself is about 30 m wide and there are almost always huge waves.
Under the Monolithos Castle, you can find the beautiful and romantic beach of Fourni (soft pebbles, nice suroundings, accessible by car). Further to the top, there are the Glyfada and Paleochora beaches. Those are located on a beautiful foreground, with high hills right at the sea and green vegetation everywhere. Yet especially the beach of Glyfada isn’t suitable for bathing for all. Its surroundings are beautiful indeed, but there are huge stones and difficult access both to the beach and water. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend the beach for typical holiday-makers but more to those who like travelling and adventure.
The other beaches in the upward direction to the airport are rather uninteresting; they are wide stretches of pebbles. They are fine but there is nothing really special about them. When arriving to the top of the island, you will find the beaches of Lalyssos and Ixia – mostly pebbly beaches, long and not too much indented or with some disturbing elements.
OVERVIEW OF ALL BEACHES INCLUDING PHOTOS
Rhodes: climbing and bouldering
Rhodes can offer something literally to everyone, even those who like extreme experiences. I am talking about adrenaline sports, in particular about climbing. Although Rhodes is generally flat (there are some height differences indeed, but compared to the islands of Kalymnos, Crete or Karpathos, they are really insignificant), there is quite a huge community of climbers, and so, Rhodes has several climbing areas with routes of between the 5th and 8th grade of difficulty of the UIAA. You will find there even sectors for bouldering. For detailed information including photos, see the section Rhodes: Climbing and bouldering.
Rhodes resorts are quite different than those found on other islands - Kremasti, Lalyssos, Ixia and Rhodes have grown into resorts naturally given their location and the original built-up area. In fact they are the suburbs of the capital.
Then you will find there resorts like Faliraki, Pefki (Pefkos), Haraki or Kolymbia that have actually developped from the original fishing settlements. Then the rest is a bit weird: several kilometres towards the interior, the coast is completely flat, so, there was a farming village built at the foot of the hills and towards the seacoat, there were fields. With an increasing interest in tourism, a hotel complex or a similar construction was built on the coast on some of the fields. And that became the name of the closest village. As a result, the resorts like Lardos, Lindos, Kalathos or Afandou are in fact new hotel complexes built on a greenfield site. Sometimes you will find a tree or a stretch of bushes or a taverna between the hotels, yet there is no original built-up area, and so the romantic village described in your travel guide can only be found a bit further. If you want to travel the whole island by car, or spend your holiday relaxing on the beach or in a hotel complex, it’s fine. Yet if you are looking forward to the romanticism of evening walks and you need the genuine Greek atmosphere, you should be really careful about choosing the place you’re going to, otherwise the island could disappoint you. You will find an overview of all resorts in the menu on the left in the List of sites, or under the link Rhodes resorts.
Recently the travel agencies have started to offer tours to the resort of Theologos. Personally I’m not really sure whether this place can be called a resort. It has the oil power plant of Soroni nearby, you can’t really go anywhere, and the beach is weird. And the romantic village of Paraadissi often mentioned by travel agencies is a very busy area right at the airport, in a 4 km distance from Theologos.
Travel agencies and tours to Rhodes
In addition to the tours in our system (Rhodes - Tours overview) where you can purchase tours with our special bonus, we recommend you to take a look at the latest last minute and other offers on the sites of the recommended travel agencies listed in the chart, as they may offer more online and other dicsounts The recommended travel agencies are listed in the description of their respective accomodation facilities. For a complete overview of the hotels, suites and studios offered in the destination, see the section Rhodes hotels, suites and studios.
On Rhodes there are hundreds of historical sites. The most unique of them is probably the Old Town that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition, you will find there hundreds of chapels, monasteries, archaeological sites…
The most significant are Akropole Lindos, Monolithos Castle, Kastelos Castle on the hill of Kritinia, Mandraki port, the ancient town of Kamiros and Filerimos.
No matter where you travel, you will always find something interesting on Rhodes.
Travelling and transport on Rhodes Island
If you didn’t end up on Rhodes only by chance and you are not planning to spend your holiday between the beach and the hotel, but would like to get to know the beauties of this island, I would definitely recommend you renting a car.
On Rhodes there are hundreds of magnificent places. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a particular place or the route from one spot to another - Rhodes will always surprise you. The main road passes all around the island, with few smaller routes across it. If you are not staying in the capital where the traffic is a bit denser, you can get anywhere on the island within one hour. Whatever your target is, you can always set off in the morning, feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape, stop on some of the beaches, arrive at your destination, on your way you stop at some historical site or monastery, bathe on a beach again, and in the late afternoon you come back. If you know how to combine things, you can practice this even for 10 days, for example, without having to go somewhere twice or being bored and your car being unutilized.
Transport on Rhodes Island is very calm; there are no tricky rules or any problematic places. 990% of the roads are tarmac roads and the traffic signs are all clear. To rent a car, we recommend you to use some of the car rental companies verified by us.
If you are not sure about renting a car, you can also use public buses. The bus lines pass through the coast resorts only though; so you will not make it to the more remote beaches, original villages with their ports or picturesque places in the island interior. And after all, the bus tickets are not so cheap either. If you are two or three people, you will pay approximately the same for transport by bus as you would pay by renting a car together. For timetables, you can see the section Rhodes - Bus timetables. Otherwise I would recommend you to visit the site of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, where you will find boat timetables, updated prices for taxis, and much more. Here is the links for the site: Rhodes: Taxis, ferries and cruisers. You can also visit the site of Rhodes public transport with an overview of bus lines on the western and eastern part of the island, and timetables.
How to get to Rhodes
To travel to Rhodes, you can go by boat or take a flight. The island has only one large international airport, the Diagoras Airport, with the ICAO of LGRP. The transport from the airport to your resorts is usually very fast since all the resorts are located within a maximum 50 km distance. As for boat transport, there are several regular ferry lines going to the island. One of them departs from Piraeus, the others from the neighbouring islands. The ferries are usually not direct but they stop on many islands on their way, including e.g. Kos, Kalymnos, Nysiros, Karpathos, Syros, Santorini or Crete. The boat companies operating ferries to Rhodes, are SKEVOS TRAVEL, ANES TRAVEL, DODEKANISOS SEAWAYS and TSAGARIS TRAVEL.
Rhodes: Concise history of the island
Rhodes Island is located at the junction of two main sea routes in the Meidterranean between the Aegean Sea and Near East, just like Cyprus and Egypt. In the past it was the point of contact of three continents, well-known to many different civilizations.
Throughout history, the island was marked by many different nations and their culture, including art, language or architecture. With its strategic position, the city of Rhodes became one of the most significant places of the ancient Greece.
The Colossus and the town of Rhodes
In the ancient times, Rhodes was an important economic centre. The capital of Rhodes was founded in 408 BC to make use of the best natural port on the northern coast. In 357 BC, the island was conquered by Mausoleus of Helicarnassus, held by Persians, and finally seized by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Yet Alexandr died young of a fever, and so his generals divided the kingdom into three dominions: Ptolemy, Seleucus and Antigonus founded each their own kingdom. In the struggle, Rhodes passed to Ptolemy. That displeased Antigonus who sent his son Demetrius to conquer and destroy the town of Rhodes. The subsequent war was long and bloody. Demetrius brought an army of 40 000 men, which was more than the population of the whole island. When he attacked the town, its defenders managed to stop the siege machines by flooding the ditches under the ramparts of the Old Town. After almost a one-year siege, a fleet from Egypt arrived to help to town. Demetrius withdrew from the town, with his turrets left in the place. To celebrate their victory, the Rhodes inhabitants decided to erect a huge statue of their god, Helios. They melt down the bronze of the siege machines that Demetrius left there. Making of the statue took 12 years, it was 110 feet tall and stood on a 50 feet tall base near the wharf in the port. The Colossus stood proudly at the mouth of the bay for 56 years. Then Rhodes was hit by an earthquake and the statue knocked down. In the 7th century AD, the Arabs took over the island, destroying the remains of the colossum and taking away the rest. According to a legend, 900 camels were needed to transport the whole statue.
Rhodes was populated already in the Neolithic Age (4000 BC). In 408 BC, three of the most significant island cities were founded: Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos. The three subsequent centuries are called the Golden Era. Sea trade, shipbuilding and far-sighted policy and diplomacy kept the cities strong and prosperous till the Roman Era. At that time, Rhodes was well.known also for its pieces of art, with the most famous one being the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was made between 304 – 293 BC by the Lindos sculptor Hares.
Rhodes ceased to be independent in 164 BC when the city became a province of the Roman Empire, till the 1st century AD. Despite that, Rhodes preserved lots of its advanced culture and science.
During the early Christian Era (330 – 650 AD), Rhodes belong to the eastern part of the Roman Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire. The Arabs who first appeared in the history of the region in the 7th century, seized the island for several decades. New city’s fortifications were built.
In 1309, Rhodes was sold to the Knights Hospitaliers of Saint John of Jerusalem. The order was founded in the 12th century to take care of pilgrims and crusaders, but it was soon transformed into a combat order and gained an immense piece of land. After its withdrawal from Jerusalem and Cyprus, the order established its main seat on Rhodes, maintaining a leading role in the eastern Mediterranean. During the knights era, the city’s fortifications were completely rebuilt, modernized and continuously improved. Among the most significant public edifices built at this time, we could find the hospital, the palace and some of the churches, belonging to the jewels ofRenaissance architecture. The rule of the knights meant prosperity and the relationships with the local inhabitants were characterized by tolerance and close cooperation.
In 1522, after long siege, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. New edifices were built: mosques, public baths, and manor houses. The Greeks were forced to leave the fortified city and move to the new suburbs behind the ramparts. During the Ottoman Era, Rhodes lost its international character. The city kept the most important of its economic functions being the main market with agricultural products for Rhodes Island and the surrounding smaller islands. After consolidating their power, the Ottoman Turks repaired the fortifications, transformed many churches into mosques and rebuilt many of the houses into private palaces but also public edifices. In the 19th century, the decline of the Ottoman Empire led to the city and its buildings being completely neglected; this state even deteriorated with a strong earthquake still occuring in the region.
The Italian troops took over Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese in 1912, and in 1923, the Italian province of Isole Italiane del Egeo was founded. The Italians pulled down the constructions built in the vicinity of the fortifications during the Ottoman Era, transforming the Jewish and Ottoman cementeris into a green part surrounding the medieval city. They kept the remains of the Knight Era, removed all the Ottoman adjustments, and reconstructed the Palace of the Grand Master.
After the Italians were defeated in 1944, Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese passed to the British military control and remained as such till March 1948 when the island was returned to Greece. In 1957, plans of the New Town were approved. Since 1960, the medieval city of Rhodes has been a protected monument, and in 1988, in was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Where to go to Rhodes?
Travel agencies offer tours mainly to the resorts of Afandou, Faliraki, Gennadi, Haraki, Ialyssos, Ixia, Kalathos, Kalithea, Kiotari, Kolymbia, Koskinou, Lardos resort, Lindos, Pefki, Rhodes and Stegna. In 2015, another resort, Fanes, was added. Obviously you can always travel to the island independently. And since to find accommodation there is not always easy, you can see for example the site of Panorama Tsampikas tavernas and studios. They look quite nice, have fair prices, and are a perfect point of departure to get to know the whole island.
Video with the main places of interest on Rhodes
Rhodes is located in the south-east of Greece. It can be found in the same latitude like a part of both the Turkish and Aegean riviera; the city of Rhodes is situated on the same parallel as the Turkish resorts of Kargicak or Fethyie, or the famous Ölüdeniz beach. As for longitude, Rhodes has the same position like Bulgaria in the north or Egypt in the south.
Rhodes hotels, suites and studios
Here are a few tips for hotels and other kinds of accommodation on Rhodes Island. For a complete overview, see the section Rhodes hotels