What to see on Rhodes island, Greece – my top 10 sights

Rhodes Greece what to see

If you love the beach and enjoy holidays combining relaxation with some sightseeing – Rhodes island in Greece is a place to go. Boasting of 300 days of sunshine on average, the island is a perfect destination for an early summer or late autumn holiday (Rhodes is the 2nd most visited island in Greece so, unless you are OK with the crowds, try go go outside the high season).

Here I will share the top 10 things I recommend you to see during your holiday on the biggest among the Dodecanese islands.

1. Rhodes Old town

Rhodes town is the capital of the island and a marvelous place to be, during the day or in the evening. The walled Old Town is particularly charming – with its many wall entrances and a mix of remains from Hellenistic times (a large Hellenistic city occupied what is now the Old and New town), from the times of the Knights, the Venetians, the Ottomans (ruled the island for 4 centuries, between 1523 and 1912), the Italians. It’s interesting that the island has become part of the Greek state as late as 1947, being part of Italy between 1912 and 1947.

Rhodes old town Rhodes what to see
All this history has reflected on the architecture of the Old Town and one may now enjoy citadels, castles, Venetian buildings, giant mosques, narrow cobbled streets, cuisine and vegetation brought from so many parts of the world. Amazing!

Rhodes town Rhodes what to see

Rhodes old town wall

2. Grandmaster’s palace in Rhodes town

Grandmaster’s palace is located at the end of the Street of Knights in the old town. It was constructed by the Knights of St John in the 14th century, to serve as the seat of the governor and administrative center in the medieval times. The palace was built on top of the ancient Temple of the Sun-God – revered much in ancient Rhodes.

Grandmaster's palace Rhodes what to see
The palace strikes mostly with its enormous size – it has 158 rooms, 24 of them open to the public. Most of them lack any specific furnishing. The reason was a major explosion in the 19th century which destroyed the palace. During the Italian rule, however, the palace was reconstructed as used as residence by the King of Italy and Benito Musolini. So, some rooms feature decoration and furniture attributed to its most recent inhabitants.

Grandmaster's palace Rhodes what to see

Overall a really interesting place and great option for spending the hot midday somewhere cool and shady.

3. The Acropolis of Lindos

Dating back to the 3rd and 2nd century BC, this archaeological site is truly impressive with its size and artifacts. Must-visit, even if you are not a fan of history – the views from the top are simply stunning. My top sight in Rhodes.

Acropolis of Lindos Rhodes what to see
This acropolis located some 50 kms from Rhodes (rent a car recommended to reach it), just above the town of Lindos. It’s perked right above the town and it takes some walking until you reach the site, but the views from the top, as well as the site, take your breath away.

If you hesitate about climbing up – from Lindos you may book a donkey for the way up.

Acropolis of Lindos Rhodes what to see

4. The village of Lindos

After the visit to the Acropolis of Lindos – make sure to refresh yourself in Lindos itself – it’s a charming place with shady little streets, colorful shops and cafes. The medieval walls of the village date back to the 14th century.
Would be great to stay here until dusk and see the Acropolis get lit-up at the top.

The village of Lindos Rhodes what to see

Lindos as seen from the Acropolis of Lindos

5. The Acropolis of Rhodes

If you based in Rhodes town and cannot move around the island too much – you may as well visit the Acropolis of Rhodes. It’s just a few km from the capital and despite being much less impressive, still has several reconstructed temples, a stadium and an ancient theater. The site was heavily bombed during World War II, but has afterwards been reconstructed, with reconstruction works still going on.

6. The site of the Colossus of Rhodes

Suppose everyone has heard at least one thing about the island of Rhodes – this is the home of one of the former 7 Wonders of the Ancient World – the Colossus of Rhodes.
The Colossus has long been gone following an earthquake in 226 BC, but the site where it once stood is still quite a magnet for tourists imagining how the 30-meter high statue of the god-son had been erected at the time and greeted the ships coming to the island. (nowadays there are just 2 columns marking the place where the statue had possibly been standing.)

The Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus, as depicted in a hand-written engraving. Credits: http://www.ancient-origins.net

An interesting fact is that, after the statue collapsed, the king of Egypt offered to cover the expenses to reconstruct the statue. But the locals, after consulting their oracle, refused, saying that they would offend the Sun-god.
Another curious fact is that the posture and design of the Colossus of Rhodes inspired the design of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

7. Tsambika old monastery

Tsambika monastery is pretty close to Tsambika beach (see next point) and I recommend you pay a visit to it before or after the beach. The climb of some 300+ stairs (the Old monastery is perked on a hill, the new one is close to the road) is totally worth the amazing view!

Tsambika monastery Rhodes what to see

The kind of views to enjoy on your way to Tsambika monastery..

The monastery was built right where, according to the legend, a shepherd saw a light during the night and on the next day found the icon of Virgin Mary.
A local belief is that women having fertility problems should climb Tsambika hill barefoot and pray to the Virgin. Their fertility wishes will then be fulfilled.

Tsambika monastery in Rhodes what to see

8. Beaches: Tsambika beach

Tsambika beach is a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for families. We came across it by chance, on the way to Tsambika monastery, but at the end of our stay on Rhodes figured out that had been the best sandy beach we visited on the island. Fine sand, shallow waters, beautiful views, easily accessible (some 25 km from Rhodes town) – what more could you need!

9. St Paul’s Bay

This is a truly picturesque bay near Lindos, one you will see on many postcards of the island.
It is considered that this beach was where St Paul arrived when he came to preach Christianity to the people of Rhodes, hence the name.

Water is crystal clear here, no waves at all (the bay is amazingly closed one) and great for diving. Make sure to find the larger, sandy beach on this bay rather than stay on the fairly packed with sun beds gravel beach.

St Paul's Bay Rhodes what to see

Perfect view to St Paul’s Bay from the Acropolis of Lindos

10. Faliraki beach

This wide, long and sandy beach is the choice of many tourists visiting Rhodes and staying close to the capital. Hence it is quite a busy place, packed with many cafes, bars and options for water sports. The sand is quite nice, waters is shallow and if you love to have all kinds of convenience (supermarkets, cafes, etc) and entertainment at a close reach – this is your place 🙂
There is also a water park claimed to be the biggest in Europe. It was closed at the beginning of the season but seemed quite impressive on the outside!

These are my top 10, but Rhodes has way way more to offer. It is a wonderful Greek island – with such a rich historical heritage, offering both peaceful, secluded spots and busy party areas. Sunny most of the year, easily reachable with daily budget flights from Athens (Ryanair flies Athens to Rhodes town) so – make sure to visit it!

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