Rhodes, a magnificent medieval island with the lights of the sun shining in the sea, the smell of bougainvillea that you will feel into while passing through the villages, its magnificent beaches, the medieval city that has entered the UNESCO list. There are hundreds of reasons to visit to Rhodes, but among the things to do, we will only provide detailed information about 17 places and tours in Rhodes.
When you see the acropolis of Rhodes, where there is a lot of evidence that it was built in the 3rd century BC, and the Lindos Acropolis built in the 5th century BC, it will surprise you to think that people built an extraordinary city here 7,000 years ago.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Rhodes:
1. Rhodes City
It is as if a movie will be shot and they have designed a medieval city called Rhodes. Huge stone structures you will see in the old city will take you to the past.
As you can see in the photo above, narrow streets are waiting for you and you’ll be on rambling cobblestone streets.
All the narrow streets are alike. It is almost possible to lose the way. But never mind, you are discovering the city. You may feel lucky if you can browse the backyards of the wooden houses.
Go ahead, you should visit the Street of the Knights, first you must pass an ancient road. And then you will see the knights quarter built in 1400.
While walking through the narrow streets, on the exteriors of the stone inns, you will see the symbols of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem.
On the west side of the old town of Rhodes, you will find traces from the Ottoman era in both Hammam and Sultan Mustafa Mosque, both dating back to the 1700s.
2. Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
It must be one of the places where Gothic architecture is at the highest level. Places declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece.
In Rhodes, which is a very important part of Greece and the largest of the Twelve Islands (Dodecanese), remarkably well-preserved examples of medieval architecture are found in every corner. Visiting this amazing place is like going through a live museum.
This ancient city is divided into two. “Collachium” is the region where the Knights stay and that’s why they built the most important buildings here. The main city is “Burgo”; It is the region where local people live.
These strong fortress walls built by the knights were able to withstand the Ottoman attacks in 1480 during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet.
Rhodes succumbed to the army of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1522 and the island remained under the ownership of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years.
3. Lindos Acropolis
The ancient city of Lindos was established in the area covered by the Acropolis and the Krana Cape, where today’s Lindos is located.
With its Acropolis standing on the top of a 116-meter rock, the ancient Lindos is one of the most important archaeological sites of the island.
Finds here testify to the city’s diachronic power and wealth. According to mythology and narrations, they founded the city, 50 daughters of Danaides who came from Egypt, and decorated the temple with the goddess Athena.
This temple was built while the domination of Tiran Cleobulus, one of the 7 Greek philosophers.
The mentioned temple, although Lindos lost its economic and political power over time, remained a place of worship until the Hellenistic and Roman times.
Later it became a safe haven in times of crisis and eventually a fortification site with a permanent guard unit.
On the top of the Acropolis, you may find the ruins of the temple of Athena, Propylaea (entrance) and the great Hellenistic Stoa (passage), the 13th century Byzantine church Agios Ioannis and the Commandor House, which remained from the period of the last Knights.
4. Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
Since 1916, the Archeology Museum has been located in the Museum Hall of the Knights’ Hospital on the Museum Square next to the city’s port.
Archaeological finds from various parts of Rhodes are on display in this monumental and bioclimatic building.
Its construction began in 1489 by the Grandmaster De Lastic, whose money was left from his ancestors, Flouvianos, but was completed by Master D’Aubusson 49 years later. Made in Gothic style using Renaissance elements.
There are many finds from Ialyssos and ancient Kamiros, Antique, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman period sculptures and mosaic floors of the Hellenistic period from the city of Rhodes.
The main entrance leads to the inner courtyard with a fascinating marble lion and mosaic floor from the 5th Century Early Christian church. On the upper floor, besides the sculptures of the time of the Knights, there are tomb columns, the Kritoys and Timaristas Columns, which are even more characteristic.
In the halls on the south wing of the gallery, examples of Rhodes statues from Ancient to Roman are exhibited. Sculptures such as the Victory statue and Hellenistic carved columns are displayed in the garden of the museum.
Despite being the smallest of the three ancient cities on Rhodes Island, Kamiros is the best preserved ancient city, and this city successfully reflects everyday life in the Hellenistic Period.
While residents of the region continue to reveal small ancient artifacts in their fields, it was understood that there was an archaeological city here, and excavations were started in 1860.
Numerous artifacts found in the tombs of the region show that Kamiros has been a rich and developing city since prehistoric times. B.C. From the 6th century onwards, the city began to use its own coin, depicted as a fig leaf.
Since the prehistoric period, the ruins of the great temple dedicated to Athena, the guardian goddess of the city, can be seen on the hill.
The temple is located behind a large building dating from the 3rd century BC. This building is a large stoa-like structure built in Doric order, with a double row column surrounding it.
Its length on the longest side is 200m and it looks like a stoa with rooms and shops in the back. A large cistern dating from the 6th century BC was found inside the stoa, measuring 38 m long, 10 m wide and 3 m deep.
The cistern was capable of holding about 600 cubic meters of water, which meant enough water for 400 families in the dry months.
6. Mandraki Port
Mandraki is the main port of Rhodes, where the famous Rhodes Statue mentioned in ancient times was also located. Today, two deer (male and female) sculptures named “Elefos” and “Elafina” symbolizing this statue are located in this famous port.
Mandraki Port is the haunt of yachts coming to Rhodes as a modern marina facility. During the summer, the ships that organize tours to Lindos, Simi and the surrounding islands depart from this port every day.
Unlike other Greek islands, there is a small islet in the south of the island of Rhodes.
Prasonisi is actually an island of tides. When the water rises, it is disconnected from the mainland, and in summer, when the water is drawn, it is connected to the land of Rhodes.
The right side of the sand hill that separates the Prasonisi island from Rhodes is called the Mediterranean and the left side is called the Aegean Sea.
There is a windy area on the beaches located here. Surf lovers turn this place into a colorful area every summer.
The beaches on the east side of the islet have shallow sea water. Inexperienced swimmers or surfers use this place.
8. Tsambika Monastery
The Tsambika Monastery is built on a hill offering stunning views of Tsambika and Kolymbia, one of the most popular beaches in Rhodes.
The road to Tsampika monastery is located a few meters before returning to Tsambika beach.
The road goes half way up the hill. From this point on, you have to go 350 meters on foot. On top of the hill, you will find the small Byzantine church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Both are located in the north of Kolymbia and south of the Tsambika beach. You will have the chance to watch the coast at a height of 240 meters, stretching to the town of Lindos.
The Tsampika monastery dates from the 18th century and is designed with a round dome in accordance with the twelve islands (dodecanese) style.
9. Monolithos Castle
The village of Monolithos lies southwest of Rhodes Island.
Here you will see one of the 4 strongest castles of Rhodes.
Monolithos Castle, 237 meters high, has a dazzling view against the sea.
It was built in 1476 by the Grand Knight Grand Master D’Aubusson on the old Byzantine ruins, its emblem is still preserved on the entrance door.
Despite many sieges, no one could conquer the castle.
The Agios Panteleimon Chapel, one of the religious monuments in the vicinity, is one of the places worth seeing.
10. St Paul’s Beach
St Paul’s beach has a really great view. It can be crowded in the summer season, which is unfortunately a result of being famous.
Having a sandy beach, Rhodes st paul beach is actually a small and magnificent bay located in the north.
At the north end, there is another smaller pebble beach just below the acropolis.
Unfortunately, both beaches are very crowded in the summer season. But when you come to the island of Rhodes, you should not return without seeing these beaches.
But even this can not prevent the beauty of the beach.
11. Tsambika Beach
On the down side of the monastery is a truly perfect beach.
Tsambika Beach is a 800 meters long, fine sandy beach surrounded by slopes covered with pine trees on three sides.
The beach has a very large area, sunbeds and umbrellas services are offered and there are bars and restaurants around it.
If you get bored by lying on the beach and sunbathing or just swimming in the beautiful sea, there are also water sports activities on the beach.
12. Kalithea Hot Springs
The natural resources in Kalithea have been preferred for their healing properties since ancient times.
The naturals prings found here were not quite understood until the Italians who took control of the island.
In 1920, Italian researchers conducted extensive research here.
The complex was designed by architect Pietro Lombardi in a mix of neo-Baroque and Moorish styles, and exotic trees and shrubs were planted in the gardens.
The facilities here are still in service and serve thousands of visitors every year.
For a small fee, you can swim in Kalithea Bay, a long entrance with transparent water, surrounded by sun loungers and palm umbrellas on the terraces.
13. Monastery of Filerimos
Ialisos is one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes. Hotels along the Ialisos beach host thousands of visitors to the island.
Acropolis on the green hill of Filerimos became the center of both Byzantines and Saint Jean Knights.
Also, the Virgin Mary Monastery is located in this region.
You can walk on the street where the bronze reliefs depicting the story of the cross are lined up and watch the fascinating view extending south from the giant cross placed on the 267-meter-high hill.
14. Kritinia Castle (Kastelos)
Like Monolithos Castle, Kritinia (Kastelos) doubles as a fortification and watchtower on the far west coast of the island.
The Kritinia castle was built by the Venetians in the 15th century and it is aimed to see the 360 degree environment on the top of the island.
It was news that the Ottoman Empire would attack the island of Rhodes. The castle was built for this reason and the Ottomans launched an attack to capture Rhodes in 1480. The castle worked well during this war.
Since the castle is not very well preserved, only the walls and the coat of arms of Grand Master D’Amboise can be seen.
15. Anthony Quinn Bay
Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn saw the beach while the Guns of Navarone movie was shot in Rhodes. Falling in love with this magnificent bay, Quinn bought it.
On this beach, there is no sea wave. Because there are natural wave breakers at the entrance of the bay.
You can be sure that the beach, which is surrounded by pine trees, and the really clear water will be highly appreciated on the instagram with the photos you will take.
The rocky areas around the beach can be dangerous for children. For this reason, we recommend families with children to go to Rhodes to prefer Tsambika or St Paul beaches.
16. Thari Monastery
It is one of the best of the painted churches of Rhodes near the village of Tharri Monastery.
It is dedicated to Archangel Michael and is home to monks from around the world. The monastery is surrounded by beautiful olive trees and the gardens are nice to walk around.
The highlight of a visit is the chapel decorated with magnificent frescoes painted between the 12th and 14th century.
Rhodes sightseeing tip: visitors are required suitable clothing when entering the monastery so remember to cover up if you plan to visit Tharri.