Rhodes attracts holidaymakers with its ancient culture, traditional charm and the kind of expansive beaches that Greece holidays are known for. The coast plays host to lively resorts such as Faliraki and Lindos, while inland there are pine-clad forests, low-lying mountains and pretty villages to explore. Rhodes Town is a cosmopolitan capital full of traditional and modern restaurants, medieval architecture and interesting museums. Rhodes has a range of sand and pebble beaches and is particularly popular with surfers – an international windsurfing tournament runs from the sunshine island each year.
Rhodes has an ancient history for the delight of locals and tourists alike. Before Rhodes Town overtook it thousands of years ago, Lindos was the main trading point of the island. Tourists can see this for themselves at Lindos Acropolis – archaeological remains include a temple, theatre and castle. There is a climb to reach the ruins but the views are spectacular.
Elsewhere in Lindos you can see hints of the Roman, Turkish, Italian and Byzantine rulers who have been through the village’s signature black and white pebbled streets.
Further north you can find the Old Town of Rhodes – the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe. Filled with impressive medieval buildings, water fountains and Byzantine and Gothic churches, visitors can lose themselves in streets with no name. The Palace of Grand Masters of Knights is a must-see and good value for money. Go early or late to avoid the crowds and team it with a visit to the Archaeological Museum, Hospital of the Knights.
There is plenty to explore in the newer part of the city too, including Archbishops Palace, the Annunciation Church and the Central Post Office.
One word – Faliraki. Nightlife varies across Rhodes, but Faliraki is famous for attracting a younger crowd for good reason. It’s easy to navigate with all the fun centred on two main streets – Club Street and Bar Street. Try Ziggys for cocktails before heading to Liquid or Yolo Club and dancing until dawn. There are also a couple of epic open-air clubs on the island. Paradiso Beach Club turns into a town of its own overnight, hosting more than 4,000 clubbers on hot summer nights, attracted by some of the world’s best DJs.
For an ancient town, you might be surprised to know that Lindos has a pretty good music scene after dark. The resort is home to the other big open-air venue, the Amphitheatre Boutique Club. Holidaymakers can also enjoy a cocktail in one of the elevated bars overlooking the ancient site of Lindos.
Rhodes Town has something of a double life. Here you’ll find piano bars, Irish pubs, traditional tavernas and sophisticated cocktail bars down the myraid of streets, with the odd hidden nightclub tucked amidst the ancient walls.
Thrills and spills
Rhodes is popular with wind and kite surfers for its year-round sunshine, warm waters and perfect breeze. The closest surfing spot to Rhodes town is Ialyssos Beach which, for the same reason, hosts international windsurfing tournaments.
At the most southerly point of the island is Prassonissi Beach where windsurfers flock to practice their skills. Whether you are an experienced surfer or in need of lessons, there are a collection of surf schools and hire centres here with all of the equipment you may need. For surfing, the conditions are best in July and August when the ‘meltemi’ winds set in. There are also opportunities to explore under the surface with scuba diving centres set up all across Rhodes.
For family-friendly thrills and spills check out the massive waterpark in Faliraki. Easily reached by free bus transfers from the town, the waterpark has been newly revamped and reopened to offer some of the best waterslides in Greece. Extreme speed slides, black holes and twisters all try to tempt holidaymakers off their loungers for a day of extreme fun. Clean, and with good facilities, this waterpark doesn’t disappoint.
You’ll find souvenir and gift shops in all of the towns and a wide range of international stores in Rhodes Town itself. Look out for artisan and craft shops selling island-produced ceramics and leather goods as well as locally made honey and top quality olive oil.
The Artistic Village of Contemporary Art is a family-run enterprise and stop-off for many tour groups between Rhodes Town and Lindos. They have a beautiful collection of items you won’t find elsewhere on the island. It’s also worth trying the Mastoras Silver Jewellery outlet in Faliraki, Vintage Wine Store in Rhodes Town and Olive Oil Factory in Archangelos.