Rhodes is just a short hop from London, and while it doesn’t have quite the celebrity status of say Mykonos or Santorini, it’s the largest of the Dodecanese islands and well worth a visit. It’s full of history, rich heritage, incredible natural beauty, stunning architecture and of course lip-smacking food that I’m almost certain you’ll want to devour as soon as you arrive.
There’s a lot to do in Rhodes which can be packed into a 3 or 4 day long weekend if you’re short on time, however, we were there for 7 days and if we weren’t staying in a luxury resort, I reckon we may have struggled for things to do. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, check out this post.
Rhodes Old Town (Medieval Town)
Declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1988, the Old Town of Rhodes is the largest medieval city in the whole of Europe and one of the best things to see in Rhodes. Pretty incredible, right?
The town is more or less car-free (with the exception of the odd moped whizzing round), therefore you have to park outside of the wall and once you’re inside, you can walk around this picturesque town with the small alleys and the traditional buildings.
The medieval town isn’t so much a town as it is a tangled maze; imagine charming narrow streets, towering walls, ancient churches and medieval architecture that take you back in time instantly. It really is as charming as it sounds and my only advice is to get lost in the crooked and inviting streets.
Street of Knights
If you love strolling around cobbled streets of Old Town, then you’ll love the Street of the Knights for a little wander. The picturesque street is a perfectly preserved picture of the medieval history of the old town.
It was once the place where knights would muster before an attack, and the sense of wandering through history itself and soaking up the atmosphere allows you to look beyond the facade of the touristy spiel and imagine what it was like back then. It’s one of the best things to do in Rhodes if you enjoy a little slice of history.
Colossus of Rhodes
Once one of the ‘seven wonders of the ancient world’, the Colossus of Rhodes was a huge statue of Greek sun-God, Helios. It was approximately the same height as the Statue of Liberty, making it the tallest statue of the ancient world well over 2000 years ago.
It’s no longer there, and is now called the Fort of St Nicholas and all that stands in it’s place are two deer on concrete pillars. It certainly takes some imagination to appreciate the site, but if you’re into history it is pretty great to see, and it also makes for a great photo op!
Kallithea Springs is a totally underrated ‘must see place’ and is only a short 20 minute drive away from the new town.
They’ve been around since Ancient Greece times, but the building is under 100 years old; the unique architecture of the complex, grandeur of the space, the picturesque bay with the crystal clear waters, the impressive seabed and the palm trees create a cinematic backdrop; perfect for chasing those glorious Greek sunsets.
The pebble stone mosaic floors is best described as an intricate stone carpet, it covers the entire ground and it’s incredible – Especially if you #havethisthingwithfloors.
For a measly €3 entrance fee, you can chill under the straw umbrellas, swim in the rocky bay, or grab sundowners in the café and stay ’til late.
Day trip to Symi Island
Just as instagrammable and picturesque as it looks in photos, Symi island is only a short boat ride from Mandraki Harbour (Rhodes) and well worth visiting in my opinion. The ferry costs as little as €18 return for the public transportation boat and more for a luxury or private yacht (more on that later). The boat we took was very slow and crowded; it took 1.5 hours to get to Symi and then we had around 3 hours to explore the island before heading to Panormiti; a swimming stop nearby.
Symi is known for one of the most stunning harbour views in the Dodecanese, but certainly not any sandy stretches of beaches which perhaps prevents mass hordes of tourists.
What you’ll inadvertently spend your money on is food, drinks and possibly tourist tat in the form of natural sea sponges and pumice stones! The harbour is lined with upscale restaurants and pricey fish taverns which are very popular, but let’s keep it real.. I only went for the view, and an Aperol.. obvs!
Top photo tip: Climb the steep white stairs (you can’t miss them) leading up to this house for the best photo of the island!
Luxury cruise day trip to Lindos
Not visiting the beach when you are in Greece is like a cardinal sin, especially if you want a dip in those crystal clear Aegean waters and Lindos is known for it’s white, sandy beaches. Surrounded by unreal turquoise waters, there’s a whitewashed town, sprawled at the foot a 116 metre high, rocky hill topped by an ancient walled city and a beautifully preserved Acropolis.
You can save your legs and tire out a donkey as they trot you up to the Acropolis, however, not wishing to partake in any form of animal cruelty, we obviously walked. It wasn’t too strenuous in the heat, though it is hard work – I’m not gonna lie!
Currently laying on the sofa, hungover – thanks Aperol 😏, editing part 1 of my Rhodes vlog which will be up at 6.30pm today. In the meantime, please leave me all your hangover remedies in the comments 👇🏼 . . Send help. And paracetamol. Thanks 😷 . . 📸 @jassv__ . #NishiTravels #Lindos #VisitRhodes #VisitGreece
The winding streets were made for getting lost in – just watch out for two way donkey traffic and the little ‘presents’ they leave on the shiny stone lanes to make your chances of slipping even higher.
The village itself is small but is made up of labyrinth of little lanes that can lead to many dead ends. The streets are lined with little shops stuffed to bursting with goodies; linens, clothes, jewellery, bags, sandals and more. The real charm however, is seeing the little white walled houses, pebbled entrances, quaint alleyways and beautiful wooden doors that give this place that real Greek charm.
The luxury cruise costs more than the others at €60 per person, however, you get to spend the day on a luxury yacht, with fewer people, less travel time and have a delicious lunch and unlimited drinks included. Well worth it in my opinion – sometimes you just have to #treatyoself!
The ancient Acropolis of Lindos
As you climb the windy lanes, so does the heat. Somewhere near the top of the village you’ll need to seek out shade for a breather ..and go straight back towards the beach for a cold drink and dip in the sea, if you’re anything like us!
The Acropolis is also a must-see. Yeah, you might be a little sozzled if you attempt this in the midday heat but I hear that it’s totally worth it! If you do attempt it, I’d recommend packing lots of water and SPF.
Hire a Quad bike
Hiring this quad was so much fun! Today we drove out to the Colossus of Rhodes, Old Town and Kallithea (not far, but I’m pretty sure you can’t take a quad on the motorway!? 😂) It was pretty scary, but totally worth it for the private beach and incredible views.. Not too shabby for a Monday, eh! 😍🌤🇬🇷. . . 📸 @jassv__ #NishiTravels #ColossusOfRhodes #QuadBike #VisitRhodes #VisitGreece
Car, quad and buggy hire is ridiculous cheap in Rhodes; for as little as $15 you can hire a car for 24 hours, whereas a quad can set you back $35 per day. We opted for a quad purely for the experience rather than a specific purpose and it was honestly so much fun! It’s pretty difficult to get lost on the island and the streets are easy to navigate with google maps – yay for free EU roaming on your phone!
There are car rental places with competitive prices on almost every street, but the place we used had the best reviews in the city and I’d highly recommend them.
Have you been to Rhodes? I’d love to hear about your travel experiences in the comments.
If you missed the vlogs, you can see them both down below.