Rhodes: a Greek island of ancient sites and relaxing beaches

Few destinations can claim to be as diverse as the Greek island of Rhodes. This popular summer destination has something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a relaxed beach goer or a curious history buff. 

Strolling through the old Greek cities of Lindos and Rhodes will be as rewarding as a day of relaxation on the endless, sandy beach of Tsampika.

When to go to Rhodes
A few miles off the southern Turkish coast, Rhodes can be very hot in the high season during July and August. However, May and September can be better, since the temperatures are a little cooler and there are fewer tourists.

The average temperature in those two months should hover between 24-28C (75-82F), with little rain and lots of sunshine throughout the day. 

Rhodes is easily accessible from the UK, with plenty of airlines offering direct flights from April until October. TUI alone flies to Rhodes from 18 different airports in the UK, and Rhodes is also served by easyJet, Thomas Cook, Jet2, and British Airways.

There is a wide variety of hotels to choose from, and along the eastern coast of the island you’ll find many of the famous international hotel brands. From family-owned, simple 2-star hotels up to all-inclusive luxury retreats with private pools, all types of accommodation can easily be booked.  

What to see and do – Rhodes Town and endless beaches
Stroll along the Old Town of Rhodes and you will quickly feel the history and events that those ancient stone walls have witnessed over its existence. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, for example, is a medieval castle which makes for an impressive sight, and it is a popular setting for movie productions: the 1988 epic thriller with Ben Kingsley and Helen Mirren, “Pascali’s Island”, was shot almost entirely in Rhodes. 

Leaving Rhodes Town and heading down south along the coast, one of the first stops will be the Kalithea Springs. These thermal springs have been known for their therapeutic properties since ancient times. Nowadays, you can enjoy an especially pleasant view of the bay from the inviting garden which surrounds the springs. 

After Kalithea, you’ll see an almost endless stretch of sandy beach. At the end of that stretch, you will find the famous (or possibly infamous) town of Faliraki, known for its wide array of nightlife, with many bars and entertainment venues. 

Next up along the coast is the Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the famous actor who fell in love when shooting a movie here in the 1960s. The pebble-stone beach is tucked into a tiny bay, so it can get crowded quickly—make sure you arrive early to grab a sunbed! 

You’ll find a great sandy beach further south, in Tsampika. The water here is especially warm, and if you feel up for a sporty challenge you can also visit the Monastery of Tsampika: placed on top of a hill, you can walk up 350 steps to reach the stunning viewing point and the small Orthodox church. 

Ancient Lindos and the western side of Rhodes
One of the highlights of every visit to the island of Rhodes is Lindos. This town of tiny whitewashed homes will instantly remind you of a postcard from another Greek island, Santorini. Over 2,000 years old, the Akropolis of Lindos is not as well-preserved as its famous counterpart in Athens, but is certainly impressive. You can either climb up to the Akropolis by yourself or have an especially Greek experience by taking a donkey ride up the hill!

Most of the sights and beaches in Rhodes are on the eastern side of the island, which is also much livelier. If you prefer a calmer way of travelling, consider the western side of the island. The castles of Monolithos and Kritinia offer incredible views over the Aegean, and the beaches—although more rock than sand—will be much less crowded, some of them even deserted. 

There is no particularly large town on the western side, but the locals in the small villages along the way will be happy to see any visitor who finds their way into the delicious restaurants lining the road. For this part of the island you will definitely need a rental car or organised tour, as public transport is rare. 

So whether you like the beaches or the culture, take a trip to Rhodes for your holiday this year.