The largest island of the Dodecanese and the fourth-largest Greek island, Rhodes has become a hugely popular summer holiday destination, with visitors drawn to the island for its historic charm, wonderful beaches and sensational Greek food. The bustling Unesco-listed old town, filled with a plethora of restaurants, shops, bars and historic sites, attracts thousands of tourists each year, as does Faliraki, the seaside resort famed for its lively nightlife. Alternatively, history lovers tend to flock to the Cyclades-style village of Lindos, home to the majestic Acropolis and the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of St John.
Why cruise Rhodes
The Greek island is a popular port of call on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise and for good reason. The magnificent walled old town – a Unesco World Heritage Site – is the main reason for the island having become the most popular tourist destination in the Dodecanese, complete with historic buildings, atmospheric cobbled streets and charming terraced restaurants. History buffs will be at home in Rhodes, with a wealth of historical and archaeological sites, while beach lovers can choose from a plethora of white sandy stretches and secluded coves.
What to see and do in Rhodes
The old town of Rhodes is the largest medieval city in Europe and was declared a Unesco World Heritage City in 1988. Visit during the day for a sightseeing tour of the medieval town, which houses many key sights including the cobbled Street of the Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, the Church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection. In the evening, it is the perfect spot for dinner, with a choice of quality establishments, from tavernas to seafood joints. One of the best is Marco Polo Café, a secluded and romantic garden restaurant away from the hustle and bustle in the heart of the old Turkish quarter.
Prasonisi, which is Greek for ‘green island’, is located 92km from Rhodes town at the southern-west part of the island. It is a particularly popular spot for watersports, particularly windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as for sun-worshippers who wish to avoid the more touristy beaches such as Faliraki and Tsambika, the latter of which is home to the Panagia Tsambika monastery and its chapel, long considered a pilgrimage for women wishing to bear children.
The ancient city is located about 50km away from the centre of Rhodes, but you’ll find it’s well worth the 50-minute drive, just for the photo opportunities alone. Head there early to walk up to the famous clifftop acropolis, the original site of the fourth-century BC Temple of Athena Lindia. Back down in the town, you can cool off at the picturesque crescent-shaped St Paul’s Bay, or enjoy a scenic lunch at one of the beachside tavernas or rooftop restaurants, which boast stunning views over the Aegean and the surrounding harbours.
Anthony Quinn Bay
Whether you’re a Guns of Navarone fan or not, this picturesque bay, named after the US actor who starred in the 1961 film (parts of which were filmed on the island), is well worth a visit. The secluded cove, sheltered by cliffs covered in flowering shrubs, features a pebbled beach and dazzling blue-green waters.
Need to know when travelling to Rhodes
Getting around in Rhodes
Cruise ships dock on the eastern arm of Kolona harbour, just a five-minute stroll away from the old town. You can easily explore Rhodes’ old town and its historic sites on foot, but if you wish to explore other attractions such as Lindos or Prasonisi, you will need to go by car or public transport. Many cruise ships offer excursions to Lindos, as well as to the ruins of Kamiros, another ancient city of Rhodes.
When to go to Rhodes
Rhodes can get uncomfortably hot and very crowded in the summer months, particularly July and August. For cooler climes and fewer crowds, head there late spring or early autumn.
Rhodes uses the euro. You will find ATMs scattered around the island and the majority of places will accept debit and credit cards.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don't need a visa to enter Greece unless you're planning a stay longer than three months.
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