Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Rhodes, Greece

St Paul's Bay is one of the attractive beaches on Rhodes
St Paul's Bay is one of the attractive beaches on Rhodes | © Dimitris Kiriakakis / Unsplash
Photo of Judy Cogan
21 October 2021

Greece’s sunniest island, Rhodes is home to dramatic scenery, sumptuous cuisine and a rich history.

Why visit Rhodes? Well, it has everything you’d expect from a Greek island: those sugar cube houses with blue doors, year-round sunshine and snug tavernas serving delicious grilled seafood and ouzo chasers. Why is it famous? The island is home to a magnificent acropolis, a medieval town, alpine forests and long curves of sandy beach. All of this has drawn writers, artists and film stars to the island. Read on for more reasons to make the trip, plus facts about Rhodes.

It's the sunniest place in Greece

Natural Feature, Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
Chapel of Saint George Pahimahiotis on the island of Rhodes in Greece.
© 3DVisu / Unsplash
As a classic bucket-and-spade destination, Rhodes gets 300-plus days of sunshine and has a 68 percent chance of a clear blue sky on any given day in the summertime. No wonder then, that Rhodes is called the island of the sun. It’s officially the sunniest spot in all of Greece, and some will argue in the whole of Europe, too. The benefits are obvious: long sunny days spent on sandy beaches eating ice cream, sunbathing and enjoying relaxing sea swims. Throw in some incredible sunsets and lighter luggage, and this is one seriously appealing destination.

It boasts a rich history

Historical Landmark
Columns and ruins at the Acropolis of Lindos in Rhodes with views of sea beyond
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Goddess and sea nymph Rhode protected the island, according to Greek mythology. Arriving at Rhodes, she married the sun god Helios, who fell out with Zeus, leader of the ancient Greek gods. Where better to hear this story than where the drama supposedly played out thousands of years ago? No trip to Rhodes is complete without experiencing one of its most important ancient sites. In mid-afternoon, walk up to the Acropolis of Lindos and revel in the 4th-century Temple of Athena Lindia, dedicated to the goddess Athena.

It is home to the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
Old Town in Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands, Greece, UNESCO
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
Beyond the walls of Rhodes’s atmospheric Old Town, you’ll find the oldest inhabited medieval city in Europe. It’s been occupied since around 1309 and has been under Turkish and Italian rule. Follow the cobbled streets to the lower town to see mosques, public baths and public buildings from the Ottoman period alongside Byzantine chapels. Today, it is a Unesco-listed site. Explore the narrow streets lined with tiny shops and cafes.

For the wine

Greece, Dodecanese, Rhodes, wine shop, people,
© Tibor Bognar / Alamy Stock Photo
People have been producing wine on Rhodes for the past 2,400 years. For the most memorable tours and tastings, the wineries to nose out include Kounaki Winery, which has been producing small quantities of quality wine every year since 1928. Also, try the Alexandris Family Winery located on the slopes of Mount Attavyros in central Rhodes.

For the magical butterfly valley

Natural Feature
Butterflies on leaves of tree branch at the valley of butterflies, Rhodes island, Greece
© George Atsametakis / Alamy Stock Photo
This unique nature reserve located 25km (16mi) south of Rhodes town is home to huge numbers of butterflies and Jersey tiger moths, who flock here between July and September to cover every inch of tree bark and log. But it’s a magical spot all year round with winding paths, wildlife-rich ponds, blooms of flowers and chirping of cicadas. Enjoy a cool nature walk under the trees at this family-friendly spot.

For the food

Cafe, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Greek, Healthy
Restaurant, Old Town, Rhodes, Dodecanese, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe
© imageimage / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s easy to say all Greek food is delicious, but this island excels in fresh local produce and charm. In Rhodes town, Marco Polo Cafe tops most best places to eat lists. It’s filled up nightly with fine diners spilling out into a lemon-fragrant twinkly garden courtyard: expect sea bream, octopus and pork loins cooked in unique ways. For an authentic Greek taverna experience, try To Megiston or Niohori, owned by a butcher whose shop sits across the street.

For the nightlife

Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark, Building
Rhodes, Greece. Hippocrates square in the historic Old Town of Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands.
© Alpineguide / Alamy Stock Photo
The Old Town comes alive at night with buzzing cafes and bars around Hippocrates Square. Rhodes is a party island. In tourist hotspots such as Faliraki, you’ll find beach parties, neon-drenched disco-pubs and DJs until dawn. Not your cup of tea? Sip cocktails at sunset on the seafront in upmarket Lindos, experience a spaghetti western bar or drink a rum in a 16th-century captain’s house. Hit the tavernas for traditional Greek food, drinks and music.

For the beautiful beaches

Natural Feature
Lindos beach and white houses of village of Lindos and Acropolis in background (Rhodes, Greece)
© Lubos kovalik / Alamy Stock Photo
Rhodes is a glorious mixture of alpine forests, ancient ruins and long golden sands. On Rhodes’s sun-blasted eastern coast, there’s the sandy Vlycha Bay with its blue-green shimmery waters and calm vibe. A 10-minute walk from the Acropolis of Lindos, you’ll find the coastal town’s main beach at St Paul’s Bay surrounded by picturesque scenery. As you head south, high-rise resorts give way to stretches of golden sand, such as Glystra, which has sun beds, parasols, showers and a cafe. Tsambika, with views of the monastery, is also well worth a visit.

A trip to Rhodes wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the best bars, followed by a stay at one of the island’s finest hotels bookable through Culture Trip. Make sure to visit the best attractions Rhodes has to offer, as well as a trip to Athens to stay in a boutique hotel, rounded off with the capital’s historic sites.

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