Our local’s guide to Rhodes focused mainly on Rhodes Town. Now we’d like to venture outside of the island’s popular capital to show you some of the lesser-known sights and sounds our sun-kissed island has to offer. Rhodes is close to three times larger than the UK’s Isle of Man, and it’s about half the size of the US state of Rhode Island — though the name is not related to Rhodes in any way; it’s just a happy coincidence.
This rather large Dodecanese island is jam-packed with exciting things for visitors to see, do and explore. To help you plan your next Greek trip, here’s an overview of some of the best things to do in Rhodes. If our guide inspires you to visit, consider some of the high-quality experiences in our range of Rhodes tours, or our Rhodes excursions if you’re visiting on a cruise ship.
Things to Do in the East of Rhodes
A short drive south of Rhodes Town brings you to Kallithea Springs. Renowned for their therapeutic properties since antiquity, the Italians constructed a thermal spa amid the pine trees and rocky coastline for people to bathe and heal. While the spa is no longer open, it’s a beautiful and peaceful place to explore and there’s a café with superb views and several small, rocky beaches.
Monastery of Panagia Tsambika
Set atop a hill midway between Kolymbia and Archangelos, the picturesque Monastery of Panagia Tsambika enjoys mesmerising views over the east coast. Considered a protector of the island, this tiny Byzantine church houses an icon that’s believed to generate miracles, particularly for women experiencing fertility problems.
Seven Springs or Epta Piges
Slightly inland from the monastery is a mini oasis, Seven Springs, or Epta Piges. Escape the heat of summer to wander through forested paths to the small lake, fed by waters from the seven springs – and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
Visit Lindos – The Jewel of Rhodes’ East Coast
The jewel of the east coast is undoubtedly the magical hillside town of Lindos. One of the most picturesque towns in Greece, Lindos is a feast for the eyes, with white, sugar-cube houses spilling down the hillside into a sparkling aquamarine bay. Wander through winding streets bursting with small chapels and pretty churches, making your way to the summit which is capped by the Acropolis of Lindos. This ancient citadel features a medieval castle, a Hellenistic temple, and some of the most magnificent views in Greece. Check out our Rhodes Town and Lindos Tour if you’d like to benefit from an expert local tour guide in two of Rhodes’ most impressive destinations.
The Village of Lachania
Towards the south of the island, the traditional village of Lachania offers a slice of authentic Rhodian life. Said to be the island’s most beautiful village, you can while away the hours wandering the cobblestone streets, admiring the Ottoman fountain, and nibbling meze in the square while taking in the glorious coastal views. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Lachania — or southern Rhodes in general — check out Alykés’ Lachania holiday villas.
Guide to Western and Central Rhodes
Moving west from Rhodes Town, the first destination you’ll stumble upon is Ialysos. Now a popular holiday resort, it’s also the location of one of Rhodes’ first city-states.
Follow the winding road up Filerimos Hill for a taste of the ancient city. Here you can explore the Acropolis of Ancient Ialysos with its crumbling Hellenistic temple, wander around the peaceful Filerimos Monastery, and visit the viewpoint and cross, which offers magnificent views along the coast. There are some lovely walks from here – and lots of proud peacocks to admire.
The Valley of the Butterflies
Continue west and slightly inland to visit the most popular natural attraction on Rhodes: the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes). This stunningly beautiful, shaded valley is Europe’s only natural forest of zitia trees (oriental sweetgum). The sweet substance secreted by these trees attracts Panaxia quadripunctaria, known as the Jersey tiger. Technically a day-flying moth, they swarm the trees, revealing vibrant red underwings when they fly.
Kameiros in Northwest Rhodes
Kameiros is the next place to visit. One of three of Rhodes’ original city-states, it sits within a natural amphitheatre overlooking the sea along the northwest coast. Evidence of occupation dates back to the Mycenaean period, though the majority of remains visible today are from the Hellenistic city. Built over three levels, the site features temples, private homes, public squares, and evidence of a 3,500-year-old water system.
Climb Profitis Ilias
The third highest peak on Rhodes, Profitis Ilias is a delightful wooded mountain just inland from Kameiros. It’s one of the most popular hiking areas on Rhodes, and home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the endemic dama-dama deer. You’ll also see the abandoned Villa de Vecchi mansion, built for the Fascist dictator, Mussolini.
Perched on a huge monolithic rock in the southwest of Rhodes, Monolithos Castle was built by the Knights of the Order of St John as a watchtower against marauding pirates. The castle is now abandoned, but it’s a wonderful place to explore, with two whitewashed 15th century chapels and panoramic views over the Aegean Sea and islands of Halki and Alimia.
This is just a small sample of some of the best things to see and do in Rhodes – naturally an island this size has many more beautiful places to explore, but this should provide inspiration as you plan your trip to Rhodes. To find out more about any of the locations mentioned here or to book any of our Rhodes tours and shore excursions, please contact us. We’re ready to help you plan your dream Rhodes Experience!