With its dizzying mix of culture, history and beaches, Rhodes is ripe for exploration. There’s a labyrinth of medieval cities to get lost in, pretty whitewashed villages to admire, turquoise bays to plunge into and fascinating museums to wander around. Whether you’re looking to suss out intriguing historical sites or soak up some rays on the best beaches, there’s plenty to explore here. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve rounded up the top 10 things to do in Rhodes to help with your planning process.
Go hiking in Butterfly Valley
One of the most surprising natural wonders in Rhodes is Butterfly Valley, where millions of Jersey Tiger moths gather on the trees between mid-June and late September. Tree trunks are often covered in the zebra-patterned moths as they rest in the cool habitat before mating during the last weeks of the season. If you’re not sure what to do in Rhodes in the midday sun, this shady oasis is a great place to escape the heat, with leafy trails winding past cascading waterfalls and streams, located just 15km southwest of the capital.
Walk through time at the Archaeological Museum
While the Old Town of Rhodes is an open museum, it can be difficult to get to grips with the island’s many layers of history. Set in the Hospital of the Knights, the Archaeological Museum can help you to piece together its cultural jigsaw, slotting into place the different periods of Rhodes’ complicated past. Perfect for history buffs, it’s crammed with objects dating back to Roman, Mycenaean and Hellenistic times, including sculptures, vases, statues and ceramics.
Ramp it up with water-sports
At the southern tip of the island, Prasonísi is one of the best beaches in Rhodes for windsurfing and kitesurfing. A sandspit straddles the point at which the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet, creating head-high waves on one side but calmer conditions on the other. This natural phenomenon draws beginners and pros alike, with the option to rent equipment or sign up for lessons at Prasonísi Center.
Walk the city walls
From the Palace of the Grand Master, you can walk a partial circuit of the medieval city walls. Offering great views over the Old Town, this scenic stroll is one of our favourite things to do in Rhodes. The route is closed off at the weekend but you can trace the moat below instead, with several access points between St Anthony’s Gate and Akandiá Gate.
Hop on a boat to Sými
To the northwest of Rhodes you’ll find the picturesque island of Sými. The tiny speck is home to pine-cloaked hills dipping to wide valleys, coastal paths overlooking the velvet blue sea, and a Panormítis monastery like none you’ve ever seen before. Sign up for a boat trip from Mandráki Harbour or sail by catamaran from Kolóna.
Road-trip among the island’s forested interior
If you’ve had your fill of Rhodes beaches, head inland to discover a scattering of beautiful churches and castles hidden away among forested hills. Hire a car and weave through the mountains, looping past the castles near Monólithos and Kritinía. Don’t miss the chance to call in at the churches of Thárri, Asklipió and Áyios Yeóryios Várdhas – their intricate frescoes are not to be missed.
Sign up for an Old Town tour
Follow in the footsteps of the Knights of St John, but in an unexpectedly modern way – by Segway. One of the more unusual things to do in Rhodes, these tours will see you skim across the cobbled alleys of the Old Town on two wheels, dashing through the Jewish Quarter and along the medieval city walls. There’ll also be time to pause at historic sites along the way such as Ibrahim Pasha Mosque (the oldest in the city), the Palace of the Grand Master and Street of the Knights.
Cruise the coast in luxury
A dinner cruise is one of the finest ways to see Rhodes, unfurling from the shoreline like a pop-up book. To glide along the coast in style, gather a crowd and hire out Opera 60, the world’s largest RIB (rigid inflatable boat) at 20 metres long. Hop on deck at Madraki Harbour for a half-day tour that takes in Anthony Quinn bay (film aficionados may recognise it from The Guns of Navarone), the stunning Traganou Caves and Afandou, one of the best beaches in Rhodes.
Sip ouzo on a floating bar
One of the coolest bars in town sits on board Kontiki, a ship bobbing gently in the Mandraki Marina. This floating bar-restaurant is the perfect place to sip on an ouzo watching the sun go down in a fiery blaze. Gaze out over the honey-hued Old Town and the gleaming Mediterranean as night falls before heading back to your Mykonos villa.
Take an exhilarating jeep safari
One of the most adrenaline-fuelled things to do in Rhodes, a jeep safari allows you to discover the off-grid corners of the island. Bumpy Rhodes offers an island tour taking in the fruit orchards and lush gardens of Massari and Malona; the fresco-splashed Byzantine church of Fountoukli; and the secluded beach of Fanes. However, the highlight for us is Seven Springs, shaded by a wall of pine and palm trees that’s home to resident peacocks.
After reading about all those things to do in Rhodes, you’re probably packing your bags already! So, why not check out our luxury villas in Rhodes? Our friendly concierge team can help you to pick the ideal holiday home for you – just give them a call and they’ll do the rest.