Day and night, the medieval city of Rhodes gives visions, idyllic views, and breathtaking sights that leave guests in awe of its beauty. The mixture of cultures is palpable in every corner, but the medieval architecture dominates above everything else. The city that faces the South Aegean Coast is a place full of history that has seen the passing of many civilizations and cultures. More than a hundred centuries later, every corner of the city shows the passage of its remarkable and well preserved history. Lose yourself in the narrow streets and its cross hidden there will always be a glimpse that is ready to surprise you. The Old Town, which is now a large bazaar still has its Renaissance charm and one of the major crowd drawer of the city. The only obstacle is the heat, but the city of Rhodes is a real gem where you can find the history of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, the Knights of St. John, the Turks and the Italians.
When To Go:
The best times to visit the city are from March to May (Spring) and October to November (Fall) where the cost of accommodations, tour packages, and flight deals are much cheaper than the costly summer season (June to September). Summer is not only humid, but amidst this season, the place becomes touristy and the dry temperature ranges from 26°C to 33°C (80-90 F). Spring time will not only help you save cash while going around the city, the major attractions turn out to be more serene and with less crowds giving you enough time to absorb the quiet atmosphere and less time spent on long lines, which is more predominant during the summer season. The fall season has tolerable weather temperature of 20-23°C that is ideal for a whole day of hiking or enjoying a day on the beach.
The winter season (December to February) is not a decent time to visit as the cold climate blocks all chances to enjoy the outdoor activities of the city. It is also around this time when the rains are more frequent and heading out to the beach is unappealing due to the strong current and freezing water. Sometimes, the unreliable weather forces premier attractions and popular business establishments to shut their business on a temporary basis or until the bad weather become less intense. If you don’t like to be inconvenienced by the cold weather, avoid travelling to Rhodes during the winter months.
These are the most visited attractions and things to do in the city of Rhodes:
The Church Of The Panagia
The Church of the Panagia dates back to the ancient civilization of Greece. It is a serene place that overlooks the city. Climbing to the top is quite hard, but the view from the hill is worth it and the ancient monuments of civilization will not leave anyone indifferent. When you walk through the narrow streets of Lindos, and suddenly come to the chapel, you’ll realize why you are in Lindos. The church is transformed with bright colors by Simi Gregory, who in 1779 created the frescoes on biblical history. Everything looks striking, lovely, and even the Last Judgment looks brilliant. It adds a fabulous figure of St. Christopher with a dog’s head. For the modern viewer the artist’s skill turned him into a saint with a donkey’s head.
This mural aims to show the difference between the perception of the artists of this fantastic figure in Orthodox and Catholic religion. It emphasizes the meaning of the “animal-like” state to carry the Christ (from the 18th century to paint it with a dog’s head was prohibited in Russia). A huge number of paintings of Western artists depict St. Christopher carrying the Christ Child. This mural is reminiscent of the Copts and the dog-headed Anubis from Egypt. To understand more, there is a computer at the entrance describing the history of the church and its recovery. On the road, there are many restaurants with incredibly delicious food.
Village Of Lindos
The Village of Lindos is approximately 1 hour away from Rhodes by bus from the city center. The buses are comfortable and the trip is done well. Two things can be done; go directly to the beaches or climb the beautiful Acropolis. The Acropolis is spectacular and you can go around or climb the place with a donkey (five Euros/person).The Acropolis is in ruins, but it’s worth the effort to get there over the landscape and simply admire the magnificent and surreal landscape. It looks like a scene out of a fantasy book, something you do not see every day. After the donkey ride you can walk around the small village where the streets are full of life. In summer, the heat is a bit bothering and most of the people you will meet are perspiring. To avoid dehydration, bring enough drinking water with you and wear sunscreen to lessen the chance of having a sunburned skin.
If you walk down the beach, you must start at the Main Beach. The lovely heart-shaped beach looks simply awesome from above…
Access is possible through the village center and winds up with a fall and subsequent rise, which is a bit steep and exhausting to do, but after reaching the beach, everything changes. The beach is sandy (hot sand) and the water is clean and bright. This is the most beautiful beach here. You can walk along the 100 meter coastline. The scenery is beautiful overlooking the rocks all around and a view of the Acropolis at the top. The Village of Lindos is great for a moment of calm and for families with children. You can play and swim without any problems.
The climb to the village and the bus stop is difficult, but it pays well. When in Rhodes, plan a whole day of fun and adventure here at the Lindos; it’s worth it. It’s something indescribable. The beach below the village is one of the best of Rhodes and fully structured. From there, you have a heavenly view of the entire city and the Acropolis.
Acropolis Of Lindos
One of the highlights of a visit to the Acropolis of Lindos is the donkey ride which can be rented from the city center at the central bus stop. On this ride, you will pass by the most beautiful course – a view of the beaches and coves of the Acropolis. The rest of the tour experience includes a visit to the range of tower cranes and a fenced area with archaeological excavations (the column and so on). Many of the buildings are visible from the fresh block of walls. Be careful on the stairs – there are no railing and fencing, which is very dangerous for those who are walking on the edge.
It captivates with its history, grandeur and beauty. The road to it is not as tedious as it may seem at first glance, but it is better to plan your visit in the morning – no more deadly heat, and very few people (the Acropolis is open for visitors from 8:30 AM). The views from the mountains are staggering and from here you can capture the popular frame of the bay of St. Paul, which appears in the form of a heart. Don’t forget to visit this fabulous place when in Rhodes.
Medieval City (Old Town)
The Medieval City or the Old Town in Rhodes is a historic site and tourist center in one. For those who want to return to the era of the Knights and Princess, this is the best place to experience it. The medieval urban area is hidden behind several walls. You can walk between the walls and enter the city by the bridge or from the sea. You need to allocate at least 3-4 hours of leisurely walk through the cobbled streets and enjoy the views.
The Old Town is in a pretty cozy and picturesque location that is close to trendy boutiques where you can see the ancient buildings of the city such as; a post office, a small church, the museum, and the port. One of the main attractions is the two bronze deer statue at the entrance to the port. Old Town is the heart of Rhodes Town, the island’s capital of the same name. It is walled and occupies a large area. Main attractions to see are; the Palace of the Grand Masters (museum), the Archaeological Museum (old knight’s hospital), the street of the Knights, Socrates Street (the main business), the clock tower, which offers great views of the city and the sea.
Palace Of Grand Master Of Knights
The Palace Of Grand Master Of Knights was built in the fourteenth century by the Knights of St John (later the Order of Malta) and was destroyed in 1856 by an explosion. In 1940, the Italians rebuilt this place according to its original design with two large towers at the entrance. It is on the high street of the Knights which is also another attraction for you to visit.
It is a strategically located palace, which brings every guest to the history of the Knights Templar and their importance to the Crusades. It has beautiful mosaics and period furniture that is well maintained and you can admire the beautiful scenery through the windows. The entrance is near the castle and the output is close to the port. Be sure to come early because the palace stays open until 3:00 PM only. It is an obligatory stop in the medieval city of Rhodes.
Archaeological Museum of Rhodes (Hospital of the Knights)
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is located in the former Hospital of the Knights. It’s close to the main entrance of the Medieval City, is not very big and has basically the excavations of assets held in the city over the centuries. Like many museums in Greece, the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is situated in the center of the old town of Rhodes.
The building of the museum in Rhodes belonged to the hospital and the construction of it began in 1440. In 1948, it was finished by the Grand Master d’Aubusson; but in the early 20th century it was reconstructed by the Italians. The Archaeological Museum in Rhodes presents a unique exhibition of ancient artifacts that have been found on the island during the excavations. The majority of the exhibit is more than 2,000 years old.
The ruins of this castle are situated on a lonely fragment of a mountain. On the way to this attraction you can see all of this already. There are a number of parking spaces at the foot of the mountain (about 8). To reach the Monolithos Castle, you must climb about fifty stairs. This is definitely worth it because the ruins have the best view of the city.
On top of the mountain there is a small church and a souvenir shop. The cool thing about this place is that the ruins of the castle have been restored and is fully authentic. There really is a path that can be followed and you need to find a way between the fallen stones to see everything. Do not forget at the entrance to the right. There is an arch where it is nice to take a picture with the sea in the background. This attraction is not accessible for disabled people.
St. Paul’s Bay
St. Paul’s Bay is located on the eastern coast of the island and it is accessible via public transport. You can sit on the rocks protruding from the water or observe the fish in the water. The view around is simply mesmerizing. The bay has fine sand and shallow entrance to the sea. You can enjoy the warm water, no waves, and rocks from which you can jump into the water.
It is a stunning harbor with a beautiful view, clean sea, and within walking distance to the Village of Lindos. From the beach it is very convenient to get to the Acropolis, or just walk around the village. For water sports lovers, it is a great place to go on a snorkelling or scuba diving adventure. If you climb up to the Acropolis, you’ll get a bright picture on the background of the bay in the shape of a heart.
The Tsambika Beach is about 30 km from the center of the city and accessible via 25-30 minute drive. The beach is completely sandy with gently sloping entrance and shallow. The water is clear and has little waves. The beach is equipped with all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable stay like; shower and changing rooms, restrooms, and cafes.
A free and spacious parking lot is right next to the beach. This beach is ideal for children because the depth increases slowly so the water is always warmer than 2 degrees for example in the neighboring Kolymbia. At the rocky headlands you can swim with a mask and see moray eels and sea urchins.
Half way from the city of Rhodes to Lindos is a village called the Archangelos. It is world famous for its location and the miraculous icon of Our Lady Tsambika (Virgin Tsambika) and the Monastery Tsambika. The name is derived from the Greek adverb “tsambo”, which means “spark”, “flash” or “flare”. Desperate women who cannot get pregnant, go to this place to pray to the Virgin offering prayer requests of having a baby.
The guide narrates the story of the many moms who came back here to prove that the place is indeed miraculous. Inside there are very valuable relics to a believer. You can light a few candles that you can buy there and climb up to the chapel. Upstairs, you can drink plenty of cold water and use a removable plastic cup for free. It helps to gain strength. Inside, there is an altar where most of the candles are offered. Along the way and from a certain height, you can see the breathtaking views of Rhodes.
Anthony Quinn Bay
The Anthony Quinn Bay is one of the best beaches on the island. The beach is very small, so it is worth to come either early morning or in the evening. The water is crystal clear; the beach has stunning views, and the perfect place for a good photo. The bay is very crowded and access is via a wooden staircase. Due to the intense movement and huge crowds, it is not a place to relax and enjoy in peace, but it is worth seeing. The island’s coastline is well indented and has lovely views.
When in Rhodes, it is imperative to start your visit during the morning, especially if it’s warm to avoid the crowds of tourists and enjoy the best medieval setting and atmosphere. Do not miss the beautiful Street of the Knights in the morning, the Palace of the Grand Master and the Archaeological Museum; and if you’re tired of walking around the Old Town, go to the beach. In the late afternoon, you can continue with a tour of the walls and the Turkish district or go cruising along the streets to capture unforgettable images. You can conclude the evening at the harbor and have dinner at the tourist restaurants of the central square.