Impressive nature, relaxing beaches, fascinating history, blue ocean, magnificent resorts Rhodes has it all. A few weeks ago, Ben and I travelled from Athens to Rhodes to stay there for four days. Despite the fact that on our first day everything went wrong, I can honestly tell you that those four days where truly amazing. Rhodes is the biggest Island of the Dodecanese and has so much to offer. Whether you prefer a relaxing vacation in an all-inclusive hotel close to the beach, a short trip to discover history and architecture, or a sportive hike through the green and blooming nature, Rhodes has it al.
Since I am a curious and enthusiastic person, I wanted to see and experience everything! I could probably write a book about my experience, but to give you a good impression I have made a “top 5” list with things I absolutely recommend you to do when you visit Rhodes.
Click on the picture below for a photo gallery to have a visual impression:
1. Old Town & the Castle of the Knigths
I was enchanted by this place. The cute little streets with flowers everywhere around the castle of Rhodes Old Town made me feel like a princes. We visited Rhodes Old town three times during our stay and each time we discovered new treasures in the labyrinth of cute streets. Every time I was walking through the streets of Rhodes old town I was wondering about the people who have lived here hundreds of years ago during the period the knights Hospitallers ruled the Island of Rhodes.
Rhodes old town offers you a beautiful view on the history of the knights Hospitallers. You can see the influences of the knights Hospitallers everywhere. Very outstanding are the gothic influences in the castle of the knights, the old hospital (currently the archaeological museum) and even in the buildings on the streets. Ghothic architecture is very hard to find in Greece. The traces of the knights Hospitallers are what makes Rhodes unique from the other Greek islands.
Bonus tip: however Rhodes Old town is beautiful on every part of the day I can really recommend you to visit Rhodes Old Town during sunrise when most people are still sleeping. The quietness made my imagination grow. You will see the first sparkles of sunlight shining through the buildings, castle towers and city gates which made my fairy-tale complete.
2. Butterfly Valley
To be completely honest with you, the first time Ben told me about the Butterfly Valley, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go. The fact is that I used to be very scared of butterflies. However, I do not want fear to be a role in the decisions that I make and I obviously do not want it to be an obstacle in my plans to see the world. So I decided to face my fear and visit the butterfly garden. I am still thankful that I made that decision. The butterfly Valley is amazing! You will not only find butterflies everywhere, there are crabs, waterfalls, plants and threes. Keep in mind that the paths are pretty small and not easy to walk, but they completely fit the nature. Even if you prefer your vacations spending at the beach, I can really recommend you to visit the butterfly garden one morning.
3. Road trip through Rhodes
As I have already mentioned, Rhodes is the biggest island of the Dodecanese’s. If you are enthusiastic like me , and you love to see as much of the Island as possible, I can recommend you to rent a car for at least one day. Ben and I rented a car for three days, and did a one day road trip through the Island.
After our visit to the Butterfly Valley we drove through some cute villages to end up at the 7 Springs. Another lovely natural place with a lot of green and the clearest water I have seen so far in Greece. Our next stop was Kalithea Spa. The Thermal Springs of Kalithea are known for their therapeutic properties. You can walk through the beautiful gardens and admire the work of architect Pietro Lombardi. It’s a perfect place to relax but also a very popular wedding location.
After Kalithea we decided that we wanted to see the sunset at the Monolithos, a ride of a few hours through the mountains. The view during the ride was amazing and we also discovered two typical Greek villages. The first village was celebrating a wine festival. We arrived at this lovely village after following the wine rode, which carries this name despite of the fact of the many vineyards.
After a ride with breath-taking views and a few stops to make some awesome picture (to be honest, a lot of stops with even more pictures), we finally arrived at a parking place after the village of Monolithos. We could walk to the castle of Monolithos from there. The view we had on the castle and the Monolithos during our walk was stunning, we could see the sun already going down. The old castle is built on a 100 m. rock and despite the fact that the castle is completely ruined, it offers a wonderful view especially during the sunset. Another great plus about this place is that it’s not really discovered by tourist. We were amazed by the view, the quietness and the ruins.
4. Restaurants and shopping
Give me food and a few hours of shopping and I am the happiest kid in the world. I am glad to tell you that when it comes to food and shopping (especially souvenir shopping) Rhodes Old Town is the place to be!
Of course you will find a lot of restaurants that offers typical Greek food. Let me be completely honest with you, although some food on the menu is typical Greek, the taste is not the same as you will get it in Athens. Rhodes receives a lot of western European tourist and this probably the reason the taste of the food is also more western European. There was one restaurant that made an amazing impression on the both of us, the Ippotikon Restaurant. The restaurant is located at vreon Martiron square in Rhodes Old Town. The location is perfect, the food is delicious and the restaurant offers a historical atmosphere. Even more important, the service was excellent! The waiter that helped us was one of the kindest waiters I have ever met and he helped us by making the perfect choice.
Enough about food, let’s talk about shopping. Rhodes is not the place where you should go for some fashionable or designer shopping. In Rhodes old town you will get lost in the small streets with small markets, souvenir shops and jewellers. It’s the perfect place to find some lovely treasures and souvenirs to keep as an reminder to this amazing place.
5. Boat trip to the Acropolis of Lindos
Last but not least! The Acropolis Lindos is for sure one of the places you should visit during your stay on Rhodes and the best way to do this is with a boat trip. At the port close to the old town you will find several stands that sell boat tickets. We chose a boat trip that also made a stop at Anthony Bay. There is also an option to make a private trip or a trip by sunset. However, if you do not mind listening to nineties and zeros music, the trip we did is perfect. During boat trip to the Acropolis of Lindos you will see a lot of the Island. Again you can see the impressive nature of Rhodes Island, although the part you see this time is not that green at all.
Once we arrived at Lindos we had to walk up to the Acropolis of Lindos. The view during the walk was great and the acropolis was pretty impressive. However, climbing that hill at 3 PM with 37 degrees and still a bit seasick was not my best experience ever. After our walk to the Acropolis of Lindos we discovered the city of Lindos. This small city is completely different from the other villages and cities on Rhodes Island. The white houses and lovely shops with handmade products made me wish that I had more time to spend there. I think I can speak for both of us as I say that the greatest discovery we made was the Church of Panagia. One of the most beautiful small churches I’ve ever seen. The inside of the church is completely painted with Fresco’s (unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures, but I truly recommend you to see it yourself). The interior is inspiring and breath-taking. I love the Pebble Mosaic’s you see everywhere in the Dodecanese’s, but I was impressed by the Frescos painted in the 19th century that where surrounding us.
Please let me know if you have any tips or questions for my next blog. Are you planning to visit Rhodes and do you have questions, please don’t hesitate to post a comment.
Do you want to see more? Check the link to find the video with more impressions from my trip to Rhodes: Click Here
For Kallithea Spa click here
For Ippotikon Restaurant click here