Holidays to Rhodes fly off the shelves thanks to the island’s picture-perfect beaches, historical sites and party hot spots.
A Greek island bestseller
Rhodes’ tourism figures speak for themselves. Attracting hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers every year, the island is one of the most visited in Greece.
A magnet for beach lovers
Most people are drawn to Rhodes by the beaches. The island’s east coast is a ribbon of virtually uninterrupted sand, and it’s where you’ll find all the main holiday resorts. There’s Lindos, which is watched over by the ruins of an acropolis, and Faliraki, the legendary hangout of the 18 to 30s crowd. Then you’ve got the sleepy Blue Flag beach at Pefkos, and the quiet coves in Kalithea and Kolymbia, where sunbathers go to get away from the trappings of tourism.
Steeped in history
You can’t talk about Rhodes without mentioning its history. The ancient ruins here date back to the time of the Trojan War, terracotta-topped churches remember the Byzantine glory years, and Ottoman minarets recall the time the island spent under Turkish rule. Then there’s Rhodes Town, which catalogues the comings and goings of knights over two centuries. The harbour area here was once dominated by one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the great colossus.
Rhodes’ interior is a patchwork of traditional villages and chalky mountains. Apolakkia, in the west, for instance, serves up scenery in big portions. This pint-sized hamlet is home to whitewashed villas, old windmills, a monastery, and a shaded lake that’s ideal for swimming.
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Lardos sits inland in the south-eastern part of Rhodes. Village life centres on the square, which has a charming, old-fashioned feel, thanks to its cypress trees, church and Italian fountain. Here, you can catch up with the locals in the bars and tavernas. Nearby, there’s a working monastery and the remains of a Byzantine castle, and you don’t have to travel far to find picturesque olive groves and winding rural paths.
Set on the east coast of Rhodes, the teeny resort of Pefkos takes its name from the pine trees fringing its sandy beach. It’s a former fishing village that hasn’t lost its old-world charm – as you’ll see from the welcoming bars and restaurants along its two main streets. The appeal here is the slow tempo, but livelier Lindos is close by and heritage-packed Rhodes Town is just up the coast, too.
The village of Afandou wraps around Rhodes’ north-east coast. It’s one of the bigger villages on the island, and it’s cloaked in fruit and olive trees. It’s also home to the isle’s longest beach, which stretches for around 7 kilometres, switching from golden sand to smooth pebble and back again.
Pastida is a quiet little village in northern Rhodes. Life revolves around the handful of tavernas that line the village square. There aren’t any cars here, so the narrow streets are just for pedestrians – plus you’re surrounded by photo-ready olive groves and citrus trees. The pace of life here is always leisurely – but Kremasti’s buzzing beach is just down the road.
Faliraki’s reputation comes before it. Set on the northeast coast of Rhodes, the place is known for its party-all-night atmosphere courtesy of its throbbing bars and clubs. Yet it’s pulled off a bit of a coup because it also comes with a spotlessly clean beach and a popular waterpark. Not only that, it’s close to the historic sights of Rhodes Town.
Ialyssos – AKA Trianda – is a small, laid-back place on the west coast of Rhodes. Hotels line the waterfront, while up in the village – about half-a-mile away – there’s plenty of traditional Greek charm in the tavernas. You’re in a top position in lots of ways here. There are ancient ruins in the pine-covered hills, the very lively Faliraki is close by, and Rhodes Town is literally just up the road.
Kalithea, on the northeast coast of Rhodes, has been on the map since the Twenties, when people came to take the spring waters at the spa here. The restored baths are now a top sight. Another big draw is the quiet, laid-back ambience, with relaxed days on the beach and peaceful evenings at the bars and tavernas. And Kalithea sits nicely between cultured Rhodes Town and full-on Faliraki.
Kremasti's a charming town on the Greek island of Rhodes. This place’s main attraction is the beach – a long stretch of sand and shingle that runs the length of the town. You’ve also got a tree-lined main square with a few tavernas and shops. And if you're after nightlife and history, you've got Rhodes Town within a 20-minute drive.
This dinky village in eastern Rhodes offers up a handful of excellent bars and tavernas, along with a huge beach where you can really escape the crowds. It makes an ideal base for exploring the island. And with lively Lindos just six kilometres down the road, you really do get the best of both worlds.
Roll out a map of Rhodes, and you’ll find Gennadi in the south of the island, along the east coast. The one-time fishing village isn’t as popular with tourists as nearby Pefkos and Lindos, so it’s held on to a lot of its traditional charm. Along slim-line streets, modern houses are juxtaposed against old-fashioned tavernas.
Set on the northern tip of Rhodes, the island’s capital, Rhodes Town, does double duty as a heritage hotspot and a holiday resort. The town is divided into 2 sections – a well-preserved Medieval old town and a newer town. Both sides are brimming with designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, traditional tavernas and contemporary bars.
Plimmiri enjoys a quiet spot near Rhodes’ tip. With a long curve of sand and a single roadside taverna, this place takes secluded to another level. You won’t find any of the usual marks of tourism here. Instead, it serves up a slice of blissfully undeveloped Greece, with just shrubland and beach as far as the eye can see.
One of the best things about east-coast Kolymbia, midway between lively Faliraki and ancient Lindos, is that it’s managed to remain a secret for so long. Even in the height of summer, there’s space to spread out along the Blue Flag beach. Leading away from the seafront is Eucalyptus Road, the main thoroughfare, where a handful of cafés, bars and restaurants stay open after sundown.
Whitewashed houses, ambling donkeys and car-free cobbled streets are the order of the day at Lindos, on the east coast of Rhodes. This pretty village has a preservation order on it which means nothing can disturb its authentic old-school Greekness. It welcomes lively nights, though, so you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants here.
On Rhodes’ northwest tip, Ixia is a pretty, purpose-built resort that clings to the curl of Aegean coastline known as Ixia Bay. Along the seafront stand tall, luxury hotels and a string of restaurants that cater as much to locals as they do visitors. And set back from the water’s edge is a quieter residential area with the Akramitis Mountain for a backdrop.
Kiotari is a small, relaxed place on the southeast coast of Rhodes. It’s relatively new to the holiday scene but it’s a fast learner – so you’ll find seafront hotels and a growing portfolio of bars and restaurants, not to mention a very long beach. It’s handy for trips to Lindos, and Rhodes Town isn’t out of the question either.
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