The island of Rhodes is the largest and for a reason the most popular island of Dodecanese. Here you are welcomed by the medieval old town, the incredible beaches, and impressive cultural and historical monuments, and we have selected 10 sights that should not be missed when visiting this beautiful island.
1. Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights
This magnificent palace is located at the end of the Knights' Street in the city of Rhodes. It was built during the 14th century and it served as the residence of the Great Master and the main administrative seat of the Order of the Knights of St. John. After the Ottoman occupation of Rhodes, it lost its significance and was used as a prison, and several times it suffered during the earthquake and explosions.
It was rebuilt in the 20th century during Italian rule and became the summer residence of King Victor Emanuel III, and later Benito Mussolini. Today it has the function of a museum/exhibition center. In the period from April 10 to October 31, it is open from 8 am to 8 pm and the price of the ticket is 8 €.
2. Medieval city walls
The walls surrounding the old city of Rhodes are about four kilometers long, and some parts of the walls are thicker than 10 meters. They were built in the Byzantine period, but later they were expanded by the Knights of St. John to better protect themselves from enemy attacks. There are magnificent towers, gates, and bastions here, and in the interior, there are numerous sights of the old town.
3. Anthony Quinn Bay and beach
Anthony Quinn Bay is located on the east coast of Rhodes, about 4 km south of Faliraki. This is one of the most beautiful and most popular beaches in Rhodes, more suitable for the younger population because it is not ideal for families with small children or the elderly because of the sharp walls in the water and on the beach. Because of the green vegetation surrounding the beach, the sea is beautiful emerald colors, and due to the richness of the underwater world and crystal clear water, Anthony Quinn beach is ideal for diving.
4. Tsambika monastery
This monastery is located about 25 km south of the city of Rhodes and was built on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of the surrounding area and the surrounding beaches. The legend says that women who are facing difficulties to stay in a second state come here to pray for fertility, and if they get a child afterward, they should be called Tsambikos or Tsambika. And indeed, on the island of Rhodes, there are plenty of inhabitants who bear these names.
5. Acropolis in Lindos
The ancient city of Lindos is located 45 km south of the city of Rhodes and was founded in the 10th century BC. Due to its position between Greece and the Middle East, it was the main trading center, but its significance began to decline when the city of Rhodes was founded. Within and around the Acropolis, numerous archaeological sites have been found, such as the Doric temple dedicated to Athena Lindia, Propiles (monumental steps of the sanctuary), and a Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Diocletian.
All this is protected by a medieval fortress built in the 14th century by the Knights of Sv. John, and outside the fortress there was a theater. The entrance fee for this site is 12 €.
6. Monolithos Fortress
It is located near the village of Monolithos, on the top of a 100 m high wall, and access is possible through narrow stairs carved into the rock. It was built in the 15th century by the Knights of St. John, in order to protect the island from the attack. Although this once was a strong fortress that nobody managed to conquer, today there was nothing left but the outer walls and the small chapel of St. Panteleimonas.
The entrance is free, and there is also a café where you can take a refreshment after climbing to the fort.
7. Port Mandraki
This is the main port of Rhodes and the place where once stood the statue of Kolos from Rhodes. Today, at the entrance to the port, there are two stone pillars decorated with bronze reindeer, bearing the names Elefos and Elafina. The ambiance is completed by the 15th century St Nicholas castle, which functions as a lighthouse and three old windmills. There are numerous luxury yachts in the Mandraki port, as well as excursion boats that go to the neighboring islands.
8. Thermal springs Kalithea
They are located 9 km from the city of Rhodes and are known to cure various diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, tropical diseases, allergies, asthma. Here, in 1928, the first buildings were built above thermal springs and a spa was opened, and a few months later a whole project was completed that included a stone mosaic, a Rotonda hall, a terrace, stairs, and gardens.
At the end of the 20th century, the spa was abandoned, but in 2007, the sources of Kalitea were rebuilt and since then they have been re-established. The complex is open from 8h to 20h and the entrance costs 3 €.
9. The butterfly valley
On the west side of the island, about 25 km from the city of Rhodes, this unique natural reserve is located. The favorable microclimate with the Pelekanos River and the lush flora creates an ideal environment for large populations of caterpillars that turn into Panaxia butterflies in early June and move to areas of high humidity to reproduce. Throughout the year, visitors come here to enjoy nature and to enjoy the vast number of butterflies that cover the entire area. Of course, only the observers are permitted and it is forbidden to disturb them by making noise, sudden movements or in any other way.
10. Suleyman's mosque
Suleiman's mosque is at the end of Socrates Street in the city of Rhodes, and its walls are characteristically pink-white. This was the first mosque in the city and the largest on the island, built shortly after it was captured in 1522 by the Turks, and reconstructed in 1808, mostly using parts of buildings that existed in the same place in the previous period. Today the Suleiman mosque has the function of a museum.