1. The Medieval City of Rhodes
Rhodes’ medieval city is clearly the island’s must-see attraction.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest and best preserved fortified city in Europe!
The best places to see in the Medieval City are:
- The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes: one of the first castles built by the knights. Inside, you will discover a museum dedicated to Rhodes’ History and the Grand Master’s apartment, with its magnificent mosaic floors. Unfortunately, most of the furniture was destroyed when a stock of ammunition exploded in 1856.
- The Street of the Knights: there, each of the languages had its own inn (also called “auberge” or “palatial residence”). You will discover the Inn of the Tongue of France, or the Inn of the Tongue of England for example.
- The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is located in the medieval Hospital of the Knights. There, you will find many ancient objects found in Rhodes and the other Dodecanese Islands.
- The Roloi Clock Tower, to admire a beautiful view over the Old City from the top.
- The Byzantine Art Museum and its many frescoes and icons from the Byzantine period.
- The Churches of Agia Triada and Agia Aikaterini.
- The Suleman Mosque, built during the Turkish occupation of Rhodes.
2. Mandraki Harbour
In the harbour, you will see the 3 mills of Rhodes as well as the place where the famous Colossus of Rhodes was built. This 30-meter high statue of the sun-god Helios was entirely destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
It was replaced by 2 small statues representing a deer (the symbol of Rhodes), built on 2 pillars at the port’s entrance. It’s clearly not as spectacular as the Colossus, considered as one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world!
In Mandraki, you will find many beautiful monuments built during the Italian occupation of Rhodes: the Bank of Greece, the Archbishops Palace, the City Hall and the National Theatre of Rhodes.
If you’re visiting Rhodes with children, you should go to the Aquarium, is located in Rhodes town, at the northern tip of the island.
In Rhodes’ modern city, you will also discover the vestiges of Rhodes Acropolis, located 2 km away from the medieval city, on the slopes of Monte Smith.
The Acropolis stood on the hill now known as Monte Smith. The green and beautifully laid out archaeological park contains the Hellenistic stadium, built in the 3rd century BC, where the athletic events of the Alioi Games took place. These were a part of the major festival of the ancient Rhodians held in honour of the sun-god Helios.
Next to the stadium is the small restored Roman Odeon. Just as in ancient times, events are still staged here today. Along Isiodou St. are the remains of the temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus, at the northernmost point of the hill.
On the summit of the Acropolis stands the temple of Pythion Apollo, the patron deity of the city. From here there is a panoramic view of the city and the sea. The sunsets are breathtaking.
Lindos is one of Rhodes’ most beautiful villages, and clearly one of the best places see on the island.
It takes around 1 hour to reach the village, located 50 kilometers South of Rhodes City. Classified as a major archaeological site, Lindos is a real postcard landscape: you will be amazed by the pretty white houses built on the hillside and its Acropolis overlooking the village and the sea.
As Lindos is a pedestrian only town, you should park your car in the free parking lot above the city, then walk down to reach the village’s entrance. When taking a stroll on its paved alleys, you will enjoy numerous souvenirs and clothes shops, as well as many cafés and restaurants.
If you’re looking for a lively and unique atmosphere, then Lindos is clearly a great place to visit!
The Acropolis is Lindos’ main point of interest. You can walk there or get a ride on a donkey, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as the animals are often abused.
Built on a huge rock, 116 meters above the sea, Lindos’ Acropolis is surrounded by fortified walls built by the Knights of Rhodes. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the island’s many strongholds.
Inside the walls, you will discover the remains of an ancient theatre and the last vestiges of the Temple of Athena, built on top of the Acropolis. There are only a few columns left, but the place is still worth a visit: from there, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea and the village of Lindos.
4. The Valley of the Butterflies
The Valley of the Butterflies is among the best places to visit in Rhodes.
It’s located in the North of the island, 26 km from Rhodes city, between the villages of Paradeisi and Theologos.
Between June and September, you can observe hundreds of butterflies literally covering all the trees, as the valley’s climate and environment is perfect for their reproduction. The valley is one of Europe’s best sanctuaries for the Callimorpha Quadripunctaria butterflies.
The valley hosts a rare specie of plane tree, and the butterflies are really fond of its sap! That’s why you will find so many of them there.
This natural site is quite large: you can walk along the marked trails in the woods and near the river to observe the butterflies.
5. Seven Springs / Epta Piges
The Seven Springs (or Epta Piges in Greek) are located 4 km from the village of Kolymbia, not far from Tsambika Monastery.
There, 7 springs are gushing from the mountain in the same place to create a river. On the site, you will find a marked trail as well as a restaurant by the water. The place is very frequented by locals, and people are coming here to enjoy the beautiful natural environment and taste Greek specialities. There is also a playground for children.
Epta Piges’ most famous attraction is its tunnel. The river goes underground for a moment, to come out on the other side of the hill. You can follow the watercourse and walk for around 180m in a very narrow and dark underground tunnel to reach a small lake.
If you don’t want to go underground, you can reach the other side of the tunnel using the short trail through the forest.
If you’re interested in Rhodes ancient History, then you should definitely visit the ancient city of Kameiros, one of the 3 ancient cities in Rhodes with Lindos and Ialyssos.
Kameiros city was built on three levels according to the Hippodamian system. On the summit of the hill was the Acropolis with the Temple of Athena and the Stoa. On the middle terrace was the settlement and lower down the Hellenistic temple, Doric Fountain-house, Agora and Peribolos of the Altars. The area was embellished with numerous votive offerings, stelai and plinths with statues. From the top of the hill, you will enjoy a breathtaking view!