When you think of the Greek islands, what island do you think of? I know most people think first of Santorini or Mykonos.
When I first started planning my trip to Greece, I was sure that I had to visit one of those major islands.
As I continued to research, however, I came across an island called Rhodes (or Rodos). The more I read, the more I was fascinated with this island.
Eventually, my friends and I decided that we would spend 3 days in Athens, and 3 days in Rhodes on our spring break trip to Greece. It was absolutely the right decision.
Today, I want to talk about why we chose Rhodes for our trip, and how you can have the best possible trip there!
We first came across Rhodes because of the time of year we were visiting Greece.
The super busy tourist season in Greece traditionally starts in May and ends in September. We were visiting in the very first week of April, so tourist season hadn’t started yet.
After researching, we were worried that visiting any of the main islands would not go well, as most hotels and stores don’t open until May.
Then, in my research, I came across Rhodes. One of the southernmost Greek islands. Rhodes has a longer tourist season than nearly every other island. It starts in April rather than May, making it a perfect location for our spring break trip.
Rhodes, sometimes called the island of the knights, has a history that is so different than other Greek islands due to its proximity to Turkey.
It was conquered by the knights of Jerusalem, and still holds a mostly intact medieval old town in its capital, Rhodes City. The island is really big, so it also has several other cities. There’s even an international airport on the island, so you can fly in and out if you prefer.
When I first started looking into Rhodes, I was in love with the medieval old town. I was a little worried, however, that I wouldn’t get to see the more traditional “Greek” island, with the white houses like you see in all the famous photos.
Then I discovered a small city further down the island called Lindos, which not only has beautiful blue beaches, but also gorgeous white washed houses and winding streets. Once I realized I could still get that part of the “Greek Experience,” I knew Rhodes was the right choice.
Getting around the Island
If you are coming from another country, I would recommend flying directly onto the island. We flew RyanAir from Rhodes to Athens, and then from Athens to home. If you can’t get a flight, or you’re coming from another location in Greece, taking a ferry might be the better option.
There are several island cruises that stop at Rhodes, as well as other ferries. We were working on a budget, so we chose the cheapest option. A 15 hour overnight ferry from Athens to Rhodes. You read that right, 15 hours.
Since we were already in the city of Athens, it was easier to take a ferry from the port than go all the way out to the airport. The other benefit, aside from the price, was that we arrived directly into Rhodes city and didn’t have to deal with transport from the airport – we were able to walk from the ferry to our airbnb.
Once you are in Rhodes City, everything is within walking distance. There are buses available to get you to any other city on the island you want to visit, as well as a bus to get to the airport.
Staying on the Island
When it comes to staying in Rhodes, you have to stay in the Old Town. It’s a completely walled medieval city, with remnants of medieval knights, ottoman invasion, and Greek history. The city itself plays the role of giant museum.
The cobblestone roads twist and turn with no pattern, making it so much fun to spend the day exploring. We would stumble upon a chapel built into the walls, and then a few minutes later a mosque built by Suleiman.
We found several airbnbs in the Old Town at varying price points. We stayed at this one and the location was amazing – it was residential but within 5 minutes of shopping and restaurants, all within the medieval old town.
I’ll be honest, it was really small, but how much time are you actually spending in the room anyway?
Just trust me when I say you have to stay in the Old Town.
What to do on the Island
There is so much to do on Rhodes, so don’t worry about getting bored. You could literally spend the day just wandering through Old Town, popping into local shops and restaurants and just getting lost. Once you get tired of that, there is so much more to do. One bonus of an island? It’s literally all beaches.
There are several in Rhodes City within walking distance, but be warned, they are mostly rock beaches. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but make sure you have shoes on and something soft to lay on. Rock beaches are not quite as forgiving as sand!
You can also head out of Rhodes city and visit other cities on the island. Like I mentioned earlier, Lindos is the perfect location for a day long getaway. It’s super easy to catch a bus out of Rhodes City it’s about a 30 minute drive and 10 euros round trip.
As I mentioned earlier, Lindos is this amazing white washed little town. The streets are so narrow and winding cars can’t even get around in the city.
You can take a mule ride to the top of the mountain and visit the acropolis. Or spend the day lounging on the beach. I highly recommend finding St. Paul’s Bay, the most amazing little stretch of sandy beach. We were fortunate enough to visit it on the very first day of the season. There’s even a little cafe trailer down there, so you can eat lunch on the beach and enjoy the clearest blue water.
Other Advice for Rhodes
If you want to have the best experience in Rhodes, avoid the heavily tourist parts of the city. Something I read online that I tend to agree with is that any restaurant with pictures outside is not a local place, it’s meant for tourists.
If you aren’t sure where to start, head to the Walk Inn. It’s in Old Town right next to an amazing jewelry store. Make sure you visit the jewelry store as well, I was able to get some amazing tassel earrings and a magnet there. The shop owner was super nice and recommended the Walk Inn to us.
I know I already mentioned this, but really try to just let yourself get lost in this city. There was something so different and magical about the Old Town in Rhodes. I felt like I went back in time and was walking through a true medieval city.
The best part is that within Old Town, I never felt in danger at all. We were able to just wander the city, which you can’t really do in most major cities.
Also, a tip for any Greek island, prepare for lots of cats and drink as much cafe freddo as you can.
Just do it.
I hope that this post has helped you see that you NEED to visit Rhodes and gave you some tips if you’re planning to go!
Although I was only in Rhodes for 3 days, it was one of the most impactful travel experiences of my life. I honestly cannot recommend the island enough to those who want to visit Greece!
Owner Of Living In Full Bloom
Alyssa is a twenty something recent college grad who is in her first year of teaching middle school history. In addition to sharing all about college life and everything she learned on the blog, she also writes about adulthood and life after college. While in college, she discovered her love of travel, so you will often find travel posts and pictures on her blog and Instagram as well. Alyssa strives with every post to encourage her readers to live their life in full bloom, and make the most of each day. Check Alyssa out on Insta or head to her blog to follow along!