Things to Do in Rhodes For The Perfect Grecian Getaway
From its bustling Old Town to the magic of Butterfly Valley, Rhodes is full of things to do for all the family.
When you really need to escape the rest of the world, get thee to an island. There’s just something about being surrounded on all sides by some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen that washes all of your cares away. Rhodes is the fourth largest Greek island and the largest island in the Dodecanese, and it has so much to offer you’ll probably be able to resist the urge to island hop and can luxuriate right where you are. It has a fascinating history, rich culture and buzzing nightlife – as well as medieval castles and beautiful beaches, of course. Here's Plum Guide's expert advice on the best things to do in Rhodes.
Wander through Rhodes Old Town
Once you’ve checked into your luxurious accommodation – this impressive house with a gorgeous view over the island will have your teens squealing over the Instagram potential – Rhodes Old Town is the first place you should head. The cobbled streets here look as though they’re straight out of a movie. Wander the vaulted passages and take some nosy glances through the wooden doors to the impressive interior courtyards.
Parts of the area date back to the 1400s and you can see the varying influences of the cultures which have inhabited Greece over the centuries, from the Ottomans to the Sultan Mustafa Mosque, which dates back to the 1700s. Exploring the Old Town is an unmissable addition to your list of things to do in Rhodes.
Marvel at the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
The island of Rhodes is dotted with almost too many ancient castles and monuments to count. This particular offering is one of the only examples of Gothic architecture in the whole of Greece, and dates back to the 7th century when it was a Byzantine citadel. Think about that kind of lifespan the next time you get stressed over finding yet another grey hair.
This palace has had many heydays. In the 14th century, the Knights Hospitaller, a medieval and early modern Catholic military order, turned it into their base of power. In the 20th century when Rhodes was under Italian control, Benito Mussolini resided there for a while. Channel history and walk extra confidently through the ancient halls.
Today, the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a museum exploring the monument’s history and showcasing the centuries-old buildings.
Once you've had your fill of ancient buildings, switch it up and stay at this ultra-modern villa, complete with sea views and a sprawling saltwater pool.
If you prefer a fresh sea breeze to a whispering wind from ancient times, consider an outdoor pursuit rather than an ever-so-slightly dusty museum. You're in the Mediterranean, after all, and going to the beach is one of the best things to do in Greece. On the far south coast of Rhodes is a Greek island unlike any other. Prasonisi is a tidal island that’s only accessible at low tide – so if you’re having a holiday disagreement with a family member who insists on reserving the best sun lounger at 5am every morning, get your own back by conveniently forgetting to tell them the tide times.
When the tide is low, it’s a popular spot for hiking, swimming and enjoying the water. In fact, the windsurfing in Prasonisi is second to none, if you’ve always fancied having a go at falling into the sea an indeterminable number of ways in a day.
Be wowed by Butterfly Valley
This nature reserve could just be the most unique memory you have of your trip – unless you’re scared of butterflies, of course. Surrounded by bubbling streams, endless trees and rolling hills is the Butterfly Valley, which from June to September is filled with brightly coloured butterflies of all varieties. They’re attracted by the scent of the Oriental Sweetgum trees which cover the entire landscape, and they use the area to rest – so watch out for snoozing butterflies.
If you stand still enough (and get very lucky) one might even land on your arm for the perfect holiday snapshot opportunity. There’s a small museum explaining the habitat and its history, so if you're in Greece with kids, they'll have something to write about for their ‘what I learned on my summer holidays’ essay.
Check out the Kalithea Hot Springs
These natural springs have been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike since ancient times. A spa was built here by Italians in the 1930s, although unfortunately it's no longer in operation, so you can’t actually bathe in a hot spring (sorry). What you can do, however, is admire the stunning Art Deco architecture and enjoy the shaded pavilions and pergolas and of course, the unmissable Kalithea Bay.
This tropical beach, a long inlet with transparent water, pale sand and palm trees, might just provide the most relaxing experience of your trip, and it’s an unmissable thing to do in Rhodes. Bring the bathing suit that your children are the least embarrassed by, kick back and relax in the warmth of the Grecian sun.
Now you know the best things to do in Rhodes, it's time to find the perfect place to stay. Plum Guide's expertly vetted homes are dotted all over the island, so whether you fancy a white-washed villa with an infinity pool or this gorgeous pad with ample outdoor space, we've got the ideal holiday home for you.