Rhodes may be small, but as a holiday destination it’s mighty. The Greeks’ fourth largest island, Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese – the group of islands nestled in the Aegean Sea close to Turkey.
Just 50 miles long, the Greek island is a history-lover’s paradise; it’s littered with ruins left over from medieval times. Dip in and out of the small villages and spa resorts before losing yourself in Rhodes Town and its winding cobbled streets. When you’ve finished exploring, relax on any one of the island’s beautiful beaches or escape into the natural wilderness hidden in the hills. The small scale of the island makes it fairly easy to traverse but your best bet is to hire a car in Rhodes as soon as you arrive. Book in advance with easyCar for the most competitive rates.
Step back in time at the Acropolis
Centuries old, the Acropolis of Lindos stands majestically on the edge of the island looking down on the blue sparkling sea and the archipelagos below. The site’s history reflects how alluring Rhodes’ location was to invading foreign forces: it was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans. A natural citadel, the Acropolis’ highlights include the remains of a Roman Temple and a relief of a Rhodian warship, carved into the rock.
Meet the island’s animal inhabitants
Rhodes is thick with nature. The island is carpeted with mushrooming bushes and thick coniferous forest. From the valley of the butterflies – where thousands of the creatures congregate at the beginning of each summer – to the local mountain goats, which climb the Acropolis cliffs, the island’s animal inhabitants can be found in every inch of the dazzling scenery. Ditch the walking boots and get behind the wheel to explore the island from top to bottom.
Get a slice of paradise at St Paul’s Bay
St Paul’s Bay is one of the island’s beauty spots, making it a popular destination for weddings. There is plenty to do even for visitors who aren’t tying the knot. From your sun-bed, watch the green and turquoise waters lap against the alcove of rocks; go snorkelling to explore the underwater landscape or take a glass-bottomed boat trip further out to sea. The beach-side restaurant, serving excellent food, means there’s no reason to leave until sunset.
Dive into Bohemian Greece
Overlooking the ocean is Methexi, a bar and restaurant oozing Rhodian charm. Here is a place to rub shoulders with the locals and feast on mezze while enjoying the music. A cavernous back yard lets visitors enjoy hot summer nights and in the winter, guests hide inside cradling glasses of wine. Café Chantant is another of the island’s bohemian destinations – enjoy some ouzo or a beer with your mezze platters as traditional Greek music fills the dark, atmospheric room.
Get lost in the Old Town
In Rhodes’ medieval part of town, there are roughly 200 streets with no name. Driving is restricted in the Old Town, so your only option is to get out of the car, throw away your map and get lost in the cobbled walkways. Enter through the Liberty (Eleftheria) Gate and descend onto the square (Plateia Simi). Here, you can find the remains of the Temple of Venus and the more intact, Modern Greek Art Museum. The area is teeming with history, with the Suleymaniye Mosque as a reminder of the Ottoman conquest of the island. Step back in time and walk along the Street of the Knights, where the knights would have their lodgings. Follow the medieval street to its end to find The Grand Master’s Palace, built for the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St John.
Make all of this possible by renting a car in Rhodes with easyCar and be sure to squeeze every last drop of culture from the isl