The spearhead-shaped Rhodes Island has no doubt attracted many civilizations in the past thanks to its strategic location. Once an epicenter for the crusaders coming from all over Europe, Rhodes was where the Knights of Saint John claimed their headquarters in 1309. And it’s of no wonder you’ll find many of the curious minds visiting the glorious remnants of its past-from its medieval old town to its majestic acropolis and castles, this fourth largest Greek Island still shines with its sheer charm. And of course, there are the sun-soaked beaches, turquoise blue waters, and secluded coves making it the ultimate island getaway.
And If you’re planning your next budget holiday then check out our compiled list of free things to do in Rhodes, Greece below:
15th-century Kritinia Castle – Rhodes, Greece
One of the well-kept secrets of Rhodes island, the 15th-century Kritinia castle might just be your next favorite spot to experience a romantic sunset view. Perched on a hill facing the scintillating blue ocean, this medieval ruin was built strategically by Giorgio Orsini to protect the inhabitants from an Ottoman invasion. Today this ancient attraction welcomes visitors to bask in the awe-inspiring view of its contrasting surroundings-the verdant pine woods, and olive groves, and the blue sea. This is a place to soak in the refreshing sea breeze and enjoy the serene setting with breathtaking views. And there’s also the Kritinia village to experience the authentic side of the island by simply meeting the locals or dining at a local restaurant.
Medieval Street of Rhodes- the Iconic Knight’s Street
The Odós Ippotón or the Knight’s street is an open museum-a cobblestone street that reels you back in the medieval times, where knights from several European countries set their own headquarters here. Sauter the 600-meter (0.3 miles) long quaint street to find intricate facades decked out with historical symbols and emblems. And there are iconic landmarks such as the Grand Master’s Palace, the 15th-century Knights’ Hospital of St. John, and the Archaeological Museum which is worth visiting.
Visit Mandraki Harbor- a Picture-Postcard Attraction in Rhodes
The Mandraki Harbor is hands down a picture-postcard attraction where flocks of tourists come here to take some amazing shots of the quaint mills with the azure sea in the backdrop. According to historical accounts, there were up to 14 mills on the harbor which were used to grind grains and today there are only three of them left. The harbor was equally home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world-the once 33-meter (108 feet) high Colossus of Rhodes that used to stand here until it was completely destroyed in an earthquake around 226 BC. Being a popular attraction has no doubt attracted many cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops to set up here. And you’ll find luxurious yachts too, boarding the harbor.
Tour the Traditional Village Kouskinou of Rhodes
At first, Koskinou might not really tempt you but when you decide to ditch the car and instead walk through the old alleys that’s when you know your impression about this village is going to change. Lauded for its vibrant and decorative house doors which are usually adorned with classic motifs, this laid-back village prides itself with its traditional houses and beautiful gardens. But there’s also its sublime churches, especially the 4th century Christian Basilica temple where you’ll get to learn about its history. And you can’t leave this village without tasting the local delicacy Melekouni-a traditional sweet snack or a Greek honey bar usually consume during celebrations.
Sojourn at the Charming Village of Lindos – Rhodes
The charming village of Lindos has certainly put visitors coming here under a spell. Its much-touted whitewashed houses adorned with traditional architectures, along with the gorgeous gardens, and of course, the laid-back ambiance makes this place a unique summer hideaway. And on the other side, there’s the glorious historical heritage of the Hellenistic and Roma era. You can still visit some of the ancient landmarks to get a glimpse of Rhodes flourishing history. Consider visiting the Temple of Athena, the Lindos Acropolis, and the 14th-century Castle of the Knights. And if you’re not into history then there’s always the St Paul’s Bay where you can relax or sunbathe on the sun-soaked beach.
Explore the Agathi Beach on the Eastern Side of Rhodes
Besides its golden beach and azure blue water, Agathi Beach is one of the best family-friendly beaches on the eastern side of the island. With its shallow water, many camping sites, and facilities such as restaurants, free parking, and accommodation services, this place has become one of the favorites among visitors. There are also many other reasons for coming here-its impressive underwater rock formations and the 800 years old chapel located at the end of the beach. And with just a 15-minute walk find the fishing village of Charaki to mingle with the locals.
Visit the Byzantine Monastery of Tsambika – Rhodes
Whether you’re religious or not, the Monastery of Tsambika is worth visiting for its history and incredible views of the surrounding beaches of Tsambika and Kolymbia. The old Byzantine church is believed to be older than the 17th century and stands about 326 meters high on a hill. To reach here you will have to hike up a steep path about 500 meters (0.3 miles) through a cypress forest. It is believed that women who wish to have children need to climb the hill barefoot in the name of the Virgin Mary. And in case they are blessed with a male child then he should be named Tsampikos and if it’s a girl then Tsampika.
Rejuvenate at the Rodini Park
Escape the crowds and find yourself in the midst of nature at the Rodini Park where you can hear the chirping of the birds or the gurgling sound of the stream. This lush green sanctuary is believed to be the first landscaped park created by the Romans. And it’s quite an experience to visit the on-site tomb of Ptolemies which dates back to the 2nd century BC. Ptolemies was a self-proclaimed pharaoh of Egypt and expanded his reign (Macedonian Greek) stretching from the south of Syria to Cyrene and southern Nubia. Apart from the historical tomb, you’ll find the place teeming with flora and fauna, think of turtles and goldfish in ponds, peacocks, and cats roaming freely-a place to spend some quality time with your children.
Hike the Mount Profitis Elias in Rhodes
A better way to explore the unspoiled side of Rhodes is by treading slowing up to the mountains. And one of the popular hiking trails is by hiking to the summit of the 798-meter-high (2,618 ft) Mount Profitis Elias. Hikers generally start their adventure at the secluded Salakos village which is on the north-western coast of the island. The village reserves many pleasant surprises for visitors who wish to discover the rustic and authentic side of the island. It is pretty accessible to reach the village since there are well-connected bus routes. Generally, this 2 to 4-hour hiking trail starts at the village square, and then you will have to make your way to the rugged terrain and follow the red marks on the hiking trail to reach a shrine. The first 30-minute hike will be quite strenuous especially with the steep terrain, and it will eventually get easier. On your way, you’ll have the chance to visit St Michael’s Chapel and meet locals. As you reach the summit enjoy the picturesque view of the glistening Aegean sea and the Turkish coastline.