Rhodes has a huge amount to offer as the island is much more than just sea and sand. This Greek island has some of Europe’s most wonderful places to discover and if you are holidaying in Rhodes you may struggle to find the time to explore them all.
In no particular order, here are just a few to whet your appetite:
The Monastery of Tsampika
Perhaps the most interesting attraction on the island is the Monastery of Tsampika, which has some of the most spectacular views available anywhere on Rhodes.
The tiny church, which is dedicated to Our Lady, gives you the chance to take in the panoramic views to the north from Kolymbia to Tsambika beach and as far as Lindos in the south. Just bear in mind that the walk to the monastery can be a testing one, with a steep hill to be tackled – but the views from the top are well worth the journey.
Legend has it that women who want to be fertile can visit the monastery of Tsampika, and by walking barefoot to the monastery and praying to its virgin will soon be blessed with a child.
The Ancient City of Lalysos
Rhodes is famous all over the world for its ancient cities and Ialysos is perhaps the most fascinating of the lot.
The city features cemeteries and settlements dating back to the Mycenaean-Minoan period, and it is thought that people lived in the city as far back as the third millennium BC.
Valley of Butterflies
The valley of butterflies (Petaludes), is a small part of eden that lies approximately 26 km away from the city of Rhodes. A thickly planned valley with running waters, wooden bridges and lakes. The valley extends in an area of about 60 hectares, along the sides of the river Pelekanos.
Wooden bridges and paths will guide you through the rich vegetation of this rare biotope. The valley of Butterflies is part of the Natura 2000 network, distinguished for its unique flora and fauna.
From late July until late September the valley gets filled up with millions of multicolor butterflies, a sight that offers an even more enhancing view. The butterflies belong to the rare species of Panaxia, also known as tiger moth.
If you are fascinated by archaeological sites, then you may want to visit Lindos, home to the Acropolis of Rhodes which dominated the western and highest part of the city. It consisted of a monumental zone with Sanctuaries, large temples, public buildings and underground cult places.
The buildings were built on stepped terraces supported by strong retaining walls. It was “full of fields and groves”, in the words of the 2nd c. AD orator Ailios Aristides. The buildings on the Acropolis date to the Hellenistic and Late Hellenistic periods.
Fortifications dating back many hundreds of years are present in Lindos and its surrounding area, exploring them can certainly take up a day or more of Rhodes holidays.
The Old Town
The Old Town in Rhodes is Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval town.
There are a lot of gates to choose from to enter the Old Town, but perhaps the most interesting of the lot is Eleftheria (Liberty), which leads on to Plateia Simi, also known as Simi Square. This is where you will be able to find the ruins of Temple of Venus.
With around 200 different lanes and streets to explore in the Old Town of Rhodes, it is easy to lose an afternoon here, and if you should start to feel lost, then ask for Sokratous, one of the main landmarks used for directions.
Monolithos is one of the top attractions in Rhodes and its medieval castle is an unmissable place to visit.
If you are feeling fit and adventurous, you can leave your car at the bottom of the village and head out on the ten-minute walk to the summit, where you can enjoy some of the most amazing views in Europe.
The castle itself hosts the church of Agios Panteleimon and nearby there is a small, quaint café situated in an interesting stone building.
Kamiros is another one of ancient cities to be found in Rhodes and is located to the north-west of the island.
Although it is thought that the city was established by the Dorians, Achaeans are believed to have been its earliest inhabitants as the city’s ancient Mycenaean necropolis ruins seem to point to that eventuality.
Oil, figs and wine were all produced in the glory days of the city, which was also the first place in Rhodes to start cutting its very own coins.