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One Day In Rhodes, Greece: Beaches & Rhodes Historical Sites

Rhodes is my favorite island in Greece — and yes, I’ve been to Santorini and Mykonos! While Rhodes may not be as popular as these two Cyclades islands, or even as frequented as Corfu, the most popular Greek Ionian island, Rhodes does definitely deserve a spot on your bucket list. Whether you choose to visit Rhodes on an island vacation or you spend one day in Rhodes on a Greek Islands cruise, I am confident you’ll love it here just as much as I did. This blog post is going to focus solely on Rhodes — covering Rhodes historical sites, popular beaches, some restaurant recommendations, and how to spend one day in Rhodes, Greece. Let’s dive into some historical context and background information first!

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Where Is Rhodes, Greece?

Rhodes is located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. it’s the largest of the Dodecanese islands, situated near the coast of Turkey. It is more southeast than the Cyclades Islands, which includes Santorini and Mykonos, but is often includes in Greek Island cruise itineraries. On my Mediterranean cruise that I took with my sister in June 2022, we visited Olympia, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Rhodes. I also recently just visited Corfu! After this post is live, I would’ve covered all of these places in-depth for you!

What Is Rhodes Known For?

Also known as the “Knight’s Island”, Rhodes, Greece is known for its rich history, impressive medieval architecture, beautiful beaches, and natural scenery. The Rhodes historical sites are also quite famous (more on these below). The island has a unique cultural heritage and blends ancient, medieval, and modern influences into its architecture, food scene, and more. For example, in Rhodes you’ll find ancient towns and picturesque villages surrounded by fashion boutiques and clubs. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy during one day in Rhodes, Greece!

The most well-known area of the island is definitely Old Town Rhodes, or the City of Rhodes, which is famous for its well-preserved Old Town, stone-paved alleyways, and elegant mansions. The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town here is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and attracts millions of visitors each year.

One day in Rhodes, Greece

What To Know Before You Go

As of recently, I began including this section in my blog posts. I think starting out with some basic information about a destination is key for planning a trip of your own, so without further ado – here’s what you should know to visit Rhodes, Greece.

Currency

Since Greece is an EU member, the currency used here is the Euro. Cash will be required in many places around the island.

Language

Greek is the primary spoken language, although you’ll find English spoken throughout restaurants, hotels, and by tour guides around the island. Especially near Old Town Rhodes.

Weather

The weather in the Dodecanese islands stays comfortable throughout the entire year. Winters can see 50-60° days, and summer can get quite warm. The hottest months in Rhodes are July and August, where the average daily temperature is in the high 80s.

Water

The water is not potable on most of Greece’s islands. Stick to bottled water throughout the duration of your visit. If you ask for water in a restaurant, it will be natural or sparkling bottled water.

How To Get To Rhodes?

There are numerous ways to travel to Rhodes, Greece.

Flights

One of the most popular is by plane. The Rhodes International Airport (“Diagoras”) is among one of the busiest airports in Greece. Here, you can fly domestically from Athens, Thessaloniki, or other popular European cities during peak summer months.

The flight time from Athens to Rhodes is only 50 minutes.

Ferries / Cruises

You can also easily reach Rhodes by ferry from the Piraeus port in Athens. There are departures about 4-5x a week from this port, however, you should note the trip can take up to 18 hours. Rhodes is also connected by ferry with Kos, Patmos, Leros, and Simi. You can reach the island of Rhodes most efficiently by plane from Athens or abroad, but ferries are offered from Athens, Crete or other islands of the Dodecanese. Be warned — I’ve heard these Greek island ferries can be a bit rough, but they are an adventure! You can even visit from Rhodes from Marmaris in Turkey by ferry.

Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In Rhodes?

Rhodes is a dock port, not a tender, so it’s easy to disembark and walk into the Old Town from your ship. The cruise port is located in the east of Rhodes Town, very close to the medieval city — just a 10 minute walk to St. Catherine’s Gate.

The prime cruising season to visit Rhodes, Greece is May to October. The hottest months to visit are July + August, so during this time, you may be able to score some cruising deals to spend one day in Rhodes, Greece. You could also consider browsing the shoulder seasons in April + May and November.

Several cruise lines visit Rhodes, Greece. My sister and I traveled aboard the Celebrity Beyond, but you can also visit with Norwegian, Holland America Cruise Line, Azamara, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney, Princess, and more! Greek Island cruises are typically 7 nights and focus on the eastern Mediterranean: Italy, Greece, and Turkey. However, if you’re interested in exploring both the western and eastern Mediterranean, you can do that too with a longer cruise (up to 21 nights!).

Cruising to Rhodes, Greece

How Do You Get Around Rhodes?

If you’re arriving via cruise for your one day in Rhodes, Greece, you can easily explore on foot. Just walk 10-20 minutes into the Old Town and explore the sites from there. If you’re visiting my plane, you will need to take a taxi for your transfer upon arrival to the island, since the airport is located about 16 km away from Rhodes Town.

If you want to visit Lindos during your one day in Rhodes, Greece, I recommend either booking an excursion through your cruise line, a local tour, or booking a taxi! There is also Uber throughout the island of Rhodes.

One day in Rhodes, Greece

How To Spend One Day In Rhodes, Greece

Now that we’ve gone over the basics for visiting Rhodes, Greece let’s hop into the sights to see! Here’s how I would spend one day in Rhodes, Greece:

As you disembark your ship or walk from your hotel, head into the Old Town in the morning. The most important monuments and sights of the island can be seen in the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll around the cobblestone streets, pop into a local cafe for a morning cappuccino, and make your way to the Street of the Knights and Palace of the Grand Master.

Old Town Rhodes, Greece

Street Of The Knights

The Street Of The Knights is a historic location in Old Town. This 600-meter long medieval street has some of the most well-preserved buildings on the island. The buildings found along this road date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. This cobblestone street was once the ancient road that connected the town to the Acropolis of Rhodes. The road begins at the Hospital of the Knights and ends at the Palace of the Grand Master.

What to see in Rhodes, Greece

Palace Of Grand Master

Located at the end of the Street Of The Knights in Old Town, this palace was the residence of the governor and administrative center in the Medieval times. It was constructed in the 14th century by the Knights of Saint John.

The palace was enormous in size. It had 158 rooms, although today only 24 are open to visitors. The rooms have antique furniture dating back to the 16th and the 17th century. The most important rooms to visit during your one day in Rhodes, Greece are the Grand Reception Hall, the Waiting Room, the impressive ballroom and the elegant Music Room. Don’t miss the frescoes throughout!

Unfortunately, the palace was largely destroyed in 1856 by explosives. At the beginning of the 20th century, the palace was restored by the Italians who occupied the Dodecanese islands that time. In the years that followed, it served as a holiday residence for the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III and for Benito Mussolini. Today, it belongs to Greece and is an event venue.

Pro-tip: Be sure to grab tickets online and in advance for this palace to confirm your entry!

One day in Rhodes, Greece

Archaeological Museum Of Rhodes

The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is located in the ancient Hospital of the Knights. If you’re walking along the Street of the Knights, perhaps you start here and make your way to the Palace of the Grand Master, or vice versa! Either way, pay a visit to both sites during your one day in Rhodes, Greece.

The main exhibition consists of finds from Ialissos and Kamiros, as well as a collection of statues. Recent additions also include a prehistoric collection! The museum also has a renovated courtyard where historic mosaic floors from Hellenistic villas are currently exhibited.

Pro-tip: Be sure to check the website for hours before visiting as they vary depending on the day and season. For example, during the summer months, they are open from 8 am to 8 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Tickets are 6 Euro to visit for adults, and 3 Euro at a reduced rate.

One day in Rhodes, Greece

Acropolis Of Rhodes

Located slightly outside of the Old Town in the western part of the city, the Acropolis Of Rhodes is worth a visit during your one day in Rhodes. The buildings here, which include several temples, a stadium, and library, are some of the finest examples of Hellenic styles of architecture. The entirety of the site has yet to be excavated, allowing visitors to get up close & personal with history still being uncovered.

Acropolis Of Lindos

After a fulfilling morning exploring the Old Town of Rhodes / the Acropolis (if you choose to do so!), you could spend the afternoon in Lindos. This is a very popular cruise excursion and there are round trip tours that can bring you from the cruise port / Old Town to Lindos. Aside from the beaches in Lindos, the most popular attraction is the Acropolis of Lindos.

The Acropolis of Lindos is an ancient archaeological site located in the village of Lindos on Rhodes Island, Greece. It is known for its rich history, dating back to the 10th century BC, and its stunning views of the surrounding coastline. At the Acropolis of Lindos, you’ll find the ruins of the temple of Athena Lindia and Propylaea. You’ll also see theaters, tombs, and more dating back to the pre-Hellenic period and the Geometric period (9th c BC). The Acropolis is open to visitors everyday from 8 am to 8 pm.

The picturesque village of Lindos is worth visiting as well on your tour from Rhodes Town!

Where To Swim In Rhodes, Greece

As for beaches, Rhodes has some of the best beaches in Greece! Rhodes has many spectacular beaches and sandy, hidden coves. There really is a beach for everyone here — since Rhodes has a collection of hotel / beach clubs, secluded beaches, or Watersport centers. Something for everyone! Lindos, Anthony Quinn, Faliraki, Tsambika, Kallithea and Agathi are some of the best beaches on the island! Furthermore, Prassonisi, located on the southernmost coast of Rhodes, is ideal for windsurfing and kite surfing. I would say that Lindos and Agatha Beach are the most visited, however, I loved Elli Beach!

Pro-tip: Boat tours are very popular in Rhodes as well! This high-speed boat tour will take you to Symi Island with a swim stop in the crystal blue waters of St. George’s Bay.

Rhodes, Greece beaches

Elli Beach is walkable from all the Old Town sites, so if you’re visiting for just one day in Rhodes, Greece, I recommend this one! My sister and I walked here after exploring the Old Town in the morning and loved spending a few hours swimming in the crystal clear, refreshing water and lounging under an umbrella. You can rent umbrellas and lounge chairs here, and even pay for a beach massage!

Pro-tip: There are dozens of beachfront restaurants and hotels in this area. Walk with confidence into a hotel lobby and use the bathroom to change from your sightseeing clothes into your bathing suit. We also did this to change back into clothes before going back to the ship. No one will question you!

Where To Eat & Drink During One Day In Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes has everything from elegant, romantic, seaside restaurants to international cuisine and traditional taverns. Rhodes also offers some of the best nightlife in Greece! Unfortunately my sister and I weren’t able to experience this for ourselves since we had to re-board the ship around dinnertime, but I’ve heard good things!

If you are staying longer than one day in Rhodes, I definitely recommend you check out some nightlife! The most popular nightlife spot is Hippocrates Square in Rhodes Town, where are many lounge bars and clubs. Another spot with clubs is Faliraki, while a place with romantic bars is Lindos.

One day in Rhodes, Greece

If you’re looking for recommendations on where to eat in Rhodes, here are some restaurants to have a meal:

Rustico Restaurant

Enjoy a traditional Greek meal in Rhodes Old Town with a small village atmosphere — complete with lush greenery and pottery throughout.

Hatzikelis Restaurant

Hatzikelis is a world-class seafood restaurant, frequently visited by celebrities. Their signature dishes incorporate Greek flavors.

Marco Polo Restaurant

Marco Polo Cafe is situated in the Marco Polo Mansion, a lavish hotel located in the heart of the old Turkish Quarter in Rhodes Town. The building dates back to the 15th century and the Mediterranean menu is divine.

That brings us to the end of another Greek island guide! I hope this post inspires your one day in Rhodes and leaves you feeling excited to plan a trip of your own to this incredible destination!

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