Summer is nearly here, and everyone is searching for the perfect beach destination. After several years of travel restrictions due to COVID, finding the perfect place for a seaside holiday can be tricky, but we've discovered one that has sun, sea, and history – for those who don't just want to take in the sun.
Greece has over 200 islands to choose from - venture past touristy Santorini and Mykonos and you can find Rhodes – which not only is the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but is so stunning it has been the setting for many Hollywood films.
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Keep reading to discover what Rhodes has to offer and why you should visit this year...
Things to do
Rhodes has many attractions for tourists, from being the largest medieval city in Europe, to its historical heritage - and let's not forget its endless beaches. The island is also where two seas meet: the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean and you will be able to experience this unique and one-of-a-kind phenomenon; swim in both seas in a matter of seconds.
Old Town Rhodes
As soon as you go through the town's huge stone archways, you will be immediately transported to the past, finding along the way narrow stone alleyways, medieval churches or small patios where you will definitely get lost! But don’t worry, it is considered a part of the experience!
A traditional coffee house in the Old Town neighbourhood
A must is a visit to the Palace of the Grand Masters, which used to be the residence of the governor in Medieval times.
Soak up the town atmosphere by stopping at family-owned restaurant Mama Sofia to experience homemade Greek food located right in the heart of the Old Town and overlooking the Clock Tower.
It's no wonder the Old Town was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
About 50km south of the island from Rhodes Town is Lindos, a picturesque small town famous for its charming white houses – one of many instagramable spots on the island! Here you'll discover its narrow pebble mosaic streets lined with small shops.
If you decide to stop here, treat yourself to a local tour during which you will hear incredible stories that only locals know.
A panoramic view of the city of Lindos and the St. Paul's bay
You cannot miss the opportunity to go up to the Acropolis of Lindos, in the highest part of the city.
Although it is not as famous as the one in Athens, it is worth a visit. The views overlooking the town and beautiful Saint Paul’s Bay are incredible.
Sit down for a spot of lunch at Mavrikos, right in the middle of the town square. It offers the most traditional Greek cuisine.
The restaurant has been a Hollywood favourite throughout the years, with stars such as Jackie Onassis, Barbra Streisand, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn having enjoyed its white-washed walled open patio overlooking the bay.
Valley of the Butterflies
This magical and unique nature reserve is one of the most popular attractions on the island. The valley, surrounded by spectacular waterfalls, lakes and paved paths, hosts thousands of butterflies which fly to this area in order to reproduce. This phenomenon usually occurs between May and September.
Rhodes boasts 300 days of sunshine a year
Day trip to Symi Island
Symi is certainly one of the secret gems of Greece. Perfect for a full-day excursion, it is only accessible by sea (a two-hour boat ride from Rhodes). This beautiful Greek island welcomes you with its colourful harbour filled with wonderful unique houses painted in ochre, blue and red, contrasting with the green of the Aegean Sea.
The Isle of Symi is filled with unique houses
Feel the authentic atmosphere and take a casual walk around the harbour, hop on the fun train for a great ride around Symi town and lunch in local taverns along the waterfront.
Where to stay
The Ixian Grand & All Suites 5* - Adults Only resort is located on the West Coast of Rhodes Island, right on the Ixia beach, with wonderful views of the Aegean Sea. It features 348 spacious minimalistic-styled rooms and suites, three large freshwater swimming pools, one with a Jacuzzi corner overlooking the palm trees and the sea, a fully equipped spa center and gym and mouth-watering gastronomy on-site.
The hotel has wonderful views of the Aegean Sea
Guests can choose from four restaurants that offer a wide range of dining options; from the combination of Japanese and Peruvian cultures at Muza Htista, to Mediterranean gastronomy and the Greek cuisine at Vis A Vis, traditional Greek cuisine at The Milonges, or the exclusively Alazonia suites restaurant that is only for guests enjoying a suite.
Guests also have two bars overlooking the lush gardens and swimming pools.
Rooms at the The Ixian Grand & All Suites start from just £158 per room, per night – To book or for more information visit theixiangrand.gr/en
When to go
Rhodes has Mediterranean weather which means hot summers and mild winters. Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, the best months to travel to the island are, without a doubt, from May to the end of September, with an average temperature of 25 degrees and with the hotter months being in July and August.
How to get there
EasyJet flies to Rhodes from Luton, Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Ryanair from Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands. Flight time is about 4hrs and since 18 March 2022 there are no COVID travel restrictions in the UK, regardless of your vaccination status.