Greece remains a mysterious and enticing place for avid explorers. Would-be Greek philosophers may ask questions about the meaning of life, why we’re here, and what is love? But the real question when visiting Rhodes is should I spend 3, 4 or 5 days in Rhodes? Of course, this depends on how you want to build your Rhodes itinerary – but don’t worry, we’ve got all the best tips and top sights to see below!
When planning your trip, you will definitely wonder how many days to spend in Rhodes. Many visitors simply stop for the day on a cruise ship to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site — Rhodes Town — but this barely scratches the surface of this enigmatic island.
Rhodes is also a destination for package holidays – many visitors spend a week poolside at resorts, never getting out to explore the island.
To see the island at its best, fully exploring its multitude of villages and incredible beaches, I recommend at least 5 days in Rhodes.
But don’t worry, if you only have 4 days in Rhodes, you’ll still be able to manage a beach day as well as exploring Rhodes town and other highlights.
You would struggle to do the island justice if you were spending 3 days in Rhodes. You’ll see how beautiful the island is, and will be dying to come back and explore it a little more in-depth.
Getting To & Around Rhodes
You’ll be pleased to hear that Rhodes is easy to get to and the island is well-linked to the rest of Greece and Europe.
Many European airlines serve Rhodes International Airport and there are connections from Athens and many other Greek islands along with many major European cities. Many of these flights are seasonal and operate during the summer season of April to October.
The airport is a 30-minute drive from Rhodes Town. Expect to pay €25 in a taxi, or opt for the public bus for €3 which will double the journey time to around an hour. You can also organise a private transfer here.
Rhodes is an excellent place to start an island-hopping adventure of the Dodecanese islands. The port is located a stone’s throw from the city walls. You can book ferries here.
The easiest way to get around Rhodes is to rent a car – the island is large (though not as large when compared to Crete) and you’ll spend a long time on the bus. You can browse car rental options here.
If you’re spending the majority of your time in Rhodes town, you’ll be able to go car-free. You can also take organised trips from Rhodes town including this full-day tour to Lindos or this catamaran cruise.
3, 4 to 5 Days in Rhodes Itinerary
Rhodes, the jewel of the Dodecanese, offers so many exciting things to do, whether you love history, beaches, nature or eating – this diverse island has it all! The perfect Rhodes itinerary should include all of these, and more!
Day 1 – Rhodes Town Highlights
You could easily spend a day ambling around the old town of Rhodes. Make sure not to miss seeing the major sights, and wander amongst the minarets, medieval buildings and clock towers. You can book an old town walking tour here.
The best time to get out with a camera is early in the morning, before day trippers arrive, or in the evening as the cruise ships leave.
This beautiful church started life as a frescoed Byzantine church, before being converted into a European Catholic gothic church. The Ottomans converted it into a mosque, and many of the frescoes were lost in the process. Few remain, but they are beautiful and incredibly evocative.
The most beautiful street in the old town is the Street of the Knights – it looks more or less exactly as it would have 500 years ago. The streets are cobbled and flags still fly above the lodges to the different nationalities of the Knights of Rhodes.
The Palace of the Grand Master
Undoubtedly the most famous sight on any tour of medieval Rhodes is the Grand Master’s Palace. It’s been a citadel since the 7th century, and eventually became the administrative centre of the old town under the rule of The Knights of St John in the 14th century.
Damaged by the Ottomans, and rebuilt by the Italians in the 1930’s it is now one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Greece. This imposing fortress makes for great photos from the outside, and is an atmospheric museum inside. You can pre-book tickets here.
Featuring everything you’d expect from an island with such a rich history – delve into 2000-plus years of Greek, Byzantine, Crusader and Ottoman history. Whilst the museum is fascinating, the building itself is as much of an attraction – it’s the old hospital for the Knights of St John.
And if you want to see some ruins that are still standing, you could also opt to visit the Acropolis of Rhodes, which is also located in Rhodes Town.
Day 2 – Dig deeper in Rhodes Town
For the second day of your Rhodes Itinerary, we’ll be spending a little more time around the interesting hub of Rhodes town.
The Medieval town of Rhodes is a UNESCO site, and whilst it is very heavily visited – most visitors only see around 10% of the old city, the main thoroughfares and monuments that you explored on day one.
Pull the curtain back and get yourself lost in the winding alleys and streets in the southern part of the old town to see how life is for the town’s permanent residents.
Step back in time to the 13th century and visit this tiny atmospheric church. It’s still in use to this day, and you can see the faint medieval frescos, alongside more modern Orthodox imagery.
One of my favourite things to do in Rhodes is walking the medieval moat. It’s a great way to get some respite from the crowds and the midday heat!
Now a green park, offering shade and incredible views of the medieval walls, it gives you a sense of the size of the city, and how imposing it must have been for visitors in days gone by.
In antiquity, visitors arriving by boat passed under the legs of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before entering the harbour. The Colossus fell in the 7th century AD, but the harbour remains prosperous. Now it’s full of sailboats, restaurants and traditional windmills – a great place to grab a glass of wine and watch the world go by.
Open since the 1950s, this third-generation shop is the last traditional sandal maker on the island. They’ll measure your feet, choose a style, and handcraft your sandals with ethically sourced leather.
This is one souvenir that really gives back to the local community in the right way – and one you will treasure for many years to come.
Day 3 – Enjoy Rhodes’ Beaches
If you’re only spending 3 days on Rhodes island, then it’s important that we at least get a day at the beach. Rhodes receives the most days of sunshine for any area in Greece – more than 300 days! Below we’ve listed some great beaches for you to explore – you can also take a day cruise to visit some of them.
The closest beach to Rhodes town, you can reach Elli Beach in a matter of minutes from the old town. Elli is a well-established organised beach – it’s a pebbly beach with plenty of sections to lay out a towel, with an offshore platform with diving boards that you can swim out to.
There are also more organised beach clubs along the beach, and the excellent Ronda Beach Club is the best of these!
When actor Anthony Quinn was filming “The Guns of Navarone” in Rhodes, he immediately fell in love with this tiny beautiful cove. Featuring a small beach, sharp rocks and impeccably clear water, it’s easy to see what Quinn loved.
Be aware the narrow nature of the beach means it gets very busy in the summer months, so plan on arriving very early, or mingling in with the crowds!
This pebbly beach has clear deep waters, and beautiful caves to explore. There’s an easy-going taverna, affordable sunbeds and offers an overall relaxed vibe.
A sandy bay with crystalline blue waters, Tsambika Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach on the entire island of Rhodes.
Located near the village of Kolympia, Tsambika takes its name from the monastery overlooking the beach. Famed for helping struggling couples conceive, the walk up to the monastery is not for the faint-hearted, but will reward you with breathtaking views over the Aegean.
Day 4 – Explore Lindos Village
Next to the medieval Old Town, the whitewashed village of Lindos is the most visited destination on the island. If you’re spending four days on the island you have to visit this part of the island! You can organise a day trip here if you don’t have your own transport.
One of the top tourist destinations in the Dodecanese, when you first lay eyes on Lindos, it’s easy to understand why. This sugarcube-esque village is amongst the oldest in Greece, first mentioned in Homer’s ‘The Iliad’.
Wandering between the houses, shops and cafes is a delight – but you’ll want to get there early; the midday heat can be incapacitating, and the cruise ship crowds will usually arrive around 11am.
If you want to relax, you can also go for a swim at Lindos Beach – the perfect place to beat the heat!
Another reason to get to Lindos early is to be the first person through the ancient door that marks the entrance to the Acropolis of Lindos. At a height of around 160m above sea level, the many steps to the Acropolis can be testing – bring good shoes and water, and take your time.
Once at the top, you’ll find steps built by the Knights of St John, beautiful sculptures of ancient warships, the ruins of an Orthodox church, and the remains of the Temple of Lindian Athena. But besides these historical wonders, the real reward is the incredible view of St Paul’s Bay, the island of Rhodes and the Aegean Sea.
Follow your nose down to the beautiful rocky bay that nearly encloses St Paul’s Bay. On the way stop to admire the 4th century BC ancient theatre.
One of the more expensive beaches in Rhodes, it’s very popular for weddings and photoshoots. It’s also well worth going for a dip in the sea to cool off from the midday heat.
Day 5 – Canyons, Caves, Beaches & More!
It’s your final day in paradise! There are so many things in Rhodes that we still haven’t mentioned, so I’ll try and give you a rundown of them here – one could even think five days isn’t enough for your trip to Rhodes!
This beautiful and rugged canyon is a fairly challenging walk through the stony passageways of the west of the island. It can get very hot, and there are scrambles through the two to three-hour hike, but it is quite the adventure.
Just outside of Rhodes town, on a path between the Akti Kanari and Kato Petres beaches you’ll find quite an unusual sight. Look for the blue cross and follow the path to discover a cave full overflowing with icons of the Archangel Michael.
A beautiful mashup of history, architecture and nature – Kalithea springs is well worth stopping by. This beautiful bay is rumoured to have ancient healing properties, and the area is encompassed in an impressive art-deco complex, built during the Italian occupation.
Deep inland, you can find this 600-acre nature park. Best visited at the end of the wet season, this valley is well organised, has walking paths and is littered with gum trees which attract thousands of mating butterflies every year. It is a true spectacle of nature, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Rhodes and is well worth the €5 entry fee.
If you don’t want to visit the above places on the island itself, consider heading out on a day trip from Rhodes to one of my favourite places on Earth. The quaint, colourful island of Symi is a short ferry ride from Rhodes. You can also organise a boat cruise here.
The island’s capital, Ano Symi, is as relaxed as it gets, built in terraces around a gorgeous crystal clear harbour. The island is famous for sponge diving and is a great place for fresh seafood.
Where to Stay in Rhodes
Attiki Hotel – This quaint bed and breakfast is the perfect base for mid-range travellers to this beautiful Greek island. Located in Rhodes Town not too far from Elli beach, they have a number of wonderful rooms on offer and a great breakfast available each morning. Click here to check availability
Sperveri Boutique Hotel – Luxury travellers will swoon over this opulent boutique hotel located in Rhodes Town. Situated close to all of the top attractions in Rhodes old town, they have a number of beautiful rooms to choose from and countless amenities to ensure your stay is fantastic. Click here to check availability
Rodian Gallery Hotel Apartments – This is an excellent place to stay for travellers who want the convenience of their own flat with the amenities of a hotel. They have a number of apartments ranging in size and an excellent location in Rhodes Town perfect for exploring all the island has to offer. Click here to check availability
STAY Hostel Rhodes – Budget and solo travellers will love this highly-rated hostel in Rhodes town. Voted the best hostel in Greece for four years in a row (from 2017 to 2020), they have both dorms and private rooms on offer, excellent common areas and a great atmosphere. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Rhodes hotels!
Is five days enough in Rhodes? Well maybe not. There are so many wonderful things to do in Rhodes that many visitors wish that they could stay forever – and you couldn’t blame them! But even if you only have a few days, I hope this guide will help to give you some ideas to make the most of your trip to this incredible island.
Are you planning on visiting Rhodes? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!