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Rhodes (pronounced “ro-dos”), a Greek island northeast of Crete and southeast of Athens, is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and thousands of years of history conveniently at your fingertips. Cruises to Rhodes, Greece are your chance to experience winding Byzantine streets in Old Town, see ancient ruins, and venture on from the northernmost point of Rhodes to other age-old cities like Lindos or the beach of Faliraki.
When taking a Mediterranean cruise, Greece is one of the first destinations to come to mind for its temperate climate, coastal views, crystal blue waters, and ancient history in every city along every alleyway. The port of Rhodes is centrally located for exploring Old Town, and can be a busy port during peak seasons. The port services international traffic exclusively such as yachts, cruises to Rhodes, Greece or ports in Turkey.
Don’t miss New Town, which offers higher-end hotels and beautiful beach resorts for travelers who enjoy activities like paragliding, windsurfing, and swimming. Rhodes is world-famous for the Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BCE but remains a hot topic for visitors. Scholars debate where this incredible monument of victory over Cyprus may have once stood.
A Rhodes, Greece cruise makes for a perfect summer destination, famous for a dynamic nightlife intermixed with ancient history. Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, making it a protected and preserved memorial to antiquity. Rhodes is known not only for its beach resorts, but the careful melding of ancient ruins and medieval castles alongside the modern architecture.
Take an hour-long drive outside of Rhodes and you’ll stumble into the city of Lindos, a literal city on a hill, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by white houses and a view of the Acropolis of Lindos. When you climb the steep footpath of the Acropolis, be prepared for a breathtaking view —a medley of cypress trees, homes, shops, and a turquoise blue coast will surround you.
Looking for a therapeutic experience while on your Greek cruise? Look no further than Kallithea Springs, a thermal spring located a little over five miles from Rhodes. Initially, the springs were in operation from 1929 until 1967. Since then, the springs have been renovated and restored, now welcoming hundreds of visitors from all over the world each day. Stop relaxing for a minute to buy a drink from the cafe, which moonlights as a beach bar.
This popular and sprawling beach on Rhodes is over 3 miles long, an example of the area’s beautiful beachfronts. Faliraki has a vibrant nightlife and resort community dedicated to providing fun and relaxation to travelers. Among the highlights? Faliraki is home to one of the largest waterparks in Europe, features an abundance of striped umbrellas to sunbathe beneath, and provides endless opportunities to shop and eat classically Greek dishes.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is a major attraction in Rhodes. Once a Byzantine citadel, the palace now stands as a museum and testament to Gothic architecture in Rhodes. Built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John, the palace survived an earthquake, yet was destroyed by an explosion in 1856. Thankfully, it was restored by the Italians in the 1930s, and today the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is a museum containing priceless mosaics, sculptures, and exhibits of Rhodes’ ancient past.
The Colossus was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and though it no longer stands today, visits can walk the streets of Rhodes and theorize where the structure may have stood. The Colossus was a statue of the sun-god Helios and was erected in 280 BCE to celebrate Rhodes’ victory of the ruler of Cyprus at the time. According to records, the Colossus stood at 108 feet high, making it the tallest statue in antiquity.
During your stop in Lindos—about an hour south of Rhodes—take the time to climb the footpath to the well-preserved Acropolis of Lindos, where you’ll see the citadel that was fortified by various groups throughout history, like the Greeks, Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and more. You’ll be moved by the contrast of blue skies and waters with the white facade of the Acropolis’ Hellenistic-style columns.
When the Ottomans conquered Rhodes in 1522, they built the first mosque ever erected in Rhodes. The mosque commemorated the conquest and named it for the Turkish sultan Suleiman. The mosque was since reconstructed in 1808 with a notable rose-pink plaster facade, making it a can’t miss element of the Rhodes skyline.
Head southwest from Rhodes and in a half hour, you’ll be at the Valley of Butterflies, a 600-acre park with walking trails and attractions for a nature lover’s ideal afternoon. Local buses will take you from Rhodes to the Valley of Butterflies, and taxis are available too. You’ll be able to see an entire population of butterflies from July to September. A perfect excursion for families with children, or for who need a day to rest and relax among the colorful butterflies.
Cruises to Rhodes, Greece equal incredible traditional Greek food. Ingredients are locally-sourced, from organic fruits and vegetables to fish from the Aegean Sea. Greek cuisine incorporate items like fresh garlic, onion, fennel, zucchini, grapes, apples, dates, and figs. Mezze is a popular dish, where the meal arrives as a set of appetizers for ultimate shareability with friends and family. Start with Greek salad, garlic bread, and tzatziki with pita, then choose from a fish or meat selection, typically meatballs, octopus, or shrimp.
Rhodes ranks highly for the best islands for nightlife in Greece, so there are plentiful options from high-end bars to small taverns with a view of the sea. A few restaurants in Rhodes and Lindos include:
Melenos Lindos Hotel - Lindos
Address: Lindos, Lindos Rhodes 851 07, Greece
Located with the Melonos Hotel in Lindos, this rooftop restaurant with a seasonal, rotating menu offers stunning views of the Acropolis of Lindos and the Aegean Sea below.
Hatzikelis - Rhodes
Address: Alhatef 9, Rhodes, Greece
Looking for fresh, locally sourced seafood in Rhodes? Dine in an outdoor courtyard at Hatzikelis with a menu featuring mussels with tomato sauce and feta or grilled shrimp—traditionally Greek but with a twist.
Mosaic - Lindos
Address: Lindos 85107, Greece
Indulge in fresh pastries from traditional baklava to Greek doughnuts at this small, intimate cafe in Lindos.
The first settlement in Ancient Greece dates back to the Paleolithic era, and the foundations of western civilization saw their start in the Classical Period (6th - 4th century BCE), where the concept of Greek democracy and the city-state (polis) would have an indelible impact on the history of the world.
During the Golden Age, Greece saw new heights of prosperity that fostered a cultural boom demonstrated best through architecture, literature, theater, science, and philosophical achievements. Later, Christianity found strong roots in Greece. The Greek Orthodox Church is, in many ways, the foundation of Greek culture, informing its politics and educational systems to this day. World War II devastated the Greek economy, and Greece saw major destruction at the hands of the Axis occupation of Greece. Then, from 1944-1949, Greece was embroiled in a bitter Civil War.
The history and culture of the island of Rhodes itself is rich and varied, with settlement dating back as early as the Neolithic period. Tourism is critical to the economy of the island today. After all, Rhodes is the 2nd-most visited Greek destination behind Crete.
Getting from the Port of Rhodes to Old Town is easy—just exit your cruise ship and walk along the pier for a few minutes. You’ll find a Duty Free shop in case you’d like to last minute shop before you returning to the ship. A cafe and a souvenir shop near the exit makes getting a coffee and souvenirs simple. Then, you should see a taxi stand and a tour bus stop. From there, Rhodes and Old Town is at your fingertips.
The cruise port in Rhodes is walking distance to the beautiful, historic Old Town of Rhodes, only a 10-15 minute seaside walk. There are beaches close to the cruise port, but the best spots to swim are a 15-minute taxi or 30 minute walk to Elli Beach.
If you want to visit Lindos, a southeastern town about an hour from Rhodes, try one of these options:
A ride from Rhodes to Lindos will cost about €60 and takes a little under an hour.
A bus from Rhodes to Lindos costs about €5 per person, and will take 60-80 minutes.
Many excursions and tours are available to Lindos.
In Rhodes and Old Town, souvenir and gift shops are abundant. Look out for artisan and craft shops in Rhodes, where you can find ceramics, leather goods, and locally-made olive oil for purchase.
The Artistic Village of Contemporary Art
Address: Kolympia 851 03, Greece
A family-run business and stop-off for many tour groups between Rhodes Town and Lindos.
Mastoras Silver Jewelry
Address: Faliraki 851 00, Greece
Looking for local, handmade jewelry? Look no further for silver and Grecian jewelry than this outlet in Faliraki.
Vintage Wine Store
Address: Al. Diakou 29, Rodos 851 00, Greece
In Rhodes Town, you can sample and purchase local wine. A perfect stop for wine lovers who are looking to learn more about Greek wines.
Olive Oil Factory
Address: Georgiou Papandreou, Archagelos Rhodes 851 02, Greece
Everyone loves olive oil, and you can purchase olive oil as well as spices at this factory in Archangelos.
The Euro is Greece’s primary form of currency. While credit cards are widely accepted, double check before using a credit card, particularly in smaller shops.
Please note that not all taxis accept credit cards. Tipping taxi drivers isn’t common, but it’s polite to do so if the customer service was excellent! A typical percentage would be 10% of the fare.
When at a restaurant, a service charge is included in your bill; it’s customary to leave some Euros behind if the service or meal was very satisfactory. In the event there is no service charge included, leave a 10% tip.
An additional tip of €5-10 is best practice to thank your tour guide for their time and expertise.