Rhodes will enchant you. From getting lost in the winding alleys of Rhodes Town to wandering around picture-perfect Lindos, you’ll love exploring the island’s beautiful towns. The beaches are stunning, too. You’ll discover everything from a secluded pebble bay to larger strips of golden sand, all lapped by the inviting turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. There are several fascinating archaeological sites – such as Ancient Kamiros – located within easy reach of the coast, so you can get your culture fix after a day of sunbathing.
Travel inland on your Rhodes cruise and you’ll come across vineyards, shady forests and craggy peaks. Unspoilt villages of whitewashed houses are nestled into the mountains. There are plenty of hikes that will let you discover the island’s quieter corners, or you can take a shore excursion to cover more ground.
Wherever you end up, we recommend you try some of the island’s delicious local cuisine. Savour a traditional rabbit and red wine stew, or tuck into a plate of rouzetia me skordalia, small red fish served with creamy garlic mash. On a hot summer’s day you might prefer sharing a few different mezethes (starters) such as wild asparagus with lemon, marinated octopus or stuffed vine leaves. Wash it all down with a glass of local wine or ouzo.
Popular Ports in Rhodes
All Rhodes cruises begin in Rhodes Town. It’s a city of two halves – a modern resort town with a stunning medieval core. You’ll enjoy browsing the upscale shops and dining in the waterfront restaurants of the New Town. It’s also located next to the city’s best swim spot, Elli Beach, a golden bay that stretches round a narrow peninsula.
No trip to Rhodes Town is complete without a trip to its stunning historic district, which is surrounded by fortified walls. Among this maze of unnamed alleyways you’ll discover traces of multiple civilisations, from ancient Greek to Ottoman, medieval to Venetian. Follow the famous Street of the Knights up to the Palace of the Grand Master – this towering Gothic castle is the city’s most iconic building.
Rhodes gets hot during the summer, but there are plenty of ways to cool off. The coast on either side of the city is freckled with beautiful beaches you can visit on shore excursions. But if you want something more exciting we recommend visiting Faliraki Waterpark, a huge aquatic playground of kamikaze slides, chutes, pools and kids’ rides.
What are the best cruise ships for a Rhodes cruise?
Rhodes is a very popular Mediterranean cruise destination, visited year-round by lots of cruise ships. Here are two crowd-pleasing favourites.
Marella Discovery 2
The Marella Discovery 2 is one of the largest and most luxurious ships in the Marella fleet, visiting Rhodes on its Iconic Islands voyage. You’ll love relaxing in the Mediterranean sun by the large outdoor pool, or pampering yourself in the spa. If you’re feeling active then you can check out the indoor climbing wall or the jogging track. There are lots of activities available, including an escape room where you solve puzzles to get free, and Movies by Moonlight, where you can watch films on-deck. If that wasn’t enough to excite you, there are six fantastic restaurants on board, serving everything from surf and turf to South Asian cuisine.
Sleek liner Oceana is a P&O ship which serves many ports in the Mediterranean. It has a range of kids’ clubs for children of different ages, giving you time to pamper yourself. Relax in the sauna or the on-deck Jacuzzi, or visit the spa for a hydrotherapy massage. If you really want to live the high life you can savour delicious Italian food at Marco Pierre White’s Café Jardin, or even visit the luxurious Magnums Champagne and Caviar Bar for a sundowner.
Shore Excursion Ideas
There’s no shortage of shore excursions on Rhodes. You can enjoy a fascinating selection of activities, from getting out into nature or soaking up the local culture. Here are three firm favourites.
Lindos and Acropolis
On this unmissable excursion you’ll visit the picturesque village of Lindos. The white sugar-cube houses are nestled on a hill covered in cypress trees, while below lies the aquamarine Bay of Lindos. You’ll love wandering the tranquil streets, soaking up the town’s serene beauty. At the top of the hall you’ll find a stunning walled fortress, holding some fantastic architectural treasures, including a well-preserved ancient Acropolis. You’ll also be rewarded by one of the best views in Rhodes, a panorama of craggy limestone cliffs and the blue shimmer of the Mediterranean.
As the summer temperatures soar, there’ll only be one thing on your mind – to get to the beach. You’ll travel past vineyards and bustling resort towns until you catch sight of one of Rhodes’ most unspoilt stretches of sand – Tsambika Beach. Enjoy sunbathing on the soft sand, or swimming in the sparkling waters. There’s even a nearby monastery you can explore once you’ve had your fill of sea and sand, however unlikely that seems.
Valley of the Butterflies
If you’re keen to get your nature fix, we recommend this stunning nature reserve, just 45 minutes from Rhodes. It’s a sun-dappled forest of oriental sweet-gum trees, with a serene river running through it. Wander down picturesque shaded walkways, taking in the beautiful scenery. If you’re travelling between June and September the entire valley is filled with thousands of multicoloured butterflies.