Travel+Leisure: Rhodes has 300 days of sun, natural springs and the largest butterfly reserve in Greece

Lindos Rhodes TUI

Travel+Leisure magazine has deified Rhodes for having "300 days of sun a year, hiking trails through natural springs, and the largest butterfly reserve in the country," but it is still "a misunderstood slice of the Aegean."

"It's one of the most touristic islands in Greece, and a favored haunt for package tours and bachelor parties, which has given it a more mainstream reputation for pulsating nightlife and clubbing. But it’s also one of the most important historical islands, with a wealth of museums, monuments, and ruins that will make any history buff’s head turn wildly in excitement," the magazine write.

The magazines lists the Old Town, the Jewish quarter, and the New Town as examples of the historical nature of the island's main town, as well as the Acropolis of Lindos.

Lindos Acropolis Rhodes
Acropolis of Lindos

"In addition to an abundance of cultural activity, Rhodes has glorious nature, including beautiful beaches, the country’s largest butterfly reserve, and hiking trails through natural springs. It’s an island with something for everyone in the family," the portal highlights.

Butterfly Valley in Rhodes
Butterfly Valley in Rhodes

“What makes Rhodes truly special is its dynamic character — offering relaxation, a vibrant party scene, serene beaches with crystal-clear waters, and windier beaches for thrilling sea sports,” says Panos Constantinidis, CEO of Swot Hospitality Management Company. “Visitors should not miss ... the Old Town, Jewish Museum, and Bee Museum to fully appreciate the island's rich history and culture.”


Rhodes Old Town
Rhodes Old Town

Set on the island’s eastern coast, the Acropolis of Lindos is a piece of layered history. Originally a fourth-century temple to the goddess Athena, today you can walk around the ruins while enjoying stunning views across Lindos and the sea.

Melenos Art Boutique Hotel is the island's most luxurious property, with 12 suites plus a rooftop restaurant and bar with beautiful views of the coastline.

Located in an old house with wooden beamed ceilings and a fireplace, Paraga Restaurant at Apollona village offers a taste of local cuisine.

The Valley of Butterflies is a serene park with streams, ponds, paved paths, and a stunning display of butterflies.

Rhodes' Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the historic Jewish quarter.

Best Things to Do

Jewish Museum of Rhodes
Jewish Museum of Rhodes

Tour the Jewish Quarter: Rhodes used to have a sizable Jewish population; the majority were Sephardic Jews, originally from Spain, who spoke Ladino. Tragically, the majority of its residents were murdered during World War II, and today, there are only about two dozen Jews left from 4,000 in the 1930s. South African-born Ladino poet Isaac Habib organizes two-hour historical walking tours through the quarter, which can be booked through the Jewish Museum.

Browse books at the Muslim Library of Hafiz Ahmed Agha: Located in the bustling old city, the Muslim Library, originally built in 1793, houses more than 2,000 books in Persian, Arabic, and Turkish. Spend an hour browsing the rare illustrated copies of religious texts dating back to the 15th century, as well as the complete Ottoman historical tomes.

Take a boat tour: Catch a glass-bottomed boat from the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes Town, or better yet, spring for a private boat that will take you to the glittering island of Symi. Day-long tours include food and drink, and have plenty of time for diving and swimming through turquoise waters.

Go windsurfing: The wind-battered southwest coast of Rhodes has some of the best windsurfing in the Dodecanese. It’s not a secret — surfers come from all over the world to fly across the waves — but even if you’ve never windsurfed before, you can start with a class for beginners.

Enjoy hiking: Head to the Valley of the Butterflies, a gorgeous forest full of streams and trodden paths, where tiger moths mature in July and August. Outside of this period, the park is empty (of both hikers and butterflies).

Best Time to Visit

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The best time to visit Rhodes is during its shoulder season — between April and June, and September to October. Summer can be overly touristy, which means crowded beaches, landmarks, and restaurants, plus exorbitant prices.

July and August are also increasingly hot; in 2023, wildfires swept through the island and visitors were forced to evacuate.

In springtime and fall, you can expect mild weather that still allows for plenty of seaside activity. Orthodox Easter is a particularly atmospheric time, with candlelit midnight mass in churches and plenty of revery in the streets.

How to Get There

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The fastest way to reach Rhodes is by plane. The island has one international airport (Diagoras) located on the western side; there are year-round daily flights from Athens (about one hour) and Thessaloniki, plus other European cities.

Rhodes is the Dodecanese island group’s main port, and there are plenty of ferry options for those who prefer a longer, more scenic journey.

Ferries from Athens take between 13 and 24 hours; the island is well serviced to Crete, the Cyclades, and the rest of the Dodecanese islands. It’s worth springing for a cabin for the overnight ferry trips.

READ MORE: The Sun singles out Ios as the summer surprise of 2024.

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