If you wanted to travel to the most eastern part of Greece, you would end up in Rhodes. Just a stone throws away from Turkey, this eastern most island was my first stop in Greece. Coming on a cruise Roman and I only had a day so we needed to spend our time wisely. Rhodes has many things to offer but probably the best was the cities of Lindos and Rhodes, and with about 12 hours, we decided to split our time between both.
Coming by cruise, I usually book outside the cruise line for excursions. For Rhodes it actually made more since to book with Royal Caribbean since they offered a 4 hour tour of Lindos that we could do on our own. And it was only $40 per person, which is a pretty good deal. So we picked an early tour, met in one of the lounges of our cruise ship and we were on our bus heading south to Lindos.
Lindos is a perfect way to start a day on Rhodes. It’s a tiny village located about an hour south of Rhodes City. On the way we passed other smaller cities and resorts. And we had a tour guide explaining all the villages on the island and the rugged landscape right outside our window. It was actually a great way to see most of the eastern part of the island.
Once in Lindos the bus let us out on top of a hill overlooking Lindos. Then the guide walked us down to the city center (it’s actually kind of steep and far), and told us where to meet back up. First off, Lindos is quite small and it takes around 2 – 3 hours to explore most of what you want to see. Most people first head up the village to the Acropolis; that’s what we did first and the pathways were very crowded.
We saw all sorts of tours guiding people and they will occasionally stop, blocking the pathways for everybody else. Lindos is not really a place for people who feel claustrophobic easily and not for the people in a hurry. It took a lot for me to give up the idea that we were going to move anywhere quickly. Also the hike up to the Acropolis can be steep at times.
Acropolis is worth the hike though! I had a great time exploring and taking photos of the surrounding city and harbor. Part of the Acropolis lays in ruin, so you get more unobstructed views of the beautiful scenery all around. Lindos area is mostly dry landscape and during the summer the area barely gets any rain. It’s also warm by my standards and hot but other people’s.
Take your time on the Acropolis; there are many interesting sites there like the Columns of the Hellenistic stoa, Doric temple of Athena Lindia, Castle of Lindos, Church of St. John on the Acropolis, Staircase of the Propylaea and the great view from above. From the top I came down another path and follow one of the pathways to the beach down below.
Lindos Beach, for me, was worth the hike and the 12 euros I ended up paying for snagging lounge chairs. They have restaurants down there (pricey), chairs with umbrellas (it gets really hot), and of course the sparkling clear water. Its harbor is really in a unique and beautiful setting. I got my European style bathing suit on and dipped into the cold but refreshing water.
I was by the water for about an hour since I didn’t have that much time. Roman decided to explore more of the city and I wanted to see some of it before we headed back to Rhodes City. I think a good budget of time is 3 activities, each for an hour. So go to the Acropolis, the beach and explore the city all for about an hour.
Lindos doesn’t have much tourist sites but there is a beautiful church in the middle of the city. You’ll see it with its bell tower sticking out. Unfortunately you can’t take any pictures inside! Also there is a lot of touristy shopping but it’s nothing you couldn’t find back in Rhodes. But if you wanted to pick up a snack like we did and a postcard Lindos has plenty of that.
On our way back to Rhodes City our tour stopped by a pottery store called Magic and Unique. On the side of the road, closer to Lindos, the shop sells all sorts of decorative plates, bowls and other handmade Greek pottery. This is authentically made and 100% Greek so if visiting the area try to stop in. I ended up buying a decorative plate for myself and then a plate for my dad.
Back in the city of Rhodes, our tour lets us out and we head directly to the Old City. From the cruise port the walk is a mere 10 minutes along the harbor. Rhodes has a beautiful old city and most tourists will focus their time in there; eating at one of the many cafes and shopping at stores. The number thing to do in Rhodes is actually the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, an impressive medieval castle overlooking the Old City.
We ended up not doing the castle but got our kicks from walking around the Old City its self and enjoy the citadel or walls of the city. In the Old City there are many pathways to take including the most famous which is called Knights Street. It truly is a unique street because it’s mostly cobbled-stone and was the most important street from the Medieval Ages on. It leads up to the castle entrance.
Another site to see is the Colossus Rhodes, one of the old ancient wonders of the world. It’s not standing anymore, and was only up for around 54 years from 280 BC to 226 BC. Some artist draw the statue with its feet spread on each side of the harbor while others show it standing just on one side. Apparently it’s not exactly known how it was built and what it ever looked like but they do know it existed at one point.
Today there are two deer statues in its place and they are the symbol for the city of Rhodes. They greet the ships that come to Rhodes although they aren’t very big. It was still worth the visit and it’s a nice walk along the harbor to get to where the Colossus once was. If you’re coming by a cruise, just walk north along the harbor and they should be on the right hand side.
Back in the Old City Roman and I decided to have some Greek food and Ouzo, a very strong alcoholic drink. For me it was alright, something I had to try just once. However the tzatziki with bread was a real highlight and exactly what I expected while eating in Greece. We had more Greek food at other ports that were equally just as amazing including gyros.
Overall I found the island of Rhodes a really great port city because there is so much to discover. It lays pretty much on Turkey and you’ll see the influences of both east and west on this tiny Greek Island. Like most places in the region, the island is covered with ancient history and it can be overwhelming to take it all in. This city was the perfect place to experience authentic Greece from the food to the souvenirs!
images by: shawnvoyage