Rhodes is the largest and most populous of the Dodecanese islands with a total population of about 120 thousand inhabitants. However, during the peak summer season, the island's population increases significantly, as Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of Greece.
The capital city of Rhodes (approx. 50,000 inhabitants), the largest tourist resort on the island, attracts visitors to its unique and well-preserved historical monuments as well as to the modern part of the city with its restaurants, bars and casinos. The most popular tourist resorts on Rhodes are above all Faliraki, Kolymbia or Lindos (east coast) and Ixia or Ialyssos (west coast).
Most of the towns and villages on Rhodes have managed to preserve a certain spirit of the past, which includes the many preserved historical monuments, the maintenance of traditions and religious festivals, and the overall traditional lifestyle of the locals.
Of course, with the development of tourism, especially the largest towns and resorts, such as the capital city of Rhodes, Ialysos, Ixia, Faliraki, Kolymbia and Lindos, have begun to change and adapt to the needs of tourists. New and modern hotels have been built, many restaurants and tavernas have opened, shopping streets have been created and the adjacent beaches have been landscaped. However, these towns have not cut themselves off from their past; on the contrary, they have begun to protect their historical treasures even more. After all, beautiful, unique historical monuments are also a very good tourist attraction. The Old Town of Rhodes or the ancient "white town" of Lindos with its acropolis are also listed as UNESCO protected monuments.
But most villages on Rhodes are relatively quiet, and you can sit in pleasant tavernas or cafes, chat with the locals and walk through the cobbled streets to a church or medieval castle. We particularly recommend visiting the beautiful town of Archangelos, whose patron is the Archangel Michael, the historic village of Asklipio with its medieval castle ruins, or the village of Embonas, famous for its fine wine production and olive growing.
And then, there are the small villages where time really does seem to stand still in times long gone. These are mainly the mountain villages in the inland of the island, such as one of the oldest villages on the island, Damatria, the picturesque village of Psinthos, surrounded by mountains and lush nature, or the traditional village of Laerma, which tourists pass through when heading to the nearby Moni Thari Monastery.
If you're interested in where the names of the island's towns and villages come from, read on in the origins of the names of towns and villages of Rhodes.
The Greek island of Rhodes is a very popular tourist destination, and visitors from all over the world come here especially in the peak summer season. The most popular tourist resorts on Rhodes are located on its northeastern coast, where long sandy beaches are also located. But thanks to the variety of Rhodes tourist resorts, there is really a lot to choose from.
If you prefer a peaceful holiday in smaller and picturesque resorts, you can look for example at the popular tourist resorts of Afandou, Gennadi, Haraki, Kalithea, Lachania, Plimmiri or Stegna. But many visitors are attracted by resorts that are renowned for nightlife, entertainment and attractions of all kinds. These are in particular the resorts of Faliraki, Kolymbia, Lindos, Ixia, Ialysos and of course the capital city of Rhodes. A large part of the most popular resorts of Rhodes are located on the sea side, but there are also resorts in the inland, such as Archangelos and Pastida.
In many cases, Rhodian resorts have emerged logically and naturally from the original urban or rural development, such as the capital city of Rhodes, Ialysos, Ixia (a suburb of the capital city) or Faliraki, Kolymbia, Pefki and other original fishing villages. However, Rhodes also has man-made resorts, which have been created by the fact, that a new hotel or a complex of several hotels has been built due to the growing tourism and the area has been designated as a resort, often named after the nearest village, such as Afandou, Fanes, Kalithea, Kiotari, Lardos or Lindos.
The most attractive tourist area of Rhodes is its north-eastern coast, which starts with the capital city of Rhodes at the very northern tip of the island and continues south along the eastern coast to the mainland promontory where the old town of Lindos is located. The local seaside resorts have good tourist facilities in the form of various accommodation, restaurants, tavernas, bars, shops and organised beaches. In general, the beaches on the eastern coast of Rhodes are recommended for relaxation and family holidays, as there are long, beautiful and sandy beaches that are washed by the clear and above all calm Mediterranean Sea.
The capital city of Rhodes is a lively tourist resort, that does not sleep even at night and in some parts is downright modern and luxurious. However, it also has a very interesting and long history and the number of historical monuments here is truly unique. Most of the historic buildings are located in the so-called Old Town of Rhodes, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fascinating Palace of the Grand Masters or the Turkish Quarter with its domes and mosques are all worth mentioning. In the New Town of Rhodes you will find all the tourist attractions mentioned above, but also interesting museums and other buildings such as the marine aquarium or the Mandraki harbour. In addition, the Acropolis of Rhodes with its ancient monuments towers over the city.
From the capital city, we move down south through the quieter, but also popular tourist resorts of Kalithea and Koskinou (Reni Koskinou). The resort of Kalithea is famous for the former thermal baths of Kalithea, which are situated in a small rocky cove here and have recently been newly renovated.
The lively seaside resort of Faliraki is one of the most sought-after resorts on the island of Rhodes, as it has very good facilities. Both modern hotels and smaller guesthouses, plenty of tavernas and shops, as well as a beautiful, long sandy beach. In the resort, tourists will also find many attractions such as the Faliraki Aquarium or the huge Faliraki Water Park. Golf enthusiasts head to the nearby resort of Afandou, as there is a large golf course right on the coast. The tourist resort of Kolymbia is one of the quieter areas, but has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among families with children.
The popular holiday resort of Lindos is situated on a small peninsula jutting out into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, creating a small and pleasant bay. The old "white village of Lindos" lies about 2 km into the inland and is one of the most important sights of the island of Rhodes.
The south-eastern coast of Rhodes, on the other hand, is already very peaceful, but not entirely uninteresting from a tourist point of view. There are nice seaside resorts with long (mostly sand and shingle) beaches. Except organised beaches with sunbeds and tavernas, we can find also more natural parts of the coastline here, which offer quiet and privacy. Popular resorts on the south-east coast of the island are Kiotari, Gennadi and Plimmiri.
The southern tip of Rhodes is not permanently inhabited, but it is one of the most popular destinations for excursions because of its unusual natural attractions, namely the Prasonisi Beach and the island of the same name.
Similar to the east coast of Rhodes, also the west coast of Rhodes has its strongest tourist base in the north. While the west coast of Rhodes is generally not as touristy as the east coast, it is also home to modern and lively seaside resorts and the weather conditions are more conducive to adrenaline water sports, especially windsurfing. The western side of the island is, unlike the eastern side, washed by the wild Aegean Sea. The beaches here are mainly covered with pebbles or a mixture of coarse sand and pebbles, and for the most part the beaches are left purely natural and unorganized.
The most popular tourist resorts on the west coast of Rhodes are located in the northern part of the island, covering about a third of the entire length of the west coast. The tourist area starts in the north of the island with the capital city of Rhodes, mentioned above, and continues through the two very modern and lively tourist resorts of Ixia and Ialysos. Ixia is considered as one of the most luxurious resorts on Rhodes, and you can stay for example in luxurious hotel rooms and bungalows with private pools. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of tavernas, restaurants, shops and bars. The local beach is pebbly to rocky, equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas and ideal for a variety of sports activities. The neighbouring tourist resort of Ialysos is very similar in type, with large hotel complexes as well as smaller family villas and apartments. The facilities for visitors are of a very high standard and the resort is also known for its lively nightlife. The adjacent pebble beach is organized and is especially enjoyed by water sports enthusiasts.
The wind conditions off the west coast of Rhodes are especially attractive to wind-surfers and kite-surfers. Theologos, Fanes, Kalavarda and other resorts are very popular among these sportsmen, which are not as big and modern as Ixia and Ialysos, but on the other hand you can find cheaper accommodation and the local beaches are not crowded with tourists. The beaches in this area are mostly unorganized, but well-maintained, and probably every major one has a sports equipment hire shop, often with instructors whose services can be used.
By moving further south from this "surfing" area along the west coast of the island, we reach a very quiet to deserted tourist area of Rhodes. The southern half of the west coast of the island and the adjacent inland part of the island is mainly made up of small and quiet villages and narrow roads going through the hilly landscape. From the seaside villages of Mandriko and Kritinia, through the traditional village of Monolithos, famous for the remains of the medieval castle of Monolithos, located on a nearby high cliff, through the tiny resorts of Apolakkia or Kattavia (agriculturally fertile areas) to the southernmost tip, the "surfing" beach of Prasonisi.
The various tourist resorts of Rhodes, including the lesser-known resorts and small traditional villages, are clearly marked on the Rhodes map.