The BFH Healthy Travel Guide to 24 hours in the Old Town of Rhodes, Greece

The Greek island of Rhodes is a common layover for any destination in the Dodecanese islands. As a vacation destination itself, the island is pretty crowded, and over the years its natural beauty has been bulldozed in the name of large cookie-cutter hotels… but one of few parts of the island that has been preserved is call Old Town, and is located at the far most Northeastern tip of the island- within walking distance to the harbour (where you will likely take your ferry to-and-from your next destination). I discovered Old Town Rhodes without ever knowing a single thing about it- as I was passing through on my way to Symi (check out my guide to Symi HERE), but was absolutely blown away by it’s stunning beauty and medieval charm. My uncles, that have been passing through Rhodes multiple times a year for 4 years now (having bought a house in Symi), are still discover new cobblestone alleyways to this day, and still relish in the time they spend within the fortressed walls of Old Town Rhodos.  

The ferries do not necessarily leave within a time window to take you to your final destination that same day- hence why I spent and evening on the way to Symi, and an evening plus a whole day before heading to Athens at the end of my time in the Dodecanese islands. Normally that might sound terrible, but having a full day in the Old Town of Rhodes is absolutely blissful. This guide will show you how to spend the perfect day in Old Town, from breakfast to sundown.

rhodes.jpg

 The BFH Healthy Travel Guide to 24 hours in the Old Town of Rhodes, Greece

The entire Old Town of Rhodes is surrounded by an enormous medieval wall, with seven gates. A taxi from the airport will drop you off directly at your hotel, although cars (unless you live within the confines of the town) are not normally permitted. Check in to the San Michel hotel, where Kristos will kindly greet you and direct you to your room. This small hotel has been used by my family for years- and Kristos truly knows the city and is a very good, kind, man. Drop your bags in your room, freshen up- and hit the town. Now the time you arrive will inevitably depend on your flight, but skip to the part of the day that applies to you, and finish what you started on the way back through Rhodes (after you finish your vacation) before heading home. If you have a full day in Rhodes, even simpler- just start at the top.

Morning

Breakfast:

IMG_1852.JPG
  • If you’re staying at Saint Michel Hotel (mentioned at the very bottom), you’ll have breakfast included. Kristos put’s out a lovely spread with fresh fruit, eggs, toast, coffee, and tea. If you’re not, there are plenty of options.

    • Café Auvergne: in a gorgeous courtyard under massive trees of Great Alexander Square, you’ll find plenty of Greek and typical breakfast foods sure to satisfy any palate. (Great Alexander Square, Rodos 851 00, Greece)

Before you head off for some nature time, have a little wander and check out the insane architecture of Suleymaniye Mosque, and the Church of the Virgin of the Burgh.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Church of the Virgin of the Burgh.

Church of the Virgin of the Burgh.

Nature time

(pick one of the two)

  • Butterfly Valley: Butterfly Valley is a natural (protected) reserve approx 5 kilometers southeast of the village of Theologos. If you’re there in the month of August, you’ll see thousands of Panaxia Quadripunctaria butterflies, that come every year to reproduce (hence the name). But at any other time of year it is still a lush, beautiful 600 acre park, plenty of walking trails. Approx 35 mins drive from the Old Town.

  • Filerimos: is a small hill covered in cedar trees, with a medieval monastery & panoramic views over the bay. There is also a massive white cross waiting for you. Approx 20 mins drive from Old Town.

Butterfly Valley

Butterfly Valley

Filerimos

Filerimos

afternoon

Juice Bar

Juice Bar

Juice:

  • The Fruit Lab: I suggest grabbing a fresh juice around midday to give you a little energy boost before lunch. Grab a carrot, lemon, and ginger (my favourite!) and then check out one of the museums from the day pass (see below) before grabbing lunch. (Sokratous 70, Rodos 851 00, Greece)

Museums:

  • You can get a 10 Euro pass that is valid for the day to visit: Grand Masters' Palace, Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts. The pass can be bought at any of those venues. There is enough to see at all these places to tide you over for a couple of days… but if you’re choosing only one I would hit up the Archeological Museum... and also take a peak in the Grandmaster’s Palace. A ticket for one is 6 Euros, so I suggest just getting the day pass, and stopping by and at least peaking your head in each, and get lunch at some point in between.

Archeological Museum

Grand Master’s Palace.

Grand Master’s Palace.

Carrot, Lemon, Ginger!

Carrot, Lemon, Ginger!

Ouzokafenes for lunch.

Ouzokafenes for lunch.

Lunch

Ouzokafenes: is a lovely typical Greek restaurant with a banging outdoor garden patio. I’m all about the olives, sardines, a greek salad, and the baby shrimps or steamed mussels. (Menekleous 17, Rodos 851 00, Greece)

 

Evening

Get lost in the back roads around dusk:

  • This is perhaps my most favourite thing about the old town: no matter how many times you pass through, you’ll always be discovering new back roads. You can’t really get lost, because everything within the confines of the Old Town walls is pretty small. But the beauty of the cobblestones, stone buildings, and flowers is just magical. Give yourself a good hour or two to walk around before dinner, before it gets dark out!

Dinner

  • Dinner at Taverna Kostas is an absolute must. Kostas is a father that runs the kitchen with his two sons. The kitchen and entire restaurant is a family affair, we even had an 8 year old lending a helping hand (bringing out the bread). This restaurant was truly one of the best meals I had in Greece- it felt like we had been invited into their home. We got many plates to share, and ordered the Imam (i believe it was #19 on the list of starters- a typical vegetable dish, baked in a pot), the shrimp saganaki, the mussels saganaki, the grilled octopus, the fried calamari, a greek salad, and the garlic mushrooms (between 5 people). It was a lot of food, but everything was ab-so-lutely incredible. Straight up: the grilled octopus was the best I've ever had (and I even had it the previous night, caught fresh and grilled by a Greek man on Symi). The grilled octopus here is no joke. (Pithagora 62, Rodos 851 00, Greece)

 

Post Dinner

Grab a digestif (ouzo is the classic Greek digestif) at either the lively Antama bar (they have an incredible little casual vibe there, dimly lit outdoor patio full of people there to have a good time), or at the l’Éternel piano bar (for a rooftop, nicer vibe with amazing views).

Antama: Sofokleous 38, Rodos 851 00, Greece

l’Éternel: 18 Platonos Street, Rodos 851 00, Greece

l’Éternel piano bar.

l’Éternel piano bar.

Stay

saint michel.jpg

Saint Michel hotel

Is no doubt the place to stay in the Old Town! Kristos runs the place, and is very lovely; he will accomodate any check-in and check-out times as you’re passing through Rhodes. The prices are affordable and the rooms are beautiful, well kept, old stone walls. Air conditioning, and breakfast every morning out front.

Address: Perikleous 68, Rodos 851 00, Greece

Phone: +30 2241 025111

Get 10% off by booking at Booking.com by clicking: 

May your travels be blessed!