Greek Islands- Santorini Itinerary By Car

Santorini is the definition of an ideal Greek island. It’s full of picturesque villages, scenic natural beauty, tasty cuisine, and fascinating archeological sites. Explore the best of Santorini with this comprehensive road trip itinerary!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Fira to Oia- 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)đź“Ť

Oia to Ancient Thera- 23 kilometers (14.3 miles)đź“Ť

Ancient Thera to Pyrgos- 7 kilometers (4.4 miles)đź“Ť 

Pyrgos to Akrotiri- 8 kilometers (5 miles)đź“Ť

50 kilometers (31 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, road trip, Greece, Beach, foodie

What is the best time of the year to visit Santorini?

The best time of the year to visit Santorini is in May and September. That’s when the weather is still pleasant and there aren’t too many tourists around the island. 

The weather is the hottest during July and August, it’s best to go during these months if you plan to spend lots of time on the beaches. Keep in mind that it is also the peak of the tourist season, and Santorini tends to get very crowded during the summer.

Why should you rent a car in Santorini?

Santorini, despite being a rather small island, is definitely best explored using a rental car. The comfort of altering your itinerary on the go, freely extending the road trip, or finishing it early can only be achieved when traveling by car.

Public transport around Greece tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses irregularly travel between destinations. Not to mention the crowds and the fact that bus tickets can only be purchased in cash at the booths, right before leaving.

Road trip Extensions

Mainland Greece

Your Greek getaway doesn’t have to end here! Before leaving Greece, fly to Athens and drive all the way to Thessaloniki, exploring the best attractions in mainland Greece along the way. Click here for the travel guide and plan your ideal road trip through mainland Greece.

Rhodes

Rhodes is the definition of Greece as most tourists know it. Here, you can find some of Europe’s most pristine beaches, spectacular natural beauty, and fascinating towns with ancient historical sites. Click here for the guide.

Rental Moose mascot posing at a viewpoint overlooking a beautiful sandy beach in Kos, Greece. Check out our curated Greek Island itineraries.

Can tourists drive in Greece?

Yes! As Greece is a member of the European Union, tourists can use their domestic driving licenses issued in other EU member states. Travelers who do not have a driving license issued in an EU country should obtain an International Driving Permit (click here to learn all about them).

Driving in Greece for first-timers might be overwhelming at first. Locals tend to drive aggressively without much regard for others, be extra cautious when driving a rental car around Santorini, and make sure to get excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose when booking your vehicle.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car, that way you are eligible for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Once you’re all set, let’s dive into this exciting Santorini itinerary!

Fira

Photography by EzPzPics.

Welcome to the sunny island of Santorini! For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly when you arrive at the airport. Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose.

Santorini is often regarded as the most beautiful island in Greece, it surely is one of the most unique ones. It provides a perfect mix of historical sites, delicious cuisine, scenic natural beauty, and vibrant nightlife. Santorini is a volcanic island, the caldera is what remained after an eruption that happened centuries ago, and resulted in shaping Santorini’s unique landscape. 

Is Fira worth visiting?

Most certainly! Fira is the main town on the island, and it has plenty of attractions and spots worth visiting. You can find plenty of scenic points, restaurants, hangouts and nightlife spots all around this small town. Here are some of our favorite spots and the best things to do in Fira.

Karavolades Stairs & The Old Port

Enjoy a fair bit of exercise as you walk down the Karavolades Stairs, often referred to as the 587 steps. Tourists traveling with children will surely love seeing many donkeys traveling up and down what was once the main donkey trail that connected the town to the port.

 The exhausting stroll will take you down to the harbor, where you can hire a boat or go on a fishing tour.

You can either walk back up the same way or take the cable car and regain energy. The cable car to Fira costs just 6 EUR per person. Note that passengers are required to wear masks.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Try to visit the old port outside of the peak hours, otherwise you might find yourself stuck in a long queue for the cable cars.

Three Bells of Fira

After your cable or ride (or hike, if you can handle it), walk along the cliffside road until you reach the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church. The church is a famous attraction due to its whitewashed facade, blue dome, and the Three Bells of Fira overlooking the sea. It is hands-down one of the best photo opportunities in Santorini.

Remember to post your pictures from this trip online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Three Bells of Fira photographed by Judith Scharnowski

Obelix

When in Santorini, you can’t miss out on the delicious cuisine! Make your way across the narrow streets until you reach Obelix, the best place in Fira to try real Gyros. As it’s one of the favorites among both tourists and locals, prepare to wait a bit for your food. It is well worth it, though!

Open all week from noon until 9:30 PM.

Rentalmoose order tip: Don’t skip out on their famous Gyros or Souvlaki.

PK Cocktail Bar

PK Cocktail Bar is one of the go-to nightlife spots in all of Santorini. It’s always vibrant, crowded, and well-known among locals. It has been welcoming guests for over 40 years and remains one of the top picks on the island. Sip on a delicious cocktail as you watch the sunset from the outdoor terrace, order a cup of aromatic coffee, or smoke a tasty cigar.

PK Cocktail Bar is open all week until midnight.

Parking in Fira

You can drop off your rental car at one of the small public car parks located along the main road. The majority of public car parks in Santorini are usually free, the few paid ones cost under 2 EUR per hour.

On-street parking is permitted unless there are signs that state otherwise. Generally, if there are other cars parked along the street, you should be fine as well.

Where to stay in Santorini?

As the total driving distance for this road trip doesn’t surpass 100 kilometers, Rentalmoose recommends staying at one of these hotels during your trip to Santorini.

Iconic Santorini

Iconic Santorini is an impressive boutique cave hotel located in Imerovigli, at the highest point of the caldera. This idyllic spot is centrally located from the hustle and bustle of the cruise shopping port of Fira. Oia’s famous sunsets are only a short drive away.

The 5-star property features a stunning infinity pool overlooking the sea, magnificent suites, an upscale restaurant, and a wellness facility. It is the perfect choice for sophisticated travelers visiting Santorini.

Photo courtesy of Iconic Santorini

Grand View Hotel

Don’t want to splash out hundreds of Euros per night on an ultra-luxurious hotel in Santorini? Consider checking-in at the 3-star Grand View Hotel instead. This property, located in Megalochori, features a stunning outdoor terrace and swimming pool overlooking the sea at a fraction of its 5-star competitors. 

Add modern decor, a charming restaurant, complimentary parking, and Grand View Hotel becomes a very attractive budget-friendly stay in Santorini.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Oia, 20 minutes

Oia

Photography by Michelle Maria.

Depart Fira and continue towards the northern tip of the island. After roughly 20 minutes, you will reach Oia, the second-largest town in Santorini, and one of the most picturesque spots you can find. It is also quieter than Fira, especially once dusk falls.

What can you do in Oia?

Ammoudi Bay

Cool down from the scorching heat and go for a dip in the Aegean Sea at Ammoudi Bay. Adrenaline junkies can find opportunities for cliff-jumping, foodies can drop by one of the waterfront fish taverns and dive into local seafood. 

Alternatively, you can go on a boat tour directly from the bay to see picturesque bays, other islands, and the famous volcano.

Ammoudi Fish Tavern

Once you get hungry, head to the Ammoudi Fish Tavern located in Ammoudi Bay. Apart from fresh fish and tasty seafood, the eatery offers a beautiful waterfront dining experience with panoramic views of the sea and the nearby island. The restaurant is popular, you might want to book ahead during the peak season to ensure you get the best table.

The tavern is open daily from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Byzantine Castle Ruins

Santorini’s magical sunsets are famous around the world. For the best view of the sunset, head to the point right next to the Byzantine Castle Ruins. Spectacular sunsets with panoramic views of the iconic whitewashed buildings, traditional windmills, and deep blue water, attract hordes of tourists every evening. Make sure to find your spot long before the sunset itself to get an unobstructed view!

Church of Panagia

The Church of Panagia is a lovely whitewashed Orthodox church in the heart of Oia. Its pristine facade makes for a perfect backdrop for photography. Alternatively, visitors can step inside and admire the decorative interior. Remember to dress appropriately when visiting places of worship.

Hike to Fira

If walking down the 587 steps to the old port in Fira wasn’t enough exercise for the day, you can wander down the scenic trail all the way to Fira. The hike is around 10 kilometers long one-way, spectacular views along the way are guaranteed, as you’ll be walking practically on the edge of the caldera. Click here for more info on the hike between Fira and Oia.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Ancient Thera, 35 minutes

Ancient Thera

Photography by Norbert Nagel

After exploring Oia and Fira, it’s time to head out and see what the southern part of the island has to offer. Be sure to drop by the Ancient Thera archeological site. The winding road leading to the site, filled with tight hairpins and chicanes, is a super fun drive.

What is Ancient Thera?

Ancient Thera is a large archeological site of an ancient town of Thera, its history dates as far as the 8th century BC. The remains of the settlement are located on top of the Mesa Vuono Mountain, providing spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

You can follow the chicane-filled road and park your rental car near the entrance to the site, or leave your car in Perissa and reach the top of the mountain on foot. Wear comfy shoes as there is lots of ground to cover, and the hiking conditions can be challenging for the inexperienced.

The archeological site is open between 8 AM and 3 PM and remains closed on Mondays.

Kamari Beach

Hiking around the archeological site for a few hours might wear you out. In that case, reward yourself with a relaxing evening at Kamari Beach just a short car ride down the mountain from Ancient Thera. 

Catch a glimpse of the setting sun, go for a swim, or feel the mix of volcanic sand and pebbles as you stroll down the shore. You can also walk around Kamari and step inside one of the local restaurants or shops.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Pyrgos, 15 minutes

Pyrgos

Photography by DanaTentis

Is Pyrgos worth visiting?

Definitely! Pyrgos is a scenic whitewashed village around 15 minutes away from Ancient Thera that remains frequently overlooked by tourists, hence it is usually calm and peaceful. Once the capital of Santorini, Pyrgos is one of the best-preserved, authentic villages on the island. Its natural setting between vineyards makes it even more charming.

Admire the panoramic view of the village first from this viewing point. Then, make your way into the town, park your rental car, and stroll around Pyrgos on foot. The best way to see the beauty of this cute village is by simply walking around and exploring its narrow streets.

Art Space Santorini

As Pyrgos is surrounded by vineyards, it would only make sense to see a winery and learn about the local wine culture. The perfect space to do so is Art Space Santorini. The venue features a wine-oriented museum located in an old winery.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibition of wine-related art pieces. Guests can also tour an active winery and the nearby vineyard.

You can taste and purchase locally-made wine, too. Remember that driving under the influence is strictly forbidden.

Art Space Santorini is open all week between 11 AM and 7 PM.

Santorini of the Past

Learn all about Santorini’s regional history at Santorini of The Past, a wonderful museum focused on depicting the everyday life of Santorini. The museum features a collection of historic items and fascinating artifacts on display. Of course, scenic surroundings and panoramic views are guaranteed.

Metaxi Mas

Try what could very well be the best restaurant in all of Santorini. Metaxi Mas serves Greek dishes with a slight Cretan twist. The cozy taverna hosts guests in an indoor area or their stunning terrace with panoramic views of the island. Each dish can be paired with local wine, of course.

Metaxi Mas is open from noon until midnight, 7 days a week. It can get busy during the weekend, book ahead to reserve a spot in the outdoor seating area.

Next on your Santorini itinerary: Akrotiri, 15 minutes

Akrotiri

The Red Beach photographed by Pat Scrap.

Having explored the village of Pyrgos, it’s time to head towards the southeastern tip of Santorini. This part of the island has even more natural beauty, as well as some of Santorini’s best beaches.

What can you do in Akrotiri?

Akrotiri Archeological Site

Akrotiri Archeological Site is dubbed “the Greek Pompeii” and is regarded as one of the most remarkable sites in the country. Its history dates back to the Bronze Age!

The excavation site has been covered by a roof, it doesn’t look too appealing from the outside, but the treasures it holds are worth seeing. You can check out the artifacts on display, too.

Akrotiri Archeological Site is open from 8 AM to 3:30 PM on Wednesdays and from 8 AM to 8 PM for the rest of the week. Admission tickets cost 12 EUR per person.

Akrotiri Lighthouse

Head to the easternmost point of Santorini, where you will find the picturesque Akrotiri Lighthouse set on a cliff above the shore. It’s one of the oldest lighthouses in Greece, dating back to the late 1800s. The whitewashed walls of the lighthouse make it another ideal backdrop for photos.

If you want to experience another otherworldly sunset, hang around the lighthouse. This spot provides similarly spectacular views as the sun sets, yet it’s less popular among tourists. It’s easier to get an unobstructed view here than in Oia. Not convinced? Just look at the photo below.

Akrotiri Lighthouse during sunset photographed by Skeeze.

What are the best beaches in Santorini?

The area around Akrotiri is home to some of the best beaches in Santorini. Keep in mind that Santorini is a volcanic island, you won’t find any picture-perfect beaches with palm trees and white sand.

Mesa Pigadia Beach

Mesa Pigadia Beach is the perfect getaway from Santorini’s crowds. This tranquil pebble beach is perfect for sunbathing or swimming in its crystal-clear water. When you get hungry, pop inside the Mesa Pigadia restaurant for a snack right by the sea.

Red Beach

Red Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Santorini, mainly because of its iconic red volcanic sand and the red cliffs surrounding the beach. Apart from sunbathing and swimming, Red Beach is perfect for snorkeling.

Vlychada Beach

The beach in Vlychada, much like Red Beach, offers a spectacular natural setting, as the volcanic shore is surrounded by dramatic cliffs. The otherwordly landscape makes Vlychada Beach stand out among any other beaches on Santorini.

Sunbeds are available for just a couple of Euros. There are also beachside bars and cafes where guests can pop by for a drink.

What’s more, there is a vibrant marina just a few minutes away from the beach, where visitors can admire some of the docked yachts or enjoy fresh seafood.

Perissa Beach

Perissa Beach has got to be the busiest beach on all of Santorini. It is also, however, the one with the most hotels, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities. Sunbeds are available as far as the eye can see. 

Tired of sunbathing all day? Spend some time at one of the beach clubs, or walk around the nearby town of Perissa. There is always something to do near Perissa Beach.

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, you can drop your rental car off at Santorini Airport directly before leaving. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off using Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next road trip in Greece. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip in Greece online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Athens to Thessaloniki by Car- Greece Trip Itinerary

Greece is one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe, what better way to explore than with a week-long road trip? See the best archeological sites, dreamy beaches, and natural beauty with this comprehensive travel guide.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Athens to Delphi- 185 kilometers (115 miles)đź“Ť 7.15 EUR Highway toll

Delphi to Volos- 210 kilometers (130 miles)đź“Ť 7.2 EUR Toll

Volos to Meteora- 145 kilometers (90 miles)đź“Ť 11.8 EUR Toll

Meteora to Mount Olympus- 155 kilometers (95 miles)đź“Ť 5.7 EUR Toll

Mount Olympus to Vergina- 75 kilometers (45 miles)đź“Ť

Vergina to Thessaloniki- 70 kilometers (45 miles)đź“Ť 1.2 EUR Toll

850 kilometers (530 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, road trip, drop-off at another location, Greece, Beach

This travel guide takes you on an exciting Greece road trip starting in Athens, the capital of Greece. Then, you’ll go inland towards Delphi, before spending a night in the coastal city of Volos.

Next, you’ll get to see the otherwordly hanging monasteries of Meteora, before stopping overnight in Litochoro at the foot of Mt. Olympus.

Finish off with a stop at The Royal Tombs of Aigai and an unforgettable night in Thessaloniki.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is around 850 kilometers. With that in mind, Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 5 days for this road trip. To fully explore the best of what each location has to offer, spend at least 10 days on the road.

What is the best time of the year to visit Greece?

The best time of the year to go on a road trip in Greece is during the sunny months, typically between May and September. The weather is the hottest during July and August, but it is also the peak of the tourist season.

You can avoid hordes of tourists while still catching a glimpse of the perfect weather when you visit during June and early September.

Road trip extensions

Greek Islands

Your Greece road trip doesn’t have to end here! Extend your road trip and visit some of the country’s most picturesque islands. Rentalmoose recommends going to Rhodes or Santorini.

Turkish Riviera

Forget South East Asia, the Turkish Riviera is dubbed one of the world’s best summer getaways. Party your heart out in Bodrum, swim in the Blue Lagoon, and enjoy the world-famous Turkish breakfast in Antalya. Click here for the guide.

Why should you rent a car in Greece?

Mainland Greece is ideal to be explored by rental car. The roads are, for the most part, well-maintained, and there are some magnificent scenic drives around Meteora, Delphi, and Mount Olympus. A road trip in Greece is a great way to see the country.

Outside of Athens, public transport tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses travel between cities quite irregularly.

A rental car is definitely the best way of getting around mainland Greece.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee!

Are there toll roads in Greece?

There is a fair amount of toll highways and paid roads around Greece. Fees can be settled when passing toll booths, mostly in cash though some booths will accept credit cards depending on the highway operator. Take cash to pay the highway tolls, just in case.

You can use this toll calculator to precisely calculate fees between Greek cities.

Can tourists drive in Greece?

Yes! As Greece is a member of the European Union, tourists can use their domestic driving licenses issued in other EU-member states.

Travelers who do not have a driving license issued in an EU-country should obtain an International Driving Permit (click here to learn all about them).

Driving around Athens may become chaotic if you’re not familiar with the unsaid rules that everyone seems to follow. Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car when leaving Athens and using public transport to get around the capital.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into this Greece road trip itinerary!

Athens

acropolis athens monumental ancient parthenon, seen behind green trees and athens skyline on a clear day.

The Acropolis photographed by Leonhard Niederwimmer

This road trip kicks off in what could very well be the most fascinating city in this part of Europe. Welcome to Athens!

For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car at Athens International Airport. Browse through car rental options that support drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos of the car to qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Athens is infamous for its notorious traffic jams. Get around the city using public transport and rent your car once you’re ready to leave town.

What can’t you miss in Athens?

Parthenon- the Acropolis

The Parthenon is an absolute must-see in Athens, no matter whether you are into history or not. The elevated rocky hill in the heart of Athens is home to the Parthenon as well as other ancient monuments that make up the famous Acropolis.

Wear comfortable shoes: the Acropolis is on a hilltop and the only way to reach it is by hiking! The walk up to the ruins takes around 15 minutes.

As the Acropolis is undoubtedly the main highlight for tourists in Athens, be sure to book your tickets in advance. Check the official website for details. 

Tickets for the Acropolis cost 20 EUR per person. During the winter (November to the end of March) ticket prices are reduced to 10 EUR. 

If you’re planning to visit other ancient sites, consider purchasing a combined ticket that grants you entrance to the Acropolis, as well as the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, Kerameikos, and more. A combined ticket costs 30 EUR and can be purchased online. Keep in mind that you have to visit all of the sites within 5 days, otherwise the ticket expires.

Rentalmoose tip: The Acropolis can get extremely crowded, especially on weekends. Visit the monuments during the week, or near the closing time, to avoid hordes of tourists.

Acropolis Museum

Once you’ve seen the famous Acropolis, make your way to the museum practically across the street.

Inside, you will find loads of precious artifacts dating back to prehistoric times. The Acropolis Museum features a collection of ancient art and items housed in a stunning contemporary building.

Travelers can also visit the archeological excavation area right beneath the museum!

The museum is open all week from 8 AM during the summer season. Admission costs 10 EUR per person. Purchase your tickets online to skip the queue.

UPDATE: As of April 2021, the Acropolis Museum remains closed until further notice. Refer to the official website for more details.

Monastiraki Flea Market

Feel the authentic city vibe as you wander around the streets of the Monastiraki district, one of the oldest parts of Athens. Begin your journey at the picturesque main square, right next to the Monastiraki metro station.

Make sure to step inside the vibrant Monastiraki Flea Market. Shopping freaks will be happy to hear that you can find pretty much anything here! Vendors are selling a variety of goods ranging from clothes to regional delicacies, jewelry, or souvenirs.

An outdoor market in Athens. Photo by Kirkandmimi.

Exploring the narrow streets of Monastiraki will surely wear you out, head up to one of the iconic rooftop bars!

Couleur Locale Athens

Couleur Locale is one of the best rooftop bars/restaurants in Monastiraki, perhaps even in all of Athens. Located just by the main square, the bar offers unbeatable views of Athens and the Acropolis. It’s a perfect backdrop for photos, remember to post your best photos online #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Guests can enjoy a tasty lunch, an aromatic cocktail once dusk falls, or a refreshing coffee in the afternoon. Click here for the menu.

What are the best hotels in Athens?

Four Seasons Astir Palace

Luxury travelers should consider checking in at the Four Seasons Astir Palace, a serene beachside getaway just half an hour away from the heart of Athens. The prestigious property features three private beaches, eight onsite restaurants, a world-class spa as well as upscale shopping, bars, and lounges. Greece’s first Four Seasons hotel really is a fabulous one.

Plaka Hotel

If you want to stay in the lively heart of Monastiraki, spend the night at the Plaka Hotel. This 3-star property features 67 modern rooms and suites. After a busy day of exploration, guests can sip on a drink at the rooftop terrace while admiring panoramic views of the Acropolis.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Delphi, 2 hours 20 minutes 7.15 EUR highway toll

Delphi

Ancient sites in Delphi photographed by Konstantin Arzumanidis

Depart Athens and head northwest for a little over 2 hours until you reach Delphi. As this is not an overnight stop, it’s best to leave Athens early in the morning to explore all of what Delphi has to offer.

Is Delphi worth visiting?

Most certainly! The stunning ancient ruins are worth a quick peek at the very least. If you have the extra time, drop by the museum and visit the modern town of Delphi. Spend a few hours in Delphi before continuing on to Volos.

The ancient ruins & the museum

Unarguably, the main highlights of Delphi are the fascinating ruins and archeological sites. Hike around the mountains and explore the Temple of Apollo, the monumental Ancient Theatre, the Stadium, or the Gymnasium where athletes would prepare for the Pythian Games. The sites are open all week from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Get a grasp of the region’s history whilst exploring the ruins of Delphi and download the EasyGuideApp Delphi as your virtual guide. Alternatively, consider booking a traditional guided tour to learn all about these fascinating sites.

Learn even more about the sites and their history at the Delphi Archeological Museum, one of Greece’s most important museums! Open Wednesday-Monday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and between 10 AM and 5 PM on Tuesdays.

Admission tickets cost 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. The ticket includes entry to the museum as well as the archeological sites. Current prices can be found here.

Taverna Dion

Walking around the sites will surely make you hungry. Before you set off further, follow the main road into the town of Delphi until you reach Taverna Dion, the go-to restaurant in Delphi. The Taverna uses a variety of locally-sourced products to create delicious, regional dishes.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Volos, 2 hours 30 minutes 7.2 EUR Highway Toll

Volos

Landscape of Volos photographed from Mount Pelion by Dimitris Vetsikas.

Follow the spectacular mountain roads, and then make your way to the coastal city of Volos.

What should you see in Volos?

Portaria

Make your way north of Volos and explore the lovely village of Portaria, situated on the steep slopes of Mount Pelion. The village is full of scenic mansions, spectacular viewpoints, and cozy restaurants perfect for dinner. 

You can stretch your legs as you hike around the Centaurs’ Path, or wander around the Spring of Manas. Alternatively, you can visit one of the other 20 villages scattered around Mount Pelion.

Mylopotamos Beach

After exploring the villages around Mount Pelion, head further east until you reach the dreamy Mylopotamos Beach. The white-pebble beach features crystal-clear water, absolutely perfect for a dip, and pristine views of the surrounding cliffs. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in all of mainland Greece, yet remains unspoiled by over-tourism.

Athanasakio Archeological Museum of Volos

History freaks can visit the Athanasakio Archeological Museum of Volos. Apart from various fascinating exhibits from the Neolithic period, guests can also find entire burials that have been incorporated in the exhibition, making for an unforgettable experience.

Open all week except Tuesdays from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Tickets are priced at 4 Euros per adult and 2 Euros for a reduced ticket.

Isalos Beach Club

Admire the sunset while enjoying tasty dinner at the Isalos Beach Club, Volos’ best beach club, and overall trendy hangout. It certainly isn’t the cheapest place to eat or drink in Volos, but the cool experience is well worth it. 

Isalos Beach Club is open all week from 9 AM till 3 AM, and nonstop on weekends.

What are the best places to stay in Volos?

Domotel Xenia Volos

Luxury seekers should most definitely consider checking in at the 5-star Domotel Xenia Volos. This beachfront property features modern rooms with sea views, a spa and wellness center, a beach, and a lively rooftop bar. Not to mention the location near the heart of Volos.

Despotiko

Would you rather stay a bit further from the busy city? Book a room at the stylish Despotiko up in Portaria. This 4-star property located in a chic mansion features stylish decor and an outdoor pool. 

A private car park is available at no extra charge.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Meteora, 1 hour 50 minutes 11.8 EUR Highway toll

Meteora

Meteora’s out-of-this-world scenery photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis

After a day in the coastal town of Volos, it is time to head back inland. A 2-hour drive will take you to Meteora, one of the highlights of mainland Greece.

Is Meteora worth a visit?

Meteora is, without a doubt, worth visiting! Six monasteries situated atop spectacular natural pillars make an impressive sight to say the least. It is no surprise that the monasteries are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hanging monasteries of Meteora

An absolute must when in Meteora is visiting the clifftop monasteries. Back in the day, they were nearly impossible to access as the monks who spent their time here hardly had any visitors. Today, bridges and stairs have been constructed to make it easier for tourists.

Spectacular views in Meteora photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis

The Great Meteoron Monastery

Great Meteoron Monastery is the most popular one, its history dates back to the 14th century making it the oldest and largest of the six. The Great Meteoron Monastery began the monasticism in the area, it is worth at least a quick peek. 

The hike up the hill takes around 40 minutes one way. The monastery is open between 9 AM and 3 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.

Rentalmoose insider tip: The monasteries tend to get crowded during peak season. It’s best to visit them in the morning or right before the closing time.

Varlaam Monastery

Varlaam Monastery is the second biggest monastery in Meteora, located near the Great Meteoron Monastery. It was founded around 1350 by a monk named Varlaam, who managed to climb the cliff. 

Varlaam monastery is open between 9 AM and 4 PM and remains closed on Tuesdays.

St. Stephen’s Monastery

St. Stephen’s Monastery is perfect for the slightly lazier travelers, as it is the easiest one to access. Forget long hikes and steps, all you have to do is cross one single bridge. Nonetheless, this monastery is just as impressive as the other five. 

St. Stephen’s Monastery is open between 9 AM and 1:30 PM, then 3:30 PM until 5:30 PM. Closed on Mondays. You can check the opening hours and closures of all six monasteries here.

If you have the extra time, be sure to visit the other three monasteries. In that case, consider staying the night in Meteora before departing further.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Litochoro, 2 hours 5.7 EUR Toll

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus photographed by Ioannis Ioannidis.

A visit to mainland Greece couldn’t possibly be complete without stopping by the monumental Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, and one of the country’s national treasures. The mountain is often portrayed in Greek mythology, and now it’s your chance to visit it!

Can you hike Mount Olympus?

Mount Olympus is a well-known destination among trekkers and mountaineers, it is clear to see why. The trailhead begins in the town of Litochoro, the entire trek to the summit is difficult and takes multiple days to complete. There are easier trails for less-experienced tourists, too. 

Check out Olympus Paths for a complete guide to trekking in Mount Olympus, or book a guided tour with them.

Litochoro

Litochoro is a small town at the foot of Mount Olympus, it serves as a base for mountaineers and tourists who are planning to hike to the summit of the mountain. There is a variety of restaurants, shops, accommodation options, and car parks around the town.

St. Dionysios Monastery

When in Litochoro, be sure to visit the St. Dionysios Monastery. Its history dates back to the 1500s. The original monastery was destroyed during WW2 and is currently being restored to bring the monument back to its former glory. It is well worth a visit when in Litochoro, the monastery makes a perfect backdrop for photography.

The monastery can be accessed free of charge. Remember to dress and act appropriately when visiting places of worship.

Check the directions here.

Erato Wine Restaurant

What better way to end a day of hiking than with a delicious Greek dinner? In the evening, make your way to Erato Wine Restaurant, one of the favorite eateries among locals and tourists in Litochoro. The terrific mountain view is worth mentioning, too.

Rentalmoose insider tip: You can’t go wrong with Gyros or locally-sourced grilled meats. The restaurant can get crowded on weekends, be sure to book your table prior to your visit.

The restaurant is open from noon until midnight on weekdays and from 9 AM until midnight on weekends.

Where to stay near Mount Olympus?

Cavo Olympo

Sophisticated travelers will enjoy spending the night at the 5-star Cavo Olympo. The prestigious seafront hotel features chic rooms and suites situated in a beautiful resort, a spa and wellness center, and an outdoor pool.

Cavo Olympo is only for adults, children are not permitted within the hotel.

Mythic Valley

Traveling on a slightly tighter budget? Consider booking a room at the 3-star Mythic Valley, right in the heart of Litochoro. This property offers stylish rooms with free wi-fi and a complimentary breakfast buffet, all at a price that doesn’t break the bank. 

Next on your road trip in Greece: Vergina, 1 hour

Vergina

The Royal Tombs in Vergina photographed by DocWoKav/Wikimedia Commons.

This optional leg of the journey requires a small detour on your way to Thessaloniki. The detour adds around 40 minutes extra to the total driving time, it is well worth it for history freaks.

What can you do in Vergina?

Vergina is a small village around an hour away from the center of Thessaloniki. At first, it may not look particularly interesting. The village, however, is home to one of the most important archeological sites in Greece.

Museum of The Royal Tombs of Aigai

The Royal Tombs of Aigai are an absolute must-see for any history buff visiting mainland Greece. The somewhat remote location of Vergina makes it often overlooked by international tourists, don’t make the same mistake! The museum is situated atop underground tombs. Royal tombs, to be precise. What makes the tombs of Aigai royal?

The Royal Tombs of Aigai are home to Phillip II or the Phillip of Macedon. Primarily known as the father of Alexander the Great, one of the most famous figures of the ancient world. Guests can also see the (apparent) tomb of Alexander’s child, Alexander IV, as well as a collection of precious artifacts found during the excavation. The experience is truly unforgettable.

Admission tickets to the museum and archeological sites cost 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. If you want to explore the local museums further, purchase a combined ticket for 15 EUR. Guided tours are available, it’s best to book one ahead of your visit.

The museum is open all week until 8 PM.

Next on your road trip in Greece: Thessaloniki, 55 minutes 1.2 EUR Toll

Thessaloniki

Photography by Emilia Babalau-Maghiar.

The final leg of the journey is a 70-km drive east towards Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece and the vibrant heart of this part of the country.

Is Thessaloniki worth visiting?

Most definitely! Thessaloniki is a diverse, fascinating city. Deep-rooted in history, full of waterfront bars, and a trendy, coastal vibe, Thessaloniki is the perfect place to visit during your road trip around mainland Greece.

White Tower of Thessaloniki

No visit to Thessaloniki could be complete without a photo by the White Tower of Thessaloniki

The waterfront landmark is located within walking distance of other attractions (Ladadika District and Tsimiski Street), that’s why Rentalmoose recommends parking your rental car at a car park near the White Tower for the day. Finding an on-street parking spot is nearly impossible during peak season, a private car park costs around 2 EUR per hour.

After you get your photo with the famous White Tower (remember to post it online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!), you can enter the museum that spans across 6 floors of the tower. Then, make your way to the viewing terrace and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

The tower is open all week from 8 AM to 8 PM. Admission costs 8 EUR per adult and 4 EUR per reduced ticket.

Ladadika District

Be sure to go for a stroll around the vibrant Ladadika District in the very heart of Thessaloniki. Ladadika is the go-to spot for nightlife, entertainment, and dining near the sea. Back when Thessaloniki was ruled by the Ottomans, Ladadika was a large market. Today, the market is gone and the traditional buildings have been turned into charming bars and restaurants.

Ouzou Melathron

Out of all the delicious eateries and taverns around Ladadika, Ouzou Melathron has got to be one of the best ones. Try some of the best Greek cuisine accompanied by a glass of aromatic Ouzou (if you’re not the driver, of course) while dining outdoors on the vivid street.

Open all week between 1 PM and 1 AM.

Tsimiski Street

Tsimiski Street is Thessaloniki’s main shopping avenue. The 1.2 kilometer-long street is lined with high-end boutiques, making it perfect for shopping freaks. You can also catch a movie at the multiplex cinema located in the Plateia shopping mall or go for a coffee at a waterfront cafe nearby. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: If you can’t find a parking spot near Tsimiski Avenue, head to Plateia’s shopping mall car park and leave your rental car there.

Where are the best beaches near Thessaloniki?

Halkidiki Peninsula

Explore some of the best sandy beaches in mainland Greece when you visit the Halkidiki Peninsula just a drive away from the city. There are over 50 pristine beaches waiting for you! Halkidiki Peninsula is perfect for a day trip from the city.

Armenistis Beach

Armenistis Beach is perfect for active beachgoers and well worth the 3-hour drive from Thessaloniki. Crystal-clear waters, soft sands, and beautiful surrounding areas are guaranteed. There are lots of amenities, including sunbeds and umbrellas and watersport activities at your disposal.

Continue reading if you’d rather visit a beach near Thessaloniki.

Agia Triada Beach

Agia Triada Beach is a long beach just 20km away from the center of Thessaloniki. The beach features crystal waters and lots of activities, bars and waterfront restaurants. Despite its attractiveness, the beach remains calm for the majority of the season.

What are the best hotels in Thessaloniki?

The Met Hotel

Luxury seekers should check-in at the 5-star Met Hotel. The property is conveniently located in Thessaloniki’s New Port and offers modern decor, a spa, and a magnificent rooftop pool that overlooks the city.

Plaza Hotel

Are you traveling on a tighter budget? Consider spending the night at the Plaza Hotel, a stylish 3-star hotel located near the heart of Thessaloniki. The property features modern, chic rooms, suites with a sea view, delicious breakfast, and a great location, all at a reasonable price.

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car directly at Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia” when leaving Greece. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off and drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next road trip in Greece. On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your next road trip in Greece online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

The ultimate Rhodes Itinerary By Car

Rhodes is a breathtaking Greek paradise within the Dodecanese Islands, near the coast of Turkey. The island’s pristine beaches, archeological sites, scenic roads, and traditional restaurants are scattered all across the island, making Rhodes the perfect destination for a road trip. Plan your ideal Rhodes road trip with this comprehensive travel itinerary!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

East Coast of Rhodes to Lindos- 50 kilometers (30 miles)đź“Ť

South of Rhodes to Prasonisi- 50 kilometers (30 miles)đź“Ť

West Coast of Rhodes- 160 kilometers (100 miles)đź“Ť 

260 kilometers (160 miles) in total

Tags: Travel guide, Greece, Beach, foodie, scenic roads, history

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is a little over 250 kilometers. That said, Rentalmoose recommends dedicating 4 days for this road trip at the very least. Spend a day to explore the city of Rhodes, then make overnight stops in Lindos and the Elafos Hotel near Mussolini’s Villa.

If you want to explore each location thoroughly, spend at least a week on the road.

What is the best time of the year to visit Rhodes?

The best time to visit Rhodes, much like any other Greek island, is right before the peak season begins (early June), or after it finishes (late August). That way, you can enjoy the perfect summer weather without the hordes of tourists that come to Rhodes during peak season.

Why should you get a rental car in Rhodes?

Rhodes is ideal to be discovered by a rental car. Tourist attractions are scattered all over the island, and some of the pristine beaches can only be accessed by car or on foot. Not to mention the ability to alter your itinerary on the go, freely extend your trip or end it before schedule.

Public transport around Greece tends to be rather hectic for international tourists. Most ticketing booths and schedules are available in Greek only, and buses irregularly travel between destinations. Not to mention the crowds and the fact that bus tickets can only be purchased in cash at the booths, right before leaving.

A cabriolet is the most fun type of car you can get in Rhodes. Photography by Manolis D

Road trip extensions

Turkish Riviera

The breathtaking Turkish Riviera is just a ferry ride away from Rhodes! The ferry from the city of Rhodes will take you to Marmaris, you can then make your way across the picturesque Riviera and see its incredible natural beauty and serene beaches. Click here for the guide.

Santorini

There are regular ferries between Rhodes and Santorini around twice every week. The journey takes about 8 hours, but experiencing the otherworldly scenery of Santorini is well worth it. Click here for the Rentalmoose guide to Santorini.

Mainland Greece

If you’re a fan of long road trips, our Athens to Thessaloniki travel itinerary is definitely worth considering! The 1000km journey will take you across the spectacular sites in mainland Greece, such as the hanging monasteries of Meteora or the famous Mount Olympus.

Can tourists drive in Rhodes?

Yes! As Greece is a member of the European Union, tourists can use their domestic driving licenses issued in other EU-member states. Travelers who do not have a driving license issued in an EU-country should obtain an International Driving Permit (click here to learn all about them).

Driving in Greece for first-timers might be overwhelming at first. Locals tend to drive aggressively without much regard for others, be extra cautious when driving a rental car around Santorini, and make sure to get excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose when booking your vehicle.

Don’t forget to take check-in photos when picking up your rental car, that way you are eligible for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Once you’re all set, let’s dive into your Rhodes itinerary by car!

City of Rhodes

Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes. Photography by Peter Linter.

Welcome to the sunny island of Rhodes! For maximum convenience, Rentalmoose recommends picking up your rental car directly when you arrive at Rhodes International Airport.

Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up via Rentalmoose.

Once you’ve picked up your rental car, make your way to the city of Rhodes at the northern tip of the island. Any great Rhodes itinerary will include a few days in the City of Rhodes, and ours is no different.

The island’s capital is full of traditional architecture, a monumental castle, and beaches.

What can you do in Rhodes?

Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes

The Palace of The Grand Master of The Knights of Rhodes, often simply referred to as Kastello by locals, is one of the very few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. The structure dates back to the 7th century and has undergone restoration in the 20th century.

Visitors can tour the castle, where some of the chambers are home to art exhibitions, while others display precious artifacts.

The castle is set within Rhodes’ Old Town, you can walk around and explore the charming area.

The castle is open daily between 8 AM and 8 PM, however, the exhibitions are open only until 5 PM. Admission tickets cost 8 EUR per adult and 4 EUR per child.

A charming alley somewhere in the city of Rhodes. Photography by Kirkandmimi.

The Acropolis of Rhodes

The remains of the Acropolis of Rhodes are situated atop the Monte Smith hill. The archeological site includes remains of an ancient stadium, a temple, and a restored Roman Odeon where events are still held today.

The panoramic view from the summit of Monte Smith hill is especially spectacular during sunset.

The site is open 24 hours a day, entry is free.

This archeological site is without a doubt one of the must-visit attractions that deserves to be on every Rhodes itinerary.

Elli Beach

Elli Beach is the go-to waterfront hangout in the city of Rhodes. The cosmopolitan beach is known for its crystal-clear water, perfect for a dip. The lively beach is full of watersport activities, sunbeds available for rent, and waterfront bars and restaurants.

Once you’ve soaked enough of the sun, you can cross the street and gamble at the Casino Rodos, or admire some of the wildlife at the small aquarium right off the beach.

Finding a parking spot might be tough around the peak tourist season. Try this free car park just a short walk away from the beach.

Alexis 4 Seasons Seafood Restaurant

On an island like Rhodes, trying the local seafood is an absolute must! Once you get hungry, head over to Alexis 4 Seasons Seafood Restaurant in the old town. The upscale restaurant serves delicious seafood such as shrimps, seabass, or cuttlefish. The charming outdoor area located in the heart of Rhodes’ old town is the cherry on top.

As the restaurant is quite popular, be sure to book ahead during the peak season. The restaurant is open all week from noon until midnight.

What are the best hotels in Rhodes?

Mitsis Grand Hotel Beach Hotel

Sophisticated travelers should check-in at the 5-star Mitsis Grand Hotel. This vibrant beachfront resort, located in the heart of Elli Beach, features spacious rooms and suites with sea views, three pools (both indoor and outdoor). There is also one extra pool with fresh water for children, a spa, and six different restaurants.

Mitsis Grand Hotel is the only 5-star beachfront hotel in the city of Rhodes.

Marco Polo Mansion

Enjoy a stylish trip back in time when you stay at the Marco Polo Mansion, a 3-star hotel set within the narrow streets of Rhodes’ old town.

The hotel is known for its tasteful decor, perfect location, and a great restaurant. Treat yourself to a Greek dinner in the green outdoor area, or go for a stroll around the authentic old town.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: Lindos, 1 hour

East Coast to Lindos

Beach of Lindos. Photography Emilian Robert Vicol.

Head south along the east coast of Rhodes, leaving the city behind. Before you get to Lindos, there are various attractions worth visiting dotted across the east coast of Rhodes. Here are some of the best ones, consider adding them to your Rhodes itinerary.

Kallithea Springs

Kallithea Springs is less than 10 kilometers from the city. The thermal springs have been around since the ancient times, and were brought to international fame by the Italians in the early 20th century.

Today, the springs have been refurbished and turned into a lavish retreat. Monumental yet tasteful architecture, authentic decor, a crystal-clear bay with a top-rated beach bar, and the hot springs themselves, of course, all attract international tourists as well as locals. 

The exclusive getaway is open all week from 8 AM to 6 PM. Admission costs around 5 EUR, paid upon entrance. If you want to use the sunbeds, you’ll have to spend at least 5 EUR in the cafe.

If thermal baths aren’t exactly your thing, why not drop by simply to enjoy the views? Photo by Dimitri Houtteman

WaterPark in Faliraki

A short 5-minute drive south from the Kallithea Springs will take you to Ammoudes, a beachfront resort. There are various attractions here, including the Faliraki public beach, though the WaterPark remains the absolute highlight.

From thrill-seekers to families with small children, everyone will find activities suitable for them at the WaterPark. Choose from a variety of waterslides, pools, and attractions.

The WaterPark is open all week between 9:30 AM and 7 PM. 

1-day admission costs 24 EUR per adult and 16 EUR per child. Purchase tickets either upon entry or online.

A scenic coastal drive on the East Coast of Rhodes. Photo by Erik Karits

Anthony Quinn Bay

Another stop worth making on your way to Lindos is the spectacular Anthony Quinn Bay, named after the great Mexican-American actor. It features a small beach surrounded by the rocky bay perfect for sunbathing (sunbeds are available), clear water ideal for swimming, and scenic surroundings.  

Photography by Denimeij

Taverna Epta Piges

This marvelous lunch spot is located a little further inland, though the delicious food and serene scenery are well worth the detour.

Head to Taverna Epta Piges, located within the beautiful Seven Springs, for an unforgettable culinary experience. This taverna is a must-visit on any Rhodes itinerary.

The tavern features an outdoor area set in the heart of the Seven Springs, providing spectacular views to accompany your meals. Taverna Epta Piges serves the finest Greek cuisine, meals are made from locally-sourced ingredients and are cooked to perfection. Give it a shot!

After lunch, feel free to explore the picturesque Seven Springs itself.

Rentalmoose order tip: Taverna Epta Piges is famous for their juicy grilled meats, why not try a steak? Perhaps order a portion of Dolmadakia, minced meat and rice wrapped in vine leaves.

Taverna Epta Piges is open all week from 9 AM to 11 PM.

Tsambika Beach

If you’ve enjoyed your time at the Anthony Quinn Bay, just wait until you see this! Tsambika Beach looks straight out of a fairytale, with golden sands spanning the shore and plenty of activities.

You can rent a sunbed and umbrella for just a few euros, or go for a swim in the pristine water. Adrenaline junkies can rent jet skis or participate in one of the various exciting watersport activities.

There are various waterfront restaurants (taverns), snack bars, and a casual beach club, too. 

Despite its popularity, Tsambika Beach is hardly ever crowded, even during the summer months. You can leave your rental car right by the beach.

Acropolis of Lindos

The Acropolis of Lindos is perhaps the most fascinating archeological site in all of Rhodes. The hilltop remains date back to the 6th century BC. The walk up from modern-day Lindos can be exhausting, but the fascinating Acropolis is well worth it. 

Alternatively, you can get a donkey ride to the top for less than 10 euros, though animal rights activists urge tourists not to do so.

Once you’re atop the hill, you can explore the remains of ancient Lindos, including the ruins of the monumental Athena’s Temple, or photograph the panoramic coastal views. 

Admission to the acropolis of Lindos costs 12 EUR per adult and 6 EUR per child. The site is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Photography by Kirkandmimi

Taverna Kamariko

Another evening on a Greek island means another unforgettable dinner in an authentic tavern. When you get hungry in Lindos, head to Taverna Kamariko near the heart of town. Leave your rental car at the hotel and feast on regional specialties accompanied by a glass of aromatic ouzo.

The tavern is open all week between noon and 3 PM (lunch service), and 6:30 PM and 11 PM (dinner service).

Where to stay in Lindos?

Mitsis Lindos

Sophisticated travelers should consider booking a room at the prestigious Mitsis Lindos. The monumental 5-star hotel features a fantastic beachfront location, modern rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, a private sandy beach, and Italian decor both inside and out.

Mitsis Lindos is an adult-only hotel.

Lambis Studios

Looking for the best budget hotel in Lindos? Give Lambis Studios a shot. The 3-star property offers well-equipped rooms, an outdoor pool, a snack bar with pool tables, and a good location near the heart of town, all for a reasonable price.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: Prasonisi, 55 minutes

Prasonisi- South of Rhodes

Photography by Ri Butov.

After a night in the town of Lindos, make your way south towards the southernmost tip of Rhodes.

Mojito Beach Bar

Take a break from driving at Mojito Beach Bar, one of the trendiest hangouts in this part of Rhodes, located around half an hour away from Lindos. Cool down in the crystal-clear sea, relax on the sunbeds or enjoy some of the snacks and drinks while listening to lounge music in the background. 

Mojito Beach Bar is open all week from 8:30 AM until midnight.

 Prasonisi

This peninsula is loved by windsurfers and kiteboarders. During low tide, the small island is connected to Rhodes by a slim trail of golden sand, which vanishes as the tide rises. The peninsula is a perfect spot to see sunsets, try out kiteboarding, or sit back and enjoy the views.

If you’re interested in windsurfing, you can rent equipment or book lessons through Prasonisi Center.

Prasonisi Peninsula during low tide. Photo by postcardtrip.

Once you get hungry (or thirsty), step inside one of the beachfront taverns or laid-back bars. Lighthouse Tavern is one of the best eateries in Prasonisi.

Next on your Rhodes itinerary: West & Central Rhodes, 4 hours

West of Rhodes

The absolutely spectacular clifftop castle of Monolithos photographed by Ri Butov.

As you leave Prasonisi behind, follow the main coastal road along the west coast of Rhodes. This part of the island, much like the other coast, is dotted with exciting attractions. The first one is around 50 minutes away from Prasonisi. Make sure you see them on your Rhodes itinerary.

What should you see in the West of Rhodes?

Castle of Monolithos

The ruins of the Castle of Monolithos (pictured above) are a spectacular sight, and an absolute must on any Rhodes itinerary. The remains of the 15th-century castle are situated on top of a cliff, opening up to astonishing views of the sea.

Keep in mind that you will have to use your imagination to picture what the castle must have looked like back in its glory days, as it isn’t exactly well-preserved. Despite its condition, the ruins are most definitely worth seeing. Wear comfy shoes, there is some hiking to be done!

The ruins can be accessed 24 hours a day. Admission to the ruins of the Monolithos Castle is free of charge.

Rhodes is a photographer’s paradise and the Castle of Monolithos is just one of many unique photo opportunities.

Kritinia Castle

The Kritinia Castle is just around 40 minutes away from the ruins of the Castle of Monolithos. The Kritinia Castle dates back to the 1470s and was used by the Italians as a base back in the 20th century. Hence, the ruins are a mix of architectural styles from different periods of time,

Just like the Castle of Monolithos, Kritinia Castle can be accessed 24 hours per day with no entrance fee.

If you don’t have the time to see both Kritinia and Monolithos castles, pick the latter one. The Castle of Monolithos is arguably better for a short visit, due to its scenic setting.

Mussolini’s Villa

After the Castle of Kritinia, head inland towards the mountains. Take the winding roads up to the summit of Profitis Ilias, the highest point of Rhodes. The scenic drive will take you all the way to the summit, where you can explore Mussolini’s abandoned villa and spend the night in a chalet-style hotel.

The now-abandoned villa was supposed to be Benito Mussolini’s summer retreat where he would spend his retirement. However, the Italian dictator was executed and had never actually visited the villa.

Today, what’s left of the monumental villa has become one of the top spots for urban exploration in Rhodes. The eerie villa can be explored both inside and out. As the building isn’t maintained or taken care of in any way, shape, or form, its condition is getting worse every year. Get a chance to see it before it’s completely ruined.

Paraga Restaurant

Are you looking for the best food in Rhodes? The ultimate Greek culinary experience? Head down to the Paraga Restaurant in Apollona, just 10 minutes away from the summit of Profitis Ilias. 

Paraga is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Rhodes that serves authentic Rhodian cuisine. The restaurant itself is located in a traditional home, making the entire experience even more unforgettable.

Rentalmoose order tip: When in Greece, you can’t go wrong with juicy Souvlaki, or grilled meat. Paraga serves incredible lamb chops.

The restaurant is open all week from noon until 8:30 PM, 9 PM on Saturdays.

Elafos Hotel

The top of the mountain is home to the charming Elafos Hotel, where you can pop in for dinner or spend the night. The 3-star property features rooms with scenic views and an onsite cafe. 

The chalet-style hotel in the mountains is a dramatic change of scenery from the coastal parts of the island.

Another look at the Castle of Monolithos and its spectacular surrounding area. Photo by Milengga.

The Valley of The Butterflies

Continue following the chicanes until you reach The Valley of The Butterflies. Just like the name suggests, this stunning nature park is home to thousands of butterflies. Sadly, tourism reduced the butterfly population, yet the valley still remains a must-see in Rhodes.

The colorful insects are attracted by the sweetgum tree forest (the only natural forest of oriental sweetgum trees in Europe!) and the valley’s humid climate. Guests can stroll around the park and admire vibrant butterflies of practically all colors.

The park is open all week between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Admission tickets cost just 5 EUR, children can enter free of charge.

Koskinou

Before you get back to the city of Rhodes, consider stopping at the picturesque village of Koskinou, a beautiful hilltop village just 5 kilometers away from Rhodes Town. 

Koskinou is favored among photographers for its beautiful whitewashed buildings with colorful front doors, countless mosaics, and green courtyards. The narrow streets are perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Step inside Almiro Gliko in the heart of Koskinou for a refreshing snack before leaving.

Drop-off

For maximum convenience, drop off your rental car at Rhodes International Airport right before leaving. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

DON’T HAVE A CAR YOU CAN TAKE ON A ROAD TRIP? NO PROBLEM!

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure. This Rhodes itinerary is perfect to follow by rental car.

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your trip following our Rhodes itinerary and tag #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Rentalmoose OĂś 2020