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!
260 kilometers (160 miles) in total
Tags: Travel guide, Greece, Beach, foodie, scenic roads, history
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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), a spa, and six different restaurants.
Mitsis Grand Hotel is the only 5-star beachfront hotel in the city of Rhodes.
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
Photography by Ri Butov.
After a night in the town of Lindos, make your way south towards the southernmost tip of Rhodes.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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