Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in Greece and is the perfect place for a family holiday. I was determined to have a sunny holiday with our son as a baby, so we booked a Rhodes family holiday package, our first ever!
There are lots of things to do in Rhodes with kids, but one of the best things about it is you don’t actually have to do a lot. You can simply enjoy the island’s beaches, scenery, and food, and not feel pressured to travel all over and do a lot in your time there.
But just to give you an idea, here are some of the top things to do in Rhodes with kids.
Visit the beautiful beaches
There are lots of beautiful beaches in Rhodes, with sheltered sandy bays and shallow waters that are great for families. We loved spending time with our little one at the beach cooling off.
Here are a few favourites:
- Pefkos Beach – Sandy and shallow beach close to where we stayed
- Agios Pavlos Beach/St Paul’s Bay – Located at Lindos
- Tsambika Beach – Sandy and ideal for children
- Vlicha – Ideal for children
Wander through the Valley of the Butterflies
Between May and September, hundreds of butterflies cover the trees here. It’s all thanks to a rare species of tree with a particular type of sap that they’re attracted to. Whatever the reason, it’s an amazing phenomenon that you can see if you visit during this time.
The butterflies usually fly in around August to reproduce and then are at the caterpillar stage through the rainy season, before making an appearance again around May/June.
Walk up to Monolithos Castle
Lots of attractions in Rhodes require walking up steep hills and many stairs, and Monolithos Castle is no different.
It must have been a challenge to build this castle on a steep outcropping by the sea, but we now get to enjoy the benefits, with two churches to visit, and excellent views of the mountain of Akramytis and the village of Monolithos below.
Explore the village of Lindos
Lindos is both a site of archaeological significance and a fishing village. There are white-washed villages and pedestrian-only cobbled streets packed with restraints and shops, plus beaches nearby too.
And for a slice of history, the town is crowned by the ancient ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos. It’s a steep walk up and we definitely wouldn’t recommend it in the heat, but the views are stunning.
It’s well worth spending a day in Lindos exploring the streets and stopping in at one of the many rooftop cafes/restaurants for something to eat. We actually stayed in a nearby location but visited several times throughout our trip.
Swim at the Kallithea Springs
The thermal waters found at Kallithea made it popular even in ancient times. In the early 1900s the famous rotunda and mosaics were built, and although there are no longer thermal waters you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters off the pebble beach.
Go to Old Town Rhodes
The Old City of Rhodes is surrounded by medieval walls with seven ornate gateways.
It has a rich history dating from the 1500s when it was one of the last Christian holdouts against the Ottoman Turks who took over the island.
You can visit the restored “street of Knights” which stretches up to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. It is one of just a few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece and inside you’ll find medieval relics and beautiful mosaics.
The Old Town has lots of touristy shops but you’ll also find some wonderful local products, and there are plenty of tavernas and other eateries where you can have delicious greek food.
Climb up to the Monastery of Tsambika
The old monastery is perched on a hilltop on the east coast of Rhodes. The views stretch out to sea and down to Lindos. There are over 400 steps but the views are worth it!
Visit the village of Asklipio
Rhodes isn’t just about the beautiful beaches and seaside towns to explore, there are also some great places to visit inland.
We drove up to the rural village of Asklipio, with breathtaking views across the countryside from the ruins of the fortified Asklipio Castle, the Byzantine-era Church of Dormition of Theotokos, and lively tavernas to eat in.
We’d highly recommend spending an afternoon/evening here. It’s a quiet escape from the busy coast and the food and people at the Nikolas Taverna were both amazing!
Visit the ancient site of Kamiros
This former city dates back to the 6th century BC and was the first city on Rhodes.
Eventually, the residents abandoned the city in favour of what is now Rhodes town, but you can now wander the streets and explore the ancient city.
Have fun at Faliraki Waterpark
Faliraki Water Park is the largest in Europe, and it has a designated area just for kids. There are lots of splash pools, a wave pool, a lazy river, huge amounts of water slides, and other rides. If your kids love water then this is the place to go on Rhodes!
Take a day trip to another island
Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese islands chain, and there are a couple of other islands close enough for a road trip.
Rhodes to Symi Day Trip
Symi is often called the most picturesque island in the Dodecanese Islands and it’s not hard to see why as you enter the port at Symi Town. Colourful classic houses cascade down the hills right to meet the clear blue waters.
You can either take the ferry yourself from Rhodes Town or join a tour that will usually include a visit to the Panormitis Monastery on the way.
There is also the option for a high-speed boat with some tours including a swim at beautiful St Georges Bay, which is inaccessible by car. These take around an hour to cross over, whereas the other tour and ferry options are usually 1.5-2 hours.
Once there you can explore the historic town that has been lovingly restored, take the tourist train to see some more of the views, and shop for unique things like the Symi sea sponge! That’s right, an actual sea sponge you can use for washing.
If you have the time, walk west of the harbour to Paradise Beach for a dip in the sea before you return to Rhodes.
And if you’re up for stairs (the views are worth it!), don’t miss the Kali Strata pathway that connects the harbour, Yialos, and the old part of Symi Town, Chorio.
There are also a few museums like the Symi Maritime Museum, Archaeological Museum of Symi, and Symi Folklore Museum in Chorio.
Taking a day trip to Symi from Rhodes can be long and tiring, and very hot in the summer, so we’d recommend it for older kids or to be realistic about what you can accomplish with one day on the island with smaller children.
Rhodes to Chalki day trip
Chalki (also known as Chalce or Halki) is known more for its gorgeous beaches, but the port of Nimborio is full of charming seafront tavernas, and mansion houses, many of which are now upmarket holiday rentals.
This small island only has one town, from which various hiking trails spread out around the island. You can easily walk to the popular white sand beach at Pontamos, 10mins west of the town, or to the quieter Ftenagia 15mins south. Other sites include the clock tower in front of the Town Hall which has read 4.20 for more than 20 years and the three windmills on the hillside above Nimborio.
There are several ferries you can take from Rhodes Town, with the average time to cross about 1.5 hours. There are also organised tours.
Where to stay in Rhodes
We stayed in the resort area of Pefkos (also known as Pefki) in the Pefki Islands Resort, with stunning views over the sea from the balcony of our 2 bedroom apartment.
Although it only had a small kitchen between the two bedrooms and no living area, it enabled us to keep a few things handy for the baby, and we took advantage of the included breakfast spread and the on-site restaurants when we didn’t feel like going too far.
It has direct access to the beautiful sandy beach which was perfect for swimming with kids and the pools of course made it the perfect place family place to stay in Rhodes!
Transfer time from Rhodes Town can be up to 2 hours if you book a package holiday, but we hired a car which we put to good use exploring the island, and I would recommend doing as it will give you the freedom to see a lot more.
Lindos is a popular area to stay in, and you have the advantage of being close to the old town with many restaurants and bars. However we found it quite crowded so liked to visit in the morning or late afternoon when it was quieter instead, and we preferred our beach at Pefki as well.
You could also consider staying in Faliraki, although it is often a party destination of choice as well, or in Rhodes Town itself, but it’s further from the beach.
The best time to visit Rhodes with kids
Rhodes is lucky enough to have sunshine all year round, but it can be very hot in the summer months, including late September when we visited!
Visit in late spring or early autumn to take advantage of the good weather and warm temperatures without being too hot, especially with little ones in tow.
We highly recommend a Rhodes family holiday, whether you want to just relax by the pool and beach, or immerse yourself more in the culture of the island and explore the sites.