4th Greek island by its size and biggest island of the Dodecanese archipelago, Rhodes offers a wide range of accommodation choices for its visitors. Choosing in which area you want to stay can avoid some unpleasant surprises that would trouble your holiday. Here are some useful information:
Where to stay in Rhodes ?
Rhodes island can be divided into East Coast, West Coast and South area (which start from Lindos). Most accommodations are located in Rhodes Town and on the West Coast. However, each area has its advantages and inconveniences depending on what you are looking for.
Amongst the elements you need to check before choosing, it is paramount to locate your options on a map and see what is around and accessible (10 min walk or 10 min with a bus or taxi can make a huge difference).
Rhodes modern town
Center of the life of the island, Rhodes Town offers a wide variety of accommodations in most of its central neighbourhoods. Amongst them, the touristic hotels neighbourhood is mainly located north, where you have the aquarium and the beach. Here you have hotels of all sizes and standings. It is also this area locals refer to as the ‘Scandinavian neighbourhood’, as they mainly stay there. Appart from the high-quality hotels with sea-view (close to the Casino), the area is rather noisy day or night. The beach is very popular, but depending on the hours and the season one can have a nice swim. The water is cristal-clear and with a mask you can see many fishes!
Staying in the modern town has the advantage of being in close proximity to the medieval town – jewel inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is close to most monuments, many restaurants and tavernas as well as an animated nightlife.
Rhodes medieval town
Some boutique hotels and Airbnb allow you to stay inside the maze-like fortified city. They are generally located in areas protected from the noise, away from the commercial and nocturnal activities. And this is precisely all the charm of the medieval city. As soon as you step out of the main roads, the mood changes as if one had gone back in time. However, some parts of the Old Town suffer from the noises of the nightlife that can carry on until very late/early. If you are sensitive to this, it is advised to ensure with the owner that you will find yourself in one of the quiet parts of town.
The modern town is very close (10-15 min walk) with all its shopping amenities, even if you can find all you might need without having to step out of the medieval town.
Rhodes East Coast
Located some 20 km from Rhodes, Kallithea and Faliraki are close but very different. Seaside resorts main designed for tourism and almost ghost-towns in the winter time, they offer some advantages. It is easy to go to Rhodes town for the day and come back in the evening due to the local buses frequently passing. Most hotels there work with travel agencies, and offer half-board or full board.
Faliraki is mostly known for its hotels following one another along the sand beach. This beach is prised because of its length, its protection from the strong winds and its shallowness. The hotels are of all standings, with the most luxurious being on the northern part of the beach. The majority of hotels are not inside the town per se but follow the seaside road going to Rhodes Town. The town center is animated as soon as night falls with its many bars and clubs attracting many people. Famous destination in the 70s and 80s, Faliraki had a very fast growth – going from small fisherman village to real seaside resort that you can find in many destinations around the world. Its popularity is partly due to its beach which is very accessible, perfect for children. The Astronomy Café and its telescope and the hill of Profitis Amos leading towards Anthony Quinn bay are also part of the charm of the village and its surroundings.
In Kallithea one will mostly find a few big hotels by the seaside as well as the Springs. This beautiful example of Italian orientalist architecture (1920-30) is worth a visit. The Springs have no pool or hot water to swim, but a lovely cove and a coffee/bar. There is an entrance fee, and consumption is required (count 10€). Close to the Springs are 4 other beaches with free access; each one having either a taverna or a beach bar. With a taxi to/from Rhodes, count around 15€.
Afandou and Kolymbia are a little bit more than 20km from Rhodes Town, which makes going to and from there a little bit more complicated using public transportation. It is often more practical to rent a car; and it will also allow you to explore the inner parts of the island from these villages. Because of their location, the offers are often more interesting in terms of value for money. You will find good fish taverns that locals go to as well. To/From Rhodes with a taxi count 25-35€.
Rhodes West Coast
The West Coast of Rhodes is quite different from the East Coast. The sea and the beaches are more ‘wild’ because there is more wind. This is what makes it the preferred choice for water sports afficionados (windsurf and kitesurf). You can practice or learn windsurf in Ixia, while Kremasti is more indicated for kitesurf. It is also an area inhabited all year long (Ialissos and Kremasti notably), with a few villages who have remained quiet and traditional.
Just at the exit of Rhodes Town is Ixia. Huge hotels by the seaside are the standard view. The wind and waves can discourage swimming, and the pebbles instead of sand on the beach explain why many prefer their hotel’s swimming pool to the sea. But the proximity to Rhodes Town is a great advantage. Public transportation is quite regular as it is the line between town and the airport – but it also means buses can be packed, especially during peak season. You will also enjoy magnificent sunsets, and a few nice beach bars.
The more you go South, the less hotels you will find (with a few exceptions of course). The small villages offer smaller hotels or Airbnb (Pastida, Maritsa, Eleusa, Salakos, Fanes, etc.). They allow the visitor to experience local life a bit more, and to enjoy the inner parts of the island too often ignored.
The South of Rhodes
The South of Rhodes is located some 60 km away from town; with Lindos as its main town. There you can still find some club-hotels or luxury hotels. However, this area is mostly characterised by rooms or apartments in small family-owned units. It is hotter that in the North; and it many cases the air condition has to be payed as an extra charge.
Lindos is very popular because of the quaintness of the village. Here you will mostly find B&B, apartments or Airbnb. Everything related to daily life is more costly due to the distance with the main city and the fewer choices available. For food shopping, there are mostly small mini-markets. The only supermarket is located in Kalathos, north of Lindos (on the roundabout just before/after the village depending on where you come from).
Pefkos concentrates many accommodations, with most visitors coming from the UK for many years. The central beach (Lee beach) is sandy and very popular. The village has many bars, restaurants and establishments for nightlife. The local association of inhabitants is very active and usually organises events during summer.
In the South-West, you will find many beaches with small pebbles or sand. They account for the most beautiful of the island and attract as much the visitors as the locals who go there during weekends. In the South, you are roughly 1h drive away from Rhodes Town.