Rhodes, known for its warm climate and lengthy tourist season from mid-April to end-November, sparks a debate on whether it’s worthwhile to travel during the off-season and what activities are available during the less popular months.
We want to extend an invitation for you to explore our island during winter or early spring. Rhodes can be a perfect destination during the off-season, offering travelers the chance to immerse themselves in authentic experiences, relish the tranquility of renowned tourist sites, and take advantage of enticing low-season deals. We hope that our Rhodes off-season Travel Guide will be an inspiration for your winter holiday or early spring getaway!
Whether you have planned a visit to Rhodes in the off-season or are still trying to decide if it is worth the travel, let’s look at some pros & cons.
Rhodes exudes a special allure during the low season, presenting several compelling reasons to visit. The island unveils its most authentic self in winter and early spring, beckoning travelers to embark on a remarkable journey. Picture yourself amidst the popular tourist attractions and sites, virtually alone, free from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds. This solitude immerses you in a more profound and intimate sightseeing experience.
Prepare to be embraced by the warm hospitality of the locals, who eagerly welcome the rare presence of foreigners during this time of year. Their genuine interest and enthusiasm will leave an indelible mark on your journey. By venturing to Rhodes during the off-season, you transcend the role of a mere tourist and embrace the identity of a curious explorer, seeking genuine connections and unforgettable encounters.
So, let the allure of Rhodes during the low season inspire you. Discover the island’s hidden gems, unravel its rich tapestry of history and culture, and forge memories that will last a lifetime. Embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary, and let the spirit of exploration guide your path.
Furthermore, during the off-season, you can enjoy enticing low-season offers bound to enhance your experience. Many hotels and tour service providers, committed to serving visitors even in winter, present attractive deals that cater to the discerning traveler.
Equally noteworthy is the significant reduction in entry ticket prices for the esteemed archaeological sites, museums, and other captivating tourist attractions. Typically, these low-season discounts offer a remarkable 50% off the regular admission fees, enabling you to explore these cultural wonders at a fraction of the cost. For instance, the Acropolis of Lindos Entry ticket, typically priced at 12 EUR per person, becomes a mere 6 EUR per person during this period.
Lastly, let us delve into the climatic aspect of Rhodes, a compelling reason to consider this destination for an off-season escape. Offering respite from colder climates, Rhodes typically enjoys milder temperatures than Greece’s mainland. During the winter months, temperatures range from approximately 14-18°C (58-64°F) during the day and can slightly drop to 9-11°C (48-51°F) in the evenings.
For those accustomed to residing closer to the North Pole, these moderate temperatures, coupled with a high probability of sunshine, can profoundly impact mood and energy levels. The welcoming embrace of such favorable weather conditions provides a remarkable boost to overall well-being, enabling visitors to bask in the revitalizing ambiance of Rhodes during the off-season.
Indulge in the warmth of Rhodes, where favorable temperatures and ample sunlight converge, offering an invigorating respite from colder climates. Experience the therapeutic effects of this climate, which nourishes both body and spirit, creating an ideal setting for a truly rejuvenating journey.
It is essential to shed further light on the weather conditions that prevail during the winter season in Rhodes. Particularly in February, the island can experience gusty winds and overcast skies, diminishing the likelihood of consistent, clear, sunny days and warmth. Winter, therefore, may not be the optimal choice for travelers seeking guaranteed favorable weather conditions.
Furthermore, it is important to note that the weather patterns in Rhodes have become increasingly unpredictable in recent years. This unpredictability adds an element of variability to the climatic conditions that visitors may encounter. On rare occasions, such as in January 2022, the island has witnessed the stunning sight of snow-capped mountaintops, highlighting the unexpected nature of the weather during the winter months.
For those who prefer sunnier skies, it is advisable to consider an early May visit to Rhodes. During this period, the chances of encountering more sunshine are heightened, providing an enhanced opportunity to relish the island’s radiant charm.
When planning your trip to Rhodes, it is prudent to consider the aforementioned weather dynamics, ensuring that your travel choices align with your desired atmospheric conditions.
Another consideration to remember during the winter season in Rhodes is the limited availability of open attractions and facilities. Regrettably, popular sites such as the Butterfly Valley and Seven Springs Valley are accessible exclusively during the peak tourism season, rendering them off-limits to visitors during the off-season. Furthermore, the range of preferred restaurants that operate year-round is restricted, with many establishments opting to open their kitchens solely on weekends. While some hotels and a handful of restaurants remain open, it is important to acknowledge this limitation.
However, it is crucial not to be disheartened by these circumstances, as alternative options exist to satisfy your culinary preferences. During winter, bakeries, cafes, and day bars are particularly popular among locals. These establishments offer a delightful array of delicious sandwiches, salads, and snacks available anytime. Embracing the local culinary scene can be a charming and authentic experience, allowing you to explore the flavors and tastes the island offers during the off-season.
While the winter season in Rhodes presents limitations regarding open attractions and dining choices, it is important to approach this aspect with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the local culture. By doing so, you can discover hidden gems and enjoy a unique gastronomic adventure that resonates with the spirit of the off-season ambiance.
Lastly, it is important to consider the limited availability of direct flights from European cities to Rhodes during the less popular months. To reach the island, travelers would need to explore domestic flight options from Athens, potentially resulting in increased holiday expenses. However, experienced travelers can easily navigate this aspect, as early-bird offers from local airline companies such as Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air, or Sky Express can often be found.
While the need for a domestic flight may pose a minor inconvenience, it should not deter seasoned travelers with the flexibility and resourcefulness to secure affordable options. By keeping a keen eye on promotional offers and leveraging the services of local airlines, one can mitigate the potential impact on travel expenses, ensuring a cost-effective journey to Rhodes during the off-season.
In conclusion, while the availability of direct flights from European cities may be limited during the less popular months, the astute traveler can capitalize on early-bird offers from domestic airline carriers, thereby minimizing any inconvenience and optimizing the overall affordability of their trip.
Rhodes boasts an extensive array of hotels and apartments that remain open even during the winter season. Navigating the vast selection is convenient through accommodation search platforms such as Booking.com or Airbnb, where you can find accommodations that align with your preferences and budget. However, it is worth highlighting two criteria that we consider crucial when seeking the ideal place to optimize your off-season stay.
Selecting strategically situated accommodation can significantly enhance your off-season experience in Rhodes. Consider proximity to key attractions, cultural sites, and transportation hubs to ensure convenient access to the island’s treasures. Additionally, choosing accommodation in areas where local life thrives during the off-season can offer a more immersive and authentic experience.
During the off-season, seeking accommodations that offer the amenities and facilities necessary for a comfortable stay is essential. Look for heating systems, cozy common areas, on-site dining options, and access to essential services. These elements can ensure a cozy and enjoyable retreat, even during the cooler months.
We like the Semiramis location. Situated only 70m from the sea and just a 10 minutes walking distance from the lively city center. It offers modern accommodation with 180 newly renovated, bright, stylish rooms with a simple interior, friendly environment, and a family atmosphere. You can easily walk to the Psaropoula coastal area with cafes and restaurants open all year round, go for an easy hike along the Kato Petres walking path, or head straight to the Acropolis of Rhodes for ancient ruins and panoramic views.
Accommodation: 4*, 180 newly renovated Rooms
Meals: Breakfast & Half Board
Amenities: Free WiFi, Free Parking
Lydia Hotel might look a little outdated, but this can be an excellent fit for active travelers looking for cozy and reasonable value accommodation. It is near the shopping area in the heart of Rhodes’s new town. After endless walks in the Medieval city, you will be happy to rest well in their comfy beds with premium bedding and a down comforter.
Accommodation: 2*, 60 Rooms
Meals: Continental Breakfast
Amenities: Free WiFi
One of the most recently (2020) renovated city hotels. Acandia Hotel has a stylish & cozy interior with warm wooden details perfect for the colder season—very polite and helpful staff. The five-story building is named after an ancient port, and its logo represents a trireme found during excavations in the hotel area. It is located near all the major sites – Mandraki Harbor, Elli Beach, and Medieval Town.
Accommodation: 4*, 87 Rooms
Meals: Buffet Breakfast
Amenities: Free WiFi
Castellum Suites is a great all-inclusive, all-year-round hotel located in the western part of Rhodes City, just a few minutes’ walk from the D’Amboise Gate of the Medieval Town. The minimal and straightforward rooms are perfect for dropping your bag and exploring the city. It is an excellent value for money with a nice luxury touch.
Accommodation: 4*, 55 Rooms
Amenities: Free WiFi
For discerning travelers seeking an extraordinary and memorable holiday experience, the off-season presents an ideal opportunity to indulge in something exceptional and exclusive, unrivaled by other destinations. Rhodes offers a selection of boutique hotels with meticulously crafted themed environments that leave a lasting impression on guests. We are delighted to present our top picks that promise to elevate your holiday experience.
Koukos Guest House is one of our favorite places for several reasons. It is situated in the center of the charming Niochori neighborhood, on the lively pedestrian street of Mandilara. The guesthouse lives in a traditional Rhodian mansion built in the early 1900s. It is a real gem where combining old and new brings a uniquely nostalgic yet charming feeling. In all its six suites, named after famous Greek writers and artists, you are transferred back in time through the traditional architecture and decorations of a typical Rhodian family house. Authentic vintage decorations fit harmoniously into the traditional interior dominated by wood and stone details and luxury amenities. You can choose a room with wood, an eco-friendly fireplace, or an indoor or outdoor jacuzzi. Finally, the guesthouse has a traditional inner courtyard that hosts a restaurant and a bakery with a wood-burning oven. You do not have to go far to taste the most delicious local recipes!
The luxury 10 GR Boutique Hotel situated within the walls of Rhodes’ Medieval City with a history of more than 2.000 years, features ten quirky, atmospheric, stone-built rooms that were once Ottoman domes. Each room distinguishes one well-known Greek personality who promoted the country through their achievements. The personal asset of this lodging is its wine cellar, with a selection of more than 250 wine labels from Greece’s best wine-growing regions. Their expert wine connoisseurs organize themed wine degustation evenings throughout the winter, allowing them to learn and taste premium and rare wines from different Greek wineries. Besides excellent wine, you can have an unbeatable culinary experience in the cozy restaurant offering dishes of Greek quality products that are carefully selected from the small producers of Rhodes and its neighboring islands.
Let us delve into our favorite topic—things to see and do in Rhodes during the off-season. While it’s true that not all attractions may be open, rest assured that there is a diverse range of activities that you can plan to make the most of your time on the island. Here are a few enticing ideas and captivating itineraries to inspire your off-season adventures.
Winter and off-season holidays are for authentic travelers who like to explore and immerse themselves in the local environment. You can fill your days with endless walks, soaking up the island’s authentic vibe and genuinely connecting with local heritage.
On your first day, you should head straight towards the Old Town of Rhodes. It is a site you can explore for days, but you still feel there is more to discover. Every little street and every building has a story to tell. The Medieval Town is one of the finest walled cities, a World Heritage Site, alive with approx. 6000 permanent inhabitants. Like a classic medieval settlement, it is surrounded by a moat and 4 km (2 mi) of defense walls. Access to the town is through eleven (11) gates.
If you approach Medieval Town from the harbor, you will first reach the Eleftherias Gate (Freedom Gate), leading to Symi Square. Passing the impressive building of the Museum of Modern Greek Art and ruins of the ancient temple of Aphrodite, reach the famed Street of the Knights. It runs through the Collachium (the Knights’ Quarter) – a section of the Old Town, built in the 14th century, housed the Knights’ main buildings. The 610m (2,000ft) long street is one of the most famous sites in Rhodes Old Town. This is a fantastic area to wander, admiring various coats of arms, Gothic-style buildings, medieval defense structures, and beautiful details carved in sandstone.
From there, visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, a fortress within a fortress that used to be the center of power of the Knights of St. John. The grand entrance, with twin horseshoe-shaped towers, will leave you speechless! Explore the central courtyard, floor mosaics featuring ancient myths, and the interior furnished with opulent gold objects. The palace is a masterpiece that underwent the Ottoman siege, numerous earthquakes, and a massive explosion in 1856 until skillful architects restored it during the Italian dictatorship.
The other two must-see gates closest to the Street of the Knights are the Marine Gate (Sea Gate) and the d’Amboise Gate – true masterpieces of medieval military architecture.
The Archaeological Museum should not be missing from the must-visit list for history enthusiasts. It is housed in a building dating back to 1440, in the former New Hospital of the Knights. Amongst ancient coins, jewelry, and ceramics, there are famous exhibits like the 1st-century BC marble of Aphrodite Bathing, a 2nd-century BC head of Helios, the sun god.
Locals Tip: For rest, stop at the Fournariko (or Phournariko) Bakery, which is open all year. They sell fresh traditional pies, cakes & seasonal goodies. Dinokratous 1-9, Rodos 851 00.
After exploring the historical area and visiting museums, it is time to hit the Bourg (downtown) – the section of the Old Town housing the Greek, Turkish, and Jewish neighborhoods. You will encounter peculiar architecture – a mix of medieval, Neo-classical, and Levantine styles. Many buildings have distinctive Ottoman details, like overhanging wooden balconies. You can walk Sokratus Street – the oldest commercial street with bazaar-style shops. Get lost in the labyrinth of old narrow streets, stone walls, and shady squares. For those interested in heritage sites, the 14th-century Byzantine church of Agios Fanourios, the Library of Hafiz Ahmet Aga with very rare Arabic and Persian manuscripts, the Mosque of Ibrahim Pasha built in 1531 and still used by local Muslims, the Synagogue Kadosh Shalom with a museum on the local Jewish community is truly worth a visit.
Your day can finish with a relaxing dinner in an atmospheric environment. Our suggested spots in the Old Town are 10Gr Restaurant & Wine Bar (Polidorou 16), Hatzikelis Seafood Restaurant (Solomou Alchadef 9), or Zebrano Café Restaurant Bar (Pl. Meg. Alexandrou).
The Greek community developed the New Town when expelled from the Old Town after the Ottoman conquest and expanded tremendously during the Italian period. Nowadays it is a city with approx. 70.000 inhabitants and occupies the whole northern part of the Island.
Start your tour with a lovely walk along the Mandraki Port, observing all the elegant public buildings built by Italians in the 1920s – the town hall, the National Theatre, the post office, law courts, the police station, and the Government House. Here, you will also see the splendid church of the Evangelismos (Annunciation), the town’s main church, with frescoes by the neo-Byzantine painter Photis Kontoglou. You will then notice two columns at the harbor entrance – with a bronze doe and stag statues. This is one of the symbols of Rhodes Island and is famously known as the site of the Colossus of Rhodes – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The port goes around toward the 15th-century fortress of Agios Nikolaos and the three medieval windmills. The harbor is always lively with yachts and boats, a favorite place for locals for their morning or afternoon walks called “volta.”
Then, it is worth exploring the Art Deco style New Market building (Nea Agora) with domes and arches that used to house some 100 shops & offices. Initially, the market provided all the necessary daily goods for locals – vegetables, meat, fish, and bakeries, but with time passing, tourist souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants took over. You can stop for a quick bite at the small eatery next to the Central Bus Station serving the famous Greek street food – mouthwatering “souvlaki” or “gyros.” If you opt for a stop for coffee, choose Gregory’s Café (Γρηγόρης) opposite the bus station.
After a small break, head into the center of the New Town and discover one of the oldest neighborhoods – Neohori. The city’s center has stores, boutiques, banks, cafes, apartment buildings, and streets with plenty of cars and motorbikes; it has a charming area with pedestrian streets, old mansions, and cozy front yards. Find Mandilara Street and get lost in the network of neoclassical buildings adorn its car-free alleys. This area’s surroundings resemble the nearby islands Symi and Halki. You should not miss the impressive Orthodox Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, its marvelous mosaic covering the whole churchyard, and the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Victory.
You can then walk towards the northernmost point of Rhodes Island, passing through the scenic Haritou Square, also called the roundabout with 100 date palm trees. Art lovers would be curious to visit the Modern Greek Art Museum, which contains a collection of well-known Greek artists, including Spyros Vassiliou, Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Ghikas, and Yiannis Tsarouhis.
After your walking tour, unwind with a relaxing walk by the Elli beach, observe winter swimmers, the trampoline with three diving platforms that has become one of Rhodes’s emblems, and the imposing Casino building – the first Rhodes hotel.
What a day! The only task left is finding a nice and cozy place for your dinner. If it is not your hotel, we suggest the Koukos Restaurant or Stavlos Grill House (both on Mandilara Street).
There are a few more exciting sites near Rhodes City that you can easily reach on foot. One of the favorite places for locals on sunny weekends is the Monte Smith (or Agios Stefanos). It is situated on a hill, just 3 km (1.86 mi) southwest of Rhodes town, and is named after the English Admiral Sir Sidney Smith. In 1802, he observed Napoleon’s fleet and gained an excellent reputation amongst the locals. Besides the impressive panoramic views over the city and the coast, the hill is home to the ancient Acropolis of Rhodes. You will discover the Hellenistic stadium built in the 2nd century BC, the Gymnasium, and the theatre with an 800-seat capacity. This was the most important sanctuary, a place of worship, and the center of social life. The Acropolis is dominated by the partly restored Temple of Pythian Apollo.
After, you can take a long walk down to Psaropoula Beach and have a pleasant stopover at one of the cozy seaside cafes. Then continue walking and head to the west coastline, where you will find the Kato Petres walking path with small beaches between rocks. It will take you a few km outside the city towards the Kritika neighborhood. It is a scenic area with beautiful views of the endless blue Aegean Sea and the Turkish coastline opposite. Somewhere on the way between the rocky slopes, there is a small cave sanctuary, which has been turned into a pilgrimage and is dedicated to the Archangel Michael of Panormitis. It is worth having a look inside and sensing the surrealistic atmosphere.
To top your experience, you can consider visiting the Sunrise Spa at the new Marina and enjoy some pampering and relaxation at the Turkish hammam, followed by a light dinner at the Naval Café Bar Restaurant or the locals’ favorite Seafood taverns – Psarokokkalo or Archontariki (both situated near the New Marina, Zefiros Beach).
The charming, whitewashed village is best visited in the off-season. It is when you can genuinely enjoy the historic sites. It is estimated that approx. 30.000 people per day arrive at Lindos during the peak tourist season. In winter, you can hardly meet any travelers. It is an absolute delight to experience the authentic side of Lindos without any “touristy” distractions.
Lindos has been classified as a listed monument. Thus it retains its traditional look intact. You can start exploring the village by visiting its main church in the middle of the town – the Byzantine church of Panaghia. Its interior was decorated with excellent frescoes by Gregory of Symi in 1779. The church has a small Ecclesiastical Museum with exhibits from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.
Then, proceed towards the spectacular Acropolis, the leading archaeological site of the island, and the main reason to visit Lindos. It is perched on a 125m (410ft) imposing precipice above the white village. The historical heritage and the scenic views over the Mediterranean Sea will highlight your Rhodes experience. Wander through the sanctuary, discovering the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins and Knights’ fortifications. Walk up the stairs and truly immerse yourself in the past. Information scattered throughout the site provides comprehensive directions and details about all the monuments. You can easily spend one hour taking in all the views and learning about the history.
Then stroll the old settlement pleasantly and let your curiosity guide you through the labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets. On your way, observe the village’s diverse architecture – a mixture of insular, Byzantine, medieval, Arabic, and Neoclassical elements. Most of the houses are from the 17th and 18th centuries. As you will hardly find any shop open, we suggest having a bottle of water and some snacks with you.
If the weather allows, walk to the very bottom of the village for a stroll on the sandy beach. You can choose the main beach (Megalos Gialos) or the small natural harbor on the village’s rear side –St. Paul’s Bay. Lindos is the warmest spot on the island, and often, the temperature can be up to 10 degrees higher than in Rhodes town.
If you have enough time, a few more impressive sites are available during the low season. The Ancient Ialysos on Filerimos hill is only 11km (7 mi) SW of Rhodes town. It is one of the three ancient Doric city-states (together with Lindos and Kameiros) and remains an important historical site worthy of discovery. First, you will pass by the tourist resort Ixia, which is a stretch of enormous hotel complexes – all closed and waiting to be opened when the season begins.
To reach the site of the ancient Ialysos, you will ascend the spiraling road that goes through a thick pine & cypress tree forest and provides particularly picturesque views. In wintertime, many locals enjoy approx. 5 km (3.11 mi) walk to stay fit and soak up the forest atmosphere!
The site’s main attractions are the ruins of the 3rd-century BC ancient city, the Byzantine monastery of Filerimos, the Calvary path with the Stations of the Cross ending at a massive 18m (60ft) cross, and hundreds of peacocks!
Then add to this unforgettable experience a visit to the Kallithea Springs. It is a favorite beach site during the summer for locals and tourists alike but should not be missed during the off-season. Situated 9 km (5.59 mi) south of Rhodes City, Kallithea attracts visitors with its wonderfully atmospheric character. It is a former spa complex built by Italians in 1929 with a distinctive Art Deco style. You can walk carelessly through its seaside garden full of lavender flowers and herbs and marvel at the floor mosaic with many surprisingly intricate details. Explore the two rotundas. The smaller one is encircled with palm trees and still has a marble water basin with unique information. The large dome offers a comprehensive exhibition of the history of the site. This is also a popular place for weddings and fashion shoots.
There is way more to discover if you have enough time. Rhodes is imbued with scenic villages, lush valleys, hidden churches, and historical ruins. Winding roads link the small agricultural communities of the island’s interior, where traditional life continues nowadays.
Deviating from one of the coastal roads, reach the Profitis Ilias mountain and enjoy one of the most scenic mountain routes. Discover the Italian-built settlement in Eleousa village and wander through the abandoned ruins.
Enjoy the exceptional natural landscape dense with pine and plane trees. Stop by a little Byzantine church of Aghios Nikolaos Foundoukli, dating from the 14th-15th century with its impressive wall painting. An enchanting route will take you further to the peak of Mount Profitis Ilias, at an altitude of 720 m (2 362.20 ft), where you will come across a few unusual southern Tyrolean-style villas, once a prominent hotel complex for Italian governors.
Then, it is worth driving through the Embonas village, the highest village on the island, at an altitude of 825 m (2703,41 ft) on the western flanks of Mount Atavyros. The town has a charming character where traditional style dominates. Wine lovers will be glad to discover that it has been associated with the Rhodian wine industry and take a chance to stop for lunch in Maroulakis Tavern to taste the best pork chops and “pitaroudia.”
Leaving through the natural cypress forest, which has been declared a monument of nature, reach the west coast with impressive views of dramatic cliff drops and various islets. Get the best picture from the top of the Kritinia’s Castle – erected by the Knights during the 14th century. While the fortress is partly ruined, exploring it and capturing the superb views is impressive.
We trust that this compilation of activities and suggestions will assist you in determining whether the off-season experience in Rhodes aligns with your desired preferences. We are eager to learn about your encounters and impressions.
Have you had the opportunity to explore any Greek islands during the low season? We would be delighted if you could share your firsthand experiences, providing valuable insights and further enriching our discussion. Your unique perspective fosters a deeper understanding of the joys and rewards that await off-season travelers.