Kids Love Rhodes: The Perfect Family Getaway
- What’s Special About Rhodes Town?
- Rhodes Old Town: A Medieval Fairy Tale
- The Modern City of Rhodes: A Seaside Gem
- Enjoy Family-Friendly Beaches in Rhodes
- Visit the Amazing Valley of the Butterflies
- Interact with Animals at the Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo
- Spend a Day at the Largest Water Park in Greece
- Remember your Childhood at Rhodes Toy Museum
- Get Lost in the Picturesque Village of Lindos
- Visit the Magical Oasis of 7 Springs
- How to Get to Rhodes Island?
- Kids Love Greece Tips for Parents
Rhodes, also known as ‘the Knights Island’, is the largest island of the Dodecanese complex in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular family-friendly destinations in Greece.
Its beautiful natural landscape, golden sand beaches, excellent hotel infrastructure, numerous cultural and archaeological sites and picturesque villages, make Rhodes island the perfect destination for families traveling with babies and toddlers.
In this extended article, we will discover together all the highlights of Rhodes for the perfect family vacation.
Rhodes Town is divided into two parts: The Old Town, with its unique medieval atmosphere and the vibrant New Town with its busy commercial streets and waterfront historical attractions.
The Old Town of Rhodes is the most important monument of the island. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe.
If your kids are fascinated by fairy tales with brave knights and beautiful princesses, then they will simply love the Old Town of Rhodes!
As soon as you enter Rhodes Old Town, do not be surprised if you feel like you have stepped into a medieval time capsule. Its tall stone walls, elegant mansions, beautiful fountains, cobbled alleyways and an impressive medieval castle, create the illusion that you have time-traveled back to the glorious era of the knights.
Rhodes Old Town is one of the few remaining medieval cities in the world that are still inhabited and alive. It unfolds as a maze, which makes it very easy to get lost inside its numerous small streets. Even if you do get lost in the Old Town’s medieval labyrinth, you do not need to worry a bit! Beyond its numerous hotspots, part of Rhodes Old Town magic is simply wandering around its picturesque alleys. The whole experience will be captivating for both you and the kids.
Whilst in Rhodes Old Town, walk with the kids along the Street of the Knights, one of the most scenic medieval streets in the world!
The Street of the Knights of Saint John – or ‘Odos Ippoton’ according to the locals – runs through the heart of Rhodes Old Town. It starts from the port of Rhodes and ends at the imposing Palace of the Grand Master.
While walking down this beautiful, cobbled street, take your time and admire the 14th century buildings. Encourage your children to take a closer look above each door. This is where you will find different engraved coats of arms. Each one represented a Grand Master of the Order.
Along the Street of the Knights there were seven inns (lodges). History says that the Knights of Saint John were divided into seven languages, according to their birthplace. Depending on their language, they were responsible for a different part of the fortification. The seven inns symbolically represented the seven languages of the Knights. Today, four out of these seven lodges remain untouched.
At the end of the Street of the Knights, you will meet the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master, also known as the Kastello, which is undoubtedly one of the most impressive sites in Rhodes.
Admire its formidable outer walls, which look much as they did back in the 14th century, when the Palace was reconstructed by the Knights of Saint John. It is believed that the Palace was originally built during the Byzantine times, on the foundations of the Temple of God Helios, the god of the Sun.
The Palace of the Grand Master was enormous in size, with more than 150 rooms. It served as a home of the Knights’ Master, as well as an administrative center. Today, the Palace of the Grand Master operates as a museum and only 24 of its numerous rooms are open to visitors.
Wander around this impressive palace with your family and admire the beautiful statues of the Greek and Roman period, standing at its large courtyard. Explore the palace’s inner spaces and gaze at the marvellous frescoes, the multi-colored marbles and the amazing mosaics.
Whilst at the Palace, do not miss the Medusa Chamber. Your toddler will be fascinated by the mosaic of the Medusa, the mythical snake haired Gorgon!
Enjoy a relaxing stroll with the family across the famous Sokratous Street. Your young travellers will love its vibrant atmosphere and all the small shops, full of colourful souvenirs. Sokratous Street is the most popular shopping street of the Old Town and usually gets very busy and crowded during the summer period.
On our way down from Sokratous street towards the harbor, make a stop at Ippokratous Square (Hippocrates). The kids will love playing around the Castellania fountain, located right in the center of this beautiful square.
At Ippokratous Square you will find a wide variety of coffee shops and traditional restaurants. It’s a great spot for you to relax after a long family walk and enjoy a delicious ice-cream or taste some of the local delicacies at one of the square’s small taverns.
Some other hotspots of Rhodes Old Town that are worth visiting during your family walk are the following:
- The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes: Located right by the famous Street of the Knights, in the heart of the Medieval Town. The Museum is housed at a beautiful building, built-in 1440 around a pebble courtyard that used to be the Hospital of the Knights. It hosts very important collections from different parts of Rhodes and the neighboring islands. Among many others, one of the Museum’s most beautiful exhibits is the exquisite marble statue of Bathing Goddess Aphrodite. At the Museum’s main courtyard, sits a beautiful stone lion, which holds with his front paws the head of a bull. The lion is visible from the Street of the Knights and invites visitors to enter and discover the Museum’s treasures.
- The Clock Tower: The Clock Tower (or Roloi in Greek) is a beautiful Byzantine building that dates back to the 7th century. The clock that still works today, was supposed to tell the Greeks the Turkish time. It had also been used as a watchtower. If you are in the mood for some spectacular views, it’s worth climbing up to the top of the tower and admiring the magnificent panoramic view of Rhodes Old Town. The entrance fee to the Clock Tower includes a free drink on the beautiful terrace cafe below. To reach the tower’s top you need to walk up a narrow staircase with more than 50 steep steps. If you are traveling with a baby or a very young kid, climbing up the tower would not be recommended.
- The Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Library: The Old Town of Rhodes bears many legacies from its Ottoman past. At the end of the busy Sokratous Street, you will meet the pink-domed Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, the most important mosque in Rhodes. It was built in 1522 to commemorate the Ottoman victory against the knights. Right opposite of the Mosque of Suleiman stands the Ottoman Library, which houses various original Ottoman scripts and handwritten copies of the Quran.
- Our Lady of the Castle Cathedral: If you pay a visit at the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes make a short stop at this beautiful church, also known as ‘Panagia tou Kastrou’. This beautiful Byzantine church dates back to 11th century and is the oldest and largest church preserved inside the Old Town of Rhodes. At first, it operated as an Orthodox church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After Rhodes was conquered by the Knights, the church was transformed into a three-aisled Gothic basilica with transept and became the Catholic cathedral of the island. During the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque.
Apart from discovering the magnificent Rhodes Old Town, there are so many things to do in Rhodes with your children!
According to the legends, the great statue of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once stood at Mandraki harbor.
Today, the statues of two deers – a male and a female – stand where once stood the feet of the Colossus and represent the symbols of modern Rhodes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the three stone medieval windmills, right across the port and the beautiful fortress of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of the seamen. This spot now operates as a lighthouse and offers one of the loveliest views of Rhodes New Town.
During your family stroll at the harbor, you will also notice some of the most interesting municipal buildings of the new town, such as the building of the Town Hall, the General Post Office, the Court House, the National Theatre and the Governor’s Palace. If you happen to be in Mandraki during the evening hours, you will be given the opportunity to see all these beautiful historic attractions and buildings illuminated.
Another spot not to be missed whilst enjoying your walk with the family at Mandraki is a visit to the New Market (Nea Agora). The New Market, housed in a characteristic neo-colonial style building, is located right opposite of Mandraki Harbor.
Your kids will love the Market’s large inner courtyard as well as all the small shops selling colourful souvenirs, natural sponges, spices and various other local products of Rhodes. At the Market’s open area, you will also find a wide variety of cafes and taverns, where you could sit and have a short relaxing break with the family.
Right beside this iconic building lies the commercial center of Rhodes, where you can find many popular brands and stores.
A relaxing walk with the family by the seaside is an experience both parents and kids, of all ages, simply love. If you visit Rhodes with your baby or toddler, you will really enjoy a family stroll at the town’s promenade, located right on the seafront.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras along! This is a beautiful spot to capture some memorable family moments, especially during sunset.
At the end of the seaside pedestrian walk, you will meet the art deco building of Rhodes Aquarium. Your kids will be absolutely fascinated by the Aquarium’s design. The artful decoration of its interior, filled with natural seashells, creates a true ambience of an underwater sea cave.
Wander around the Aquarium’s sinuous corridors and let the kids explore the rich marine life of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea. Among others, they will discover sea flowers, reefs, decapods, clams, octopuses, turtles and a wide range of fishes. Exploring the fascinating world of Rhodes Aquarium will be a memorable experience for both you and your young travelers.
The Acropolis of Rhodes along with the Ancient Stadium of Rhodes stand at the highest hill of the city of Rhodes, known as Monte Smith.
The Ancient Stadium is where the athletic events of the Alioi Games took place. This event was part of the major festival held by the ancient Rhodians, in honor of the sun-god Helios. At the highest point of the Acropolis hill, you will find the temple of Pythion Apollo, the patron deity of the city. The spot offers amazing panoramic views of the sea and Rhodes town as well as breathtaking sunsets.
Today, only few surviving remains of the Acropolis still exist, but it is still worth a visit. Your toddler will really enjoy running freely around this green and beautifully laid out archaeological park, while you are admiring the wonderful views. If you are nature lovers, this is a great spot for a family picnic!
Relax and have some family fun at one of Rhodes’ beautiful beaches!
The coastline of Rhodes is dotted with many beautiful beaches suitable for families with younger kids. Put on your bathing suites, get your hat and sunscreen, and start exploring some of the island’s best beaches!
Around 30min drive from Rhodes Town you will find an iconic and well-organized sandy beach with shallow waters, nested in gulf protected from the winds. This beach offers various facilities, including restaurants, sunbeds and water sports.
The only thing you need to keep in mind, especially if you are traveling with babies or toddlers, is that it might get very hot on this part of the island, especially during July and August. If you are not planning to rent a car during your stay in Rhodes, Tsambika beach is accessible from Rhodes Town by boat and public bus.
Even if you decide to stay at Rhodes Town, it does not mean that you will have to sacrifice easy access to the beach, since Elli beach is just a stroll away! Although it can become quite crowded during the summer season, Elli beach is still one of the most beautiful beaches of Rhodes and a great choice for relaxation with the kids after a day of sightseeing. It is a sandy, well-organized beach with sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, and restaurants.
You may reach Elli beach either on foot from Rhodes Town or by using Roda Municipal Transportation.
Around 50 minutes away from Rhodes Town by car, you will find the picturesque village of Lindos. Many families visiting Rhodes, choose to stay at this beautiful village, located in the southern part of the island.
When it comes to swimming, Lindos offers two lovely choices, both suitable for families with babies and toddlers. There’s the main beach of Lindos (also known as the Great Yialos), and a smaller one, known as Pallas beach. In fact, these two different beaches actually, share the same bay. Pallas beach is relatively quieter than the main beach. They are both sandy, with shallow crystal-clear waters – ideal for younger kids.
On both beaches, you will find sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as small taverns offering local delicacies and fresh fish. Around a 5-minute drive from Lindos town towards the south, you will find yourselves at Saint Paul’s Bay. This beach is quite tiny, with lovely sand and crystalline blue water. It is fully organized, with umbrellas, sunbeds and cozy traditional taverns. The outstanding rock formations and the Saint Paul’s chapel right next to the beach, create a breathtaking scenery.
Around a 40-minute drive from Rhodes Town and a 20-minute drive from Lindos lies another beautiful beach worth visiting. If you choose to stay close to Lindos, drive towards the north on the main road, until you find the intersection of Charaki village. This is where the golden sand beach of Agathi is located.
Its shimmering golden sand and turquoise, crystal-clear waters create an idyllic environment. In addition, the extremely shallow waters make it a very safe beach for young swimmers. Besides umbrellas and sunbeds, there are also some canteens on Agathi beach, offering snacks, light meals and chilling refreshments.
This beach is located around 20 minutes away from Rhodes Town by car and a 3-minute walk away from Faliraki.
‘Kathara’ in Greek means clean. This beautiful sandy beach honors its name with its crystal clear and shallow waters which are ideal for younger children. Scattered rocks around the beach create a natural port and protect it from strong winds.
Kathara beach is nicely organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, while there are also quite a few restaurants and supermarkets at walking distance. Despite its close proximity to Faliraki, this small beach doesn’t get very crowded, offering families the opportunity to enjoy a quiet peaceful day, swimming and lying under the Greek sun.
Kathara beach is easily accessible from Rhodes Town, with frequent bus routes, or by car or a taxi.
One of the most enchanting places in Rhodes is the Valley of the Butterflies or “Petaloudes” (butterflies in Greek), as the locals tend to call it. You and your kids will absolutely love a relaxing family walk along this green, peaceful valley, with its small river and beautiful waterfall.
During your walk you will be permanently surrounded by butterflies, camouflaging themselves against the tree trunks. Rest for a while on one of the wooden benches you will meet along the way and admire the unique beauties of this natural paradise.
If you remain still and quiet, a butterfly may even land of your arm! This will be a fascinating moment for the kids and a great opportunity for a memorable family photo.
You can complete your family excursion with a visit to the Museum of Natural History, also located in the Valley of the Butterflies. The museum’s highlight is the hatchery, where butterflies reproduce in a protected area in stable climate conditions and an ideal environment.
The ideal period to visit the beautiful Valley of the Butterflies is between June and September. Admission for kids under 12 is free.
If your kids like animals, the Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo is one of the best places to visit in Rhodes. The Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo is a small natural paradise located close to the Valley of the Butterflies.
Feeding and playing with ostriches which respond to their own names, llamas, kangaroos, ponies, deers and camels, will be an unforgettable experience for your young traveller! You – on the other hand – will be given the opportunity to take several memorable family pictures.
During your visit at the farm, you will be also able to enjoy various activities, for kids and adults alike, organized by the owners. You may also taste an ostrich omelet at the farma’s restaurant, visit the souvenir shop and spend some carefree time at the kids’ playground.
Kids just love water parks! When in Rhodes, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a carefree day at the Water Park, the largest water park in Greece.
Located near Faliraki, it’s around a 20-minute drive from Rhodes Town. Even if you are not going to rent a car, transportation to and from the park won’t be a problem, as there are free buses departing from the city center.
The Water Park features a wide variety of water slides, pools, games and even artificial waves for the whole family to enjoy. Safety is the number one priority of the park and this is prominent, since each and every attraction is overwatched by experienced lifeguards. This is very important when travelling with children, since the lack of safety may quickly transform a lovely visit to a stressful nightmare.
If you feel like relaxing for a bit, you can choose a sunbed in the garden and enjoy snacks, cold refreshments or even a full meal in the restaurants and coffee shops within the park.
Not going to lie–this will be a very full and tiring day. But, it will also be an unforgettable experience. If you thought that you could combine your visit to the water park with other activities on the same day, then you should probably reconsider.
Keep in mind to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to children regularly. A hat and a t-shirt might offer even better protection throughout the day.
Outside the village of Archipoli, around a 30-minute drive from Rhodes Town, you will find Rhodes Toy Museum, nestled amongst olive groves and surrounded by pine forests. Inside this picturesque museum, you will find around 5000 toys made in Greece between 1930 to 1990.
The toys collection includes, among others, vintage video games, pinball machines, jukeboxes, battery-operated cars, board games, and much more. Your kids will love the Karagkiozis figures (traditional shadow theater) and the Greek-style Playmobil toys.
They will also really enjoy the arcade, coin operated machines, which still operate. We are quite certain that playing some Pacman or pinball will also bring back memories from your childhood as well!
After you enjoy all the beautiful toys inside the museum, you could relax with the kids at the playground outside. There is also a terrace where you could sit and enjoy the beautiful views.
Lindos is one of the most picturesque villages of the island. It offers a fascinating blend of ancient Greece and Medieval Europe. You will be amazed by the village’s postcard landscape with its pretty white houses built on the hillside, its paved alleyways, and its famous Acropolis, overlooking the village and the Aegean Sea.
As Lindos is a pedestrian-only village, you could park your car in the free parking lot above the village and then enjoy a relaxing family stroll around the cobbled streets of the village. As you get lost in the narrow alleys, you will encounter numerous small shops of all kinds, as well as many cozy cafés, ice cream shops and local restaurants serving traditional delicacies.
If you are adventurous enough, it would be lovely to climb up to the amazing Acropolis of Lindos. Built on a huge rock, 116 meters above the sea, the Acropolis of Lindos is surrounded by fortified walls built by the Knights of Rhodes. Inside its walls, you will discover the remains of an ancient theatre and the last vestiges of the Temple of Athena, built on top of the Acropolis.
If you are willing to accept the challenge, make sure that you have some water with you since it’s a steep walk taking around 20 minutes or more if little legs are involved. Climbing up to the Acropolis is quite challenging for families with babies and toddlers. The breathtaking views from its top however will be really rewarding!
In case you want to visit the Acropolis of Lindos but having second thoughts due to the young ages of your kids, you may consider letting them scale the Acropolis on a donkey.
Although we at Kids Love Greece are totally against animal abuse, most donkeys in Lindos are being very well treated. They are well fed and watered, have shade and shelter, regular breaks, and regular inspections. We would not suggest a donkey ride for adults. Toddlers and light weight young children on the other hand, would certainly enjoy a donkey ride. You will be able to find donkey stations inside the village of Lindos.
To keep young kids entertained while climbing up the Acropolis, a nice idea would be to tell them stories from Greek Mythology. You may even try to give them a camera or your phone and let them take pictures of beautiful things they spot along the way. After you help your young adventurers conquer the mountain, you could reward them with a delicious ice-cream!
In case you are staying close to Rhodes Town and have decided not to rent a car, you could get to Lindos village either via bus or by boat departing from Mandraki harbor. Day cruises from Rhodes to Lindos usually include two stops for swimming at Tsambika beach and Anthony Quinn bay.
The area of 7 Springs (‘Epta Piges’ in Greek), is approximately a 30-minute drive from Rhodes Town and belongs to a Natura 2000 protected zone along with the Valley of the Butterflies and Mt. Profitis Elias. It is one of the most charming destinations of the island and a real natural oasis offering a cool landscape even during heat waves in the middle of the summer.
It took its name from the 7 springs that are gushing from the nearby mountain to create a river. Water flows out of the springs all year around, forming a small lake and a waterfall. The lake is suitable for swimming. Just keep in mind that the waters are quite cold (even in the hottest summer months), and that since the water is fresh there is less buoyancy.
Besides the lake, one of the most famous attractions at 7 Springs is its tunnel. The river goes underground for a while to come out on the other side of the hill.
If you are traveling with younger children, we would not recommend reaching the lake via the tunnel. Although doing so would be a fascinating experience, walking for around 180m in a narrow and dark underground tunnel, would most probably feel like a horror movie for your young travellers.
Therefore, it’s probably a better idea to reach the other side of the tunnel using the short, marked trail through the forest. That would be a much easier and pleasant walk for both you and the kids.
In the area of 7 Springs, you will find a beautiful cafe-restaurant right by the water, as well as a playground for the kids. Relax at the café and enjoy an ice-cream or a cold refreshment under the shade of the trees. Besides the magical natural landscape, your kids will love observing the ducks, peacocks, and other animals found in the area.
The easiest way to get to Rhodes is by plane. There are several direct flights connecting Rhodes to Athens while during the summer period you will also be able to find several direct charter flights from most EU countries to Diagoras, International Airport of Rhodes.
Diagoras airport is located around 14 km away from Rhodes Town. In case you are not planning to rent a car at the airport upon arrival, you could easily get to Rhodes Town either via taxi, or public bus.
You may also choose to get to Rhodes by boat. There are daily connections from Piraeus port in Athens to Rhodes with stopovers to a couple of islands. The duration of the trip however is quite long (12 hrs +) and thus we would not really recommend this option if you are traveling with younger children.
There are also regular ferry connections between Rhodes and other islands of the Dodecanese complex including Kos, Chalki and Symi, as well as connections with Crete and Santorini.
At this point, we should note that Rhodes harbor is located in the city center, so it would be easy to get around or reach your hotel.
- Rhodes has over 300 days of sunshine per year. Try to avoid visiting the island in the busy peak month of August. It can be very hot and crowded during this period. It’s far better to visit in May or June or even in September.
- The island is quite big, size-wise. That said, renting a car would be highly recommended, especially if you are traveling with young children, who might get tired easily.
- If you do not wish to rent a car, you will be able to explore the island using modern local buses departing on a regular basis from Rhodes Town to several nearby destinations. There are also suburban buses you could use to travel to several villages and towns outside of Rhodes Town.
- When it comes to your accommodation, Rhodes island offers a wide variety of family-friendly beach resorts of all types and budgets. Some recommended options for families are the following: Atrium Platinum Luxury Resort Hotel & Spa, Grecotel Lux Me Dama Dama, Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas, Atrium Prestige Thalasso Resort & Villas, Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel (in Rhodes Town), Mitsis Alila Resort & Spa, Princess Andriana Resort & Spa, Atrium Platinum Luxury Resort Hotel & Spa, Olympic Palace, Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort & Spa, and Avra Beach Resort Hotel & Bungalows.
- Don’t forget to taste the excellent local delicacies including some trademark dishes such as Legumes and vegetables, Pitaroudia, Tsirigia, Avranies, Chtapodokeftedes (octopus balls), Matsi or pasta plasta, Kapamas as well as some of the island’s famous desserts, including Melekouni, the typical Dodecanese dessert, Moschopougina, Xerotigana Archangelou, and Talagoutes.
Best season to visit
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