Rhodos island is located in the Eastern Aegean Sea, at a short distance from the Turkish coast. It is one of the most popular destinations in Greece and one of the first islands that developed tourism. But do not let the crowds scare you. Rhodes is a very special place worthy of your visit. In the past, I had often visited the island off-season. This summer, I took my kids during the tourist season and went to explore the island with them. Here are some of my hand-picked favourite things to do with kids in Rhodos island.
Where is Rhodos island
Rhodes Island is one of Greece’s larger islands, located in the Eastern Aegean Sea, at a short distance from the Turkish coast. Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese islands between Crete and Asia Minor. With an area of 1,400 sq. km, it is one of the largest Greek islands. Its landscape is mainly comprised of hills and low mountains, covered in pine trees. Rhodes has been of historic importance through the Ancient Hellenistic, Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods.
To do in Rhodos island with Kids
In Rhodos, you’ll find something for every taste. At the same time cosmopolitan and traditional, timeless and modern, simple and spectacular – Rhodos is ideal for family holidays. The island is the largest of the Dodecanese island group and famous for its bright green hills, rich green valleys and long golden beaches. Rhodos has been important since ancient times and offers numerous cultural and archaeological sites.
The city of Rhodos
The city of Rhodos was created because of the many nations that used Rhodes as a geographical and cosmopolitan crossroad. It is believed that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, stood at the entrance to the port of Mantraki. The Colossus was destroyed by an earthquake in the Hellenistic period. Towers, castles and windmills offer a wonderful background. Parks, squares, shops, restaurants offering traditional Greek dishes, café and bars, the city of Rhodos is an adventure and a must-visit with kids.
It is wise to make a stop at the Tourist Information (or check their website) in the port first. Here you can find all sorts of information on local events, excursions, maps and goodies for kids. The staff of the tourist office was extremely helpful. The office is located between the bus station and the port.
If you can only spend one day in the town of Rhodos, I would recommend visiting the port and the Old Town. Start walking to the port first and then head over to the medieval city walls and castle. There is not much shade in the port thus best to visit in the morning. You can also see the port and city by Hop On – Hop Off bus tour. Click here for more information and to pre-book your tickets for Rhodes Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus.
The Mandraki Harbour
The port was and adventure on its own with lots of things to see. Stroll along Akti Sachtouri Street, which has the Aegean Sea on one side and the medieval city walls on the other.
Gaze up at the turreted ramparts of the city walls and then look at the collection of luxury yachts and old fishing trawlers moored in the harbour. Some boats are also floating shops that sell handicrafts, fresh fish and fruits.
At the end of the street is a tunnel that leads to Mandraki Harbour. Walk along its breakwater to see the three disused windmills that date back to medieval times. They used to grind the grains brought into Rhodes by merchant ships. Continue along the breakwater to the old lighthouse and its stone defensive structures. Don’t miss the famous tall columns topped by figures of a male and female deer, the emblems of the city (pictured below) Some people believe they mark the spot where the legs of the Colossus of Rhodes stood, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your kids will love them!
Many nations used Rhodes as a geographical and cosmopolitan crossroad. This is very visible in the port. Rhodes Port sits on the north-eastern corner of the island of Rhodes. If you are arriving by car, find free parking on the streets around the Tourist Harbor and Commercial Harbor.
Rhodos old town
When in Rhodos island with kids, a visit the world-famous old town is a MUST-DO! Children will travel back in time and fantasize about knights and princesses walking around the old city walls and castles. I have often visited Rhodos and I am always in awe with its fairytale scenery with medieval palaces, cobbled streets, and its impressive castle in the old town. Rhodes Town is the best-preserved medieval town in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Surrounded by a 4 km wall, it is the most well-preserved city of the 14th century.
Walk on the narrow pavements, through the arcades and enjoy the great architectonic masterpiece of the Byzantine, Gothic and Ottoman influence.
Walk through one of the 9 grandiose Gothic gates into the Byzantine settlement and find innumerable churches, the famous road called Knight’s street and follow your way to the unique Grand Master’s Palace. You can also see the mosque of Suleiman, Turkish baths, the clock tower and lots of minarets.
The impressive Palace of the Grand Master’s Palace is huge. It was impossible to make a photo of the entire construction.
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodos
The medieval hospital of the Knights in the old town of Rhodes is the current modern archaeological museum with exhibits from the first signs of life on the island 2500 BC with statues, decorated gravestones, vessels of all kind covering all the glorious times of the Rhodos’ history in a perfectly preserved building of the period of the Knights.
You can purchase a combined ticket of 10 Euro for the Palace of the Grand Master, the Archaeological Museum of Rhodos, The decorative Arts Collection and the famous Church of our Lady of the Castle. This ticket is valid for 3 days.
Stroll along the romantic street of the castle was an adventure by itself. Hidden corners, friendly cats and a laid back atmosphere.
Throne of Helios: The History of Rhodes 9D Experience
During this unique interactive experience, your family will enjoy a 3D picture with sound, motion, rain, snow, wind, fire and even smells. Throne of Helios, the first 20-minute movie, offers a fantastic journey through the history and mythology of Rhodes. The second movie, Rhodes Race is a 6 minutes long and shows a chariot race with the 12 Gods of Olympus. It is a unique combination of historical tradition and high technology, in the historic building of the old cinema of St. George, the first cinema in Rhodes. Click here for more information and booking of the Rhodes 9D Experience.
This is the oldest park in the world. It has peacocks and ducks, waterways and lots of trees and plants and old bridges.
The Rhodos Toy Museum
For something completely different, check out the Rhodos Toy Museum. It contains about 5000 Greek made toys from the 1930’s to late 1980’s, traditional games, international toys, collectible items, paper documents, vintage video games, pinball machines, Juke-boxes and more! Concerts, plays, puppet shows, Karagiozis (traditional shadow theatre) art exhibitions and more activities are also part of this museum. The entrance is free!
Lindos city is one of the three leading state – cities of ancient Greek times and built around a steep rock with an acropolis and the temple of Athena. The walk up to the Acropolis is steep and on cobblestones. This is not ideal with a stroller.
The little white Aegean style houses with the picturesque lanes in the town are beautiful. Lots of cats around and nice souvenir shops. Combine your visit to the Acropolis with time on the beach for a swim. The crystal clear waters will not disappoint you!
How to get to Lindos with kids
Lindos can be reached by car and by local public bus. You can also buy an organized luxury mini bus ticket to Lindos starting from 20 Euro per person including a pick up from your hotel and a worry-free visit to Lindos. Click here to book your bus ticket for Lindos.
You can also visit Lindos by boat tour. Kids will love enjoying a relaxing cruise instead of walking around. In Rhodos port, there are many companies selling tickets to visit this beautiful town by cruise. If you want to pre-book your tickets, have a look at this value for money relaxing boat trip to Lindos. It includes sailing and swimming as well as a visit to Lindos and its Acropolis. Have a look here for more information and booking.
Don’t forget to pick up a local souvenir from the beautiful boutiques in the narrow streets.
With older kids you can consider visiting Lindos by high-speed boat. This exhilarating boat ride to Lindos along the amazing coastline and see the beautiful bays includes a leisurely visit to Lindos, with 4 hours of free time. Click here for more information and booking High-Speed Boat Trip to Lindos.
Ancient city of Kamiros
If you want to explore more ancient ruins, head out to the ancient city of Kamiros is established in Minoan times. This amphitheatre location in the pine forest offers an impressive view to the sea. Here you can learn more about city planning in ancient Greece, a typical ancient Rhode’s villa, the temples and the arcs with the shops, the drainage and the water supply network with huge water tanks.
Aquarium of Rhodos
A stroll along the seaside pedestrian walk, in the city of Rhodes, leads to the northernmost edge of the island. This is where the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes-Aquarium is located. Housed in a building of unique architectural style, the Aquarium is the ideal place for those wishing to get acquainted with the marine wealth of the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The Aquarium has been fashioned in the form of an underwater sea cave. Sinuous corridors, artfully decorated with natural sea-shells create a true underwater ambience.
If your kids are older, and they want to do something different, have a look at the map below with Escapes rooms in Rhodos city. I found four (!) of them.
There are many ways to discover Rhodos by boat. Most boat excursions start at the Mandraki harbour. There are submarine-style boats, glass-bottom boats, luxury yachts and speed boats for that extra boost of adrenaline. There is no need to make reservations. Just make your way to the port and you will be bombarded with kiosks and sellers of the boat excursions. Many of these leave frequently and the waiting times are short. We have not tried them ourselves but they sure looked like a lot of fun!
Kids will love the ride on the submarine boat. This value for money tour takes you from Mandraki Harbour to see a few of the best-known sights including the place where Colossos of Rhodes stood, the port Mandraki, the beautiful Elli beach, the Tourist Harbour and the walls of the Old Town. Sitting in an air-conditioned comfort cabin below the surface you can gaze out of a huge window which offers you a 360° panoramic view of the Aegean Sea. The vessel remains above sea level at all times, while its underwater observatory, is 2.5 metres below the surface. Your family has the option to relax surrounded by the under water world or leave the cabin and walk on the deck and enjoy the ocean breeze. Click here for more information and booking your tickets online.
Sport Activities in Rhodos island with kids
Horse riding, scuba diving, sailing, snorkelling, mountain climbing, surfing, Supping, hiking, you name it! Due to its varied landscape, it is all possible in Rhodes!
Most hotels and resort in Rhodos have swimming pools and water parks. So did ours. But if you haven’t got a pool at your hotel, head over to the Faliraki Water Park. Tickets for entrance and transport to the water park of Faliraki are sold everywhere around Rhodos city. This water park offers many pools, spectacular slides, lazy rivers, water attractions and a specially designed area for young kids. Transport to the water park is included in the entrance ticket and starting points are everywhere on the island!
Valley of the butterflies
Another attraction that is considered a must-visit in Rhodos island with kids is the Valley of the butterflies. This park is part of Natura 2000 networking programme due to its importance as a rare biotope. You and your children will love the peaceful walk through the shaded, green valley with its small river and beautiful waterfalls. You are permanently surrounded by butterflies camouflaging themselves against the tree trunks as you walk up towards the monastery at the top, or rest for a while on one of the wooden benches along the way. There is also a museum with extensive information about the flora and fauna in the reserve. The most interesting part of the museum is the hatchery, where a number of butterflies reproduce in a protected area in stable climate conditions and an ideal environment.
The Therme of Kallithea
The healing source of Kallithea which provided with water this structure of the Italian period of the beginning of the 20th century is dried out. However, the incomparable skill of the Italian architecture combining with the enchanting beach, the rocky surrounding and the blue water make the whole place worth visiting it. You can combine a beach experience with the ancient springs and time out in nature. There are several cafes which offer a small playground for children.
Tour the island
If you do not want to go around the island by rental car or public bus, you can opt for a guided bus tour. I found several online but for families, I would recommend this Full-Day Guided Island Tour. The tour passes through traditional villages and magnificent beaches. An official English speaking guides takes you to some of the most important places on the island. The trip includes the Castle of Kritinia, a wine and olive oil tasting in Embona village, the Kalithea Springs for a swimming stop and a visit to Profitis Ilias. Kids will have a chance to run around at the Embona village and have a swim. Click here for more information and booking of this tour.
Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo
The Farma of Rhodes Petting Zoo is a unique interactive experience with animals if you happen to be in Rhodos island with kids. Play, feed or take a selfie with ostriches, llamas, kangaroos, ponies, deer, camels and many more. If you like being with animals Farma of Rhodes is totally one of the best things to do while in Rhodes. Don’t miss the farm’s restaurant where you can try ostrich meat as well as wild boar meat served with vegetables from the garden with locally produced olive oil and herbs. You can also find our farm’s secret tea made by our garden’s herbs.
Getting Around Rhodos island with Kids
Rhodes is a big island, and you can’t possibly see all of it on foot. Fortunately, there are many options to get around. The public bus service is available to many of the key destinations and this can actually be a pleasant experience. Modern local buses regularly depart from the City of Rhodes to nearby destinations, and suburban buses run throughout the day to the various towns and villages. We used the bus line that stopped right outside our resort. Although very busy, it was an easy and fast solution. For a longer stay on the island, I would recommend hiring a car.
Rhodos island – How to get there
Rhodes has an international airport with direct flights from most European cities giving families a choice of airlines and non-stop flights. In Greece, it is connected with the airports of Athens and Thessaloniki. There are also connections to and from other Greek islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and Crete (Heraklion city). Flights are operated by Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines. The port of Rhodes has daily connections to the port of Athens and the island is also connected directly to all the other islands of the Dodecanese and Crete.
Where to eat in Rhodos island with Kids
The Tavern Blue Lagoon with kids is a nice experience because there is an air-conditioned playroom. The place is built like a pirate ship on a swimming pool and there are music and dancing.
Where to stay in Rhodos island with Kids
We stayed at the Grecotel Lux Me Rhodos, a luxury resort on the beach of Kallithea. This was a convenient location relatively near the Old Town, the airport the valley of the butterflies and other attractions. For our full review and tried and tested experience of the resort, please click here.
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