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Rhodes Family Holidays & Breaks

Playing volleyball on a beach in Rhodes.Playing volleyball on a beach in Rhodes.© Visit Rhodes
Learning to windsurf with Surf and Kite Theologos.Learning to windsurf with Surf and Kite Theologos.© Surf and Kite Theologos
Faliraki Waterpark.Faliraki Waterpark.© Faliraki Waterpark
Lindos Bay.Lindos Bay.© GNTO/N. Dessylas visitgreece.gr
Road to Rhodes Town.Road to Rhodes Town.© Rhonda Carrier
Flying Time 4hrs
Carbon Footprint 2.43 CO2
Timezone GMT +2
Currency Euro

Today

Overview

Rhodes is among the most popular Greek islands, and for good reason: along its east coast are miles of sandy beaches, and it has the sunniest climate in all Greece. Combined, these make it a top spot for family holidays, although outside of high season it shouldn't be too hard to find uncrowded spots – and budding surfers will be in heaven on the beaches of western and southern Rhodes.

Despite its popularity, Rhodes' towns and villages have generally retained their charm and character, while the people welcome kids with open arms and the local cuisine is both delicious and child-friendly.

Things to do with kids in Rhodes

Head for one of Rhodes' many beaches. The east side of the island is blessed with almost continuous sandy beaches and calm waters, whereas beaches on the west are mostly stony. The sea tends to be rougher to the west too, and hence better for surfing and kiteboarding – we recommend Surf and Kite Theologos. Alternatively, head to the south.

Afandou is the island's longest beach, at 4 kilometres, and has both pebbles and sand. It's not too developed but has good facilities, the waters are calm and shallow, and there's a mini-train in season from the shore to the large, attractive traditional working village of Afandou itself, 2km inland, with a big choice of good restaurants, tavernas, bars and shops. Afandou also has an 18-hole golf course overlooking the sea. Nearby Kolymbia retains its authentic charm and has lots of restaurants and cafés popular with locals. 

Drive or take a taxi 10 minutes south from Afandou to Tsampika, a lovely long sandy beach surrounded by pretty hills, with watersports, a mini-market and a few snack bars.

With budding surfers, make for Gennadi Beach and Prasonisi, linked by an unspoilt stretch of coast in southern Rhodes. This region has quieter beaches that you might have to yourselves out of high season. Then drive across to Apollakia on the east coast, where the castle of Monolithos is an impressive clifftop ruin with divine views.

Head 5km south of Afandou to Faliraki, with a huge waterpark, a funfair and a go-kart track. The resort itself has a reputation for being a bit lairy and is certainly hectic, but the beach is long and sandy, with lots of tavernas and jet-ski hire. If you do stay here, the hotels near the waterpark are popular more with families than with clubbers.

Discover the popular beach resort, marina and archaeological site of Lindos on the east coast south of Afandou, overlooked by its acropolis, which was fortified by the Greeks followed by the Romans, Byzantines, Knights of St John and Ottomans. The charming if touristy village itself has cobbled streets lined by 16th-18th-century "captains' houses" and old churches, and cars are banned in favour of donkeys, bikes and mopeds – you can hire a donkey to take you up the acropolis, which offers stunning views.

Explore elegant Rhodes Town, the capital, in the north. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it has a remarkably well-preserved and atmospheric Old Town with medieval fortifications, mosques, cobbled streets and pleasant squares. 

Between mid-June and late September, venture to Butterfly Valley (Petaloudes) 25km southwest of Rhodes Town, where you may see some of its dwindling population of black-and-white striped moths. 

Hop on a boat and head further afield, on day-trips from Rhodes Town to the unspoilt island of Symi northwest of Rhodes or even to Marmaris in southern Turkey.

Eat

Rhodes has restaurants and tavernas serving food for all tastes. Rhodes Town has a number of fast-food, souvlaki and pizza places. In its medieval town, try traditional dishes such as meat cooked in earthenware pots with potatoes and onion, while in the modern town you'll find everything from Cypriot to Chinese, French and Danish restaurants.

Quiet little tavernas are the place to sample local specialties such as hilopites (egg noodles in soup) and moussaka, while cafés are good spots for juice, coffee, ouzo or wine with nibbles over a game of backgammon or cards.

Pastry shops sell delicious traditional sweets including kataifi, baklava and belekounia.

When to go to Rhodes

Head for Rhodes for just before or after the main summer rush to experience the true charm and fascination of the place. 

Cost

Hotel packages on Rhodes can be very good value, with the best bargains to be had in May, June, September and October, when temperatures are often still good enough for family holidays (especially with younger kids who don't like it very hot).

By Rhonda Carrier

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