Welcome to the port of Rhodes!
The beautiful Greek island of Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese group of islands nestled in the Aegean Sea in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The impressive history of Rhodes Island dates back to the 8th century BC and due to its excellent strategic location, Rhodes Island was under the rule of ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Knights of Saint John, Ottoman Turks, and Italians throughout history. As a result, the whole island boasts impressive archaeological ruins, ancient sites, impressive medieval heritage, and different architectural influences.
Nowadays, Rhodes island is part of Greece and one of the most popular stops in the Eastern Mediterranean cruise itineraries. I’ve had a unique opportunity to spend 12 amazing days in Rhodes and in this article, I want to share with you practical and insider information on Rhodes port, getting around the port, the best things to do, and top shore excursions.
Port of Rhodes
The port of Rhodes is located in Rhodes town, situated in the northern tip of the island. Rhodes town is divided into two parts, the modern part that encompasses a beautiful Mandraki harbour and the Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe.
Rhodes cruise terminal is situated in a large bay overlooking the Mandraki marina and the medieval walls of the Old Town. The terminal features several long deepwater quays where cruise ships dock and from where cruise passengers can reach the Old Town in less than a 10-minute walk.
The walled Old City of Rhodes has several gates that you can access by crossing the street once you exit the cruise terminal area. You will find some terminal facilities including shops, car rentals, a tourist information desk and a taxi station, and if you keep walking to your right you’ll come across Virgin Mary’s Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old Town.
The port of Rhodes is also one of the major ferry ports offering daily transfers to Kos, Samos, Symi, Chalki and other Greek islands.
Getting around the Port of Rhodes
The best way to explore Rhodes town is on foot as you can reach the main attractions within a 10-15-minute walk from the port.
Upon exiting the terminal, turn to your right and after a 10-minute walk along the seafront promenade, you will reach a picturesque Mandraki marina filled with yachts, boats, and beautiful historic buildings dating from the Italian era. Here you will also find numerous tour operators offering boat cruises to Kalithea Springs, Antony Quinn Beach, Lindos, Symi Island and other popular destinations in Rhodes.
Nearby, you will also find a taxi rank with numerous taxis offering rides to popular Rhodes attractions and beaches. Taxi prices are fixed (although you can often negotiate the price) and you will find them displayed in front of the Art Gallery by the entrance to the Old Town.
A public bus is available in Rhodes town, however, I don’t recommend using the bus if you are coming to Rhodes only for a day as they are not that frequent. Rhodes Central Bus Station is located in the heart of Rhodes town (on Papagou street, behind the Nea Agora building in the Mandraki port) outside the Old Town walls, around 10 minutes walk from the port. You will find a kiosk at the station where you can buy the tickets and inquire about the timetables.
Rhodes Car Rental is one of the best ways to go around the island. Rhodes is relatively small in size (79.7 km/49.5 miles long and 38 km/24 miles wide) and it’s possible to see some of the main attractions in a day. You will find a lot of rent a car companies all around the town, and prices vary depending on the season and the availability.
When I was in Rhodes, I rented a car for three days and you can read about my journey in my article Rhodes Car Rental: 3-Day Itinerary with Maps, Explanations
Rhodes-Diagoras International Airport is located at 15.5 km/9.6 miles southwest of the capital, and the taxi price is around 27 € one way per vehicle. A cheaper option is to take a public bus that you will find upon exiting the airport terminal to your left side.
A one-way ticket to Rhodes Central Bus Station costs 3 €, the ride takes around 30 minutes and you pay the driver in cash (make sure you have coins or small bills). Buses run every 30-45 minutes, so make sure you inquire about the next departure at the tourist information desk that you will find by the exit of the airport terminal.
Hotels in Rhodes Town
You will find many beautiful hotels in Rhodes town, mainly in the modern part outside the Old Town walls. When I was in Rhodes, I stayed at the 3-star Esperia City Hotel which I really liked and I highly recommend due to its excellent location and great service.
Best Things to Do in the Port of Rhodes
Before I share with you the best things to do in Rhodes cruise port, I invite you to sign up below and get my exclusive, insider Shore Excursions Guide for FREE!
As mentioned above, you can spend the whole day in Rhodes port just walking around and exploring the sights of this beautiful town. If you decide to spend a day in Rhodes town, here is the list of must-do things:
- Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights – This magnificent palace is one of the major landmarks in Rhodes. The palace was built by the Knights of Saint John in the early 14th century on the site of the Byzantine citadel. Today, it is a museum that comprises 24 rooms and halls that you can visit on a (self)-guided tour. The ticket price is 8 € and you can also buy a combined ticket at the price of 10 € that also includes entrance to the Archeological Museum, Decorative Arts Collection, and the Church of Our Lady of the Castle.
- Archeological Museum – An impressive museum located at the stone’s throw from the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is housed in the medieval hospital of the Knights of Saint John. The museum boasts numerous collections of archaeological artifacts and findings from different parts of Rhodes and neighboring islands. There is also a beautiful courtyard where you can admire the ancient mosaics, sculptures, and other artworks. The entrance ticket is 6 €, and you can also buy a combined ticket at the price of 10 € that includes the entrance to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, Decorative Arts Collection, and the Church of Our Lady of the Castle.
- Street of the Knights – A medieval, cobbled street that connects the Archeological Museum and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights.
- Suleymaniye Mosque – Built in 1522 to commemorate the conquest of Rhodes by Suleiman the Magnificent, this red-colored mosque stands at the end of a bustling Socratous Street and is the most impressive mosque on Rhodes island.
- Roloi Tower – I highly suggest you climb this tower to get the most spectacular views of Rhodes Town. The entrance ticket is 5 € and includes a free drink at the cafeteria below the tower. The entrance is located next to the Suleymaniye Mosque.
- Hippocrates Square – A busy square with an ancient colorful fountain is filled with shops, cafes and restaurants offering delicious traditional and international food.
Suggested article: 7 Great Rhodes Restaurants That I Highly Recommend
- Mandraki Harbour – A beautiful harbour boasts a seafront promenade lined with luxury yachts, boats and numerous tour operators offering boat trips to popular Rhodes beaches, bays and neighboring islands. Mandraki port was mainly built and reconstructed under Italian rule in the first half of the 20th century and boasts magnificent elegant buildings that today house some of the main institutions of Rhodes town (The Police Station, Governor’s House, National Theater, the National Bank, etc.)
The entrance of the harbour used to be the place where stood Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World destroyed in the earthquake of 226 BC. Today, on the site of the Colossus feet stand the two statues of a male and female deer, Elafos and Elafina, symbols of the island erected on two columns marking the entrance to the port. You will find these two statues opposite The Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and its bell tower (you can see the bell tower in the picture below).
Mandraki Harbour is also known for its imposing St Nicholas fortress and a lighthouse dating from the 15th century, and three picturesque windmills, another symbol of Rhodes town.
- Elli Beach – Rhodes town also boasts a wonderful beach lined with numerous beach bars, offering all kinds of amenities. The beach is long and boasts crystal clear waters. It is easily recognizable by its famous trampoline that has three diving boards from where you can jump into the water. The beach starts at the end of the Mandraki port, around a 10-15 minutes walk from the cruise terminal.
Outside the Rhodes Town
Rhodes island is absolutely gorgeous and if you decide to spend your day exploring the island, you can do so by taking a taxi, booking a shore excursion (with your cruise company or an independent tour operator), or by renting a car which I highly recommend.
I will list below the most popular places in Rhodes and the distance from Rhodes Town. You can read about all of them more in detail in my article 20 Best Things to do in Rhodes, Greece
- Lindos – 50 km/31 miles south of Rhodes town, or a 1-hour drive.
- Kallithea Springs – 9 km/5.6 miles, a 15-minute drive.
- Antony Quinn Beach – 19 km/12 miles, a 30-minute drive.
- Tsambika Beach and Monastery – 30 km/19 miles, a 40-minute drive.
- Butterfly Valley – 27 km/17 miles, or a 40-minute drive.
- Kamiros Archeological Site – 37 km/23 miles, a 50-minute drive.
- Kritinia Castle – 46 km/28.5 miles, a 1-hour drive.
- Monolithos Castle – 72 km/45 miles, a 1h30 minute drive.
- Prasonisi Beach – 90 km/56 miles, a 1h30 minute drive.
- Faliraki – 13 km/8 miles, a 20-minute drive.
Rhodes Island is an incredible place full of history, cheerful locals, delicious cuisine, wonderful beaches and so many places to explore! I suggest you carefully plan your itinerary based on your wishes and preferences to get the most of this beautiful port of call. To help you, I invite you to check out two of my articles where you’ll find itineraries, maps and detailed info on places to visit and things to do.
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