For a Greek island break with more than sandy beaches and pristine sea, the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes and Kos will not disappoint. Home to archaeological and natural wonders, your holiday here can be a busy or relaxed as you like.
In the medieval city of Rhodes domes and minarets stud the skyline from a time of Ottoman rule. Walk the imposing city walls through layers of history, trip down the twisting streets and lose yourself in the maze of lanes. It’s all part of the fun. Once you finally make your way out, head to the surrounding New Town for boutique shopping and upmarket restaurants. Find yourself a waterfront bar and watch the sun set over the fortifications.
Venture down to the coast to Lindos. Perch on the cliff-side Acropolis with nothing but vivid blue sea in front of you and remnants of the ancient Greek civilisation behind you. Lallysos is also home to crumbling ruins and don’t miss a journey to nearby Filerimos where you can find all-encompassing views as you climb the towering cross that sits high on the hillside.
Rhodes is officially the sunniest part of Greece which is part of the reason the island produces some of the best wine. Sample the house wine from any stylish restaurant or backstreet taverna and you’re sure to be impressed. Mouth-watering seafood caught that day is a staple of Rhodian cuisine, and the perfect companion to a glass of crisp white.
With some of the finest stretches of sand in the Dodecanese the island of Kos has always welcomed beach lovers but venture inland and you will find picturesque villages and ancient ruins scattered amongst the lush valleys.
Visit Kos Town in the day and discover Roman street mosaics, walk the Medieval castle walls and wander between ruinous Greek columns for an injection of culture. A hotchpotch of minarets, marble fountains and Venetian architecture makes a stroll through the town well worth it. Head to the marina for a spot of lunch and enjoy the freshest seafood and crisp white wine as the yachts come and go.
When to go
Offering eight months of sun in a year, the window for visiting Rhodes or Kos is wide but they are at their best from April – October.