Rhodes for Kids and Families – A Guide

Updated October, 2013

Essentials

Beach at Lindos, Rhodes.

Q. Why is Rhodes great for families?

Steeped in history and blessed with some of Greece’s best beaches (and hotels and restaurants), Rhodes is almost the perfect destination for traveling families. The high number of tourists can overwhelm some of the most popular attractions but Rhodes is one of the larger Greek islands and finding a tranquil beach or sleepy village town can often be just a day trip away. The beaches are wonderful and most are very kid-friendly.

Q. What are the best attractions for families in Crete?

Rhodes (Rhodos) Town
The Old Town of Rhodes is one of the best preservedSightseeing in the streets of Rhodes Medieval towns in the Medditeranean and most kids will love wandering its cobblestone streets and alleys. The town beach, while not one of the islands best, makes for a nice swim after exploring the tourist attractions. The Jewish Quarter is dotted with enchanting and atmospheric hotels that most children will find exhilarating. A fun energetic excursion is a walk along the sand to Ixia beach, about 3 or 4 miles down the coast, and then taxi back.

Faliraki WaterPark
Awesome waterpark with some crazy slides (and some tamer ones). Free bus from Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes Town. 20 euros for adults, 15 euros for 3 to 12 year olds, free for under 3. Decent restaurant on site.

Marine Aquarium, Rhodes Town
This fun yet simple aquarium is located a short distance from the old town. If you’re looking for an activity that’s a break from the sun this should keep the children entertained for an afternoon.

Lindos
The pedestrian only village of Lindos (pictured above) with the Acropolis perched over top is a magical destination for kids. Arrive early to avoid the crowds and the mid-day heat. The climb from the village to the Acropolis is not an easy one. A shallow protected beach lies at the base of the Acropolis.

Petaloudes, the valley of the butterflies.
From June to September the valley is swarmed with butterflies (in truth they’re Jersey Tiger Moths) and makes for an enchanting reprieve from the heat of the coasts. Get here early as it is very popular with tour groups – especially in the high season of July and August.

Q. What are the best beaches for families in Rhodes?

The best beaches are along the east coast of Rhodes from Rhodes Town south until just past Lindos.

Rhodes Town has several nearby beaches the best of which is Elli beach just north of Mandraki Harbor. South from Rhodes Town the best beaches are Ialissos, Kathara, Faliraki, Kalathos, Lindos, Katsouni, Kiotari, Glystra, Genadi. After Genadi comes Prasonisi beach which is famed for its surfing.

The west coast grows progressively barren and windswept as you move south, although the beach at Ixia (5km southwest of Rhodes Town) is nice and is the center for windsports on the island (several business’s rent wind surfing equipment).

Vlicha beach
If the town beaches of Rhodes and Lindos are too crowded this makes a good option. A slowly sloping beach makes for a good destination for children pining for some water fun.

Faliraki
This popular vacation destination has mellowed over the years making it’s beautiful shallow and calm beach a good choice for families with small kids. The nearby water park and in-town bowling alley add to the appeal.

Tsambika Beach
A quiet resort with a few restaurants and a mini market. If Faliraki is too busy for you the calm shallow waters of this beach, situated in a protected cove, might make an appealing destination.

Q. Should I book hotels in advance for Rhodes?

Yes! The best deals are found online and the only way to get them is to book at least 1 or 2 months in advance (or more if possible). Arriving in July and August without a reservation could be a plan for sleeping on a beach or bench.

Q. What are the best family hotels in Rhodes?

Hotels on Rhodes fill months in advance. Book as early as possible.

Street shopping in the Old Town of Rhodes

  • Rodos Park Suites & Spa (Rhodes Town)
    The best luxury hotel in Rhodes Town. Fantastic pool and amenities. Suites have in-room jacuzzis.
  • Mediterranean Hotel Rhodes (Rhodes Town)
    Directly across from the town beach. A nice pool, good sized rooms, close to shops and restaurants.
  • Lindos Mare Hotel (Lindos)
    A great location on the beach. Beautiful pool, glorious views, sauna and steam baths.
  • Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas (Lindos)
    A superb resort with kids club, children’s pool, on-call doctor, babysitting, and indoor and outdoor pools.

If the above are filled these hotels also have good sized (or larger) rooms perfect for families. Most have swimming pools except where noted.

Q. What are the best luxury hotels on Rhodes?

  • Rodos Park Suites & Spa (Rhodes Town) – The best luxury hotel in Rhodes Town. Fantastic pool and amenities. Suites have in-room jacuzzis.
  • Nikos Takis Fashion Hotel Rhodes (Old Town) – Amazing! If you want to stay in the heart of the Old Town (and you should) then this is the place.
  • Lindos Mare Hotel (near Lindos) – A great location on the beach. Beautiful pool, glorious views, sauna and steam baths.

Q. How Do I Get to Rhodes?

Flying is the easiest, quickest, and often cheapest way to get between to Rhodes. Both Olympic and Aegean Airlines have daily flights from Athens to Rhodes. Book early for the best fares and choice of flights.

Rhodes is in the far southeast corner of the Greek islans so it’s quite a trek by ferry to get there. There is at least one ferry a day from Piraeus (Athens’ port) to Rhodes. The boat ride takes 13 hours and costs €59.

Ferry To Rhodes

Situated at the farthest corner of the Greek island constellation, Rhodes can take anywhere from 17-24 hours to get to by ferry. If your time is limited flying will make more sense. If you do take the ferry to or from Athens you’ll have almost all the islands laid out before you like a Greek feast. A well planned trip can easily take in a half dozen other islands, all without ever feeling like you’re going much out of your way.

Ferries between Santorini and Rhodes run 2 or 3 times per week, take 7 to 15 hours and often travel overnight. Kos has the best connections with Rhodes and is on most routes back to Athens.

There are also ferries between Turkey and Rhodes with the boat from Rhodes Town to Marmaris being the shortest and most consistent. It usually runs every day from May until October. There are also day trips between Rhodes and Fethiye.

Flights to Rhodes

There are flights from Athens to Rhodes with Olympic Air and Athens Airways and flights with Aegean Airlines from Thessaloniki and Athens to Rhodes. The following budget airlines have flights from the main hubs in Europe to Rhodes:

When’s the best time to visit Rhodes?

June and September are the best months for a beach and sun vacation. The weather is great, the water is warm (September more so than June, but both months are fine for swimming), the crowds are thinner than the summer months, and the hotels are a little cheaper.

July and August have great weather, warm seas, and lots of tourists. Prices are higher than any other time of year and hotels should be book well in advance. That said, if you can only go in July or August don’t let the crowds dissuade you – yes, the top attractions will be busy but a quiet beach is always there if you’re willing to put in some effort.

April, May, October, and early November are great if you’re will to deal with some cloudy days, a little rain, and cool evenings. The spring is particularly good for hiking and cycling while May and October can still see fine beach weather. Tourists are few during this time of year and you can almost have top attractions all to yourself. Hotels are much cheaper too but many establishments close down from November until late Easter.

What Hospitals are in Rhodes?

The Krito Medical Center is well regarded, well staffed, and centrally located in Rhodes Town. Any cab driver will know where it’s located.  Phone number: (+30) 22410 38008. Email: info@krito.gr

A few miles outside of Rhodes Town is the Rhodes General Hospital which is a full service hospital. Phone number: (+30) 22410 80100

There is also the Euromedica Private Hospital (+30) 22410 45000

[Photos by: bazylek100 and David Spender]

70 thoughts on “Rhodes for Kids and Families – A Guide

  1. Orwell said:

    My tip for Rhodes. Fly one way: Athens to Rhodes, then island hop with the ferry on your way back to Athens. The ferry visits all the main islands -> Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos. And don’t bother booking ahead. I’d hate to be having a great time on some island and have to leave because you booked some hotel on the internet. We were there in July and August, everyone told us how busy ti was going to be and the crowds, yada yada, but we were fine. We only had 1 kid with us so I guess we were fairly flexible. A bigger family might not have that luxury, but still. Santorini was the one island we had booked ahead so I can’t comment on availability there and Mykonos we had to look for about an hour. Other than that no issues.

    The food was great and unlike so many foreign cuisines it’s really pretty kid friendly. Everything seems to come with fries. But good fries like you’re eating a potato.

    And the beaches too. Just about every one we visited was like it was designed for kids. Shallow and calm. Perfect water. Not sure if we were just lucky.

    What else? Rent a car on Crete. Very big island and it’s nice to be able to get anywhere you want. Maybe make Crete your culture and activity island. The beaches seemed better on other islands but lots of hiking and little towns in the hills etc. Lots of sightseeing and walking.

    Adios.

  2. Papa Mark from New York City said:

    We did a very similar trip as Orwell above. Rhodes for 1 week, then Crete by ferry almost 1 week there, then a fast boat to Santorini. We flew to Athens from SAntorini. The most fun we had was in Rhodes. The best beaches we saw were in Crete. And the best pictures and best food and wine were on Santorini. (We were traveling with a toddler and a teen.)

    The ferry is fun but breaking it up with some flights is a good idea if you’ve got some children (and their bags – uhh).

    We rented a house (from a friend of a friend) for the week in Rhodes and that was really special. No idea how you’d arrange that in Greece but what a great way to experience a country. It makes you go shopping and cook meals and ask people where the market it is. A lot of fun.

  3. scott said:

    Hello David,
    Thanks so much for all the great info. I’m planning a trip for July 2012, with two kids 11 and 9 for 2.5 weeks. We’re thinking of flying into Turkey for 3-5 days then off to Greece. Based on comments, etc, I’m thinking:

    Turkey to Rhodes with Rhodes as our anchor staying 3 days
    Day trips to Kos and/or Patmos, then
    Rhodes to Naxos – 2-3 days
    Naxos to Santorini – day trip or maybe 1 night 2 days
    Santorini to Athens – 2 days

    My questions:
    Boat or fly from Turkey to Rhodes?
    Kos or Patmos or both? or neither?
    Based on proximity, I’m feeling like we should consider CRETE as well, but because of timing, something would need to go.
    I know its July, but is there one island I haven’t considered that would be the ideal off-the-beaten-path option?

    Thanks so much for any advice.

    • David said:

      Hi Scott. My thoughts:

      –Skip Kos and Patmos. Rhodes has a ton to see and could easily fill 3 days. No sense wasting more time on a ferry.
      –Go Rhodes to Santorini, and then Naxos and back to Athens. Naxos to Santorini would have you backtracking and there are better connections between Rhodes and Santorini than Rhodes and Naxos.
      –Santorini will be crazy busy during July (and August). Be prepared and book your hotel in advance. (Can always do Santorini as a day trip from Naxos too.
      –Crete is great but requires at least 5 days to even skim the surface. Save it for your next trip.
      –Ikaria, Antiparos, Lesvos (close to Turkey) and Milos all come to mind when you enquired about off-the-beaten-path islands. Even these places will be busy in summer though, so don’t expect a deserted island.

      Let me know if you have more questions. Have fun.

      • scott said:

        Thanks so much for the info!

  4. Nancy said:

    Hello David,
    I will be taking a cruise to Rhodes with my 6month old baby and I was wondering how to get to Lindos from the port? We want to take the bus, are the buses safe? I’m worried cause I’ll be traveling with my baby. Should I take the stroller or carrier will be best?
    Help!

    thank you,
    Nancy

    • David said:

      Hi Nancy. The bus ride to Lindos takes about 45 minutes to an hour and costs 4 or 5 Euros. A taxi is a bit quicker and costs 40 to 50 Euros. To get to the bus stand it’s about a 10 minute walk from the port – or a short taxi ride. The bus is safe, I suppose. For the taxi you would want a car seat but the taxi will not have one so you’d need to have your own. In Lindos, you’d want a baby carrier as a stroller would be very hard to use on the cobblestoned roads. I hope that helps a little.

      • Chris said:

        Hello,

        I am planning a trip in April (12-20) for Greece and the islands. We are 2 adults and 3 children. We would like to visit Athens (2 days), Ephesus (1-2 days) and would like to spend some time at a beach (1-2 days), small hikes and ancient ruins, etc. Any idea on where we should fly into (Athens, Rhodes, Kos, Volos) and the most economical way to get around? This will be our first time in the area and don’t know if we will ever be able to go back… ($$$). Any ideas on an itinerary? Ferries? Cruise? Hotels that will allow us all in one room (kids are 11, 7 and 2)? Any recommended itineraries would be appreciated.

        • David said:

          Hi Chris. Just so you know, you probably won’t be swimming at that time of year. If you got some really unexpected warm weather it might be possible in Crete (the warmest island) but I wouldn’t plan on it. Rhodes is a great island. Maybe also Crete as it typically has more ferry connections with Athens and they run more often in the off season. It also has more flights to Athens. I’d probably fly one way and then ferry back to Athens, perhaps with a stop in Santorini as many ferries from Crete to Athens stop in Santorini.

          As for hotels, the best website for finding deals is http://hotelscombined.com. It’s awesome.

          It will also display a variety of options as to what size of rooms and what amenities are included before you book so it works well when you need flexibility. Good luck.

  5. Lisa said:

    Hello, I’m really stuck trying to decide on which island to go in early august. There are 3 of us, our son is 8. We want something family orientated and I was thinking of Crete, Rhodes or Kefalonia. Somebody said Rhodes was a bit full of bars showing sky sports, selling pukka pies etc which spoils the beauty of the island. Crete looks lovely but the part where I was looking down the coast from Chania looks full of vast hotels and perhaps not so nice for walking. Basically we want somewhere near a nice beach, not too overcrowded, not too much ‘animation’ in the hotel, with a pool, somewhere we can take walks, cycle, horseride nearby, not too far from a main town, like Chania in Crete, or Lindos in Rhodes and with plenty of places to explore. I don’t know too much about Kefalonia. Any help would be very much appreciated!! Thank you.

    • David said:

      Rhodes can certainly get very busy in August. By what you’re describing I’m thinking of Corfu. The main town is delightful and charming. Lots of great beaches, horseback riding, walking, sunsets. And it’s an easy island to get around by bus. If you’re sticking with Crete, Rethymno, Chania, and Paleochora (on the southwest coast) are all great and very walkable.

      Other islands to consider: Lesvos, Ikaria, Naxos, and Folegandros (great for walking).

      Good luck.

  6. Tess said:

    Hi David,

    We love your webpage, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

    My husband, 3 year old daughter and myself are planning a trip to Greece for two weeks at the end of June/early July. We will be in Kos for work for one week then 8 days left. We were thinking a few nights in Athens and the remaining 5 nights we were hoping to just relax beach side and enjoy fresh, local cuisine as much as possible. Hoping to avoid crowded party scenes!

    Thanks for your advice, best wishes

    • David said:

      Lesvos is probably your best choice in Eastern Greece if you’re looking for something quiet. Ikaria is another great option. FYI, getting from Kos (or Rhodes or Lesvos) to Athens is a long ferry ride. Good luck.

  7. rafi said:

    Hi David
    I plan to go to Rhodes in the begning of April for 4 days.
    We are family with two girls 4 and 6
    My concern is that since we will not be able to swim since its going to be a little cold.
    Are there enough atractions that can keep the girls busy for 4 days ?
    Thanks
    Rafi

    • David said:

      I think so. The weather should be nice for walking and exploring. There are some cool things to see inland and Lindros is great. The Old Town of Rhodes is very cool too.

  8. Angela Rumi said:

    We have decided to go to Rhodes based on your recommendation … thank you! We have two girls, 10 and 8 … we are staying for 4 nights. Where would you recommend we stay? Which part of the island? Which hotels?

    Thank you again!

    We are going in July.

    • David said:

      Hi Angela. One warning for you is that Rhodes will be very busy in July – especially after July 15. So that means two things: 1) Book early. 2) Expect crowds and try to visit attractions early in the day or in the late afternoon.

      Where to stay in Rhodes? Rhodes Town and Lindos are the highlights so even though they’ll be busy I’d base yourself there.

      Here are the best links for finding hotels:

      Hotels in Lindos
      Hotels in Rhodes City

      This is a good resource if you’re looking for an apartment or villa: http://www.rodos-apartments.com/rhodes_apartments.php

      Good luck.

  9. Laura Debora said:

    Hi! I am planning a family vacation (Mom,Dad, 2 boys 10 and 14 years)
    We still don’t know the dates, but between July and August.
    We plan to spend 2 weeks there.
    I cannot decide which island is the best for us.
    I prefer the Cyclades but I also find interesting Crete and Rhodes.
    We plan to visit Athens 1 or 2 days and then move to the Islands.
    I really want to relax, but my husband and kids get bored easily. We like sandy beaches. Maybe a mix of relaxing and visits could work, but even with the guide in my hands and the web searches I am lost!.
    Could you suggest something?

    • David said:

      I think Crete or Rhodes are your best bets for a mix of cultural attractions and fun things to do. The cyclades are great but you’d probably want to keep moving (3 or 4 islands for 2 or 3 nights each) – not sure if that’s what you’re looking for.

      Don’t worry too much. All the islands are great and you’ll love wherever you pick. Promise.

      If you’re planning on getting around by ferry I’d visit Athens at the end of your trip. Ferries can be canceled due to high winds and rough seas and you should get back to Athens with at least a night or two to spare. By visiting Athens at the start you end up using several days at both the beginning and end. Better to collect them together at the conclusion of your trip. Just a thought.

      Good luck.

  10. Ed said:

    Hello David,
    You provided some great info – just need your advice. We will have a car and want to island hop starting in Athens. We have 2 weeks with our 4 kids (16yrs and below) and a dog. We want to visit the Cyclades (not decided which ones – for now Santorini and Milos), Rhodes and Crete. Is it possible to bring our car on the ferry to the different islands. If so, what route do you recommend as the most economical. Thank you.

    • David said:

      Taking a car on the ferry in Greece is a hassle. For starters, you need to book the car ferry in advance (sometimes several weeks) which is a pain as the Greek ferry websites are not easy to use. It’s also expensive. And booking in advance removes the option for a flexible itinerary. You’ll have to know where you’re going and when before you even take your first ferry trip. Sorry for sounding so negative. I would strongly recommend finding someplace to park your car for the time you’re island hopping.

      Also, on Crete it’s nice to have a car, but the other islands are small and easy to get around by bus, so the payoff for all that effort isn’t huge.

      Car or no car, Rhodes is well out of the way from the other islands and would be a stretch for just 2 weeks. I’d focus on Crete, Santorini, and Milos. I’d also recommend flying one way to or from Crete, and use the ferry in the opposite direction. It will give you more time and you’ll avoid the overnight ferry ride from Crete to Athens. The short ferry hops are fun. The longer ferry rides are long and boring.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

  11. Ed said:

    Hi David,
    We appreciate all the info you provided and made it easier for us to decide which islands to visit. Just need your recommendation/advice. We have 2 1/2 weeks to island hop and will start in Athens. We have 4 kids and a dog and also will have a vehicle. Is it going to be possible to take our car and dog via ferry if we want to visit the cyclades (for now Paros, Naxos and Santorini – any other islands you suggest for day trips?), Rhodes and Crete? What route do you recommend as the most economical? Thank you.

    • David said:

      The Cyclades are the cheapest to get to as they’re the closest. The longer the ferry ride (and the route from Athens to Rhodes is about the longest in Greece) the higher the fare. Taking a car on the ferry is no fun in Greece. For one, because you have to book well in advance to secure a vehicle spot so this requires using the Greek ferry websites (a pain) and plan all your ferry trips in advance (no flexibility). If you could fly, I’d book a flight from Rhodes or Crete back to Athens at the end of your 2 1/2 weeks and take the ferry one way, with stops along the way in the Cyclades. Rhodes is a bit out of the way from the other island so I’d consider cutting that from your itinerary and focus on Paros, Naxos, Santorini, and Crete – which all have good ferry connections from one to the other.

      Good luck.

      • Ed said:

        Hello again David,
        Thanks for the tip – we’ll do Rhodes on another trip. Unfortunately, we have to take our car – I don’t want to leave it in Athens. Another question, is it difficult to take a dog on the ferry?

        • David said:

          Taking pets on Greek ferries is not straight forward. It varies from one ferry line to another and from one ship to another. Some will want paperwork for the dog that shows it’s had all its shots, others won’t. Some require the dog to be kept in pet crates that are kept in a designated part of the ship. On all ships dogs won’t be allowed in a cabin, near the restaurants, or inside any part of the ship. Typically pets are kept on a part of the deck away from other passengers. Once you know the ferry you want to travel on then contact that ferry line to enquire about their pet policy. Pets are typically free but there can be limited space so you’ll need to reserve a spot.

          Good luck.

  12. Maggoi said:

    I love ur site, great info!!! I’m planning to travel with my dog to Athens, santorini and Mykonos. Is it safe for a single female to travel around Greece alone and is it ok to take a dog on a ferry and are there any other places ud recommend us visiting for (trekking, watersports great food and relaxation at lovely petfriendly affordable beach resorts) thanks :)

    • David said:

      For ferry travel with a dog see my above comment. Crete has the best hikes and treks, and also has great beaches, food and resorts, so I’d recommend it. Greece is very safe and has a low crime rate so I’m sure you’ll be fine if you use common sense. Good luck.

  13. Ana said:

    Hello David:

    We are planning a trip to Greece with our two sons (2 and 4 years old). Based on what I had read I guess one good choice will be Rhodes??? We have only 7 days, so I don’t know if you can give me some suggestions since my kids are young… Do you recommend us to stay in one island?? some days in Athens perhaps?? I will appreciate your advice since it is our 1st time on this area of the world.
    Thank you

    • David said:

      Seeing a couple islands is nice – the ferry is fun – but don’t feel obligated. Do whatever feels easiest. Rhodes is great but it doesn’t lend itself to island hopping. So the Cyclades, in that regard, are great. There are so many islands that are only a 1 hour (or less) ferry rider from each other. If you want to do multiple islands then go with the Cyclades. Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Milos, Sifnos – there are so many. Athens has lots to see but I doubt even your 4 year old would think it was anything but hot and busy. The kids will much prefer the islands.

  14. Bella said:

    Hi David,

    We want to take a last minute vacation to Greece around mid August 2012.
    We will have a mixed group of 3 teenagers 13 -15yrs, 2 young adults 18 – 22yrs and 3 adults and a 3 year old…!!!!!

    Never been to Greece so Please any recommendations for locations….Pretty Please

    • David said:

      Rhodes is a great destination for families. Awesome beaches, historical sites that kids love, a good sized island that you can explore and hike around. Rhodes also has direct flights from Europe which makes it easy to get to. Of course it will be very busy during August so book your hotels as soon as you can. For a quieter island you could look to Lesvos, Ikaria, or Milos but they’re a little harder to get to. Crete is also a good choice as it’s a large island that offers lots to do. Don’t worry too much about where you go. All the islands are great and I rarely talk to anyone who was disappointed with the island(s) those chose. Look for flights first and go with what’s easiest and cheapest. Good luck.

  15. Nerissa said:

    Hi David,

    I’ve been reading everyones comments and your replies and it has been very helpful. We plan to travel to Greece next year perhaps late May to early July for 2 weeks with our 3 year old. We can’t decide which Island to stay at (Corfu, Crete, Rhodes..). We want a good dose of history, culture and beach. Should we stay at 1 Island for 2 weeks and explore by ferry or should we split our stay with 2 different Islands for a full Greece experience?

    • David said:

      Hi Nerissa. Corfu is hard to combine with other island visits as the ferry connections to the south are not good (or non existent). Paxi is the only island to consider. It’s quiet and beautiful and would make a nice visit. It’s very small however. Other than it Zakynthos (Zante) is 8.5 hours away so that’s not terribly appealing.

      Crete is so big that you could easily spend 2 weeks there.

      Rhodes is a great island but you’d probably want to move on after a week. Karpathos and Kos are the 2 most practical islands to visit from Rhodes. (Karpathos would be my choice.)

      Hope that helps.

  16. Lawrence said:

    Hi!

    Your website is a Godsend. I’ve been wracking my brain while planning a large family (8 adults and 2 kids – ages 4 & 5) trip to Turkey and Greece in May of 2013. I figure I will make the islands the kids portion of the trip (which is fair after dragging them through museums, ruins and markets).

    However, which island would be you recommend that the other adults won’t be too bored or should we split the stay between two islands? Though we probably only have 4 nights to spend in the islands. Would you recommend that we stay at a hotel or rent a holiday home (are these available for a group our size)?

    Thanks in advance!

    • David said:

      Hi Lawrence. Honestly, for a large group like that and only 4 days I’d stick with one island. Finding homes to rent in Greece is not the easiest thing but at that time of year you should have lots of choice, so I’d start with rentals and move to hotels should you not find anything.
      Here are a couple links:
      HomeAway Rentals in Greece
      http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/europe/greece

      Pretty much any island along the coast with Turkey will give you plenty to do for 4 or 5 days. Rhodes would be my pick if you want some historical sites to visit. Lesvos if you want a slower island. Karpathos if you’d like to have a very Greek experience. The weather should be good for some beach time but be prepared for some rain or cool nights. Rhodes and Karpathos have the advantage of being 2 of the warmer islands in Greece during the spring. Rhodes also has the most connections with Turkey of any Greek island. (Karpathos would require an extra ferry ride which might rule it out for you.) One last thing, the port authorities (in Turkey) will need your passports the night before departure from Turkey so don’t plan to arrive at a Turkish port and jump directly onto a ferry for Greece – you’ll need to spend at least one night in a port town. Also, ferry schedules can change without warning so have a least a day’s flexibility with plans. One very last thing (promise), the boats between Turkey and Greece can be on the smaller side and can cause seasickness on rough days. Not much you can do about it but be (emotionally) prepared.

      Hope that helps.

  17. Lawrence said:

    David,

    Thanks for the recommendations and links! =)

    There are several in my group that are VERY prone to seasickness. How long is the ferry ride to Rhodes? If the ferry rides aren’t too long, I think they can still make it through okay. Or should we just fly into one of the bigger islands as a better option?

    Off to read up more about Rhodes and check out the links!

    Thanks again!

    • David said:

      From Marmaris to Rhodes is 45 minutes to an hour. The quickest ferry ride to Greece from Turkey is between Bodrum and Kos and takes about 20 minutes.

      There are presently no flights between the Greek islands and Turkey. There are only flights between Athens and Istanbul.

      A great website for travel in Turkey is http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com.

      Good luck.

  18. Nikki said:

    Hi,
    We’re travelling in late April/may, we have 2 kids aged 2 and 7, we would live a beautiful family holiday with lots of beach activity. Could you please request an island that would suit us? is Mykonos or santorini family friendly?

    • David said:

      In late April and early May the weather can still be iffy and not be very beach friendly (and the water is still chilly) so at the very least be prepared for it not to be beach weather. Santorini does not have great beaches. Mykonos does have nice beaches but usually not a great family vibe. But in May it’s not high season so it won’t be the full-on party scene like in July and August so will likely be fine. Crete and Rhodes have the nicest weather for April/May and have lots to see and do so I’d put those at the top of your list. Plus, both islands have lots of direct flights from outside the country. Good luck.

  19. Kasey Masgalas said:

    Hi David
    Hoping you can guide me in the right direction. Traveling to Greece beginning of August. 4 adults ages 25-35, 2 adults in 60′s and 3 children under 4. Thinking of Rhodes but would also like to see Santorini or Mykonos or both! Are trip will in Missulogi (sp). Will probably stay there 2-3 days. Would like the whole trip to be no longer than 15 days. What are your suggestions? Also am interested in the Atlantica resorts in Rhodes if that helps!
    Thanks so much!
    Kasey Masgalas

    • David said:

      Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos are all great but a couple things to consider. All will be very busy during August (especially Santorini) so book well in advance for hotels. It’s not easy getting from Rhodes to Santorini or Mykonos – most years there are no direct ferries so you might have to go through a third island (maybe Crete) and it will require a full day of travel. Unfortunately ferry schedules only come out a month in advance so you can’t be sure what to expect as far as times and routes. Missolonghi is a long way from any of those islands so you’ll need to go through Athens and then bus from there.

      Good luck.

  20. Kylie said:

    My husband my 6 year old daughter are wishing to travel Europe in June / July 2013 we would like to spend a week in Greace on a beach. Could you advise me on a place that is not too crowded. My daughter is a easy child and well traveled and we are not after kids clubs and other childrens entertainment. Your advice will help me greatly. Thank you Kylie.

    • David said:

      Not sure how you’re planning to get to Greece and the islands – but I’d start by looking what direct flights are available from wherever in Europe you’ll be coming from. Flying through Athens could eat up almost 2 days (with ferry) on both sides of your trip. So if you could fly directly to an island (assuming you don’t want to visit Athens) that would be a good way to save the time and expense of going via Athens. Rhodes, Corfu, Crete, and Mykonos are some (but not all) of the islands that have direct flights from northern Europe and also have great beaches. If you wanted to see more than one island then it becomes a little more tricky to find flights to and from 2 different islands and also negotiate a ferry trip (all with little room for error).

      That’s a long way of saying, all the islands are great in their own way so don’t sweat where you end up so much as planning a trip that won’t feel hurried and hectic. If I had to pick the best islands for kid-friendly beaches they’d be Rhodes, Naxos, Antiparos, and Corfu.

      Hope that helps.

  21. Amy said:

    David,
    We will be traveling to Greece in February. I really want to go to Rhodes… There seems to be a lot to see and do. We have a 5yo, 3yo, and a 3 month old. Is Rhodes a good island to visit off season?
    Thanks!
    ~Amy

    • David said:

      Yes, it’s one of the better ones in the off-season. Rhodes has a bigger population that most islands so there’s still much open in the off season. The sites (like the Old Town and the Lindos Acropolis) will be great to wander around – and no crowds. Good ferry connections too. The weather, of course, won’t be great in February so have some warm clothes and a rain jacket.

  22. Pamela said:

    Love all the information! My husband’s parents are from Geraki, Greece. My kids and I have never been to Greece, and my husband wants us to go this summer. From what you are saying, June sounds like a good time to go so will encourage him to do that. Due to him having family there, Geraki and Sparta have to be a part of the trip (can just be one day). Would like to see some other areas and wanted to know which places you would go. My kids are 8, 12 and 12 years old (twins). Want to go to the best places we can go for our money. Some places that interest me are Rhodes, Crete, Naxos, Paros, Ionia, Santorini, Mykonos, etc. Also, have to have one day in Athens. Don’t have but week and a half. What do you recommend? We like to sight see, eat, etc. Kids and I like beaches, but husband likes to go, go, go!

    • David said:

      I would spend your island-time either hopping around the Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Mykonos – say 2 nights each) or spend your time on Crete which is a big island and takes some time to get around. If you wanted you could combine Crete and Santorini but I think any more than that and you’ll be spending more time on the ferry than seeing the sites. Also, if you decide on Crete a one-way flight from Athens (and ferry back) would save you some time. All of those islands, except for Santorini, have great beaches. Crete and Naxos (and Rhodes) have the most historical sites to see. Good luck.

  23. Sharon said:

    Hi, I’ve been thinking about planning a week’s holiday in Rhodes which needs to be in school holidays and not in July/aug as the heat would fry my pasty white skin! Would middle of April or late October have the best weather? Presumably Oct would be better for swimming.

    • David said:

      Yes, definitely October. But the earlier in October you can make it, the better.

  24. Jad said:

    David, thank you for your time responding to all these messages. Great help.
    I don’t have kids yet but i’m planning a romantic trip with my gf to Greece this summer. She likes Santorini. I beleive she’s drawn to the scenery of sitting in a pool overlooking the sea from above. Although i don’t mind going, i feel that i will be bored very quickly (3 days tops). I’m not a guy who likes to spend the whole vacation at the beach. I’m more into visiting ruins, walking in old towns, enjoying the architecture….. etch
    It seems that Rhodes is the best fit. I liked the pictures i saw and i believe we can accommodate both of our interest. The beaches seem to be as good as Santorini. We’re also interested about the night life. Do you think Rhodes will cater to our desires? I am looking at a place in Faliraki that i really like. How easy is it to visit the main towns from there? Do i need to rent a car? Thank you for you help.

    • David said:

      Faliraki is a good base for exploring the island – easy to get to Rhodes Town and Lindos, and good beaches. The beaches on Rhodes are far better than the beaches on Santorini (which aren’t really that good). The only trouble with Rhodes is getting there from Santorini. It will likely require a long ferry ride, probably overnight. Crete is similar to Rhodes – lots of history, culture, and great beaches – but is easier and quicker to get to from Santorini. So I’d consider that. Both Rhodes and Crete have good bus services so you need not rent a car, though it might make some sights easier to get to. Good luck.

  25. Gina said:

    Love your site! We’re planning a 3 week vacation in August with our 2 boys (6 & 8) this summer and hoping you can help with our itinerary. We plan to spend 10-12 days in Rhodes to visit family and 1-2 nights in Athens to show the boys the Acropolis on 1 day, and have 1 day of rest before hopping on the long flight home to Canada. We’re trying to figure out how to spend the other 7 nights in the middle?? I’ve visited islands around Rhodes like Kos and Symi but haven’t seen any of the Cyclades nor Crete and really want to experience something different (have visited Rhodes 11x in the past). We were thinking Rhodes-Crete-Santorini-Athens. Another consideration was Rhodes-Santorini-Naxos-Athens. We’re really open except that we want to experience something different. Any suggestions?

    • David said:

      Both are fine. Be prepared for a long ferry ride from Rhodes to Crete or Santorini. There will be more ferries for Rhodes to Crete than Rhodes to Santorini. I’d say the itinerary through Naxos is a little easier and shorter than the one through Crete. Crete is also very big so if you only have a few days there you won’t feel like you saw much of it. Naxos on the other hand is small and easy to get a good feel for in 3 days. Book your onwards Rhodes ferry tickets as soon as you arrive on Rhodes. The other tickets you can get on the first day you arrive on each island – this will give you some flexibility which is nice. Hope that helps.

  26. Anita said:

    Hi, we are going to Rhodes in May with a five and a one year old. What happens about car seats for our bus transfer?

    • David said:

      Not sure if I understand your question, but you’ll be able to store your car seats in the storage underneath the bus. Hope that helps.

  27. Mia said:

    Hi David,

    Could you please let us know if a day and half would be enough to see major attractions in Rhodes? We are a couple that will be flying in around 5pm and staying in Rhodes Town for 2 nights before catching a morning ferry at 9am the day after. So we will be having a whole day to see Rhodes, do you think we will be able to see the Medival city (does it mean ancient city? or is it different), Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, Palace of Grand Master of Knights (optional), and Lindos? What is the best way to get to Lindos from Rhodes town? Please suggest.

    Mia.

    • David said:

      You’d have to really go to see those sights in a day and a half – but you could probably manage it. Do Lindos in the early morning of your full day to avoid the crowds.

  28. Tracy said:

    Hello David,
    We were hoping to travel to Greece in September (from 14 to 26 Sept) and are looking for a relaxed holiday with a lot of beach time. Travelling party will be my husband and I and our 2 children, ages 12 and 15, together with my parents in law. From what I have read, Rhodes seems to be the best option. Is the water at that time of the year generally calm and warm? All the kids want to do is swim. Secondly, as my daughter has a kidney disease, are medical facilities easy to access if there should be an emergency? Thanks so much for any info.
    Kind regards, Tracy

    • David said:

      Rhodes is great for kids and has some very kid-friendly beaches. The weather and water are (typically) great in September – which is the best month to visit Rhodes. I’ve added some hospital info to the post above – thanks for the suggestion.

      Good luck.

  29. Tracy said:

    Thank you David – that’s a huge help!
    Regards, Tracy

  30. Sanaa said:

    Hi David,
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece in end August / Beginning of September for 8 days only. We have a 2 year old who will be travelling with us. On our itenerary so far includes stoping in athens for 1 night and then heading to Rhodes for 4 nights and the rest we are still not sure what to do.? Any recommendations, also what beach do you recommend we stay baring in mind that fact that a 2 year old will be with us? Thanks.

    • David said:

      On Rhodes, the beaches at Rhodes Town, Faliraki, and Lindos (and many others) are all great for kids. I’d avoid the west coast (anywhere west of Rhodes Town) as it can get very windy there. The southeast coast is much more protected from the winds. Rhodes is a long ferry ride from Athens so I would take the most convenient ferry connection that gets you half way back. Naxos, Ikaria, or Samos would all be great but it would depend on the ferry schedule. Good luck.

  31. Rebecca said:

    Hello,
    We are all booked for a week in Rhodes from August 17th to 24th. We have an apartment rented outside of Rhodes Town. We are a family of 6 with 4 kids (12,9,5,3). We currently live in Europe and have done a lot of traveling the past 5 years but usually we drive everywhere we go. This time we are flying and I was wondering if we should rent a car for the whole time or just use 2 taxi’s, tours and public transportation to get arounds? We were quoted a price for a van of 65 euro a day to fit us all and there is parking available for us at the apartment. My concern with a vehicle is that we would spend all our time looking for parking and getting lost. So far we plan to see Lindos and do the whole donkey ride up to the Acropolis, take a ferry to Symi. I would love to see some of the prettier beaches and just explore. With 4 kids public transportation can be difficult but we have done it in major cities throughout Europe. What is your advice on the rental car?
    Thank you in advance

    • David said:

      Hi Rebecca. I would recommend hiring a car as it’s a great way to see the island and it will be much cheaper than taking a taxi. A taxi one-way from Rhodes Town to Lindos will cost €65-70. That easily covers a car rental. The bus system in Rhodes is very good. Buses are modern, roomy, and air conditioned. But even the bus can add up quickly for a large family (€6 one-way from Rhodes to Lindos for an adult, free for the young kids, probably full fare for the 9 and 12 year old).

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

      • Rebecca said:

        Thanks for your response. Would you suggest doing any of the boat tours that leave Rhodes town and go to Lindos. They are not the cheapest solution but it seemed like you would be able to see some beautiful coastline on the way. My worry would be that we would feel rushed and not have enough time to explore.
        Thanks

        • David said:

          Sounds nice. My big concern would be the timing. The best time to see Lindos is in the early morning (before the heat, crowds, and tour buses arrive) or late afternoon when everyone’s left. With the boats you’ll be visiting between noon and 2pm which is the peak of the heat and crowds.

  32. Holly said:

    Hi (love your site!)
    We are an Australian family of 5 (12, 4 & 0.7 months) who will be travelling from Australia to Istanbul (2 night stop over). We are thinking we would then get a flight to Athens (stay 1 night), then go to the Greek Islands for 1 week (or 10 days..?). Any suggestions on where we should stay? We love the beach, good food & history. Hoping to visit Santorini… Any suggestions would be great.

    • David said:

      Sounds great. Naxos, Antiparos, Paros are a few of the islands that have the best beaches for kids. Santorini doesn’t have great beaches (just good) but is a fun destination even with kids.

  33. Kathy said:

    We are planning a trip to Greece late June to early July. (Roughly 3 weeks.) It will be my husband, our son who is 9 and myself. We initially thought of a 5 day cruise from Athens, but when looking at the time the ship is at port, you don’t have much time to visit the sights on the island. Our thinking was to fly into Athens & stay 2-3 days & visit the sights there. Take a ferry to Rhodes, which was recommended by friends who thought our son would love the medieval sights. I was also thinking Santorini, but I am not sure it is too kid friendly. Do you suggest an other islands we could ferry to that are kid friendly & close to Rhodes to visit before we return to Greece. We would then pick up a car and visit Meteora & then travel to Lefkada where my husband has family.

    • David said:

      Rhodes is great. But just so you know it’s a long ferry ride from Athens – be sure to book an overnight cabin. Kos is probably your best bet near Rhodes – nice beaches, boat trips to nearby islands (day trip), a water park. There are no convenient connections from Rhodes to Santorini so would probably pick a different island if you’re on the fence about Santorini. The Meteora area is wonderful – you’ll love it.

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