At the northernmost end of the island, Rhodes Town has a big beach stretching across the entire tip of the peninsula, with the Aquarium at its center. The western part tends to get more wind in the summer, while in the winter, it’s the turn of the eastern part, which reaches all the way to the building known as the Elli, from which this beach takes its name. A favorite with locals and visitors staying in the town, the beach is packed with umbrellas and sunbeds; interestingly the recliners all have their backs turned to the sea, as is also the case on other beaches on the island that are exposed to powerful winds. One of the landmarks here is the “Trampoline,” a concrete diving platform built by the Italians in the 1930s and renovated in 2007, a structure standing a few meters from the shore that rises from the water like a stairway to heaven. Zefyros is another city beach, located near the new marina on the town’s eastern flank. It’s very popular with locals and has many tavernas and cafés.
Largely rugged and wild, the western coast is notorious for its strong summer winds and powerful currents, which may put bathers off but which are a blessing for kite-surfers and windsurfers, such as those you’ll find on the beaches of Ixia and Ialysos. Both of these spots have watersports centers that rent out equipment; on a typical summer day, the skies here are full of sails, while beach bars offer umbrellas, loungers and other creature comforts. There are no proper beaches on the craggy southern end of the western coast, but there are plenty of small coves around Glyfada and the village of Kritinia, where you can dive off the rocks into the crystal-clear waters – just keep an eye out for sea urchins. Further south, just below the village of Monolithos, you’ll find the quiet Aliki beach, a local secret. Last but not least, the pretty beach in Fourni is also quiet, at least by Rhodes’ standards, with coarse sand and pebbles, a few nice caves and a refreshment stand.
Rhodes town to Kolymbia Rhodes’ eastern coast is its busiest and offers everything from sandy stretches to craggy bays and from family tavernas to beach bars. The beach at the historic hydrotherapy center in Kallithea is small, with rocks to dive off, a diving school and a bar. South of here, you’ll find a succession of small rocky coves that have no beaches to speak of but which are very popular among young people keen to show off their diving skills.
In addition to the famous Water Park, ranked by TripAdvisor users among the best in the world, Faliraki Bay boasts three beaches: the pebbly one located in front of the big hotels, the central beach that is family-friendly (with fine sand and shallow waters) and the third, Mandomata, which is a nude beach.
Anthony Quinn is one of the island’s most popular beaches, named after the famous actor who fell in love with it while filming. The Guns of Navarone and even tried to buy it. It’s small and crowded, so it is unlikely you’ll find a free lounger at noon, and also not particularly kid-friendly, as there are rocks in the surf. Ladiko, the beach right beside it, is also small and rocky. On the huge beach of Afantou, you’ll find undeveloped stretches and you’ll also see the big smooth pebbles that are used in making Rhodes’ famous mosaic floors. There are a few cafés and refreshment stands here that offer loungers and necessary supplies. The first part of the beach is known as Traounou; there is a cave here that is a popular nighttime beach-party spot. In nearby Kolymbia, there are two beaches, both very popular and offering watersports and tavernas.
Tsampika to Prasonisi Tsampika has gorgeous fine sand, a rarity on Rhodes, and is also equipped with umbrellas, sun loungers and refreshment stands. Hotels are not allowed to be built here, and because its waters are quite shallow, it’s perfect for families with children. At Stegna, you’ll find some very good tavernas and a family atmosphere. In Agathi, the waters are warm, the sand is relatively fine and there are a couple of refreshment stands, as well as a view of Feraklos Castle.
Lindos has three beaches and all are developed and have facilities. These are Megalos Yialos, Mikros Yialos, and St. Paul’s (the last lies beneath the Lindos acropolis and boasts a lovely beachfront bar-restaurant). Slightly further south is Pefki, a sandy beach that draws a more sophisticated crowd. Kiotari and neighboring Gennadi are both huge beaches with small pebbles and coarse sand, lots of tavernas and cafés, watersports facilities and plenty of other activities. Next comes Lachania, known for its laid-back beach bar that plays rock music and serves yummy cocktails. It’s a long beach with a smattering of holiday homes, but there’s also a large stretch without loungers, umbrellas or cafés, if you’re looking for a spot of solitude.
Plimmiri, a good way further south, is also relatively quiet and has a good taverna, and from here to Prasonisi there are two “secret” beaches few people know about – Aghios Georgios and Mavros Kavos. Don’t bother trying to reach them without an off-road vehicle, though, as there’s a grueling 5k dirt road leading down to them. If you can get there, it is worth making the trip because they are extremely quiet and have fine sand and shallow waters, as well as shade from a row of cedars. Make sure to take plenty of water, though.
Located at Rhodes’ southernmost end, 100k from Rhodes Town, Prasonisi is one of the most famous windsurfing and kite-surfing beaches in Greece, if not the world. An islet during the high tides of winter, during the summer Prasonisi is connected to the mainland by a sandbar that creates two distinct bays with different weather conditions. One gets a lot of wind and waves while the other is usually calm with little or no chop. There are several surfing schools on the beach; if that’s not your thing, you can walk across to the islet instead and explore its late 19th-century lighthouse.