Trying to decide whether to visit Rhodes in winter? Or perhaps you already have plans and you want to know what to do once you get here?
Visiting Rhodes in winter is a great way to escape from colder climates and enjoy the culture and history of one of Europe’s most popular islands – without dealing with the hordes of tourists who come in the summer!
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What is the Weather Like in Winter in Rhodes?
Rhodes stays a bit warmer than Greece’s mainland, with highs around 14-16° Celcius (58-61° Fahrenheit) and low temperatures around 9-11° Celcius (48-51° Fahrenheit). Expect rainy days, so pack accordingly (see below).
Of course, double check the weather forecast a few days before your trip, as Rhodes can experience a hot or cold spell during your specific travel window.
The Best Things to Do in Rhodes in Winter
Here are our picks for what to do in Rhodes in winter.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Rhodes Old Town
The New Town in Rhodes is considerably busier in winter than Rhodes Old Town, but if you want to learn about this UNESCO World Heritage Site, winter is a great time to come and explore without fighting the crowds!
The Medieval City of Rhodes was inscribed onto the WHS list in 1988. According to UNESCO:
The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.
Enjoy Some Solitude in Lindos
The town of Lindos, so popular during the summer, is practically a ghost town in winter. If you want to wander through the town’s white-washed houses and enjoy its pictureque beaches, going in winter will give you the option to explore Lindos almost completely on your own!
While most shops and restaurants will be closed, a few stay open all year, so don’t worry about starving. I would personally base yourself in Rhodes and then visit Lindos from Rhodes as a day trip.
Go on a Winter Hike
If you find hiking in high summer to be brutal, indulge in some winter hiking! Rhodes has great paths you can walk, from short city gardens to longer treks through the lush inland.
Stroll along the Beach…or Indulge in Water Sports!
In winter, I prefer a solitary walk along the beach, especially if I can take in a beautiful sunrise or sunset. However, there are people in Rhodes who do water sports all year. The water may be cold, but it’s still warmer here than in many parts of northern Europe.
Eat the Way Locals Do
One thing I adore about visiting Greek islands in winter is that the places which stay open are the ones that are frequented most by locals because they have enough customers to stay open year-round. While there are definitely restaurants that target tourists that are delicious, you can trust a taverna that’s still open in December to be especially tasty!
Many of the resort towns will be completley closed down in the winter, but there are tavernas in Rhodes Town (a few in the Old Town but more in the New Town) and there’s even a taverna that stays open year-round on Pallas Beach in Lindos!
Visit the Acropolis of Lindos…without the Heat!
If the thought of visiting archealogical ruins in the heat of August doesn’t appeal to you, checking out the Acropolis of Lindos in wintertime seems like a far better option.
The Acropolis of Lindos, located far above the town, offers gorgeous views year-round. However, you will most likely find it without any other tourists, making your opportunity to connect with history that much more palpabl.e
Celebrate Christmas in Rhodes Town
While Rhodes doesn’t have a traditional Christmas market like the Heraklion Christmas market on Crete, there are still festivities to enjoy during Christmastime in Rhodes.
Start with the Christmas decorations in Mandraki Harbor. The three windmills are decorated wtih light displays representing the Three Wise Men from the Bible.
Other decorations around town are organized by the municipality, including a special train that runs from Aktaion daily.
Rhodes Winter Travel Tips
Unlike visiting Crete in winter, which still has tons of locals, there are a lot fewer peple around Rhodes in winter. While Rhodes Town is still vibrant, many of the smaller resort towns feel practically empty. If there’s something you want to do on the island, make sure you book ahead or discuss plans directly with someone on the ground.
During the high season, there are tons of direct flights to the island from all over Europe, but from November onward, expect to connect through Athens or Thessaloniki.
While you can reach Rhodes in winter by ferry, if you get seasick easily you may choose to fly instead. The seas can be choppy and rough in bad weather.
5 Things to Bring with You for a Winter Rhodes Vacation
We have an entire Rhodes packing list that includes exactly what to bring to dress for winter in Rhodes, but here are some essentials you don’t want to miss!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece for a great guidebook on the ground.
An ultra-light down jacket: You can wear this on its own or pair it with the jacket for colder days. This rolls up and packs easily in your day bag so it’s good to bring along – I have one really similar to this (women’s) but there’s a men’s version as well.
Sunscreen: Yes, you will want sunscreen in Crete, even during the winter! While you can buy it here, I suggest you buy the good stuff from recognizable brands or better yet, buy it online in advance.
I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.
Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides especially on mountain roads – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they actually work pretty well.
More Rhodes Travel Resources
Headed to Rhodes? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.
If this will be one of your first trips to the Greek islands, check out our massive Greek Island hopping guide as well as our recommendations for where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit.
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Finally, Make Sure You Come to Rhodes with Travel Insurance
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Rhodes, Greece, or anywhere in the world!
Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Rhodes is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this guide to the Best Things to Do in Rhodes in Winter for Your Trip!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.