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Driving holiday in Rhodes – rent a car on a Greek island

Car hire during holidays in Greece can be a wonderful way to enhance your holiday experience.

Compare prices: Cartrawler Rhodes Airport Greece

Whilst in mainland Greece the road traffic is known to be somewhat chaotic and driving may be, at times, challenging, many Greek island are actually best to explore by car.

Fiat Panda cheap rental car Rhodes
The cheapest rental car on Rhodes is often a Fiat Panda

The roads are good and mostly uncongested, the views stunning and, typically for Greece, prime historical sites are found practically everywhere.

On smaller Greek islands taxi can be a convenient (and inexpensive) solution, as distances to cover are limited. If you are spending your holiday on a larger island, car hire is an option worth considering.

Rhodes, part of the Dodecanese Islands
Rhodes, at the outer limits of eastern Aegean Sea, is the largest island of the Dodecanese. Filled to the brim with unique historical monuments and valuable archaeological sites, Rhodes has plenty to offer for those who like to venture beyond their holiday resort. Varied landscapes and good quality of the roads make driving in Rhodes a truly pleasurable experience.

Roads on the island of Rhodes
The major roads in Rhodes are near the coastline, as the centre of the island is mountainous and not easily accessible by car.

See map of Rhodes showing road distances to major cities (click to enlarge).

The best road on the island stretches between Lindos and the capital, Rhodes Town, and is known as road 95. In general, all major roads in Rhodes offer good conditions for driving.

Since the centre of the island is rather mountainous, an off-road trip across the most remote areas of central Rhodes may require a 4-wheel drive (4X4), however on most of the roads in Rhodes a standard passenger car is fully sufficient. See an example of Rhodes map with elevation data (doubleclick for higher resolution).

The whole island can be circled in only around 5 hours. The duration of the trip, however, depends on how thoroughly you would like to know the island. Places of interest in Rhodes are abundant, sufficient for several days of self-driven sightseeing. Please, find below suggestions for not to miss out on during your driving holiday on the island of Rhodes.

Rhodes - driving between the Aegean and the Mediterranean
The first thing that comes to one’s mind when travelling across Rhodes is the diversity of the island.

Situated between the Aegean and the Mediterranean Rhodes seems to be divided into two distinct zones. The landscapes and the lush greenery of the mountainous western side of the island, by on the Aegean Sea are different from the rather scarce vegetation of the eastern, Mediterranean coast.

Although western Rhodes is less habited and does not have very well developed tourist infrastructure - this makes the island worth visiting, especially if you enjoy roadtrips in unspoilt surroundings and happen to have a Rhodes hire car at your disposal. The views along the way are absolutely stunning.

Many precious historic monuments of Rhodes are found in typical, charming villages of western Rhodes and so is the most genuine Greek folklore and culture.

The eastern part of Rhodes, on the Mediterranean, with less rocky coast and a variety of beautiful sandy beaches is more focused on tourism. The island’s best holiday resorts are located here, mostly around the villages of Pefki, Lindos, Haraki, Archangelos, Faliraki and Afantou.

Find the cheapest car hire in Faliraki

Valley of the Butterflies – short drive from Rhodes Town
Many places of rare natural beauty are at an easy reach for the holidaymakers who decide to rent a car on Rhodes.

In only around 16 miles distance from Rhodes Town and approx. 3 miles south of Theologos village lies the Valley of Butterflies. Locally known as Petaloudes, the valley is a unique place: every summer, in August, hundreds of thousands of butterflies of Panaxia specie come here to reproduce offering the visitors a truly magical spectacle.

Archeological sites in Rhodes - three ancient cities of Rhodes
Monuments of ancient history and valuable archeological excavation sites are plentiful in Rhodes.

It is fairly easy to get to know the historical heritage of Rhodes Town, as most of the places of interests are located within close walking distance. Use your Rhodes rental car to get to other places of historic interest on the island, dating back to the Ancient Greece.

The “Three Ancient Cities of Rhodes”, mentioned by Homer: Kamiros, Ialyssos and Lindos, are places particularly rich in historic artefacts and architecture.

Ialyssos, on the western northwestern coast, only 5 miles from Rhodes Town was the favourite location of the Greek aristocracy of the Hellenistic era. The past splendour can still be seen in the grandiose Ialyssos acropolis.

The Kamiros excavation site, another Rhodian ancient metropolis, frequently compared to Pompeii, is a well preserved and complete example of ancient Greek urban layout, with two major squares, temples, houses and public infrastructure: bath-houses and water tanks.

The Tample of Athena Lindia, Propylae, the gateway, and typical walkway adorned with columns are the highlights of the Lindos acropolis excavation site, near the town of Lindos, on the west coast, in 30 miles distance from Rhodes Town.

Medieval Rhodes - Knights of St John in Greece
Many of the most remarkable monuments of Rhodes, date back to the Middle Ages and to the ruling of Knights of St John, also known as Knights Hospitaller.

The military order of western Christianity established itself on Rhodes in early 14th century and remained on the island for over 200 years. The influence of the Order in art and architecture of Rhodes is most visible in the Old Rhodes Town, but can be also found in small villages across the island.

The castle of Kritinia, 30 miles southwest of Rhodes Town will be a delight for visitors interested in medieval history of Rhodes: originally build on three levels – being each level assigned to a different Grand Master of the Order – the castle has boasts and original chapel and a monastery. The Medieval Rose Festival, held in Kritinia castle every year in June is a living history event, recreating the Middle Ages times, with the traditional costumes, folklore and crafts.

Monolithos castle, in around 40 miles distances from Rhodes capital, at the opposite side of the island, is not as well preserved, however it is very popular among the tourists for its picturesque surroundings. The finest views of Rhodes, the Aegean Sean and two islets at the western shore of Rhodes are available from the castle hill.

For more Middle Ages history sites along your trip around Rhodes, stop in Feraklos, close to the popular resort of Charaki, where a 12 century medieval fortress overlooks the area of Charaki, Lindos and Agathi Bay.

Take a longer break from driving in the nearby Archangelos, approx. 25 miles southwest from Rhodes Town. Archangelos is one of the most traditional villages of Rhodes and its lively old centre seems to remain untouched by the tourist industry. Ruins of a 12th century castle used Grand Masters of the Knights of St John Order are available to visit.

Driving in Rhodes Town
The capital of the island, Rhodes Town is an absolute must for any tourist in this part of Greece.

A UNESCO World Heritage site and home to some of the most emblematic Greek monuments, Rhodes Town deserves a day or two of undivided attention and is hard to combine with a lengthy excursions on the island.

See map of Rhodes Town.

In Rhodes Town the history of Ancient Greece and Middle Ages entwine in a truly fascinating way. Among the most notable monuments and historic sites of Rhodes Town are: Grand Master´s Palace, Acropolis of Rhodes, Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent and the medieval city walls.

Driving in the Rhodes Old Town, however, is better avoided. The layout of the narrow streets of old Rhodes may be confusing and the parking space is limited, especially during the high tourist season.

It is advisable to visit Rhodes town separately and preferably on foot, before venturing on a roadtrip in your Rhodes hire car.

Find cheap car hire - Rhodes Town

Rhodes car hire companies – where and when
Car hire on the island of Rhodes is available in most of the places of tourist influx: at Rhodes Airport, in Rhodes Town centre and in the popular holiday resorts - Lindos, Faliraki and Pefki, amongst others.

Cheap rental cars in Rhodes can frequently be found online, with the help from an Internet search engines of car hire offers, such as Cartrawler, which automatically compares offers from major car rental companies on Rhodes, amongst them: Avis, Hertz, Budget Malta, Sixt, Europcar, Pangosmio, Kosmos Rent-A-Car and Auto Union.

Cartrawler Rhodes - compare car rental prices online

With a very pleasant climate throughout the year and long summer season, with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius from April till late October it is very easy to find economic car hire in Rhodes, avoiding the inflated prices of the busiest summer months.

When booking well in advance and out of the holiday season, the cheapest Rhodes car rental offers can be found with prices starting from around £ 75 for a week of Greece car hire. For this amount you can have a smallest city car, such as Peugeot 107, or similar, sufficient for moving around the island. For only a little less, approx. £ 80 larger and more comfortable economy class vehicles (Ford Fiesta or similar) are available to rent in Rhodes.

See Rhodes weather chart.


Driving holiday in Rhodes – rent a car on a Greek island
Article: Driving holiday in Rhodes – rent a car on a Greek island
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Published: Thursday, December 20 2012
Latest revision: Thursday, May 12 2016

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