Written by Lee O’flynn from Waterhoppers PADI 5* Instructor Development Centre and Margarita Kasfiki
Known as ‘the Island of the sun,’ Rhodes is the second largest of the Greek Islands in the south-east corner of the Dodecanese. With stunning hidden coves, quiet mountain villages, pine forests and heaps of Greek charm, Rhodes has a lot to offer the traveller.
With easy access from all over Europe, pristine waters, stunning lagoons and diverse dive sites, not to mention water temperatures reaching 30°C, you can understand why Rhodes is fast growing into a popular dive destination in Europe.
Diving in Rhodes
Due to the excellent visibility and deep waters there’s quite a lot to see! Dolphins, turtles and sting rays (to name just a few) are all frequent visitors at our dive locations. We have even spotted a type of cat shark species! Oh, and keep a look out for the odd ancient amphora laying on the seabed.
My favourite dive site would have to be the huge 110-metre-long, 40-year-old cargo ship wreck located in the south end on the Island. The Giannoula K lies just a short boat ride from the shore with a depth range of 8-22 meters. With large open cargo holds, a stunning engine room – where even the light bulbs are still intact, this wreck is very accessible for divers of all levels. Private wreck dives are also available from Dive Shops on the island, and well worth the experience!
Another stunning dive location just near the village of Lindos, purportedly the prettiest village in Greece, is a site called Pentanisos (five Islands). Here, you will be amazed by the huge deep walls, caverns, beautiful colourful sponges and large game fish that frequent the depths.
Overall, you will not be disappointed. Rhodes offers some world class diving, and for those looking to take their PADI Open Water Diver, or become PADI Instructors, it doesn’t get better than here due to the beautiful calm, clear warm waters surrounding the island.
The summer season runs from May to October, however year-round diving is available.
Topside Attractions in Rhodes
It’s not just the exquisite diving that will lure you here either. If you’re interested in ancient history and cultural heritage (or your non-diving travel buddies are) Rhodes is top of the list.
Undoubtedly the first sight worth visiting is the Medieval Old Town of Rhodes. A recognized monument of a world cultural heritage you can wander the maze of meandering lanes and streets, stopping for some traditional mezedes when tired. And don’t miss out on a chance to visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece.
On the west side of the island, Filerimos hill is worth a visit. The Acropolis of Ialyssos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes, was built in Filerimos. Nothing remains of the Acropolis today, but you can enjoy the amazing views and a beautiful sunset from the cross of Filerimos. Whilst you’re here don’t miss out on the chance visit the Byzantin church in Filerimos.
Continue south west to visit one of the ancient sites of Kamiros, followed by the castle ruin of Kritinia with it’s amazing views of the west coastline.
The furthest south point of the Island is called Prasonisi. If you are a keen kite or windsurfer then you will already be aware of this place. With strong west winds during the summer this location attracts surfers from around Europe each year.
Last but certainty not least on the south east side of the island don’t miss out on a visit to the village of Lindos (conveniently situated above the Pentanisos dive sight), one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes. Here you can visit the amazingly well preserved ancient Acropolis of Lindos which is perched on the clifftop, try out one of the fabulous little Greek tavernas for lunch or wonder the cute little streets looking for a souvenir or two.
Overall, rated as one of the most popular of the Greek Islands, Rhodes has so much to offer the dive traveller it’s got to be visited!