While summer might be the most popular time to visit the beautiful island of Rhodes – and understandably so, as that’s when the weather is hottest – there are plenty of reasons to visit in Autumn instead. From festivals to quieter streets to up-and-coming hotspots, here’s our guide to Autumn in Rhodes.
1. Ohi Day and other Festivals
Rhodes comes to life again in Autumn with a series of festivals and parades. The most famous of these is Ohi Day, which is celebrated on 28 October each year. This celebration marks the anniversary of Greece resisting the threat of invasion from Benito Mussolini during World War II – ‘Ohi’ is Greek for ‘no’, which was Greece’s simple response to Mussolini’s ultimatum. Rhodes celebrates Ohi Day in style, with big crowds gathering at Madraki Harbour. Young and old come out to watch and it’s a great experience for visitors to the island too.
2. Explore the island like a local
As a highly popular tourist destination, Rhodes is often packed with visitors in the summer months, particularly its historic old town. Visiting the island in Autumn allows you to enjoy a more leisurely pace of life, exploring Rhodes’ narrow alleys and pretty squares, or watching the world go by from a café. Take advantage of the extra space and the island’s quieter atmosphere to explore Rhodes like a local.
3. Swim in the sea – it’s still warm!
Unlike many destinations in Europe, Rhodes is still very warm in Autumn – the average maximum temperature is a very pleasant 28°C. Of course, this means the sea is not only warm enough to swim in but it’s necessary in order to cool down after a hot day exploring the island! Rhodes boasts some great beaches – why not head to one in the afternoon after visiting the Old Town in the morning?
4. Visit Petaloúdes (‘Butterfly Valley’)
Petaloúdes – known in English as the ‘Butterfly Valley’ – is one of Rhodes’ most famous attractions, and for good reason. The beautiful nature reserve combines gorgeous rivers and waterfalls with colourful butterflies and exotic moths and trees. Located in the north of the island, Butterfly Valley is reachable by bus or of course car hire. Unsurprisingly, Petaloúdes can be very busy in summer, but Autumn is the perfect chance to visit when nearly all the tourists have gone home. In addition, it’s your last chance to see the butterflies for the year, as they don’t inhabit the valley in winter.
5. Be the first to try trendy new hangouts
The trendiest new bars and restaurants in tourist destinations are often revealed between holiday seasons. Indeed, travel experts Lonely Planet have only just released their list of the best places to go in Rhodes for 2017. By visiting in Autumn, you can be among the first to try out these new trendy hotspots, before the next wave of tourists arrives in summer.