Home Europe Greece Snorkeling in Rhodes: The 7 Best Snorkel Spots (2022)

Snorkeling in Rhodes: The 7 Best Snorkel Spots (2022)

Snorkeling in Rhodes
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Stop what you’re doing. Put down the travel brochure. Don’t worry about packing the passports just yet. Something important has to happen first: You simply gotta’ add snorkeling in Rhodes to this year’s bucket list. It’s incredible…

Yep, we’d say snorkeling in Rhodes is a must for anyone heading to the largest and the most popular of Greece’s Dodecanese Islands. The reason? There are oodles of bays with good protection from the dominant northerly swells that come across the Aegean Sea. Combine that with an H2O temperature that rarely dips below 68 F (20 C) and a well-developed scuba scene that means gear is easy to rent and come by, then viola: You’ve got a place just waiting to be explored underwater.

This guide will run through seven of the top spots for snorkeling on this much-loved Greek island. There’s a good range of options, starting with the handsome cove of Anthony Quinn near Faliraki and finishing with the remoter sands of south-facing Pefkos Beach.

Anthony Quinn Bay – arguably the best spot for snorkeling in Rhodes overall

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Let’s just say this first – Anthony Quinn Bay is a total stunner. It hides in a small cove just around the headland from Faliraki (Rhode’s most popular party town). There, it sort of fragments into the Mediterranean Sea in a series of craggy boulders and glowing limestone headlands, which filter out into a horseshoe bay that would look right at home on the tropical south coast of Sri Lanka.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a good option for snorkeling in Rhodes, you’d be thinking right. In fact, this is one of the best snorkeling and wild swimming spots on the whole island. Why? Well…thanks to the rocky underbed, the water is usually nice and clear. What’s more, the whole bay is well-protected from the open swells of the Aegean by a muscular headland to the south, which keeps the fish happy and the waves still as can be.

There’s usually a snorkel gear rental spot right on the beach itself during the main season months from June to August. However, if that’s not around, it should be easy to grab your goggles and pipe from the shops in nearby Faliraki.

Kalithea

Kaliteha Beach
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This small health destination to the south of Rhodes Town is perhaps best known for the elaborate Baths of Kalithea. They were constructed by the Fascist Italian occupiers of the island way back in 1929, atop ancient springs that were hailed for their healing properties by even Hippocrates, the so-called Father of Medicine. Sadly, the springs have long since dried up, but the eye-catching coves below the spa facility still await the snorkelers…

They’re the place to go for your underwater adventures. There’s a small fee of 3 EUR ($3.50) for entry because the access is still on private land. It’s worth it, though, because you get to paddle into a series of coastal grottoes where the light plays wonderful tricks under the surface, casting a haze of cobalt and emerald and shoots of light between the schools of small fish.

You might notice a cluster of dive boats moored up in Kalithea. That’s because this is one of the prime spots for scuba expeditions, so it’s worth knowing about if you wanted to take your snorkeling to the next level with some full-on PADI sessions on Rhodes.

Kolymbia

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Kolymbia is a fantastic place to both snorkel and simply laze on the Rhodes beaches. It’s located roughly a third of the way between Faliraki and Lindos, just off the main 95 roadway that links up the whole of the southeast coastline. That location puts it within reach of bays like Tsambika Beach and Traganou Beach, which are fantastic options for laying out the towel and escaping the crowds.

Anyway…back to the snorkeling. Where Kolymbia excels is in geology. There’s a rocky headland jutting straight out from the side of the small village. That offers ample nooks and crannies for swimmers to drift in and out of with the goggles in tow. Most are filled with pockets of seaweed and small fish and spiky urchins (not for touching!).

The best spot of all in the area is located on the south side of the Kolymbia headland. It’s a C-shaped bay that’s got fantastic protection to the north, which is where the main winds come from on this eastern part of the island. That keeps the aqua nice and still and increases underwater visibility.

Ladiko Beach

A person snorkeling in Rhodes
Photo by jacmoermanplanetnl/Pixabay

Ladiko Beach is situated just around a bend in the headland from the aforementioned Anthony Quinn Bay. That puts it within easy reach of the party town of Faliraki, and among the well-protected beaches of the east coast. In fact, the shelter here is among the best on the island, because the bay opens up to the south, so the dominant north winds can’t cut through and chop up the water.

That makes it a fantastic option for snorkeling in Rhodes, and that’s even before you factor in the rock-ribbed shoreline that extends the length of the bay. Dive into that to find pockets of strange anemones and plumes of lovely looking damsel fish and sea bream, not to mention carpets of sea moss and seaweed.

There are two main entry points into the water at Ladiko Beach. The first is the main part of the beach itself, which is usually rammed with sunbeds and swimmers. Alternatively, you can drive a little east and park up at the Kounna Beach & Resto Bar. That’s a great option if snorkeling is your main aim, because it also allows for access to Anthony Quinn Bay.

Oasis Beach

A cove in Kalithea
Photo by ivabalk/Pixabay

Oasis Beach is a tiny little cut-out of the coastline in the same areas as aforementioned Kalithea, a few bends around the rock-cragged shoreline from the famous bathhouses. The good news here is that this spot doesn’t rest on private land. It’s actually just a quick turn off the main shoreline highway of Leof. Kallitheas and straight into the parking under the olive trees by the taverna.

The snorkeling that’s on offer is pretty similar to the stuff at nearby Kalithea, only you should find it’s a little less busy. Getting in and out of the water can be a touch trickier and we’d 100% recommend a sturdy pair of reef shoes for this one. Things start shallow with a few submerged boulders and then open up to allow visions of the shadowy wall about 70 meters or so from the shore.

Once you’re finished seeking out strange fish in the sea, you can clamber back up the beach to settle in the local Oasis Taverna. It’s a well-rated and classic Greek shack that serves up that usual mix of mezze, seafood, and dry white wines.

Pefkos

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Pefkos is only one more bend around the east coast of Rhodes from the major resort destination of Lindos. It’s a tad quieter than its near neighbor and has the unique distinction of a south-facing beachfront. The upshot? Those pesky northerly swells aren’t an issue here, and the waters can stay really calm for much of the year. That ups the visibility considerably and does enough to make Pefkos one of the unquestionable jewels of Rhode’s snorkeling scene.

You won’t have to range far from the shoreline to start enjoying what’s out there. Pefkos attracts a steady stream of native Aegean fish species, including painted combers and garfish. There have also been reports of the odd sea turtle drifting into the bay in the early morning and evening, so be sure to keep the goggles demisted not to miss a thing.

The other great thing about picking Pefkos for your Rhodes snorkeling trip is that it’s within striking distance of the remoter south-east side of the island. That’s a haven for folk who like more secluded beaches. Check out Glistra Beach and the windsurfing mecca of Prasonisi Beach if that sounds like you.

Traganou Beach

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Adventure-loving snorkelers who are more interested in exploring intriguing underwater places than seeing unique sea creatures on the reefs are sure to love Traganou Beach. The big draw here is a series of half-submerged caves that cut into the rocks at the northern end of the bay. They’re matched by some dry caves on the land that you can crawl and clamber through before even getting into the water.

Entry and exit are easy since the starting point for snorkeling at Traganou Beach is on the pebbly end of the beachfront. From there, you can swim north however far you feel comfortable with to find more and more cuts and crevices in the coast, where urchins and even bigger fish can sometimes be spotted.

More than just a watersports hotspot with some of the best snorkeling in Rhodes, Traganou is a seriously nice bay. It’s easy to access via the main road running out of Faliraki and there’s a big parking area just behind the beach, not to mention a little BBQ taverna for lunch.

Snorkeling in Rhodes – our conclusion

The best snorkeling in Rhodes tends to lie on the southeast-facing coastline of the island. That’s where the coves get the best protection from the oncoming N-NW swells that tend to be dominant in the Aegean Sea throughout the summer months, when the winds are strong enough to whip up some pretty hefty currents. A good idea is to skip the longer, sandier bays that can cloud the water and reduce visibility. Choose rocky inlets like Anthony Quinn Bay or Ladiko instead, where you should find it’s possible to see further once you’ve dived in. Those are the places where the sea life isn’t so afraid of humans, too, so you can catch glimpses of rainbowfish, sardine schools, and even the occasional sea turtle if you’re lucky.

What’s the best time to visit Rhodes for snorkeling?

The key to catching all the best snorkeling on Rhodes is to arrive here when the water is at its stillest. That’s all related to the wind, which tends to dominate from the north and can get pretty strong in the midsummer and the midwinter. The upshot? We’d recommend spring or autumn trips to Rhodes if snorkeling is going to be your main activity. September is probably best. It’s still warm, the water is balmy, and there are fewer people crowding the main snorkeling points.

Where is the best snorkeling in Rhodes?

A good rule for finding the best snorkeling in Rhodes is to look to the east coast of the island. That’s far more protected from the north winds and northerly sea swells, so it has much quieter waters and bays; ideal conditions for snorkeling. The west and north side of the island are the opposite. They’re rarely great for underwater visibility and the rougher waves can often keep the most interesting marine creatures at bay.