St. Paul’s Bay Lindos, Rhodes: Where Sand Meets Ruins

If you like your beach with a side of history, head to St. Paul’s Bay in Lindos, Rhodes, one of Greece’s hotspots. Read on for details.

St. Paul's Bay Lindos, Greece

The Greek Islands are world renowned for two reasons: hosting a wealth of historic attractions and being a great place to catch some rays. St. Paul’s Bay Lindos — a gorgeous natural cove on the island of Rhodes — embodies both. 

So, if you like your history served with a side of tanning, read on for what you need to know to visit this fantastic destination. 

Where is St. Paul’s Bay, Greece?

This world-class secluded cove is located on the Greek island of Rhodes — one of the larger Dodecanese Islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. In fact, Rhodes is far closer to Turkey (just 18 kilometers/11 miles) than Athens (440 kilometers/380 miles). 

St. Paul’s Bay is about midway up the island’s eastern coast. It’s near the ancient town of Lindos with its ancient Acropolis, one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. 

The town and cove are well connected by roads and are hotspots on daily boat trips during the tourist season. 

What is the history of Saint Paul’s Bay?

Acropolis near St. Paul's Bay in Lindos

This near-circular cove seems almost deliberately scooped out of the surrounding rocky landscape. The only entrance to the bay by sea is through a very narrow channel, which made it perfect for pirates and refugees.

Legend has it that the Apostle Paul of Biblical fame (Saint Paul) stopped here during one of his missionary tours, which is how the bay got its name.  

What is St. Paul’s Bay, Rhodes like?

chapel in St. Paul's Bay Lindos

The water is a pale turquoise color and usually calm, given its location in a protected cove. The arid, sun-baked landscape completely surrounds the bay, with craggy rocks strewn along the shoreline. 

There are technically two coves along the bay at the northern and southern ends.

The southern beach, or St. Paul’s Beach, is generally busier, with a healthy supply of umbrellas, loungers and cabanas for rent. 

The northern cove is closer to town and quieter, though it still offers the same amenities.

A pair of tavernas service the bay, offering food, drink, and restroom facilities. 

Equipped with food, shade and the peace of mind of knowing a restroom is nearby, you can spend the whole day soaking up some sun and gazing up at the ancient ruins of the Acropolis towering above the bay.

Off to the side is St. Paul’s Chapel in Lindos — a small whitewashed shrine popular for weddings and a great photography subject.

What is there to do at St. Paul’s Bay?

aerial view of St. Paul's Bay Lindos Rhodes

Besides the obvious sunbathing and wading in the clear waters, St. Paul’s Bay offers several other activities.

With its sheltered position, this is an incredible place for swimming without the nuisance of waves. It is also ideal for diving or snorkeling for the very same reasons.

Fishing trips run out of the bay to surrounding areas, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a flotilla of boats on day trips in the cove throughout daylight hours.

What is there to see in Lindos?

Lindos acropolis and St. Paul's Bay

The Acropolis at Lindos is a highly sought-after tourist destination, thanks to its commanding position overlooking the bay and the mountains. The site offers a chance to explore the beauty of the ancient columns and fortifications. If you take a guided tour, you’ll learn about its vibrant history, which dates back to the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.

The town of Lindos is a maze of boxy, whitewashed houses and alleyways clustered around the base of the citadel. It has a reputation as one of the most charming towns in Greece. 

Here is where you’ll find your lodging options and an array of dining establishments. 

Come evening, you can do no better than eat on a rooftop terrace and stare at the discreetly lit fortress looming over the town!

What else is there to see in Rhodes?

Old Town of Rhodes

Rhodes’s attraction dates back to ancient times, when it was home to one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World: the Colossus of Rhodes, a massive statue of the Greek God Helios. The statue may have been lost to the sands of time, but the island’s historic appeal most certainly has not.

The medieval town of Rhodes in the north of the island is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and beautifully reflects the many cultures and eras that shaped the island’s history. Prominent among these was its role as a base of operations for the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who fortified the city and held it as a stronghold for centuries.

The island also boasts a number of delightful natural attractions. From June to September, you won’t want to miss a stop at the Valley of the Butterflies, where you can admire the colorful Panaxia butterflies as they come to lay their eggs. 

There are also some other lovely beaches in Rhodes. Tsambika and Agathi offer fine sand, and Prasonisi, at the southern tip of the island, alternates between an island in the winter and a peninsula in the summer.

Practical considerations for Rhodes

white town of lindos

To make the most out of your visit to St. Paul’s Bay, it’s important to take into account a few details. 

Due to its location, the tourism season runs longer than most, stretching from spring until November. 

Summer sees the highest crowds, and St. Paul’s Bay does feel this effect. The best times to visit without swarms of tourists are in the shoulder seasons. If you are there in the summer, go early or later in the day when all the day-trippers and cruise passengers are gone.

While there are no hotels on St. Paul’s Bay beach, accommodations can be found in nearby Lindos. The same can be said about restaurants and shops — all of which are an easy walk from the bay.

Getting to Rhodes and Lindos

Ruins in Rhodes

There are essentially two steps to visiting St. Paul’s Bay — getting to Rhodes and then going to Lindos.

As for the former, there are regular flights from Athens to Rhodes, with a 45-minute flight time.

You can also reach Rhodes via ferry from Athens (between 13 and 20 hours, depending on the number of stops), which may sound long, but half the fun is in the journey. 

You could also fly into one of the surrounding islands and take a shorter ferry ride from there.

Once you’ve reached Rhodes, St. Paul’s Bay is about 55 kilometers (34 miles) south of Rhodes town. Many organized tours visit both Lindos and the bay together, or you can take a bus or private transfer if you prefer to travel independently.

If you rent a car, there is free parking at the top, and it’s only a few minutes’ walk down to the beach. Back up to your car is another story. 

Weather in St. Paul’s Bay, Rhodes

Lindos at night

If you’re coming to St. Paul’s Bay, chances are you want some beach time. Naturally, that means going in the summer when the temperatures are the warmest and the chance of rainy days is practically nil. 

Summertime highs generally top out at around 30°C (86°F).

In shoulder season, the highs peak in the low 20s°C (mid-70s°F). 

Packing list essentials for St. Paul’s Bay, Lindos 

Rhodes Greece main square
  • Sunscreen – Those sunny days will wreak havoc on your skin without adequate protection.
  • Bathing suits – You’ll want multiple suits for multiple days at the beach.
  • Good water shoes – GYou’lleaches can be pebbly, so your feet will appreciate a good pair of water shoes.
  • Breathable clothing – Sunny days on a Mediterranean island call for comfortable clothes that keep you cool and dry.
  • Sturdy shoes – With so many wonderful attractions nearby, you will want a comfortable pair of sturdy shoes.
  • A backpack with lots of pockets – With so much to see, the last thing you’ll want to do is go back to the hotel because you forgot something. 
  • A camera – Whether it’s your phone or a professional model, the stunning scenery is something you’ll want to capture.

Final thoughts about St. Paul’s Bay Lindos

Sunset in St. Paul's Bay Lindos

The Greek Isles have played a role in the history books — and tourist itineraries — for centuries. 

Rhodes is a particularly prominent player, and if you’ve come to witness the historic cities and archaeological wonders, you should spare a day or two to take in the natural wonders as well. St. Paul’s Bay, Lindos, is a beautiful place to get your fill of sun, sea, and history. Whether arriving by air or water, a firsthand visit here will leave you in complete agreement.

FAQ

Is St. Paul’s Bay worth a visit?

Do you like secluded coves with calm, turquoise water and full amenities? Do you enjoy world-class architecture and historical sites? If so, the answer is a resounding yes!

Does St. Paul’s Bay have sandy beaches?

The short answer is yes — sort of. There is ample sand and sand mixed with pebbles and rocks of varying sizes, much like many Greek beaches. 

Is St. Paul’s Bay good for nightlife?

Though the primary appeal of St. Paul’s Bay is its water and beaches, there is some fun to be had after dark. It’s not the place for eardrum-blasting clubs and parties. Still, the restaurants and tavernas are fantastic places to order a cocktail and stare at the timeless beauty surrounding you.

Is St. Paul’s Bay expensive?

Visiting the bay costs you nothing beyond the transportation you use to get there. The onsite facilities aren’t cheap—approximately 30 euros to rent two sun beds or 50 euros for a cabana. A budget destination, this is not, but neither is it solely in the realm of the wealthy.

Posted February 5, 2024
image of blog writer Ben
Ben Pastore
Ben is a freelance travel writer, public speaker and graphic artist whose adventures to date have brought him to 78 countries across all 7 continents. He is the author of the witty travel ebook You Can Keep Your Adventure Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper, and a host of travel articles detailing his journeys. When not gallivanting across the globe, Ben spends his time as a volunteer minister along with his wife in Houston, TX, USA.
image of blog writer Ben