I love taking photos of sunrises in Greece, and have visited the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes many times. I want to share my experiences with you in this post.
My 3 top photography spots for a sunrise in Rhodes are the Prophet Elias Church, on top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay and the beach at Navarone Bay. In this post I will tell you all how to get to these locations, what you need to know and show you photos I have taken at these three wonderful locations.
I have got some of my favourite sunrise photos from these locations which I am delighted to be able to share with you.
I hope that this post inspires you, and encourages you to get up early on your next holiday to get out and capture a fantastic sunrise!
And if you are in Rhodes to visit these speacial places.
First things first – who am I?
I am Rick McEvoy. I am a professionally qualified photographer based in the south of England. I specialise in architectural, landscape and travel photography. Basically anything that does not move or breathe! No animals, people and definitely not weddings!
No if it is still then I will photograph it.
I have this website that you have found, Rick McEvoy Photography, and two other websites, Paxos Travel Guide (which is nearly finished at the time of writing this) and Photos of Santorini (which is not finished at the time of writing this!).
Yes I really am a huge fan of the Greek Islands!
If you want to know more about me, and why wouldn’t you, please check out my about me page and my blog where there is lots of good stuff to read.
Back to the subject, sunrise locations on the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes.
Why am I writing about Rhodes?
Simple. It is one of the Greek Islands that I know the best. Rhodes is the Greek Island that I have visited the most. And out of all the places on this wonderful Greek Island I have narrowed down my sunrise photography to the places I will talk about in this post.
What about sunsets?
I take the odd sunset photo, but not that many. Sunset I find is a more sociable hour, sunrise is early, and I love getting up early to witness the start of a new day. No-one else does, it is just me!
And on a good day I can be back at the hotel and get a bit more sleep and get up with everyone else.
So that is why.
Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?
I thought I might as well start with a bit of background to the locations I am talking about, starting with where the island actually is!
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, and is a circa 4/ 4 ½ hour flight from the south of England away. The flight distance is just over 1700 miles from London Gatwick to the airport in Rhodes Town.
Here it is on a map, using the Greek spelling.
Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?
Where are Pefkos and Navarone Bay?
Once you get to Rhodes it is a drive of less than an hour from the airport to Pefkos, which you get to after driving past Lindos and the spectacular Acropolis.
And here it is zoomed in on a map, courtesy as ever of Google Maps.
Where is Pefkos on Rhodes?
I have to say that the stretch of road from Lardos, the next village after Pefkos travelling south, to Lindos is one of my favourite stretches of road. I can happily drive along there any time enjoying the very special views.
How do I get there?
You need to either be staying locally in Pefkos or have a car to get there for the sunrise. I had a hire car so the drive from the hotel in Lardos was a quick 5 minutes to the base of the hill where the church is, a few more minutes on to the beach at Navarone Bay but much longer to the tops of the cliffs.
When I say much longer it takes an extra 10 minutes to get around the headland and on to the tops.
Where exactly are the locations?
Again I have marked an extract from Google Maps.
My best sunrise locations in Rhodes revealed!
- On top of the hill at the where you will find the Prophet Elias Church
- On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay
- On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay
Are these locations easy to get to?
1 – Prophet Elias Church
Prepare to give your lungs and your legs a good workout. There is a car park at the foot of the steps up to the church. All you need to do is follow the 200 plus steps all the way to the church and the cross at the top of the hill.
The steps are excellent, having been recently rebuilt, and there are handrails to help you up the steep bits. I have done the climb wearing flip flops no problem, but there is one word of warning I will give you.
These can be many in quantity, and all over the path, so flip flops are not the best thing to be completely honest.
Once you get to the top there is a level paved area with a very low perimeter wall, a church, a Greek flag and a large cross.
And those amazing views.
2 – On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay
You have to drive around the headland and drive as far up the gravel path as you dare. You can see this just below the cross and the number 2. I stopped a good way short of the actual location, giving myself a good 10-minute walk up the hill, over the top and then a scramble down to the plateau immediately above the main cliffs.
And the big drop!
Do not wear flip flops for this. I wore actual walking boots, some lovely lightweight ones that grip the rocks wonderfully well.
The path is very lumpy and bumpy, and once you are on the tops you need good quality walking shoes, or it will be a slow, painful, miserable experience. And you will be putting yourself at risk if you go the cliff edge.
These are serious cliffs so be careful – you would not survive the drop.
OK – that’s you told!
3 – On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay
To get to this location you have to drive to the Lindos Memories Resort & Spa. There is a car park there that I park at. I know I am not a guest but at the time I am there it is very quiet.
Ok completely silent apart from the goats.
Anyway as a thank you to this lovely hotel for letting me park there here is a link to the hotel.
Park at the car park and walk down the path to the beach by the side of the hotel immediately off the car park. On the way back you will notice the smells of the spa which is nice.
Walk down to the beach and turn right. I go all the way to the end of the beach then navigate the rocks to get to the point where I want to take my photos from.
Which is basically at the very bottom of that massive rock face.
This is obviously up to you, but I have shown you on the map one of my preferred locations.
Again, flip flops are not recommended. You are not going to kill yourself falling off the edge here, but the rocks are very sharp, and I always manage to get some impressive cuts and scratches on my legs.
If you are happy staying on the beach then that is just fine – you will still have an amazing sunrise experience.
Is there parking nearby?
I think I have covered that.
What time does the sun rise?
Well this varies of course on the time of year and if there is a band of cloud on the horizon. According to my camera metadata the sun started to appear about 5:50am. There is of course the time before the sun rises which is amazing, so ideally if the sun were to rise at 5.50am I would like to be in position and ready to take photos and videos by 5am.
But I like being nice and early so I can sit down and just enjoy being there.
Sunrise is such a special thing that I love experiencing.
And I would stay for a good hour afterwards as well to make the best of that fantastic post-sunrise directional light.
Are there other people there?
At the church on the hill it is very common to find people there witnessing the stunning sunrise on the hill. You can after all park at the bottom of the steps and walk up there in normal shoes.
I have never seen anyone else on the rocks or the beach in Navarone Bay though. And as to the top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay? Only goats. I have never seen another person up there.
So yes and no. And you can guess which I prefer?
Splendid sunrise isolation. Just me and the elements.
What camera gear do I use?
Time to talk photography briefly. Don’t worry I won’t go on too much I promise.
And by the way, the links I have added to these items are Amazon Affiliate links – if you buy them or anything else within 24 hours of visiting Amazon via that link then I get a small commission.
Disclosure done – best to be open about these things!
Back to my gear.
I have been using a Canon 6D for a few years now, but this year I have changed my travel photography gear. I am now using an Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 with Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens, and also the excellent Olympus 40-150mm lens.
I am loving my new smaller gear.
Which is slightly smaller and not that much lighter even it has to be said,
I use a Peak Design Everyday Backpack to carry my gear to these places that I find myself in – a backpack is an essential for me as I need both hands free to get to where I want to be.
My tripod of choice is the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey, which sits nicely in my camera bag. And I am loving the Arca Swiss plate.
I have bought an L bracket with grip for my Olympus camera, the QR Vertical Shoot L Bracket Plate With Hand Grip, which cost me £19.99 from Amazon which worked quite well.
That was the main gear that I used. Sorry there was my iPhone which I used to take videos.
Gear done – on to the photos taken at the three locations.
My sunrise photos of Rhodes web page
I have created a gallery page on my website where I have added 12 sunrise photos taken in these three locations in June 2019. This is called Rhodes. I know – where do I get these names from?
I will talk about one photo from each of the locations, which will hopefully give you an idea of the view from each location.
1 – The photo from the top of the hill near the Prophet Elias Church
Sunrise view from the hills above Pefkos looking towards Lindos
This photo shows you the scale of the scene, photographed from the edge of the rocks. Immediately below the sun is the Acropolis of Rhodes, too far away to be clear. And to the right you can see part of Navarone Bay.
This is a magnificent sunrise view, which I have loved every time I have made the effort to climb up those steps in the dark to be there for this special time of the day.
2 – On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay
Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece
This is the tree on top of the cliffs. You can see this tree from miles away. Every time I drove along the road from Lindos to Pefkos I would look up at this tree and smile to myself.
Again, a stunningly gorgeous location to witness the sunrise from.
3 – On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay
OK -this photo does not appear on the web page I mentioned earlier. I love this photo, such a simple composition, such lovely warming colours.
Sunrise in Rhodes by Rick McEvoy
So relaxing and peaceful. Which is exactly what the sunrise is like.
As I said before, you can see more of my photos of the sunrise on Rhodes on the Rhodes page of my website.
And there is only one thing better than a stunning sunrise photo, and that is a nice, relaxing video showing the sun rising.
I wanted to video the sun rising. There were a few problems with this.
On the first try my alarm went off stopping the video which was infuriating. Next time I ran out of memory. Equally annoying but entirely my own fault.
But I did manage to get a 30-minute video of the flag flying at the church, and 30 minutes as the sun rises from the cliffs above Navarone Bay.
These are the links to the videos on my YouTube Channel
I got there in the end, and to be honest I have not done this before, well not recording 30-minute videos. This meant that I had to take photos handheld, which was a joy with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2, which has in-built image stabilisation.
So a change in the way I work, but a good change at that so after these morning shoots I had developed, and all was good in my photographic world.
My YouTube Channel
And finally please may I ask for your help?
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Next on my photography blog
Next on my photography blog I am going to continue my series of posts about the exposure triangle. This will be a follow up to the post The exposure triangle explained in plain English. But will it be aperture, shutter or ISO?
Check out my blog next week to find out.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, blogger, website creator
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Hi Rick, I am currently drinking coffee, sitting on my Balcony at the Sunshine hotel – or more affectionately known as Popi’s Place in Lardos. My second stay here I do love the island, particularly the southern part. I was over the moon to come across this very helpful page. Ironically I was just looking to find some recommendations for some sunrise photography. Perfect! Thank you so much, I think I will try the Pefkos Cross location. I still have a lot to learn with the DSLR, I have the canon 700D but concede often get frustrated at my lack of knowledge – yet I am determined not to use the auto button as I might as well just use my phone! I have subscribed to your YouTube channel, I too have a channel, I do love videography, still learning but getting there. I like to film bike rides, Wildcamping and I am doing the Pennine Way hike in sections which I am capturing on video. Take a look, I am the ‘Midlife Crisis Guy’ Thanks once again Rick, wish me luck with my quest for the best, attempt at sunrise at the cross later this week! All the best and regards from Adam
Thanks very much for getting in touch. I am so glad that you found my post useful.
I know of Popis and know Lardos very well. We go to Lardos every year and I always end up at the cross at sunrise.
Go for it – the location is fantastic – definitely one of my favourites and very easy to get to. Just mind the sheep droppings on the path up there!
You can get great photos with a Canon 700D.
I use AV all the time, and take multiple exposures using auto-bracketing which makes it easy to shoot straight into the sun and get as much info from a scene as possible. I shoot in RAW too.
Just try things and remember what you did, what worked and what did not.
Don’t be frustrated, just keep on practising and you will get there. The best way for us all to improve is by practice.
The same applies to videography. I am just getting over the talking to my phone thing – my videos are not great but I know that and practise is the only way I will improve!
Just get out there and keep practising. I have posted some of my photos from Rhodes on a page https://rickmcevoyphotography.com/rhodes – this will give you a better idea of what you can see when you are up there.
And if you can get to Navarone Bay I strongly recommend that as well!
I am in Parga at the moment but will check out your YouTube channel when I get home.
Do let me know how you get on at the cross!
Enjoy your holiday, and thanks again for getting in touch.