Ancient Greek mythology attributes the foundation of Lindos to the first ancestor of Rhodians, Tlepolemos, who according to Homer participated in the Trojan War with nine ships. It seems that the development of the city had been closely associated with shipping. It is known that Lindos had been an important, maritime commercial hub for sea routes from the Geometric period (900-700 B.C.) In the archaic era it developed considerably under the rule of its moderate tyrant Kleovoulos (6th century BC), one of the "seven wise men" of antiquity. Lindos gave global maritime trade its first rules at the beginning of the 5th century, while it became a religious center of Pan-Hellenic range connected with the worship of the goddess Athena.

In the 1st century AD its residents accepted the Christian teaching of Saint Paul (New Testament, Acts 1,1). Moreover, according to oral tradition, the Apostle came to shore in the homonymous bay of Lindos, where a holy church was erected in his honor. The central location of the island which lies at the 'crossroads of civilizations' was the cause of its turbulent history, but also gave impetus to the development of shipping, trade, and its economic, intellectual and artistic boom. It was at times part of the Roman and the Byzantine Empires, conquered by the Arabs, occupied by the Knights of St. John, under Ottoman rule, and under Italian occupation.

The current village settlement of Lindos has been declared a historical monumental complex, owing to its striking characteristics and its Acropolis.