Holiday & Travel Guide For Rhodes (Rodos) Greece!
Rhodes (or Rodos) is the largest of the Greek Dodecanese Islands, and is located in the Aegean Sea. The large Greek island of Rhodes is a popular holiday destination with families and couples alike. With a great sunny climate the island offers a wide range of resorts, beautiful beaches and lots of restaurants, cafes and bars.
What Is Rhodes Like?
Rhodes has a mix of tourist traps and nice sites to see. To make the most out of the island it is good to hire a car or book excursions so you can see the more historical places as well as the main coastline.
There are many resorts in Rhodes, which offer different things and are scattered all around the island, some main ones which tourists find popular are Trianda, Ixia, Rhodes Town, Pefkos and Kalathos. Faliraki is also situated on Rhodes.
Trianda is a short way up the coast from Ixia. Ixia is popular with tourists and has a thin shingled beach. There are many tavernas, bars and restaurants and the area comes to life at night where you can walk to Rhodes town. Very tourist centred, there are supermarkets and many facilities to make families comfortable here. Trianda is similar, only it is slightly less tourist driven, with more locals and a Greek atmosphere.
Rhodes town is made up of 3 parts: the modern part, a medieval walled city (which has World Heritage Status) and the ancient city, which is shown in more depth in the Archaeological Museum, as much is buried now. This is a great place to go if you are prepared to travel and want to see the older historical cities. Bear in mind the beach is quite pebbly and the resort is not very family orientated if you have younger children.
Pefkos is more family orientated. A sand and shingle beach leads on to rock pools and little paths to explore, whilst there is an English vibe with many cafes and bars for people, as well as good connections to other resorts and Rhodes Town itself.
Kalathos, although quiet, is a good foothold in Rhodes for those who want to explore the island. A village with a small beach and some touristy supermarkets, there is a lovely church there and it is in a good location to be able to travel around more.
The island has a resort to suit everyone, from lively Faliraki to the quiet village resorts of Kremasti and Pastida. The small village of Afandou is full of Greek tradition and offers a very friendly atmosphere. The liveliest resort on the island is Faliraki, famous for its nightlife and immense waterpark. By staying at the nearby resorts of Haraki or Kalathos you can enjoy the lively nightlife in Faliraki and quieter days away from all the crowds.
The cuisine found on Rhodes is a variety of ethnic and traditional Greece food so if you enjoy a great feta salad, olives and freshly baked bread you will love some of the platters available. Being an island there is plenty to catch right there in the sea so dishes such as Kalamari (squid), Grouper, Octopus, Mussels and Psarosoupa (island fish soup) is all on the menu. There are also Spanakopita (spinach pies), Moussaka (layered meat and sauce), Yuvarlakia (meatballs in sauce) and many other wonderful dishes to try. The traditional drink of the Island is Ouzo a much loved alcoholic drink that is very strong but is not really needed to enjoy the lively atmosphere and enjoyment to be had eating out in Rhodes.
Things To Do
Stop first in Rhodes town where you can marvel at the medieval architecture of the Palace of the Grandmasters built in the 14th Century by the knights of Rhodes which is now a museum for the archaeological artefacts found around Rhodes. There is so much more to see in Rhodes Town with the Acropolis of Rhodes, one of the most popular. Make sure you spend some time in the bustling town of Rhodes and for authentic Greek culture try and stay in the Old Town of Rhodes where you will find charming cafes and small shops selling assorted gifts.
Moving on from Rhodes town you can visit Rodini Park which is believed to have been the first landscaped park in the world, built and enjoyed by the Romans you can still see the old aqueduct they built. The park is home to wild Peacocks who breed naturally here and even on a hot day the cooling shade of the trees and relaxing flow of the stream make it an ideal place to relax and unwind.
Moving down the coast you will find one of the most popular places in Rhodes to visit. The town of Lindos starts on the beach and creeps up the imposing rock which characterises the town. The rock is home to the Acropolis of Lindos and for 6 euro’s you can visit the Acropolis and get stunning views over Lindos bay and town. We recommend paying the 5 extra euro’s for the donkey ride up the hillside. Lindos has some of the most magnificent beaches with golden sand sloping gently into the sheltered bay.
If it’s stunning beaches you’re after then you need to travel further down the coast to Tsambika beach. This is a popular stop off for cruise ships as the beach is one of the best in Rhodes. The beach is served by a small Taverna where you can buy drinks and snacks, and you will find the beach un-crowded and sheltered from the wind. The beach is also one of the few nudist beaches in Rhodes but only a small section is dedicated to those who want to go clothes free so if you are not inclined to bare all of your skin to the sun then you have nothing to worry about.
Just above the beach of Tsambika you will find Tsambika monastery, after following the road up from the beach you will have to climb 350 steps to the summit at which point you will come across the small Byzantine church dedicated to Our Lady. The views from the top over Rhodes are fantastic and make for some great holiday shots.
Please note, Tsambika is not the only beach in Rhodes, the island has numerous Blue Flag beaches, with all types ranging from fine sandy beaches with lots of facilities to quiet secluded coves for complete relaxation away from the crowds. The sheltered beaches on the east coast Mediterranean Sea are perfect for swimming and sunbathing whilst those on the windy west coast Aegean Sea are best for windsurfing, especially at Trianda. The less-developed beaches on the south coast offer quieter more peaceful settings for total relaxation. There are all kinds of watersports on offer around the island including jet-skiing, water-skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, paragliding and not forgetting pedalos and banana boat rides for all the family to enjoy. For scuba diving fans there are dive centres which offer tuition and trips out to designated dive areas. Kalithea Bay is one of the most popular diving spots with underwater caves and ancient spa baths just waiting to be explored.
That said, Rhodes isn’t all about the beaches and nightlife, there is plenty of sightseeing to do. The island has lots of ancient sites and medieval castles to explore. The medieval city of Rhodes Town is well worth a visit along with Rhodes prettiest village of Lindos which has a very beautiful bay. Rhodes Town is well preserved with charming cobbled streets and fortified walls. For walking enthusiasts there are the wooded mountains in the interior of the island which offer great hiking opportunities shaded from the sun. For the more energetic take a cycle ride to explore the countryside, towns, beaches and mountainside along the many trails that crisscross the island. Sail the beautiful crystal clear blue waters around the island or take a relaxing trip on a yacht, catamaran or ferry to Kos, Symi or a cruise to Turkey.
The waterpark in Faliraki and the Aquarium in Rhodes Town make great family days out and are two places not to be missed on your family holidays to Rhodes. Other family activities on offer include paint-balling, go-karting, mini-golf and bowling. For adrenalin junkies there is also bungee-jumping, not for the faint hearted!
Holiday packages to Rhodes should also include a visit to the Palace of the Grand Masters and the Colossus at Rhodes Town, the Valley of the Butterflies close to the village of Theologos and Monolithos Castle near the village of Monolithos.
Also, try trips out to other parts of the island to see some of the better sights. Recommendations are Monolithos Castle, which was built by the Knights of St. John on top of a large rocky area, nearby is a smaller more secluded beach area called Fourni, with sand and shingles, as well as some caves to explore.
For adults, a trip to Embonas may be good, to sample Rhodes wine and view the vineyards. Families, however, could opt for Petaloudes Valley, otherwise known as the Valley of the Butterflies. Home to many large Jersey Tiger moths, this is a pleasant walk and a good day out.
If you prefer to keep your feet solidly on the ground, there is always the option to Climb Mt. Attavyros. The island is blessed with exceptionally mild weather so the 2-3 hour climb though challenging, can be an extremely enjoyable escape into nature and some of the more fertile agricultural areas of the island. On the climb, you will pass through vineyards and follow a path marked by rocks painted red that will guide you to the summit. For those you would prefer to pass on the physical exertion, it is possible to drive up the mountain instead from the south.
In addition to all these ways to pass your time on the island of Rhodes, there are two great castles to explore. Most islands don’t even have one! The Castle of Kastellos and Castle of Monolithos are both well-worth a visit. Before you leave, make sure to take a run over to the ancient ruins of Kamiros. In Rhodes, all roads lead to something amazing whether it be really old or very new.
There are also many places to shop from local shops in quiet villages to Lindos or Rhodes City where there are stalls and shops geared to the tourist trade selling traditional Greek souvenirs like pottery, ceramics, Raki, local honey, local wine and some leather goods. There are always lots of jewellery shops too as the quality of the silver is very good.
Last but not the least, a major attraction of the island of Rhodes is that it is the home of the ruins of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Colossus of Rhodes. A giant bronze statue once stood in the harbour of Lindos and was built in 280 BC but destroyed by an earthquake later that century. There has been no trace of the statue ever found since its destruction in 224BC. There is Apollo’s temple and an Acropolis to visit on the island of Rhodes allowing you to see the ruins of an ancient culture. Although getting around on the island can sometime be difficult as there is very limited public transport available, many Rhodesian families own more than one car and even have motorbikes for the summer months when the tourist trade picks up and the roads get busy.
Overall, Rhodes is a typical tourist destination, and so offers all you would expect from that, as well as some nice historical sites if you are prepared to travel a little further.
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