Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Rhodes - Anthony Quinn Bay - s.l. photo

Likes&Dislikes

Likes:

Crystal clear water, blue flag beaches
Faliraki has a sandy beach (with no jellyfish!)
Clean beaches with no plastic or other junk
Cultural heritage
The atmosphere in the old town of Rhodes and the bazaar
The many car rental opportunities
Cheap convenience stores everywhere
Greek hospitality
It’s windy, making the heat easier to bear


Dislikes:


The island is still quite treeless due to the 2009 fire
Public transport is infrequent, though also inexpensive
€5 a day for a sunbed, and sun umbrellas are only available in pairs
(Camilla, 2019)

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“No wonder Rhodes is such a popular travel destination – it’s a joy to relax on the island’s wonderful beaches. Faliraki is especially good for families with young children, since its sandy and shelves very gradually, so it stays shallow quite a long way out. Another real gem, not far from the town of Rhodes, is Tsampika beach. For me, it was the best place to swim. Anthony Quinn Bay, about 15-20 minutes by car from Faliraki, is the best choice if you want beautiful scenery and nature, and if you aren’t bothered by a rocky shore.

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,, In Rhodes, the herd of sheep on the country roads is an integral part of the landscape. Tourist drivers have two options: become impatient or take great photos to arrest the moment."


Practicals

Transport


Walking

Local drivers rarely stop or even slow down at pedestrian crossings, even more so elsewhere. Count on that when walking if you wish to return home harmless.

Car rental

We can not choose but adapt to the peculiar (understand as erratic) driving style of the Greeks. When driving a rental car, tourists experience a lot of hot traffic situations. Local drivers often do hair-raising overtaking. You better stick to a careful, defensive way of driving, like let the hurried local motorists overtake you as soon as possible. They are in a hurry; you are not. They are fleshing or/and honking. Put it out of your mind. (Extensively traveling the world, I always find that islanders are the wildest drivers.)

Parking is free in most areas of Rhodes Town, except the port and the Old Town. Here we can buy tickets from parking meters for a minimum of half an hour. Parking in Rhodes Town is complicated by some confusion of where you are allowed to park and where not. It’s not always clear what the color of the given curb means. To the best of my knowledge:  the yellow curb is a forbidden sign, the white means unlimited, i.e., we can park for free, and the blue sign indicates paid places.

Scooter, motorbikes

You can rent a scooter for about a hundred euros/week (with a driving license). Driving a scooter or a motorbike is somewhat risky because of the rough traffic conditions. In the cities and resort areas, streets are full of scooters and quads. Although the wear of a helmet is obligatory, the rental companies often don't provide one.

Taxi

Taxis are not cheap; the fares are especially up in Rhodes Town. There are fixed taxi fares for longer and well-frequented distances within the island so that we can skip the stress of haggling.

You can rent a small car starting for around € 30 a day.

Public bus

Public bus transport is cheap, and you can get almost anywhere on the island.
Bus timetables are not reliable, but at least services are frequent. Exploring the island by car allows for more flexibility, but you can also see non-touristy villages and interesting natural milieus if you travel by bus.



Accomodation


In most of the mid-range hotels (including the 4-star ones), the room cleaning is superficial. With notable exceptions, the staff does not care much about the cleanliness. The neat-freaks should prepare for that. . The rooms are not sparse, but they are somewhat neglected.  
If swimming in the beautiful sea is your priority, choose a hotel in the south, close to Lindos.
When selecting a hotel, it is worth noting that the holiday resorts of Kremasti, Ixia, Iyalisos, and Trianta are affected by noise problems due to the airport's proximity.

In budget hotels, air conditioning is at extra cost.

Food

As for eating out in a mid-range restaurant, Rhodes a little bit less expensive than Crete and Corfu (numbeo.com confirms that).

In Rhodes (city), there are affordable taverns around the Town Market (Néa Agorá). As anywhere else in the world, the best restaurants are where the locals go.

" For dining, you'll find plenty of cozy restaurants at affordable prices in little sidestreets. The Old Town is full of small tavernas deep inside in the alleys. It's so romantic to enjoy local, homemade-like cuisine in a small taverna, under the roof of vines and hanging grapes."

Rhodes - lunch - e.l. photo

Rhodes - street food s.d. photo

Rhodes - Greek gyro (lamb meat) - j.k. photo

Rhodes - restaurant

Shopping


Shopping is best in Rhodes Old Town and Lindos. Sponges, soaps made from olive oil, Greek souvenirs, and clothes entice shoppers.

Almost all the shops sell Made-in-Turkey bags, clothes, sunglasses. They are cheap, which proves that they are fake international brands. Don’t be so sure that back home, people will believe that these are original. Some may laugh at you behind your back.

Rhodes - phallic souvenirs - m.h. photo

Fun

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Rhodes - Rhodes City - evening life - z.v. photo

Rhodes - Kalithea - Oasis Beach Bar k.m. photo

Rhodes - jump before you are pushed

Rhodes - Rhodes OLd Town - Hippocrates Square - k.g. photo

Public safety

The level of crime on Rhodes is very low, especially compared to Athens or Thessaloniki. Criminals don't like to act on small islands. 

Occasional thefts (by magpies) may happen if the vacationer is mindless and leaves visible valuables in the rental car seat or on the beach towel, sun chair. It is not to be excluded that the occasional thief is actually another tourist.

It is not an issue of public safety, but let us mention hereby as a matter of possible nuisance: girls or women walking alone are sometimes exposed to dating attempts by local boys and men. If the tourist girl or woman opposes this kind of overtures", a polite, but firm rejection mostly works. The Greek men are vain and can hardly stand if foreign women tell them to piss off. Nasty remarks are not to be noticed at all. Luckily, local men do not warp violence.

In case the attempt is welcome, we wish you good luck.

In fact, in Rhodes, the two foremost danger the tourist may face are traffic accidents or ankle-dislocation after a careless step on a slippery or uneven sidewalk.

Health


The weather is often windy, so the air feels cooler, and the sun's rays are still slyly intense. You don't even notice, and you're already sunburned.

Background

Rhodes - a.k. photo

Destination in brief

Rhodes (In Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos), a  Gr(541 eek vacation island is located in the southeast Mediterranean Sea, close to the Turkish riviera. 

Size:1,401 sq km  (541 sq mi) - the island is shaped like a spearhead, 79.7 km (49.5 mi) long and 38 km (24 mi) wide

Principal town: Rhodes City

Population (in 2020): 49,500 - About half of the local residents live in Rhodes Town and the northern tourist area.

2,3 million vacationers visited the island in 2019. (Better forget about 2020.)

The most upscale part of the island is basically within a triangle bordered by Rhodes Town, Faliraki, and Ixia. Most of the attractions are here. The southern part of the island is quieter, less populated.
Rhodes Town stands out among the tourist attractions. Its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lindos is the most beautiful beach but on the other side of the island. Kalithea has one of the most beautiful thermal baths in the Mediterranean.

The best sandy beaches are more to the south. Tsambika Beach is the dream beach for families with small children.
St. Paul's Bay in Lindos is one of Europe's ten best beaches for its natural and unique beauty.



Geography

Rhodes is much closer to the Turkish coast than to the Greek mainland. The Turkish coast is only 20 km (12,4 mi) from the island.

The island has many different faces. There is a tourism region in the north of the island with hotels, established beaches, shops, discos, and bars.

The south of the island and the interior areas are totally different, with small, cozy villages, untouched nature, and deserted bays. On the coast and especially in the south, vast fertile plains mark the landscape.

What is striking about Rhodes is that it has comparatively few indented coastlines. There are separate sections of rocky coastline with plenty of bays. Alternated from this type of landscape, kilometers of sandy beaches exist with a mixture of silica sand, geologically originated from relatively recent times. On the west coast, there are mainly stone or pebble-stone beaches. 

A mountain ridge passes through the entire island.  There is a complex of hills, mountains, and plateaus with some impressive peaks and all separated by hundreds of streams and gorges. Most of the island consists of limestone, sandstone, or chert. The rock layers are up to 40,000 years old.

The highest point is Mount Attavrios at 1215 m (3986 ft) on Rhodes' west side.  On a clear day, from this summit, you can see Mount Ida of Crete and the Turkish coast, which is only 18 km (11 mi) away.

Although Rhodes gets more rain than other Aegean islands, there are no rivers on the island. There is an infinite number of river beds, but they dry out in the summer months. There is neither a natural lake on the island, as  Apolaika in the south is just a freshwater reservoir.



Rhodes - Prasonisi Beach (kite surfer's paradise) - where two seas meet k.m. photo

Climate

Sunshine is quasi guaranteed in Rhodes from late June to early September. The wind typically blows all over the island of Rhodes, and this relieves the heat.

The northern part is very windy, so you can sunbathe on those beaches, but hardly swimming because there are always big waves.

In the eastern part of the island (like at Faliraki), winds are milder, and along the sandy beaches, seawater is calm and crystal clear.

August is typically the hottest month. Even in September, the temperature is just over 30C (86F), and the water is warm enough for bathing. The west coast of the island is windier than the east. At the beginning of May, there is no real beach time yet, even though it can be 25C (77F) daytime.  You can sunbathe, but the sea is too cold. It is already cool in shady places, and the winds are more potent than in summer. May, on the other hand, is excellent for those who primarily want to go hiking.

History

A siege of Rhodes in the 3rd century BC is the origin of a legendary monument. Inhabitants of Rhodes had erected a gigantic statue (32 m) of the god Helios: the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the World's Seven Wonders. The giant figure existed 66 years only, as an earthquake struck it down. The Colossus stood at the entrance to the port and let boats pass under his legs. Allegedly the ruins remained visible for nine centuries. It took no less than 900 camels to bring their bronze and iron pieces to Palestine, to a metal merchant who bought them.

In the classical period (5th century BC), a modern city has grown up from scratch: Rhodes. The new town, ever more powerful on the sea, asserted its independence. One of the successors of Alexander the Great, Demetrios Poliorcetes, tried to invade the city in 305 BC. but failed to get through the city walls.

From ancient times, Rhodes was a significant regional maritime power. The three cities of Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialyssos formed a military federation that dominated, controlled maritime routes between West and East.

On the 11th-12th century, when the Ottoman expanded in the Eastern Mediterranean, the island was a kind of outpost of Christendom. Byzantium ceded Rhodes to the Genoese, which then offered the island to the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John,  driven out from Jerusalem, the Holy Land.

From 1309 to 1522, this military-religious order, headed by great masters of various nationalities, gave Rhodes particular importance, but the Ottoman pressure more and more tightened. In 1523, after a long siege, Suleiman the Magnificent occupied Rhodes, and 180 surviving knights escaped to Malta.

Weakened Ottomans gave up their rule over Rhodes in 1912 and were replaced by Italy. Under Italian rule, the Jews of the island lived relatively safe until the Germans occupied the island in September 1943. Deportations of 1,661 men, women, and children, from Rhodes to concentration camps were the last conducted by the Germans in Greece.

Not until  1948 that the Greek flag flew over the medieval city.

People

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Rhodes - donkey rider

Rhodes - offline meeting - a.m. photo

Gastronomy

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Rhodes - moussaka (eggplant lasagna) - j.k. photo

Rhodes - sweets - j.k. photo

Attractions

Old Town

Rhodes - Castle of the Old Town - i.b. photo

Beaches of Rhodes

Rhodes - Kallithea Beach - j.k. photo

Rhodes - Tsampika Beach - s.l. photo

Rhodes - Limni Beach - c.e. photo

Rhodes - Halki Island - Pondamos Beach - s.l. photo

Rhodes - a beach in Rhodes City - d.c. photo

Lindos

Rhodes - Lindos - s.l. photo

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