A week in Rhodes, Greece

A week in Rhodes, Greece

When me and a group of friends decided to go on holiday during summer 2019, we didn’t have many doubts about our destinations. We all wanted to visit Greece end enjoy some sun, sea and nice food, to have a break from the English weather and pubs.
The main problem has been choosing where to go in Greece, in face all the islands seemed wonderful. The final choices were Crete, Zante and Santorini, the problem was that some were too far too reach from the main airports, some too wide to explore and some too expensive. Our research came to an end when a friend recommended Rhodes.
It is great for every age, kind of trip and company. There were so many families heading there in our same plane but also groups of teenagers. We were 5 people, so decided to rent a house through AirBnb (link here) and rented a car from Manuel, the same guy that owned the house. I can definitely recommend him because we didn’t have any problem and really enjoyed how peaceful the place was, we even had a barbecue structure in the garden we could use.
 
Here I will put an itinerary you can follow to see the main attractions of the island; we spent there 10 days, so found the time to do everything at our own peace, relaxing and “wasting” a day from time to time to just lay on the beach and enjoy some food and nice cocktails, but a week could be enough to see most of the things Rhodes has to offer.
Day 1
 
Even if you decide to book your accommodation somewhere else, I would advice you spend a day in Stegna, a small town on the beach surrounded by mountains, the water is extremely clear and there are some spots on the beach that stayed quiet even in August, so there is plenty of space to relax if you don’t like too touristic and crowded places. Also, just 10 minutes driving from Stegna, you will find Archangelos, a slightly larger city where you will find supermarkets and amazing family run markets where you can get fresh fish.
Day 2
 
We decided to rent a boat for a day to explore the cost and we found online the website of Kolymbia Watersports (link here). We booked through their website and paid €250 to have a small boat from 10 in the morning to 6pm (gas included). It has been amazing and it is definitely something to try, you can choose it heading to Faliraki (towards Rhodes Town direction) or Lindos. We decided to go south, but because we stopped many times to snorkel and had lunch along the cost, at Kapetanios, we didn’t manage to reach Lindos, that’s why it is important you keep an eye on Google Maps to calculate the distances while you navigate. 
Also, be careful with the sun, we were 5 people and took turns to be under the boat cover’s shadow, still at the end of the day we were all completely burnt by the sun.
Day 3
 
If you are staying in Stegna and want an easy day you can visit a site called Seven Springsthere you can explore some pretty cool paths lost in the nature. In fact, the more you leave the entrance behind the less tourists you will encounter, I would advice to get lost walking in the wood and following the waterways.
One thing I want to tell you if you decide to visit this place, is that first thing after entering the site you will find a line of tourists entering a pretty small cave and you will have to walk quite a lot in the dark, underground, in line with many many other people, so if tight places are not for you, don’t enter at all, because once you are in it’s almost impossible to turn around and go back, don’t worry, you can still visit the springs, you just need to look for the open air path.
Day 4
 
One of the must see in Rhodes is definitely Lindos and St. Paul’s Bay. We decided to visit the beach first to avoid the crowd and the strong afternoon sun and it came out to be a great decision, because when we got there it was almost empty and we could choose the best spot to lay down. Here snorkelling has been quite exiting because in correspondence with the opening between the two stripes of rocks that allows the water to go in and out, you can clearly see the depth dash and feel the flow pulling you (reason why I wouldn’t advice to go that far if you are not extremely comfortable in swimming in high waters, I do it since I was a kid and even with flippers I struggled a bit).
 
After a relaxing morning on the beach we moved on to explore Lindos as well and we found it absolutely picturesque, with its white houses and boutiques, but unfortunately being August it was also overcrowded with tourists and extremely hot, which made the visit a bit extenuating. The highlight of it has definitely been the Akropolis, you have to walk (or ride a donkey) up the mountain that surrounds the town and to pay a small fee, but once in the view is amazing, you can see this completely white town meeting a sea of a deep blue colour that creates an amazing contrast for the eyes.
Day 5
 
At this point we decided to take a break from the beach and headed to the Valley of Butterflies, an absolutely amazing nature reserve were you can admire thousand and thousand of butterflies. You will follow a wooden path while being surrounded by nature, trees and a waterway, butterflies will be all around, not really fling on you, so if you are not a fan of insects all over you can still do it, keeping a safe distance between you and them.
Along the path you will see some staff members checking on tourists, because you have to remember you are in a natural environment that is home to so many creatures and it is a good habit to learn to respect them, without disturbing the butterflies for a cool picture throwing stones or sticks as I have seen some people doing.
 
After this we proceeded towards the Akropolis of Kamiros, which has been absolutely one of my favourite places in Rhodes. It is an old acropolis right in front of the sea, it is huge and you can see the structure of what use to be the town, with the houses’ walls, the streets and the city’s structures. Here there weren’t many people either so it has been nice and relaxing to merge ourselves in the past.
 
Then, in the evening we headed to Profitis Ilias, a 798-metre-high mountain on which you can find Villa de Vecchi, an old property that used to be owned by Mussolini and is now abandoned. Here you can park along the street in front of a big white hotel, next to it there is a play garden area for kids, after walking a bit, on the other side of the road you will find some stairs going up, from here onwards you will find many abandoned building and you can have fun exploring the whole area in any way you like. In fact there aren’t many tourists that push themselves to this site and it is not an official attraction, so it is completely free (just pay attention to the old rickety structures). Once here we also decided to climb the mountain all the way to its top and enjoyed the view from there.
Day 6
 
Back on the more popular sites, we visited Anthony Quinn Bay, near Faliraky, here the water is quite high everywhere and the seabed is rocky, so it will not be a place for everyone, but the location is definitely worth a visit! Also, remember that if you pay the sunbed ticket here you will be able to reuse it on any other Faliraki beach as well, so if you decide to move somewhere else the money won’t be wasted! Indeed, in case you are a fan of water sports, I would recommend moving to the more easily accessible beaches in Faliraki, where you will find plenty of choices, for example we chose to do some paragliding with Sotos watersports and it was absolutely amazing.
Day 7
 
Last, but not least, you obviously have to save a day to see Rhodes! The main things to explore are in the old town: the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, the Archaeological Museum, Our Lady of the Castle Church and the Street of the Knights. After walking around this area we moved to Rhodes Acropolis as well, which is absolutely worth it and free to visit but not really comparable to the first two we saw.
If you want to stay for some nightlife as well we really liked the Hakuna Matata Tiki Barwhich becomes alive late at night.

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