Listed at number 255 in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, Rhodes is definitely worth the visit, but just don’t stay for too long. By the end of one week, we had exhausted all activities we were interested in and also, all of our budget. I would highly recommend visiting Rhodes as a stop-off point whilst travelling around Greece or Europe, or even as a destination listed on a cruise itinerary. Three days is plenty enough to see the sights; more than five and boredom sets in.
As I discovered during this trip, I am not the type of person who can while away the day at the side of the pool – I get hot and frustrated; I start to crave movement and would honestly much rather see something of the country I’m visiting than the hotels communal bath tub. So we looked into day trips and external activities to satisfy our needs.
Having said that, the aqua aerobics class was a favourite – even if the pool was a bit nippy at 9 in the morning!
Our first night consisted of dinner at a wonderful place called ‘Dali’ – it’s a cafe/bar/restaurant with the nicest staff, food and house white wine I’ve had in a long time! We ventured from one side of the island to the other to find our way to the casino. You have to sign up as a member to enter but it’s worth it if only for the €2.00 drinks! (Soft drinks are free so you only pay for the spirit). Casino Rodos is a bit of a time warp; the carpet is old school, the machines have seen better days and the place is full of second-hand smoke! It’s odd to watch someone light a cigarette at the roulette table.
After indulging into the night and finding ourselves in a bar at the end of ‘the strip’, it was time to head home and grab a gyros on the way. We returned to Dali the next morning for iced coffee’s and fresh juices to mend our poorly heads.
I am partial to a beach club, there’s no denying it, BUT when the beds are only €5’s more than the basic ones on the beach AND they come with a towel AND the most perfect location opposite the diving board then I think it’s a choice which everyone should consider. (Plus, regulated toilets – need I say more?)
The sun beds provided on the beach will set you back by €5 (at the beach club Ronda they are €10), but unless you want to bring a lilo and then a towel to relax on, you will end up paying either way because the beach is pebbled and not in a smooth way, but rather an excruciatingly painful way.
The old town is without a doubt one of the best sight seeing spots on the island. The cobbled streets are lined with independent boutiques and knock-off handbags. There is a lot of leather available (I haven’t researched into it but I feel like there may be a historical reason for that), so if you happen to be looking for a quality belt or a new bag, then this is the right destination for you.
There are lots of restaurants for you to choose from, our personal favourite was a vegan & vegetarian restaurant called To Marouli, I liked it so much I walked away with one their recipe books.
We took a day trip to Lindos which is renowned for its’ winding streets and the donkeys which will carry you up the hill from the harbour to the shops (huge animal exploitation, with tourists too heavy to be riding donkeys. They’re also out in the midday heat and are worked tirelessly – my heart went out to them and I refused to fund such a cruel business). Unfortunately this greeting really tainted my time at Lindos, but we were only there for a few hours (and once again, this was enough time to see all of the sites before heading back to Rhodes).
You can climb up to the Acropolis (possibly the most interesting thing to do in Lindos) but beware that they charge you before you actually see the Acropolis – we walked up to the entry gate and appreciated the view from there.
Overall, exploring Rhodes was lovely – it has charm and charisma; but I think it’s more suited to the package holiday persona than the travellers. I’m glad I’ve seen it, but I probably won’t be back.