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Faliraki is a resort on the Greek Island of Rhodes. Commonly referred to as "full-of-crap-y", it has had a lot of bad press recently; first, a fly-on-the-wall TV programme was filmed there, featuring British youngsters and their drunken, loutish behaviour, and more recently, there have been reports about the seedier side of the resort: drugs, robbery, rape.
Unfortunately, none of this had reached the ears of my husband or me, by the time that we booked a last-minute break to the resort! Hmmm, we wondered why it was so impossibly cheap?
The flight to Rhodes took around four and a half hours, being one of the furthest Greek islands from Britain. The transfer to our accommodation by coach was relatively pain-free, only taking just over an hour, which was less than the 90 minutes advertised in the brochure. This might have been because it was the early hours of the morning when we arrived. Fortunately, we were staying in an apartment block a little way out of town, where the coach was able to pull up outside - unlike some of the smaller studios on the way, which were set back from the road up unmade tracks, where unsuspecting fellow tourists had been unceremoniously dumped with their luggage and a dazed look on their faces.
Our apartments were almost at the top of a steep hill out of Faliraki. This meant that we had a fantastic view from our balcony across the town and down to the sea, where we could sit and have an ouzo, watching the sun set. It also meant that it was very quiet, and although there was a mix of people staying in the apartments, including some who had definitely come for the more hedonistic pursuits, we were able to have a very low-key, enjoyable holiday. The downside, of course, was that it was a 20 minute walk down to the resort centre and the beach.
Faliraki has a long beach of coarse, greyish sand, which is not unattractive. However, we only actually ventured onto Faliraki beach once during our week-long holiday. We travelled to see the sights of Rhodes town, Lindos and Kalithea, which was very easy and cheap by bus from Faliraki town centre, or by taxi. If you go into Rhodes town, you will see that there is a large taxi "tariff board" which lists exactly what you should pay for various journeys, so you will not be ripped off. Your hotel should be able to check these prices for you too, before you set off. Kalithea is a beautiful sheltered rocky bay, which is a real sun-trap, just a couple of miles further along the coast from Faliraki, towards Rhodes town. A "bathing platform" runs around it, with sunbeds and parasols for hire, and this was the best place for sunbathing and swimming - perfect for snorkelling, and you could also dive from a fixed platform there.
In Faliraki itself, at one end of the beach, there were a number of rides, which would not have looked out of place in Blackpool. There was a "sling-shot", which was a big ball that people sat in and were catapulted into the air inside, and another ride where you lay on your front in a canopy, a bit like in a hang-glider, and then you were winched up high and back, and let go to swing back and forth. This looked quite fun, and there were plenty of people queuing up after dark to have a go, but I never quite got the courage.
FOOD & DRINK
One of the main things that we enjoy about visitng Greece is the excellent food. Unfortunately, there was not much of it in Faliraki! We knew we were in trouble when, after a relaxing first day by the pool, we ordered some Stifado, and were told "Are you sure? It's Greek, you know". This set the tone for the rest of the resort, where you could buy burgers and chips, or pizza in most of the establishments on the main streets. We did find a couple of good tavernas in some of the side streets, but even they were more formal restaurants, than traditional tavernas.
So, that's the food…how about the DRINK. Well, the main streets in Faliraki are called "Bar Street" and "Club Street", so that should give you some idea. Plenty of bars serving cheap cocktails and playing loud music. We never saw any trouble, but then, as newly-weds, we were not out late when the town started really buzzing! (I have given the resort's nightlife an "average" rating below, but if you enjoy clubbing all night you would probably rate it higher than this).
We did manage to have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday in Faliraki, but I'm sure that it would appeal more to younger singles. It seems "spoiled" by development to me, but I'm sure that there are those who love it, and who am I to insist that Greece should stay in a time-warp.
I have just come back from Crete and have to agree with Torr that this is the fate befalling a lot of Greece. Its the same on Crete and it seems to be ruled by the young. means i will have to go further afield to get away from people. I can however recommend Kefalonia, still retainiing much of its anonymity from the tourists and the young. Good review. Tony
torr 15.08.2007 14:33
Alas, I fear this is the fate of most of the Mediterranean, apart from the bits that will be reserved for pretentious, expensive hideouts for the rich. Glad you managed to salvage some enjoyment from it anyway. Duncan x