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So you may have heard of the Greek Island of Rhodes, but have you heard about the many and varied excursions available?
In September 2000 my fiance and I went off on a fortnights holiday to the island. We stayed in an unfinished hotel in the resort of Trianda on the North West coast, on an all inclusive basis, all food, drinks and entertainment included. The holiday had been booked for almost a year so you can imagine our disappointment on arrival to see the hotel half built. What were we to do? Go off on excursions, that's what we did!
The first of many was to Marmaris, but that's in Turkey you may be thinking. Indeed it is! Rhodes is only an hour away from Marmaris by catamaran, a reasonably inexpensive crossing, about £15 per person. If that sounds expensive just think how much money you can save on shopping in the resort. The best buys are fake but very convincing clothing and jewellery. Your friends back home wont know the difference! The worst buys are perfumes, dont even go there! Fine fragrance for 5 minutes, cat's wee for half an hour, yuck! Of course there's Turkish Delight to be bought also, handmade and so juicy and tasty, not like the stuff in the UK. You can visit the factories and see it being made. Apple tea is another delicacy, served on the market streets and very refreshing in temperatures over 100 degrees. If you time your visit right you may even see the worldchampionship powerboat racing, each of which costs as much as an F1 racing car. We just missed it but seen them being put onto ships to go off around the world, very impressive.
Had enough of Turkey, then try Symi. Another catamarn trip away, about 45 minutes, this island is very small in width but huge in height. The first stop is the West side of the island where you can visit the monastery at Panormitis. There's only a handful of shops here and a few hotels so unless you only want somewhere to eat and sleep then this isn't the ideal holiday location, but gorgeous for a day trip. Next stop, Yialos! This is the main town on Symi, again not too much to do, but certainly more shops,hotels and restaurants here. If you're a keen hiker then you will love it here. I wasn't so sure, as I like my facilities a bit more modern. Symi is like stepping back in the past, except for the lines of catamarans and boats in the harbour. Best buys here are sponges, yes sponges, go to the shop overlooking the harbour with the the bearded man ushering you in. Inside he'll give groups of people a talk on how the sponges are collected from the bottom of the sea, and no they dont use air tanks, it's just dive in and weigh yourself down, and pick up as many as you can, a little too scary for me but highly enjoyable. He had me laughing and almost falling over buckets of sponges! Not really any worst buys here, just really a lack of different types of souveniers.
Back on Rhodes itself, why not try scuba diving! I had never dived in my life before, or even snorkelled, but I had a ball under the sea. You can join trips at Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes Town which take you round to Kalithea, an old Roman spa resort. This was such a beautiful place to dive and so handy as there's a beach, a diving platform, the old spa site itself and a restaurant, 5 minutes walk away. We seen octopus in a cave, shrimps clinging onto our legs, and fish, fish and more fish gliding across the sea bed. Fantastic!!!
Not into diving, try Lindos! The hardest sightseeing I've ever done! You have to park at the top of one hill just off the main road around the island, then walk down a steep road to the very bottom of the hill, then....yes you guessed to see the main site of the resort you need to climb up an even bigger hill. The walk to the Acropolis is not for the faint hearted, if you dont fancy it though there is another option, a donkey ride! Poor little souls, they looked so tired after trudging up with a 20 stone man on their backs just to have to take another back down. Lindos is very beautiful and a must see but wear sensible shoes please! Best buys are local lace, something for gran back home! Worst buys, watch out in the cafe's on the narrow streets. Two orange juices cost us £6!!!
Just a quick comment on Petaloudes, the Butterfly Valley, I didn't think I had a phobia of butterflies until I was half way through the valley when a breeze made thousands of them flutter there wings and surround me. In my ears, mouth and anywhere else they could manage there they were, never again.
Well I hope I've given you a few ideas on what to do in Rhodes that's a bit different.
Been to Rhodes on my very first holiday abroad in 1994, this gave me the travel bug. We now go around three times a year on holiday, spoilt or what?
My wife Belinda9 has wrote an op on Rhodes and the dangers of going alone. I had just met her then and she went alone, the year after she took me there to face up to her trauma.
She had a most enjoyable time in a different situation.
Cazz 13.06.2001 09:31
Much of the interior and south of the island is truly beautiful too, but you really need to hire a car to explore it.
leahslad 12.06.2001 15:00
ugh, I wish people wouldn't make my mouth water with opinions like this, I just plain can't afford it :( I'll have to start really saving my Ciao money :) Steve