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Last year we were unsure where to go for our holiday so off to the travel agents we went for a last minute deal – 149.00 each the travel agent said – Rhodes for 1 week in June. Sounded wonderful, but we didn’t know where we were going to end up.
We got on the plane and landed at Rhodes airport. “Where are we going to?” I asked. “St Paul’s” came the reply. I had never heard of it.
Onto the bus we got and came to a little tiny village about ¾ of an hour from Rhodes town. “Lindos” the coach driver called and we were huddled off the bus and lead through a maze of tiny houses and apartments, all similar looking. “Oh dear” we thought!
I must admit that on first sight I was not too sure about Lindos. My previous holiday had been on the party island of Ibiza and this was such a stark contrast. However, after a few hours of being there I began to fall in love with this village. It is so romantic! There are two glorious sandy beaches and a little cove at St Paul’s which is ideal for snorkelling. By evening we ate in roof-top restaurants and by day we relaxed on the beach and drank in the bars in the village. The Greek people were extremely friendly and my favourite bar was the “Red Rose” in the centre of the village.
Lindos has been declared a monument for preservation, thereby retaining most if its traditional colour. Every building is white and it contains many houses dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th century which are known as “houses of the captains”. Up until recently many of these houses were deserted but they have been renovated with money earned from tourism. Building of hotels within the village is strictly forbidden so if you stay in Lindos it is likely that you will stay in one of these basically equipped buildings. Our self-catering room just contained two single beds, pushed together to make a double, a wardrobe, sink and two hobs for cooking, and an en-suite shower and toilet. I do, however, recall seeing a couple of modern hotels just on the outskirts of the village.
Lindos is also home to the Acropolis. The Acropolis is a triangular-like rock which stands at 116 metres high. The monuments at the top of the Acropolis are shielded by walls built by the Knights in the 14th century and the oldest things to be found here date back to approximately 3000 BC. There are some 300 steps to walk up to the Acropolis but it is definitely worth the effort to see such the ruins of the monuments such as the Castle of the Knights, and the remains of temples. I would however advise that you go and see it either early morning or late afternoon as the heat does become stifling.
Rhodes town stands on the same site as the ancient town, although is probably slightly smaller nowadays. Construction of the ancient city began in 408 BC so the new town has history stretching back over 2,400 years.
Rhodes is home to golden, sandy beaches and plenty of hotels, restaurants, greek tavernas, bars and nightclubs.
The medieval town is still in use by some 6,000 people who work and live in the buildings. It is by no means deserted. The medieval town is divided up into two parts which was made up in the times of the Knights. The northern part is known as the Castello or Collachium. This contains the official buildings. The southern part is known as Chora – this is where the Greeks, Europeans and Jews used to live.
I could write all day about the history of Rhodes town and still not capture the essence of it. Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes Town runs regular trips to Marmaris, Athens, and is also easily accessible from Turkey. (So, if you're thinking about a day trip!!!)
Falaraki is the party capital of Rhodes and is definitely for the serious clubber. 5km of golden beaches backed with modern hotels and apartments, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and shops. If you are in Faliraki be sure to check out the water park, plenty of water slides and pools to pass the day away beside. However, it does become quite crowded and you will probably have to queue for a while. A day at the water park will cost you in the region of 17.00 pounds.
Ixia is another modern resort full of hotels, bars and restaurants. Not as hustle bustle as Faliraki, but definitely not for a peaceful relaxing holiday.
RHODES IN A NUTSHELL
So there you have it. Rhodes in a nutshell. On top of this you have glorious beaches with plenty of water sports – water-skiing, windsurfing, yatching, sub-aqua. The local cuisine is excellent in my experience. The most popular dishes are moussaka, stuffed vine leaves, souvlaki (shish-kebab) and meat balls. However, you can quite easily find burger and chips if you wish.
The locals are extremely friendly and helpful.
The Greek currency has now become the Euro. I did find that it was perhaps a little more expensive than I had imagined, but saying that it was no more expensive than eating and drinking at home.
The weather is fabulous. We went in June and at 10.30am it was 34 degrees in the shade, so stock up on your high factor sun lotion.
As I said earlier, we only paid 149.00 each for a week in Rhodes as a last minute booking for a self-catering apartment, so it by no means will break the bank.