Rhodes sits in the south eastern Aegean Sea, part of the Greek Dodecanese islands. It has a great history (as most of Greece does) and in ancient times was mostly known for the Colossus of Rhodes. In which, you arrive in the cities port via sailing between his legs. Now, Rhodes is a fairly touristy place with New Town lined with high end shops, a Starbucks, and marina full of yachts (each, in my opinion, a pseudo- status symbol of self-worth). And Old Town, with its too many restaurants and every vendor selling everything you don’t need. Except for the medieval shops, everyone needs medieval weapons and armor. Am I right?
We took a flight from Crete to Rhodes as the ferry schedule was too sporadic. After getting our bags, it was easy enough to pick out the city bus that took us in to town. Simply by asking locals we were told when to get off the bus for our hotel. “Down there, left” we’re told. However, this is where things got difficult. Okay, we said. Walking forward then left we look, then look again. Can’t find it. For all my claims of having an amazing internal compass, Rhodes totally put me to shame. We didn’t just get lost. We got REALLY lost. Spending about two hours with full packs on, we wondered around New Town and the edge of Old Town. What’s even worse is we were so close at one point but turned the wrong way and ended up on the other side of the city. Even when I found free wifi, checked my google maps, plotted my course. I would veer off somehow. We ended up close again and asked almost everyone local we could find. Then down, what I swear is the narrowest ally way in New Town, was the small sign for our hotel, The New Village Inn.
Right around the corner from our hotel was Izzy’s favorite restaurant of the whole trip, Koykos Café. Excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The décor is as traditional as the food. Check out the trip advisor reviews. We grabbed our morning latte’s here before going out on the town. It’s hard not to be in beach mode while on the Greek Islands. So we spent one full afternoon just hanging out on the east side of town beach. Getting annoyed again having to pay for using the beach chairs. 8€ just seems like a little too much for a dirty partially working lounger…. Yet we’re on the hook so we pay.
Lonely Planet recommends a restaurant in old town called Marco Pollo. On google maps it looks easy enough to get to. Well, once again Rhodes schools me in my navigation skills. It took us TWO hours wondering around Old Town to find this restaurant. Even asking the shop workers, they had never heard of the place. Using free wifi, could still not end up down the correct ally. It’s not next to ANY other shops, homes, or anything really. However, once seated the food was very tasty and the wine matched perfectly. The rest of our time was spent checking out a few other restaurants, browsing the shops in Old Town and making our way down to Lindos to see the acropolis.
Lindos is only 55km south of Rhodes Town, and easy to find off the main road. Parking is generally free if you go left towards the beaches. Navigating the small town can make you dizzy but no matter which path you take you’ll end up walking the old stairway to the acropolis (or pay to take a mule) It is crowded but really cool was Rhodian warship cut into the rock at the foot of the steps leading to the acropolis.
While it has great views of the surrounding area it lacks signage and general facts about what has been excavated. However, after seeing the site both Izzy and realized we left our bathing suites at our hotel in Rhodes town. So we purchased some relatively cheap ones and hung out on the beach for the rest of the day. The beach in Lindos is popular and scenic, the water clear and clam. So we chilled and let the day go by. You can take a ferry from Rhodes Town as well if driving in Greece isn’t your thing.
From the sounds of it, we didn’t get along with Rhodes. But with great food and its medieval roots still in good condition it’s hard not to find this place attractive. So we got lost a lot, ask any traveler if that’s the worst thing that’s happened to them. Now I’ll admit it. My compass isn’t perfect. In fact, you may say it’s even cracked…. but only this time….and until the next.