Mary Poole, manager of our travel agents in Ipswich, recently visited the Greek island of Rhodes on a self-catering holiday. Here’s what she got up to during her eventful trip.
(Hotel names/Ship name):Cosmos Maris
Duration: 7 nights
The Cosmos Maris was a two-star hotel with five-star service. We had a studio apartment with a huge balcony overlooking the garden and views of Lardos and the sea. Everything was exceptionally clean and it was a very well-proportioned room. The hotel is a family run property and George, the manager, knows all guests by name. His customer service, and that of his small team of staff, is what probably accounts for the high number of repeat guests at this hotel.
We booked a basic package on a self-catering basis with standard transfers included. We hired a car for three days to explore the Island. We visited the following:
Epta Piges (Seven Springs) – where you can walk through water in a pitch black tunnel, see a stunning waterfall and admire the seven springs themselves. This was a lovely, peaceful place to visit for the whole family and the tunnel was good fun.
Valley of Butterflies – We were a little early in the season to see many butterflies but were lucky enough to see a handful. It’s a tranquil, beautiful area that really takes you back to nature. We walked through to a small monastery. However, there were lots of steps so it may not be suited to everyone.
Rhodes Town – We arrived late afternoon and were surprised how easy it was to park, although I think we were just lucky. Rhodes Old Town is a must; the architecture is as good as it looks in the guide books. We wandered around quaint little streets and found a rooftop bar with some great panoramic views over the whole city. Whilst the restaurants along the main areas are all touting for business, it’s worth going down a side lane where you’ll find cheaper, more authentic places to choose from.
We also visited a couple of castles. These were Kritinia, where we sat and watched the sun set, and Monolithos, which has some picturesque views.
Ancient Kamiros Ruins – These ruins were once one of the three most powerful cities of Rhodes. So many of the ruins are still intact you can really visualise how it would have been. Top tip – don’t wear flip flops!
We saw a handful of Monasteries – the best one being Monastery of Filerimos. This was definitely worth the drive off the beaten track to find it.
We also visited a couple of beaches. Prassonissi is a huge beach where the two seas meet. Here, we walked right out to see the light house, which offered some great views for a photographer. We also went to Founi Beach, which was well worth the steep, windy drive down what can really only be described as a dirt track. It was beautiful and almost deserted. We swam in the sea here.
We used the local bus to visit Lindos. I had always wanted to visit Lindos and it did not disappoint. The scenery, the views, the Acropolis, the streets and the donkeys all exceeded my expectations. It has really pretty white streets with fabulous sea views. The Acropolis is very popular so I would recommend arriving early in the day before the crowds.
Lardos Village – We walked into Lardos village one evening. There is a good selection of local restaurants and cocktail bars. Once a week, they close the village square to traffic for their village Greek night, but I wasn’t lucky enough to experience this as we were too early in the season. However, I have it on good authority it’s not a night to be missed.
Lindos was everything I expected it to be and more. I also really enjoyed driving around the island and just seeing where we ended up. We even managed to drive through a village festival and had to stop for five minutes to let a heard of goats cross the road in front of us.
I would thoroughly recommend Rhodes as a destination. There is so much to see and do on this Greek Island. We crammed a lot into a few days and I will definitely be going back to revisit some areas and explore others we didn’t have time for.
Self-catering in Greece was very easy. There is such a large choice of local food to choose from. Supermarkets were reasonably priced too.
Must see? The Old Town in Rhodes Town. Wander down the Street of Knights or enjoy the view from higher up
Must do? Take a donkey ride up to the Acropolis in Lindos
Must try? Local cuisine down a side street
If you would like to plan your own family holiday, similar to the one Mary enjoyed, we would love to help you find the best deal. Visit our Ipswich or Woodbridge travel agents or call the TravelQuest team on 0800 021 3237.