Rhodes is an island paradise in the Dodecanese, and is the fourth largest island in Greece. It sits low in the South Aegean region of the Mediterranean, 18km off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes has been inhabited by Greeks from the 15th Century BC. BC. Just consider that for a second. It was once famous for the Colossus Of Rhodes, a huge statue of Helios that was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world (see Titan of Braavos, GOT fans).
We were on Rhodes for six nights to shed the big city life at the start of our summer Europe trip. We chose the tiny beach town of Stegna as our base, spending our days relaxing beachside, swimming and exploring the other towns on the island.
We landed at Rhodes Diagoras airport courtesy of a direct Ryan Air flight from London Stansted for £48 (€61.50) each, although we each paid an additional £15 (€19.20) for the privilege of taking 15kg of luggage. The flight took 3.5 hours, landing at 12:35.
Being an island, the other option available for getting to Rhodes is ferry. There are numerous companies connecting Turkey, mainland Greece and the Greek Islands, I would recommend using Direct Ferries to plan your route, then booking through the carrier directly, as it will be cheaper.
From the airport we caught a local bus to Rhodes town, which cost €2.30 each and took 20 minutes. Once there we caught the 14:30 bus to Archangelos (€3.30 each, 45 minutes), and were kindly collected by our host in Stegna. There is an Archangelos to Stegna bus once a day, but we never saw it. The other options between the towns are either taxi (if you can find/call one), hitch-hiking, or walking the 2.5km up or down the hill.
Local buses are regular and reliable, and are a good way to get around the island if you don’t want to hire a car or scooter.
Hint – Ferries aren’t cheap, but they are a nice way to travel and it’s often easier getting to a seaport than an airport.
The whole reason we went to Stegna is because we found a little dream Airbnb cottage right on the beach. Six nights cost £216 (€269.50) for both of us and we were literally 10 metres from the sand. Check it out Here. Other bnb’s in Stegna range from around €20 for a private room and €30 for an apartment. Hotels in Stegna start from €30 per night for a double room.
There are hostels in Rhodes town (€20) and in Faliraki (€12), but hotels and bnb’s are more common.
Hotels across the island range widely depending on location and quality. Double rooms start from €20 per night and prices can skyrocket with extreme luxury available.
As for where to stay: Stegna is a wonderful option if you are looking for a peaceful small town holiday, although prepare to rent a car if you don’t want to walk and bus a lot. Rhodes and Lindos are the main towns for tourists, and are both great, although Lindos has better beaches. Other smaller towns like Faliraki also offer plenty of options.
Rhodes is all about sun, sea, food and history. Visit a mixture of sand and pebble beaches, each with their own unique charm and seafront restaurants and when you’ve had your fill: explore ruins and sites ancient beyond comprehension.
Rhodes town itself is centred around the medieval city that gives the island its name, and you can happily spend a day exploring inside the world heritage site. Narrow streets, mosques, fountains, towers, and squares crammed with shops and restaurants, are surrounded by a perfectly preserved moat. Grab a map, enter through one of the impressive gates and wander among another age.
Rhodes harbour and peninsular offer numerous beaches and places to swim, and outside the medieval city are more modern style Greek restaurants and cafes.
Further down the island is beautiful Lindos, a stunning town of white buildings underneath an ancient Acropolis. Climb the hill and check out the Acropolis (€12 entry), with buildings from the Byzantine period and the temple of Athena; it’s an absolute marvel. Both the main beach and St. Paul’s bay are worth a visit and a swim. The bus from Rhodes to Lindos costs €5.60 one way, but we paid €2.30 as we went from Archangelos. We visited for the day and felt we saw most of what was there.
When we went (late April), Stegna was a wonderful sleepy beach town and we were almost the only tourists there. There’s not a lot to do but eat, drink and swim, but that’s all you need, right? Eat at Stegna Kozas, Ogialos, and Perigiali Parathinalos; a meal for two including local wine will be somewhere between €25 and €35, and these places all impressed with excellent food.
Olives, tomatoes, aubergine, cucumber, seafood, tzatziki, feta, halloumi, honey, wine and ouzo. Rhodes has fantastic local produce and I recommend trying it all as much as possible. We ate at restaurants three out of six nights and for the rest of the time cooked at home, had picnics or ate takeaways (gyros & souvlaki).
Hint – The time of year will have a huge effect on your visit to Rhodes. Late April was predominantly quiet and peaceful, being outside the season for package tourists and cruise ships. However a lot of places weren’t open yet and we were unable to rent a scooter. I would say May or September would be ideal.
Rhodes for six nights;
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