There’s more to the Greek island of Rhodes than just fresh feta salads and cheerful traditional dancing. As a Photography Executive at Thomas Cook, I discovered seven surprising wonders whilst on a photo shoot at this dazzling destination.
If you’re looking for an authentic Greek holiday that’s a little bit extraordinary, here’s the best of Rhodes, what not to miss and where you can explore to your heart’s content.
1) Enlightening Lindos
Bright whitewashed houses on the east coast are huddled across the hilltop, and lead the way to the most magnificent view of the acropolis in Lindos. It’s a stunning backdrop that still impresses the locals here, who stop in their tracks and soak up the picture. It reminds me of the white patches found on the brown coat of the famous deer, which is a beloved symbol here in Rhodes, the Dama-dama Deer of the Dodecanese.
2) Striking St Paul’s
On the South side of Lindos, St Paul’s beach has a breathtaking bay with a story behind it; during a terrible storm lightning struck the rocks open to reveal the bay. There really is a charming feel at every turn due to the island’s rich history. You can hardly imagine any stormy weather with the bay soaked in bright sunlight.
3) Mysterious Mandraki
Mandraki is the island’s oldest harbour and can be found in Rhodes Town. If you make the effort to watch the sunrise here, don’t forget your camera; I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
Standing with pride at the entrance to the harbour are two fallow deer – a male and female, and silhouetted against a dramatic sky they’re fascinating to see. It’s heart-warming to think the Colossus of Rhodes once stood in this place many millennia earlier. It was here that Helios, the huge statue of the Greek God of the sun, once stood; one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.
Rhodes Town actually has two harbours, the Mandraki with the deer and a larger one where ships anchor with three bold and beautiful disused windmills as the backdrop.
There’s even a sleek statue of three dolphins to see as well.
4) Calming Kalithea
Kalithea Springs was once a Thermal Spa and is still open as an attraction today, due to its stunning architecture and lush pine tree scenery. It was so laid-back and relaxing just meandering along its mosaics. Kalithea offers the great combination of inviting tavernas amongst peaceful surroundings and a private mini-beach, for an extraordinary spa experience.
5) Sweet Honey
Rhodes is an idyllic place to take a holiday, the mountains are flourishing with wild herbs and flowers as well as brimming with pine forests due to all the sunshine. It’ll come as no surprise that the honey made here is prized as some of the best in the world, especially the thyme honey, my favourite of all the Rhodes honey flavours. Talagoutes is a popular local dessert and you should try some to sample just how mouthwatering the honey tastes. They’re pancakes dripping with glowing honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds too.
6) Shoppers’ Paradise
You’re spoilt for choice for shopping in Rhodes as you’ll find both the familiar modern shops like Nike, a brand name inspired by the Greek Goddess of Victory, and friendly traditional markets. Along the endless stalls you can find all kinds of handmade souvenirs to take home to your friends and family. For me, Rhodes ticks all the boxes for a great holiday destination, with plenty to impress.
7) Fused Flavours
There’s no end of choice for even the fussiest and healthiest of eaters here, with many flavours on offer such as cinnamon and cumin spices. The flavours of Rhodes cooking have adapted a blend of cultures due to its rich past of invaders and settlers. I found Rhodian herbs outside the restaurants and within the spa scene too, where you can book a relaxing massage using the natural goodness of local herbs such as fresh chamomile, calendula, hibiscus, orange and mallow blossoms.
For a truly unique holiday experience, you now have seven more reasons to discover the wonderful Greek island of Rhodes – you may uncover even more breathtaking moments yourself so remember your camera! As you can see with such a rich history, you’ll be surprised at every twist and turn.
If you’re lucky enough to have travelled here already, has Rhodes revealed any other inspirational aspects for you? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.