Rhodes: Greek ruins, astronomy, springs & waterfalls

It’s currently a very rainy day in England and it’s safe to say that Autumn is officially here. Although part of me is looking forward to snuggling up indoors, another part of me is already reminiscing over my recent holiday to the sunny island of Rhodes in Greece! I was lucky enough to fit in a third holiday abroad this year and the countdown to this one was particularly exciting after only booking it three weeks before we went.

Faliraki

We were pretty spoilt for choice as there are clearly many places you can stay in Rhodes which will offer good nightlife, beautiful beaches and plenty of history on your doorstep, but we opted to stay in Faliraki so we could easily walk to bars and restaurants in the evenings and travel out to other cities in the day time. Faliraki is undoubtedly a tourist town and it doesn’t offer as much of a rich Greek history and culture as the other towns. However, there are a lot of nice beaches around and if you’re looking for good nightlife, this is definitely the spot with roads such as Bar Street offering a whole strip of bars.

A particularly good find for us in Faliraki was the Astronomy Cafe. This was such a unique experience and was completely different to anything I’ve ever experienced before. If you pay to do the tour, you get to go into the observatory and take turns looking through the telescope at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn. Our tour guide was so informative and it was really fascinating to learn more about these planets and the moon. You also get a beautiful view of Faliraki as it’s quite a walk up the hill!

Rhodes Old Town

We took a day trip to Rhodes Town quite early and ended up staying until the last bus home because there was so much to do. As much as everyone raves about Lindos, I have to say that Rhodes Town is probably my favourite. The Old Town has some beautiful architecture and there are so many great shops and restaurants to explore. We walked around the old moat and city walls before buying the combined ticket to visit the Archaeological Museum and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Both of these were really interesting and take about a couple of hours to look around. I particularly liked the gardens in the museum as they were a bit quieter and really pretty to look around. There are a lot of artifacts to look at and you learn a lot about the history of Rhodes Old Town.

Another highlight in Rhodes Town for me had to be the vegetarian/vegan restaurant called To Marouli. Being vegan can be a little tricky in Greece so it was fantastic to find a place where there were so many options I could eat! We also stumbled across plenty of bars with live music such as Legends Rock Bar and a nearby bar with traditional Greek music. I think if I visited Rhodes again, I would definitely stay closer to Rhodes Town!

Lindos

Now I don’t think a trip to Rhodes is complete without visiting Lindos. When you picture a traditional Greek town, Lindos is probably what comes to mind. With beautiful white buildings and cobbled streets, I half expected the cast of Mamma Mia to come singing and dancing around the corner. Lindos is a lot smaller than I expected, and other than visiting the beaches or Acropolis, the town consists of just restaurants, bars and shops. Because it’s so small, it did feel quite crowded at time – I imagine it’s the case even more so during the peak months. However, I did really enjoy wandering around the shops for trinkets and the stunning views at the top of the town.

The must-do tourist attraction in Lindos is of course the acropolis at the top of the cliff. It’s quite a walk to reach (sadly a lot of tourists were still choosing to ride donkeys up there which I found appalling), and it is quite expensive to visit in my opinion. However, the Greek ruins are pretty amazing and the views at the top are very picturesque. There are lots of information boards around which tell you what the completed acropolis used to look like, however the remaining ruins are still impressively intact. If you’re wanting to see some proper Greek ruins, the acropolis is definitely worth a visit.

Seven Springs

Beaches aren’t the only thing Rhodes has to offer either; there are a few national parks nearby. We were keen to visit the Butterfly Valley, however with the journey being quite far from Faliraki and several buses, we decided to visit the Seven Springs instead. Seven Springs offers a really pretty walk through the springs, a valley and a waterfall. It’s nice and shaded at times which offers a refreshing break from the hot weather. The springs themselves are close together, and you can only paddle in them, however you can walk through the valley up to knee height and even swim in the waterfall. I even managed to face my claustrophobic fears here and walked through a very narrow, dark tunnel (something I DEFINITELY won’t be doing again!)

Out of the Greek islands I’ve visited, Rhodes definitely has the most to offer in my opinion in terms of culture and history. We did several day trips and still felt like we had loads left to explore. I definitely think that September is a good time to visit to avoid the busy crowds in places like Lindos and Rhodes Old Town. I couldn’t have had a better end to my summer and now I guess it’s time to embrace the cooler months!

 

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