A WEEKEND IN RHODES, GREECE
Ever since I was a little kid, I always dreamed about going to Greek Islands which looked like beautiful postcards to me. It is a pity that I have postponed this dream for so long considering I live in Turkey which is super close to Greek Islands. So two weeks ago, I decided to buy ferry tickets to Rhodes Island in Greece and go on a weekend getaway very spontaneously. As I said it was a weekend getaway and I have to add 2 days and one night is of course not enough to see big island like Rhodes. but I tried to do as many activities as I could. So here is how i spent my weekend in Rhodes....
09:00-10:30 FETHIYE-RHODES FERRY
I got on a ferry which depart from Fethiye, Turkey. It was relatively slow ferry when compared to the ones depart from Marmaris but It was such a short ride that it didn't even bothered me at all.
As soon as I got off from ferry, I saw car rental companies and rented one car since my first goal was to make it to Village of Lindos and mesmerizing bays on the way. Lindos is around 50 km away from Rhodes City Center so I had to rent a car. There is also public transport but it takes around 1 hour so car renting was my only option considering I had only 2 days for whole Island of Rhodes.
12:00-14:00 ANTHONY QUINN BAYY
As I was driving to Lindos, I decided to visit forever famous Anthony Quinn Bay which was on the way anyways. So without hesitation I made a left turn and reached the bay very quickly. When I parked the car and looked down to the bay, I was quite disappointed. I asked myself "This is it ?!?" As a person who lives in another costal city of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, "just sea" with no special view or something is not very interesting for me. But I decided to take a swimming break and didn't leave immediately after my disappointment.
I am so glad that I didn't ! Because all my opinions changed after i swam i this bay. I understood that what made this bay so special is beautiful underwater life ( besides beautiful marketing thanks to Guns of Navarone Movie). Anyone who love snorkeling like me, can spend hours in this bay. By far, It was most special swimming experience of my trip.
14:00-15:00 MAVRIKOS RESTAURANT
When I arrived to Lindos, I came face to face with the fact that I didnt eat anything all day :) So when I saw Mavrikos Restaurant which was at the entrance of Lindos, I jumped in. Besides, I have read so many great things about this restaurant in internet and guides. So in paper it looked perfect !
But in reality, it wasn't. Because when high prices combined with bad attitude of waiters, no meal can taste good ! Actually spaghetti bolognese with minced octopus meat tasted kind of good. But overall it wasn't a good experience and I wouldn't go there again.
Think about a small and beautiful village which was built on a mountain with an ancient acropolis on top. Plus, there are gorgeous bays where mountain meets the sea. This is what Lindos looks like :)
From outside, it looks like this. But when you are inside the village, narrow white streets with vivid, colorful shops welcomes you. It is just like a white labyrinth.
This is all nice and good but for me real star of the show is ancient acropolis located on the top of the mountain. Plus, there you can see one of the most amazing views in whole Rhodes. But to see all these beauties, you need to climb that mountain and pass through the narrow streets of Lindos. No pain no gain right? Once you are up there, your price will be the view of spectacular Aegean blue bays and beautiful Lindos. If you think you cant handle it no matter what, you can rent a donkey from Alpha Bank which is located at the entrance of the village.
18:00-20:00 ST PAUL KOYU
Beautiful white streets and Acropolis of Lindos are reasons that are good enough for visiting Lindos. But visiting St Paul's Bay ,which is located where Lindos meets the sea, was another highlight of my trip.
This bay which looked like an aquarium anyways is so peaceful and nice that one can reach nirvana here :) Besides, there are two very nice restaurant over here. One of them is quite small and humble and the other looks more luxurious. I strongly advice you to visit these restaurants after spending couple of hours at the bay. It is definitely better option than "famous" Mavrikos. Plus, here you have the amazing view of St Paul's Bay.
22:00-23:30 TAMAM RESTAURANT
Tamam Restaurant , Tamam Restaurant.... Its all over internet. Every blog, every guidebook recommends this place. When I see such a popular place, I tend to be deliberate because once one place gets so famous, it definitely gets destroyed somehow.
I saw Tamam Restaurant as a result of coincidence and surprisingly there wasn't one hour line at the entrance :) So I decided give it a shot and get in. Rest is poem .... Everything from seafood to entrees and to deserts was a feast for the gods. Even the water which was served with frozen fruits was different and remarkable.
Plus, owner of the restaurant visits each table and chats about anything from food to interesting places to visit... It is was kind and final touch to perfection.
23:30-01:00 OLD TOWN, IPPOKRATOUS SQUARE
After all the crazy activities of the day, all I wanted was to go to bed and have good nights sleep. But when I was walking to reach my hotel at old town, I saw all he action going on at Ippokratous Square. All the people from different nationalities were dancing around and having fun at the streets and taverns around the square. So I couldn't see the point of going to hotel room :)
10:00-11:00 COFFEEHOUSE MEVLANA
Source: Baya İyi
For my morning coffee, I visited Coffeehouse Mevlana which was one of the oldest Ottoman Place in Rhodes. This place is full of character and most furnishings - decorations are around 150-200 years old. It is one of a kind places to visit if you want to see Ottoman influence in the Island. Visiting this place was definitely like time traveling.
11:00-12:00 SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE
This mosque is so amazing that Europa Nostra gave this mosque an honorary distinction in 2006. Color and decoration of this mosque is well adapted to culture of the island. This makes Suleymanıye Mosque so unique. Pink walls, Gnomon at the entrance and big peaceful yard are treat to eye. When I visited Rhodes, entrance to Mosque was closed but seeing this grand structure and sitting at the yard was also very nice experience.
12:00-14:00 RHODES HARBOR
Leaving Rhodes without seeing iconic Rhodes Harbor would be a very bad idea. So I decided to make my last touristic trip to Rhodes Harbor. What made this place so special for me was this picture I saw on internet.
This statue of Helios used to welcome ships to Rhodes Harbor. It looks very familiar right? It is because maybe the most famous statue "Statue of Liberty" on earth was inspired from Statue of Helios.
Unfortunately Statue of Helios dint survived very long time. In our days, Doe and Stack welcomes visitors to Rhodes Harbor.
14:30-16:00 NIREAS RESTAURANT
When departure time of the ferry was approaching, I decided to put an end to crazy running around thing and I decided to gave into Greek Cuisine. This time, I wanted to try different things, so I visited Nireas Restaurant that offers Simi Island Style Food. When I reached to Restaurant, I knew I made the right choice firstly because it has the perfect location. It is at the old town but nowhere near tourist crowds passing by.
Here, I ordered Greek Salad, Simi Style Shrimps and Sun-Dried Octopus. Simi Style Shrimps was tiniest and most tasty shrimps of the Aegean Sea. They were cooked with their shells since they are so tiny. Octopus was cooked to perfection as well. When I was leaving Nireas, I was assured I made the right choice about where to spend my last hours in Rhodes.
16:30-18:00 RHODES FETHIYE FERRY
My thoughts on ferry: It is too soon to leave. I am assured that 2 days aren't enough for Rhodes Island. I think 4 days would be better to see many of the amazing bays, visiting historical places. But even in 2 days, I left the Island with beautiful memories of places and tastes.