While Rhodes can’t claim the celebrity pull of Mykonos, it remains one of the most fascinating and enticing of all the Greek islands.
From the fun-packed town centre of Pefkos through to the ancient Acropolis at Lindos and the quaint, albeit somewhat remote, charm of Lardos, there are plenty of reasons to consider Rhodes as a future destination if a trip to Greece is on your radar. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Eating out
Savour traditional Greek food in Pefkos.
Pefkos offers a plethora of delectable, reasonably-priced and traditional dining experiences. Philosophia is the most famous and well-respected restaurant in the area so you’d be well-advised to book ahead or risk disappointment. Situated next to Pefki beach with stunning views, the staff are a delight but the food is the real winner. Indulge in some traditional, sumptuous souvlaki or baked meatballs to give you an idea of authentic, modern Greek cuisine.
Elsewhere, the Spitaki Taverna can be found on the main strip in one of oldest buildings in Pefkos – it dates back to 1913 and was inhabited by the same family until 1991. Known as the ‘little house with the big kitchen’, the dessert selection in particular is a triumph. The homemade baklava is lashed with honey and crammed full of pistachios. What really adds to the experience however, is the aromatic surrounding of the eatery’s herb garden – where the sweet scent of fresh lemongrass and basil is really quite extraordinary. If you’re lucky, they may even let you pick some almonds.
Finally, Colosseum offers rapid-fire service (try the saganaki) and also has its own cocktail bar (Jimmy’s) as well as the biggest pool bar in Pefkos – where you can sink an ice-cold pint of Mythos lager and chow down on some bar snacks if you’re still a bit peckish.
If you’re not interested in traditional Greek fare, fear not because the likes of Harmony, Angel and Rock Garden, among many others offer a great full English at affordable prices. Harmony and Angel also have bouncy castles, arcade areas and lots more to keep the kids entertained if you’re travelling with young children.
2. Rhodes by sea
St. Paul’s Bay offers stunning views.
Glass-bottom boat trips are nothing new, but the one on offer in Pefkos is a real treat. There are three options to choose from, but it’s worth going the whole hog and doing the three bay trip. At €22 per adult and €11 for children under 12, it’s money well spent. Taking in the bay of Navarone (where the infamous ‘Guns of Navarone’ was filmed), St. Paul’s Bay and an alternative view of the Lindos Acropolis is an experience to be enjoyed by the whole family.
While the boat itself is somewhat smaller than you may expect, it matters little as the captain steers you through breathtaking rock formations and lets you leap into the Aegean for a welcome break from the heat – summer temperatures regularly register around 35-40 degrees). He even plays a little bit of guitar – given to him by Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd (whose mansion you’ll sail past on the return journey). This should definitely be on your checklist.
3. The Lindos Acropolis
The Acropolis at Lindos.
One of the most famous landmarks in Rhodes, the Acropolis at Lindos, is just 15 minutes away from Pefkos. Situated at the very top of a steep rock, the Acropolis crowns off a stunning, meandering journey through the past. The tiny, narrow, streets are full throughout the summer with visiting tourists – and donkeys! As the streets are so narrow, there’s no room for cars and therefore, donkeys are the most popular mode of transport.
The streets on the journey up are thronged with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, pubs (the old-school English pub, The Sunburnt Arms is worth a pit stop), and further investigation reveals some unique jewellery and fashion stores.
Once at the Acropolis itself (adults are €6 and kids go free), take your time to soak up the incredible panoramic views and history of the place – it dates back to the 10th Century BC and was inhabited at various points by Romans, Byzantines, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans.
4. Yammas Bar, Lardos
Glystra Bay in Lardos.
Pefkos is situated right in between Lindos and the beautiful little town of Lardos. One of the smaller attractions near Pefkos, Lardos (a 10 minute bus/car journey away) boasts its own monastery, folklore museum and Go Kart track if you fancy unleashing your inner Lewis Hamilton. It also has a beach that’s a little off the beaten track in the form of Glystra Bay – which remains something of a hidden gem.
One of the standouts though, is Yammas Bar in the town centre. The walls of the bar are adorned with ‘versions’ of the Mona Lisa and a smattering of Salvador Dali paintings which makes for some entertaining viewing while the bar owner is about as friendly and welcoming as you could wish from a landlord.
During the day, it’s a great stop off for gargantuan plates of traditional Greek fare and in the evening the place comes to life as a meeting place for tourists. It’s arguably the liveliest venue in Lardos without being too overbearing or crowded.
The beach at Lindos.
Beautiful beaches are a particular focal point of Pefkos and its close neighbours Lindos and Lardos. While the golden stretches of fine sand are to be applauded and enjoyed (you’ll find they’ll all have sun loungers already set out at a cost of around €8 for two for the entire day), we suggest taking a plunge in the crystal clear, ice blue waters surrounding Rhodes to get a true flavour of just how idyllic these surroundings really are.
Many of the hotels are right on the beachfront (some claim that every room offers a sea view), so you’re never far away from an opportunity to grab your snorkel and disappear for a couple of hours.
If you’re looking for a sun-kissed, relaxing summer break then Pefkos beach is the perfect spot to idle away – letting the refreshingly calm waters lap over you while exploring the marine life and reefs.
Lindos beach is slightly busier than Pefkos, but after a stroll through the town, a luxurious rest by the sea and lunch in one of the nearby tavernas or beach bars will be just what you’re after.
Lardos beach is perhaps the quieter of the three main neighbouring areas, but there are opportunities to partake in some water sports if you need an adrenaline fix and, again, there are lots of beach bars nearby for refreshments.
Pefkos, and the surrounding area, is an ideal Greek getaway for those looking to relax or take in some genuinely intriguing historical sites.
Published 15th March 2016