Rhodes is and has always been one of those destinations that I have been in awe over. The crystal clear blue seas, the architecture and the heat have all contributed to making Rhodes a familiar destination on my must-see list. So, a few years ago, when a family member announced they were getting married there, I was thrilled not only for them, but for the opportunity to finally travel to such a gorgeous destination.
We sadly didn’t visit Rhodes old town itself, as we were staying at the other end of the island in a town called Pefkos. If we had stayed for longer, or if I get the opportunity to visit again, I’ll definitely make the trip to Rhodes.
As always, I will try to document as much as I can here, including prices where available, and links will be included along the way to try and help you make your holiday to Rhodes as amazing as mine!
Day 1 – Travel and Arrival
We actually flew out to Rhodes on the Saturday evening, landing at about 9:30pm local time. The hotel we were staying at, Pefki Island Resort, is about an hour’s drive from the airport. We had booked the entire holiday through TUI (previously known as Thompson) so all of our airport transfers had been booked for us prior to or arrival which was really handy. There were also quite a few TUI reps at the airport to point you in the right direction and make sure you got on the right coach!
Once we arrived and checked in to the hotel, it was pretty much a case of work out how to turn on the air conditioning, head to the on-site supermarket to pick up some essentials for the week and turn in for the night.
Day 2 – A Relaxing Start
Our first full day in Pefkos! We awoke early and ate breakfast on the balcony. The plan for the day was to spend some time sunbathing, have a swim in the pool and try and meet up with the rest of the family and friends that had travelled to the resort for the wedding. The morning was spent in the pool as it was incredibly hot and I couldn’t sit out in the sun for that long, and in the afternoon we grabbed some lunch from one of the resort bars, before moving to the Island Blue Hotel pool where most of the other wedding guests were staying.
That evening, we went out for dinner just with my boyfriend and my parents. We headed into the main town which was about a 5-10 minute walk from the resort. We found a restaurant called Enigma a little way from the main strip of restaurants. Enigma served a variety of dishes, ranging from pasta dishes, to steaks, to traditional Greek food. They even had a section of the menu dedicated to historical dishes which I thought was really different and a nice touch. I chose a pasta and spicy meatballs dish, which aside from being far too much for me, was really delicious! My boyfriend had a rack of lamb, and my parents had a traditional Beef stew and a moussaka. The main courses were around 15€ each, which is about the same as any UK chain restaurant. For the quality of food and the size of all of our portions, this was really reasonable and we really enjoyed the meal here.
After dinner, we bumped into a few members of the wedding party and decided to go for a few cocktails. We walked further into the main area of the town and ended up in a bar named BamBooze. They offer a wide variety of cocktails, some of which I had never even heard of before, all at around 7€ each. Again, this is very similar to UK prices. The bar itself was busy without being overcrowded and played good music. I’d recommend it for a casual sit-down drink.
Day 3 – Good Books and Good Food
Day 3 was very similar. We spent the day around the pool sunbathing, swimming and reading. I had bought The Power by Naomi Alderman to read on this holiday and I very quickly got hooked! It’s worth mentioning that it is incredibly hot in Rhodes at this time of year and it’s really important to stay safe in the sun. For the entire holiday, I was using Altruist sun cream*, as this protects against both UVA and UVB for the ultimate sun protection. Altruist is also a bit different to other sun creams in that it acts and feels more like a moisturiser, so no more horrible sun cream smell or stickiness!
That evening we went out with my auntie, uncle and cousin for dinner and we chose a restaurant called Artemis. From the outside, it looks very modern and the staff were very friendly. The menu was again very varied and included traditional dishes as well as modern twists. I had a slow cooked lamb and cheese pasta, with others from our group having buffalo burgers, mango and bbq chicken, blue cheese pasta and pork ribs. Everybody really enjoyed their meals and we even got a complimentary shot before we left! Price-wise, Artemis is incredibly reasonable, with most of our mains costing around 14-18€. It seems that Greek portion sizes are quite a bit larger than the UK, so you really are getting your money’s worth!
Day 4 – Trip to Lindos
On day 4, we had booked a day trip to a nearby town called Lindos. When doing research online before the holiday, we kept seeing the town mentioned for its beaches, its traditional streets and most famously, the ancient ruins.
We took the glass bottom boat tour across to the town. This takes around an hour but the views are stunning. We saw lots of fish under the boat as well as some stunning coastline views. The crew on the boat are also incredibly friendly, stopping to point out famous landmarks and the holiday homes of the rich and famous. We even had a little musical interlude where the captain got out his electric guitar and played Pink Floyd in the middle of the ocean! Very strange, but fun and memorable.
Once we arrived in Lindos, we began the long uphill walk to the ruins, known as the Acropolis. They do offer the option of taking a donkey ride to the top, but this seems very outdated and unfair and not something any of us would condone. The walk itself isn’t too bad but the heat just makes it a lot harder. Once you reach the top of the mountain, there is a 12€ per person cost to enter the ruins, which we didn’t actually know about until we got there. It seems quite a lot, but it’s worth it just for the view.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of information about the ruins themselves as you walked around, so it was hard to know what you were looking at, but you could still appreciate and marvel at the sheer size of what had been built here. As you looked out to the coast and the sea, it was amazing to think of how high up you were. It was just stunning.
After looking around the Acropolis, we made the very slow walk back down the hill. I would recommend wearing shoes with a lot of grip for this as the stones are very slippy and I was frequently feeling like I was losing my footing.
Once on the safety of the narrow cobbled streets, we wandered the shops for a little while before finding a restaurant for a quick lunch. We chose Alex’s Restaurant who served a good selection of lighter bites and sandwiches, again at a really reasonable price. We sat on the rooftop and made the most of the breeze and the views over the town, before heading back to the beach for a snorkel and a swim before the boat arrived to take us back to Pefkos.
The return ticket for the glass bottom boat was 22€ each, which in my opinion is completely worth it for how long the journey is and what you see along the way. On the return journey, the boat stops for around 20 minutes and you can choose to dive into the sea for a swim. An added bonus and yet another great experience. Our journey ended with the sea being quite rough, so an unplanned detour and a bit of a soggy trip eventually got us home! Despite the rough waters, at no point did we feel unsafe, we just got a bit wet that’s all!
That evening, once back at the resort, we went out for the evening with a group of both family and friends. We had a few cocktails at the resort before heading into town for food. We actually ended up going to Artemis again as it had something for everyone and wasn’t too far away from the bar we were heading to. After yet another lovely meal, we went to a bar called Eclipse. This is somewhere my cousin had been talking about the entire holiday as they have their own cliff that you can jump off into a large pool. So, what happened as soon as we got there? You guessed it, all the boys stripped down to their boxers and jumped. Slightly booze-fuelled but incredibly fun to watch! The bar itself is really nice too, with some good cheesy tunes playing throughout the evening.
Day 5 – Adventuring
On day 5, myself and my boyfriend had pre-booked some watersports activities. We booked through Watersports Action, who came and picked us up from our hotel bright and early before taking us to the beach. We had booked to do Parasailing and hire out a Jetski. On arrival, we were given a quick safety talk and given lifejackets and then boarded the boat for the Parasailing. We were the second couple to go up, which was quite good as we got to see someone else do it which calmed my nerves a bit.
I can’t even begin to explain how amazing Parasailing is. That initial feeling of weightlessness is so exhilarating yet calming and you can see for miles once you are up in the air. You simply can’t beat those views and it was actually a lot more of a relaxing experience than the exhilarating one I had been expecting. The Parasailing was 65€ for a tandem and we were in the air for around 10 minutes. This might not sound like a lot, but when you are up there it is exactly the right amount of time to take it all in.
After this, we grabbed a quick snack whilst waiting for a Jetski to become available. We were again given brief instructions on how to operate the Jetski and the areas we needed to stay in, and off we went. Jetskiing was definitely more of a thrill than Parasailing. It was really good to be able to drive it ourselves and not be taken out by an instructor as we could basically do what we wanted! My boyfriend is very much into adrenaline activities so he was very happy to be driving us and going very fast along the waves!
Once we had been dropped back at the resort, we headed out for dinner with my parents. We stayed quite close to the complex and went to a restaurant called The Tipsy Cow. This is more of a steakhouse/burger restaurant instead of being varied, but my goodness was it good. I had a chicken, halloumi and sausage skewer and it was massive and so tasty! The rest of my family had a variety of different burgers that they also really enjoyed.
Day 6 – The Wedding Day!
As I’m sure you can expect, the wedding was an all-day affair. The ceremony was overlooking the beach and was set up beautifully. The reception was then held at the restaurant at the resort and we partied the night away!
Day 7 – Our Last Full Day
After a well-earned lie in, we had another pool day to recover. I finished my book (would highly recommend!), we played some games, sunbathed and generally relaxed. That evening, we did a small amount of packing before heading back to Artemis for a final dinner.
Day 8 – Leaving Rhodes
We had a small amount of time in the day before we had to head to the airport, so we put our suitcases in a family members room and had a final sunbathe to top up our tans! Again, the airport transfers had been arranged by TUI, so all we had to do was meet at reception at the given time and away we went.
I won’t bore you with the details of the airport and the journey home, as I’m aware this is already and incredibly long post, but we really did have a wonderful time in Rhodes and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. You couldn’t fault our hotel or the staff, all the trips and activities we did were amazing and it was nice to have a few days just doing nothing but sunbathing and swimming!
Have you travelled to Rhodes before? Did you do anything different to us! Let me know in the comments and be sure to check out my other travel diaries here!
*This product was gifted to me from Altruist. All opinions remain truthful and my own.