The Ultimate Guide To Rhodes Greece

The Ultimate Guide To Rhodes Greece

When you think of the Greek islands, what island do you think of? I know most people think first of Santorini or Mykonos.

When I first started planning my trip to Greece, I was sure that I had to visit one of those major islands.

As I continued to research, however, I came across an island called Rhodes (or Rodos). The more I read, the more I was fascinated with this island.

Eventually, my friends and I decided that we would spend 3 days in Athens, and 3 days in Rhodes on our spring break trip to Greece. It was absolutely the right decision.

Today, I want to talk about why we chose Rhodes for our trip, and how you can have the best possible trip there!

Location

We first came across Rhodes because of the time of year we were visiting Greece.

The super busy tourist season in Greece traditionally starts in May and ends in September. We were visiting in the very first week of April, so tourist season hadn’t started yet.

After researching, we were worried that visiting any of the main islands would not go well, as most hotels and stores don’t open until May.

Then, in my research, I came across Rhodes. One of the southernmost Greek islands. Rhodes has a longer tourist season than nearly every other island. It starts in April rather than May, making it a perfect location for our spring break trip.

The Island

Rhodes, sometimes called the island of the knights, has a history that is so different than other Greek islands due to its proximity to Turkey.

It was conquered by the knights of Jerusalem, and still holds a mostly intact medieval old town in its capital, Rhodes City. The island is really big, so it also has several other cities. There’s even an international airport on the island, so you can fly in and out if you prefer. 

When I first started looking into Rhodes, I was in love with the medieval old town. I was a little worried, however, that I wouldn’t get to see the more traditional “Greek” island, with the white houses like you see in all the famous photos.

Then I discovered a small city further down the island called Lindos, which not only has beautiful blue beaches, but also gorgeous white washed houses and winding streets. Once I realized I could still get that part of the “Greek Experience,” I knew Rhodes was the right choice.

Getting around the Island

If you are coming from another country, I would recommend flying directly onto the island. We flew RyanAir from Rhodes to Athens, and then from Athens to home. If you can’t get a flight, or you’re coming from another location in Greece, taking a ferry might be the better option.

There are several island cruises that stop at Rhodes, as well as other ferries. We were working on a budget, so we chose the cheapest option. A 15 hour overnight ferry from Athens to Rhodes. You read that right, 15 hours.

Since we were already in the city of Athens, it was easier to take a ferry from the port than go all the way out to the airport. The other benefit, aside from the price, was that we arrived directly into Rhodes city and didn’t have to deal with transport from the airport – we were able to walk from the ferry to our airbnb.

Once you are in Rhodes City, everything is within walking distance. There are buses available to get you to any other city on the island you want to visit, as well as a bus to get to the airport. 

Staying on the Island

When it comes to staying in Rhodes, you have to stay in the Old Town. It’s a completely walled medieval city, with remnants of medieval knights, ottoman invasion, and Greek history. The city itself plays the role of giant museum.

The cobblestone roads twist and turn with no pattern, making it so much fun to spend the day exploring. We would stumble upon a chapel built into the walls, and then a few minutes later a mosque built by Suleiman.

We found several airbnbs in the Old Town at varying price points. We stayed at this one and the location was amazing – it was residential but within 5 minutes of shopping and restaurants, all within the medieval old town.

I’ll be honest, it was really small, but how much time are you actually spending in the room anyway?

Just trust me when I say you have to stay in the Old Town.

What to do on the Island

There is so much to do on Rhodes, so don’t worry about getting bored. You could literally spend the day just wandering through Old Town, popping into local shops and restaurants and just getting lost. Once you get tired of that, there is so much more to do. One bonus of an island? It’s literally all beaches.

There are several in Rhodes City within walking distance, but be warned, they are mostly rock beaches. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but make sure you have shoes on and something soft to lay on. Rock beaches are not quite as forgiving as sand! 

You can also head out of Rhodes city and visit other cities on the island. Like I mentioned earlier, Lindos is the perfect location for a day long getaway. It’s super easy to catch a bus out of Rhodes City it’s about a 30 minute drive and 10 euros round trip.

As I mentioned earlier, Lindos is this amazing white washed little town. The streets are so narrow and winding cars can’t even get around in the city.

You can take a mule ride to the top of the mountain and visit the acropolis. Or spend the day lounging on the beach. I highly recommend finding St. Paul’s Bay, the most amazing little stretch of sandy beach. We were fortunate enough to visit it on the very first day of the season. There’s even a little cafe trailer down there, so you can eat lunch on the beach and enjoy the clearest blue water.

Other Advice for Rhodes

If you want to have the best experience in Rhodes, avoid the heavily tourist parts of the city. Something I read online that I tend to agree with is that any restaurant with pictures outside is not a local place, it’s meant for tourists.

If you aren’t sure where to start, head to the Walk Inn. It’s in Old Town right next to an amazing jewelry store. Make sure you visit the jewelry store as well, I was able to get some amazing tassel earrings and a magnet there. The shop owner was super nice and recommended the Walk Inn to us.

I know I already mentioned this, but really try to just let yourself get lost in this city. There was something so different and magical about the Old Town in Rhodes. I felt like I went back in time and was walking through a true medieval city.

The best part is that within Old Town, I never felt in danger at all. We were able to just wander the city, which you can’t really do in most major cities. 

Also, a tip for any Greek island, prepare for lots of cats and drink as much cafe freddo as you can.

 Just do it.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this post has helped you see that you NEED to visit Rhodes and gave you some tips if you’re planning to go!

Although I was only in Rhodes for 3 days, it was one of the most impactful travel experiences of my life. I honestly cannot recommend the island enough to those who want to visit Greece!

Contributing Author

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen

Owner Of Living In Full Bloom

Alyssa is a twenty something recent college grad who is in her first year of teaching middle school history. In addition to sharing all about college life and everything she learned on the blog, she also writes about adulthood and life after college. While in college, she discovered her love of travel, so you will often find travel posts and pictures on her blog and Instagram as well. Alyssa strives with every post to encourage her readers to live their life in full bloom, and make the most of each day. Check Alyssa out on Insta or head to her blog to follow along!

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Morbid Curiosity: Let’s Talk About It

Morbid Curiosity: Let’s Talk About It

One of the biggest creative problems when starting this site was not knowing how to integrate one of my biggest interests- the dead.

Obviously, after quite some deliberation I decided to say “screw it” and create a whole section dedicated to the morbid and strange.

For the most part, that section of my website has been well-received, but I can’t say it’s been all rainbows and butterflies.  I know for a matter of fact that I’ve lost followers because I have a non-cliché-non-basic- section on my site.

How dare I not have only the lifestyle and entertainment and pop-culture basics!

Once, I had a woman email me about how It’s Dark In Here (my morbid section) was “inappropriate” and how she would subscribe and recommend her friends do as well if I removed that section.  

I responded with an eloquent letter that essentially said “fuck you” very, very, nicely.

Surprisingly, I never heard from her again!…. Wonder why.

However, the more I’ve had people question if I’m a serial killer, the more I’ve wondered just why it is that morbid curiosity exists. 

We all have a little bit of it. 

 

In my life it just happens to be a much larger topic of fascination than in others. 

In fact, I’ve been intrigued by the morbid for as long as I can remember.  

I love hearing stories, and learning strange facts, but most of all, I love the history, romanticism, and humanizing truths that you can find in the most morbid of stories.

While I like many morbid topics, my favorite is that specifically related to death.

In fact, I made my friend fly with me to Palermo just to see Rosalia Lombardo and the Capuchin Catacombs.

 On that particular trip I Googled “Where to see dead people”.

Yes, for reals.

We came up with a few other Capuchin churches that were decorated with human bones and we spent extra money JUST to go see them.

 

But WHY….

 

 

Why does the attraction to the morbid exist?

I think a lot of psychological arguments, based on the premise of evolution (a premise I don’t believe) speculate that morbid curiosity exists to:

1:  Keep us aware of dangers- how do you know unless you look and learn.

2. Help us empathize with others- humans are bound by relationships.

Now, personally I buy reason 2 a lot more than reason 1!

I know plenty a people (me and my three personas) who enjoy seeing preserved bodies that didn’t have a traumatic ending.  So, number one just doesn’t make sense to me, number two is totally plausible though and I think very related to what I’m about to suggest…

 

My Unsolicited Thoughts

So, with the “scientific” reasons out of the way (is psychology a science?), let’s talk about the appeal of morbid curiosity from my observations.

First, everyone is a little morbid.

Everyone loves a good train wreck.  You linger at car accidents, natural disasters, and other horrible events, because you just want to know.  You learn the stories of shooters and terrorists because you’re curious.  You watch documentaries about cereal serial killers, and looting and the sex industry because you’re curious.

You’re curious even if you might not like what you find, but you keep watching.

I’ve spent time thinking about this and here’s what I’ve found.

Morbid curiosity is linked directly to the human condition.

Let me say that again, morbid curiosity is linked directly to the human condition.

We all live, we all love, we all suffer, and we all die…. Well except for those two Bible characters.  Any Bible students up in the house? Those two be walking with Jesus right now.

But the point I’m trying to make, that I haven’t made yet, is that life is lighter with the darkness.  We all experience both, but without the dark, the light wouldn’t have as much meaning.

If you can’t tell by my very poetic writing, I see romanticism and beauty within the darkness.

 

Just look at Paris, the most romantic city on earth.  Home of the Eiffel tower and the Louvre.  Notorious for the fancy boutiques, and restaurants. Glamorized as THE place to eat a baguette, drink espresso and wear a striped shirt.

This is also the home to the world famous catacombs.  Miles of passages underground.  Not just any passages either, but passages littered with the remains of those upturned from their graves. 

Thousands of forgotten people, whose bodies have been dismantled and used to create decorative symbols and patterns.  Thousands of people who are now used to make money for the city of romance.

But here’s the thing, I haven’t just ruined Paris for you.

If anything you’re probably more intrigued by the city of lights.

Why?

Because, there’s nothing that pushes you more into “you only live once, let’s enjoy it” romantic mode, than the thought of being forgotten and used to decorate an underground crypt.

Just like there’s nothing more humanizing than walking amongst old unkempt graves, and realizing how fragile life is. 

There’s nothing more interesting than wondering what the forgotten were like in their lives.

There’s nothing more fascinating than the true history behind the most unusual and morbid things in our world.

There’s nothing more comforting than knowing that there will always be weirdos out there who will somehow remember you.  Even when you’re a forgotten grave plot.

And that in short is why I think morbid curiosity exists. It exists to push us to live. To provide us with an acknowledgement of the fragility of life, the beauty in it and an appreciation of those we get to spend time with now.  

So, now you have a great reason for your love of morbid curiosity.  Go forth and enjoy the weirdness of life.

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