Ρόδος – Dodecanese

Sunny and hospitable Rhodes can almost be considered a whole year destination and is also good, because of its airport, as a springboard to other Dodecanese islands. Many will consider Rhodes just a “tourist” island (whatever that is), but it is so big that you should find something for your taste, regardless. The island is nicely green, and offers a good selection of rather easy walks and pleasant strolls.

The island is just terrific for sightseeing, and Rhodes Old Town offers excellent food if you know where to go. There are also horrible rip-offs. I can personally recommend “Yannis” for Greek fare, he has e.g perhaps the best Moussaka I have ever tasted, and just about everything has that little bit of extra flair at this place. A simple, inexpensive and genuinely Greek place. Excellent fish (at a price!) can be had at “Alexis”. What they serve is really not fish, it is a piece of heaven! If you do not want to splash out to that extent there is also a very nice fish restaurant even in (surprise!) the “New Market”, just out of old town. Its name is “Ουτε Λεπι” (Averof 50). E.g try their fabulous seafood pastas. Even their house wine is great.

Camelot GardenCamelot EntranceThere are quite a few very interesting hotels in the Old Town. A real treat is the hidden away Camelot Hotel at Themistokleous 18. When I stayed here the first time the hotel had just three rooms, now they have expanded slightly and have a brand new reception area also. Many thanks to Nina for letting me stay in her little castle! Always #1 in my heart, so regardless of other offers, when I’m in town I will stay nowhere else.

Old Town is also known for shopping, and you find e.g liquor and leather shops all over. When it comes to leather, I would hunt around in the back streets or go straight to Ada & Petros at Fanouriou 57.

I am happy to announce that the formerly at least half chaotic bus situation in Rhodes Town has improved to near perfection. The East and West bus stations now run contiguously along the same street, and the previously horrible East station now has a ticket booth and bus numbers clearly printed on their sold tickets (the very helpful staff will also tell you your bus number and even point it out for you, without you even asking). Excellent! Only downside is that the buses (especially Eastbound buses) are still horribly crowded.

Selected walks:For walks on the island, see Walk & Eat Rhodes by Brian and Eileen Anderson (referred to below as “/Anderson/”) and Rhodes Karpathos Kos Southern Dodecanese by Dieter Graf (referred to below as “/Graf/”). Some now outdated books are Trekking in Greece by Marc Dubin (out of print) and Landscapes of Rhodes by Noel Rochford (also out of print, but referred to below as “/Rochford/”, actually the 2nd edition). There was also a booklet by Lance Chilton called “Walks in the Lindos & Pefkos Area”, but even this is out of print. I first list a number of possible “city walks” that can be done if you have not previously visited. Very good for getting to know the town and getting your general orientation in place. Actually, they are so nice that at least the wall walks can be done with pleasure again and again.

•1 RHODES OLD TOWN (my total time 1h37, this includes stops for photography as well as some refreshments at a suggested waterhole; +29m -28m; 0 laps): This is walk 1 in /Anderson/. Absolutely everyone should do this little walk to get to know the Old Town.

•2 OLD TOWN WALLS (my total time 1h06, this includes stops for photography; +16m -36m; 0 laps): This is walk 2 in /Anderson/. The book has a little misleading information here. At best the town walls are only open for a few hours two days a week, currently Tuesday and Saturday, according to official information. This is fairly essential if you want to do this walk! A new experience for me to walk on top of these walks, and one that has my warmest recommendations if you are here on a matching day (but do see also walk 3 below).

•3 MEDIEVAL MOAT (my total time 0h51, this includes stops for photography; +-25m; 0 laps): See also walk 2 above, but walking inside the moat at least for me is the most spectacular experience you can have with these walls. If you have to choose, do this one. Start at either end, from Mandraki harbour (enter through something that looks like just a gate to a couple of tavernas) and walk counter-clockwise or close to Karetou gate and walk clockwise. You can also use a number of entries/exits directly from/to Old Town if you want.

•4 MONTE SMITH (my total time 1h13, this includes stops for photography as well as the minimum of necessary sightseeing; +-55m; 1 lap): Another small stroll to do some essential sightseeing. I started just outside the Old Town, at d’Amboise gate and then walked basically south-west to find this hill. You can follow the street signs to the “Acropolis” if you want. Also equip yourself with the usual Rodos road map and you cannot go wrong. As you can see from the height difference, the “mountain” is not of the huge kind…

•5 KÁLATHOS – LÍNDOS (my total time 2h30, this includes stops for photography and a small picnic; +277m -245m; 1 lap): This is basically walk 11 in /Graf/, I just strolled the extra couple of hundred meters from the bus stop in Kálathos. Similar walks are walk 8 in /Anderson/ and walk 13 in /Rochford/.

A very stony but still nice walk. Try to follow the cairns and red paint blobs that marks almost all of the walk as much as possible, and do not stray. That would be fairly uncomfortable in this terrain.

As usual instructions in /Graf/ are rather vague. Before you encounter the first cairn you move upstream (the final creek you meet) on a track until you get to where the path forks off.

Líndos is pleasant for refreshments before you stroll up the road to the bus stop. Notice the new ticket kiosk just across the main road.

•6 ARCHÁNGELOS – STEGNÁ – TSAMBÍKA – MONÍ TSAMBÍKA (my total time 3h46, this includes stops for photography and refreshments, add your time for swims; +490m -577m; 3 laps): This is a fantastic walk constructed from three separate parts.

First part (Archángelos – Stegná) is taken from walk 5 in /Anderson/. When the book tells you to “stay ahead” (3min) actually fork right away from the main Stegná road. Take care so you find the marked and cairned path down to Stegná. This is not mentioned in any of the books, but this path actually forks after a while. Do take care to follow the lower route down into the valley. Cairns (at least initially) mark both paths, only the lower one has additional paint blobs.

Second part (Stegná – Tsambíka) is taken from walk 10 in /Rochford/, but what you do here is to connect with walk 13 in /Graf/ by using a signposted path (later track) towards Tsambíka. Near the northern end of Stegná, where the street forks into one gravel road in front of houses and one behind, a third option goes sharp left on a path through an open (hopefully) gate. Even if you cannot read the letters the sign for Tsambíka should be clearly visible a few meters ahead and to the left. The steep and very rough path goes up the incline. Soon it turns into a rough track. Keep moving ahead upwards until you meet the route followed in /Graf/ at the “olive garden”. Massive road building has more or less destroyed the access to the overgrown track you are supposed to follow from here. You might need to hunt carefully for it in the future. When the track ends hunt out for the continuing footpath slightly to the south (away from the beach). The path takes you to the famous sand slide.

The third part (Tsambíka – Moní Tsambíka) follows the fabulous route described in /Graf/ (still walk 13). It is actually easier than it looks! After the cloister stroll down the road to the bus stop.

•7 ARCHÁNGELOS – STEGNÁ – HARÁKI ( – MÁSSARI ) (my total time 4h34, this includes stops for photography and refreshments, as well as a dip in the ocean; +412m -527m; 3 laps): This is basically walk 12 in /Graf/. See also walk 12 in /Rochford/. A really great coastal walk.

As for walk 6 above take care so you find the marked and cairned path down to Stegná. This is not mentioned in any of the books, but this path actually forks after a while. Do take care to follow the lower route down into the valley. Cairns (at least initially) mark both paths, only the lower one has additional paint blobs.

To get some additional help with route finding from Stegná also refer to walk 5 in /Anderson/.

After that it is mostly a matter of finding and following waymarks. At the “old olive tree” (close to the 1.40 mark in /Graf/) take the track forking left for the beach. Take the track forking right to pick up continuing waymarks to the “little house”. The book is slightly wrong here.

In Haráki, if you are not here in high season when there are buses, you must walk across the dry river bed and turn right with the street afterwards. Then you can stroll up to the bus stop in Mássari. The bus shelter is immediately left when you reach the main road.

•8 PETALOÚDES (my total time 1h53, this includes a lot of stops for photography, or at least tentative photography of those bloody critters, as well as a short visit to the museum; +-178m; 1 lap): This is walk 3 in /Anderson/. A shorter variant of walk 10 below. Good draught beer can be had in the snack bar after your walk!

•9 KOLÍMBIA – EFTÁ PIGÍS – ARCHÁNGELOS (net walking time 1h46): This was walk 9 in /Rochford/. A very easy walk in all respects. A similar walk is walk 4 in /Anderson/.

At Eftá Pigís, if you take the path back from the reservoir, you do not need to go back to the restaurant area, instead turn left on the road instead of crossing it. The path for Archángelos is just a minute away (on your left).

OBS: I did this walk last in 2002!

•10 PETALOÚDES – ÁGIOS SOULÁS – SORONÍ (net walking time 3h27): This was walk 8 in /Rochford/. Another easy walk that is easy to find and follow. A similar, but shorter walk is walk 3 in /Anderson/, see walk 8 above.

However, there more tracks to ignore than those mentioned in /Rochford/. And just out of the valley, when you reach the track, disregard the instructions in book, and follow instead the new marked path up to the Monastery, turning left just a few meters along the track. Shortly after the 1h58 point in /Rochford/ there is a new track down right. Just after the T-junction ignore a track down left. Be sure to spot (how can you miss it?) the concrete water tank on your right where you must exit down left to Ágios Soulás, actually only a couple of minutes away. When you have reached Soroni there is no bus shelter anymore, but the bus stops across the road from the school, just by a bar or something with a few round blue tables by the sidewalk.

OBS: I did this walk last in 2002!

•11 KÁMIROS ROUND TRIP (net walking time 3h20): This was walk 6 (Alternative walk) in /Rochford/. Another easy walk that is easy to find and follow, but there are a few tracks not described in the book, that you must ignore.

The bus goes all the way up the “Ancient Kámiros” so you will only have to walk the road between the ruin village and the main road once. Try to walk on the times given in the book, they are very consistent and a good way to pinpoint your turnoffs at any time. As I understand, the timings given in /Rochford/ are from where you take off on the dirt track.

You will probably have a lot of time to spare before catching the last bus back from Kámiros. You cannot do better than spending this time at one of the big tavernas by the waterfront here. The sea and the beaches are not too interesting, but the food and wine is nice.

OBS: I did this walk last in 2002!

• Good starting points: • Rhodes Old Town – close to the harbour, good value small hotels, good places to eat (if you can find them…) and close to the two bus stations that will provide transportation to most of the island

• How to get there: • By air • By ferry from other islands • By ferry from the mainland

• More info: • Hellenic Tourism Organization – Directorate For The DODECANESE ISLANDS by E.O.T • Rhodos Travel Revue – All kinds of information about Rhodes

This page was last modified at November 22, 2010.