Rhodes – A Holiday From our Holiday


Rhodes Town

We were very pleased to find out there were berths available in Rhodes Mandraki harbour with laid lines and all for the very reasonable price of €12 a night, including water and electric. We really hate Med mooring, on the handful of occasions we’ve done it, another boat has either crossed our chain and pulled up our anchor or caused some other problem leaving us uncomfortable leaving the boat unattended. Other boats we know have had serious damage caused whilst Med moored. Even in Mandraki another boat chose to anchor moor and their anchor caught on the underwater chain that runs along the harbour and to which the laid lines are fastened, and they had to wait for (and pay) a diver to free them.

Mandraki harbour

So to be able to safely and cheaply tie up the boat whilst enjoying some history and contrast to our weeks in the wild was an opportunity we gladly took. We made our booking through Nicos at Navigo Agency who charged a €20 arrangement fee, still a very good price when spread over the days we stayed. Following in the path of countless ancient vessels, we passed under where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood over the entrance to Mandraki port. Emerald was directed to a snug berth between two power boats with a great view across to the Grand Master’s Palace.

Our view by day and by night

Our first two days were a frenzy of being tourists and getting every day jobs done such as laundry. The old town within it’s layers of imposing walls is a wonderful place to just wander and get lost. Rickety medieval buildings, Turkish and Byzantine architecture all mixed together. There’s a lot of tourist shops and bars hawking you for business, but it’s soon left behind by taking a back street instead.

The walls of old Rhodes town

Back streets of Rhodes

Sunset gives the walls a golden glow

The street of the Knights

Lindos

Continuing the tourist theme we caught a bus to Lindos (€11 return per person). After just over an hour driving along the coast and through countryside we arrived at Lindos where you could swap wheeled transport for four legged transport. We walked on by the donkey taxis though as it wasn’t that far down to the village where white washed cube shaped houses nestled under the lofty heights of the acropolis and castle. Letting the crowds thin a bit we wandered the narrow walkways admiring the pretty houses and the black and white cobbled paths; looking inside one that had been set up as the owner’s grandmother would have had it, complete with a beautiful bridal curtain around the bed.

Lindos town

As the sun got higher we took the steps up to the acropolis. Here the remains of many layers of history can be seen, the oldest dating back to a Doric temple from 300BC and on to the 14th century fortifications built by the Knights of St. John. Columns, monumental staircases, a reconstructed temple and castle walls all perch together on the rocky outcrop with fantastic views.

Lindos Acropolis and Castle

Lindos Acropolis

More Rambling Around Rhodes Town

Our planned 3 day stay in Rhodes was extended to 6. Our next stop was Symi and with winds from the west until Monday it seemed a bit daft plugging upwind for several hours when we could have a downwind sail a few days later. And it meant we could relax rather than rush around like loons trying to squeeze all the sights in.

So relax we did along with some more wandering in the back streets of the old town where crumbling houses sat next door to the lived in and cats roamed the narrow alleys and walls.

Some of the houses are in need of repair

In the Grand Masters Palace we marvelled at the imposing towers, the shear size and grandeau of the place with it’s huge courtyard and high ceiling rooms.

Beam me up Scotty!

Outside the walls the new town is all shiny, modern shops in the main street and lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from in the streets behind. We chose George and Maria’s Art Falafal restaurant and what a great find. The place has a cosy atmosphere and we were made to feel very welcome by the chatty hosts. The food was great too, freshly cooked and served with a homemade pickled red cabbage sauce, ranging from mild to devilishly hot!

On the edge of town is some leafy parkland containing the remains of an old sports stadium and the acropolis of Rhodes, currently being held up with scaffolding. We kept on going up the hill of Monte Smith for far reaching views out to sea. The weather had been hazy for the last few days but that day the sky had cleared and we could see Turkey and our next destination of Symi.

Rhodes ancient stadium and acropolis. The cave church of St. Nikolaos

We also managed to find some live music entertainment at Legends rock bar. Six nights a week from 9pm until midnight Yannis plays a superb acoustic rock set taking requests and inviting people up to sing with him. Then a full band is on until the early hours belting out more rock tunes. We had two fantastic nights there, the music different each night and a very welcoming and friendly bar it is too.

Sailing Info

2nd May: Alimia to Rhodes Town – 31nm travelled
Moored by lazy line in Mandraki harbour in position 36 26.937’N 28 13.649’E in 4m water
Costs were 12 euros a night plus 20 euro arrangement fee. Water and electricity included. Toilets and basic showers available ashore.
Arrangements made through Nicos at Navigo Agency.
Two small supermarkets at the entrance to the marina, larger supermarkets in town.
All the facilities of a large town are available a short distance away.

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