The word ‘Rhodes’ means many things but I like the one ‘where roses grow’ though many looked a bit parched maybe as it’s also known as the Greek island of the sun!
I however have named it the Greek island of rooftops – well one village in particular is dedicated to rooftop restaurants – Lindos.
Airport and transfer
This was about my 10th trip I’ve done since the pandemic but the first that was completely as normal. (Minus this being summer of 2022 where luggage is being lost, security queues winding out the door and thousands of flights being cancelled.) But as far as covid goes there were no forms, tests, proving vaccine status and thankfully Heathrow Terminal 5 security was stress free too!
Arriving at Rhodes International was equally as calm and straight out to the taxi rank in minutes. Note for the return I allowed 2.5hrs though there weren’t any queues. Also note snow globes were not available in any shops at the airport (might just be me that was sad about that) There were however more food choices than usual especially for GF!
As I booked with just over a month before going, the choices for hotels (to the princess standard I like!) were limited (in the champagne taste, Prosecco budget I have!) I had wanted to stay in/ near Ixia – not least the sunsets on that side are the best but also closer to the island Simi that you can hop over to.
But availability was poor so then considered Rhodes town itself and Hotel Rodes Park was a strong contender – reminded me of where I stayed in Forte Dei Marmi, a cute boutique lux vibe with easy walking access through the castle to the old town – it also had a rooftop bar and a nice pool bar to pop into when exploring Rhodes town.
But I settled on the area of Kallithea – very close to Falaraki. Don’t be put off if you remember this town for its 90s party teenage scene, it’s changed a lot and the hotel I chose Esperos Village Blue was just that – a little village in its own right so i never actually made it into the town. We were greeted so warmly – special thanks to Spiros the manager and his team for treating us so well throughout.
The rooms were spacious – we had the shared pool sea view. Which basically meant a lovely secluded balcony and a deserted pool right by the room to dip in to. Only down side was when you ‘needed’ a pina colada the beach bar was far!
The hotel is adult only, with two main infinity style pools though many rooms come not just with a shared pool but their own private ones.
However do note that there are limited areas for shade (even with an umbrella) until after lunch and the sun has moved round and unless you are a hard core tanner its too hot to sit in the sun.
There’s also many restaurants including a rooftop restaurant and a regular shuttle service that will take you to and from your room or you can walk off your wine!
The ‘Panorama’ (rooftop) and ‘Aphrodite’ Restaurants both serve breakfast you can request if you have a preference. I imagine when it’s less busy then just one would be open. Both also house dinner for the half board stayers or if you fancy a chilled one at the hotel instead of venturing out which means you can make use of these rooftop tables which at breakfast are just too hot to sit at!
I chose the Mediterraneo Restaurant for our chilled night as its Al A Carte – I find buffets too overwhelming. The setting is stunning and service to match…. and the food – the freshest fish! I would choose to dine here even if I hadn’t been a guest.
Beach clubs & restaurants
The Ammades Seaside Restaurant & Bar is a 5 minute shuttle bus ride away which like with room drop off also can take you every 10/15 minutes and again you can walk – it’s just very hot and humid. The beach club was €6 bed hire and a brilliant bell to ring to bring you anything you needed.
Fully recommend a whole day down here. There’s also a great little beach restaurant where the fantastic Maria will look after you. Note to all those who love the sea, the beach is coarse sand and pebbles line the sea as you enter. A few minutes walk up to the main road and towards the hotel is a small but extensive shopping Center full of clothes, jewellery and sexy sea shoes. If you want to make it in and out unbruised then I highly recommend these.
Just another 5 minutes along was the beach club ‘Naya‘ which I chose for dinner. Beautifully set and great food handily near the hotel (tho we were lazy and cabbed it as even at night it’s hot!)
One place we didn’t make it to but would go if I go back was Mimakos Taverna. Not only is it 10 minutes cab from the hotel with mountain views but Tuesday’s is their Greek night with traditional plate smashing
Rhonda beach club is in Rhodes town and was buzzing. Come for the day and hire a day bed or just for lunch or dinner and enjoy the vibe.
The other beach club we ate at was the Nor Project. Highly recommend this one for sunset dinner. The setting is truly spectacular and the food delicious though the service a little abrupt.
As well as some beautiful beach clubs, Rhodes Town itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It used to be the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes but an earth quake destroyed it. But you can still come and see the site despite it’s absence. And for those who love NYC – the Colossus and the Statue of Liberty were built as symbols of freedom.
The old town of Rhodes was full of gorgeous little streets, rooftop restaurants, great taverns and shops. The new town I wasn’t a fan of – no character and a bit tacky. But was home to some rooftops! Click here for more info on them but the one Id recommend for the best views would be Minos cafe. Not fancy and one very hard working guy but grab a coffee or a cocktail to take in castle and city views.
Lindos is a beautiful white washed village and also the original name for the island and the name of the man who build one of the seven wonders of the world.
When I started looking into rooftop restaurants in Rhodes, Lindos seemed to be the capital of them! I was overwhelmed – there are tons!! Reminded me a bit of when I was in Marrakesh, lots of little roof terraces where you can see one after the other after another! A minefield and I was just going to be there one night, for my actual birthday dinner- the pressure was on!
The biggest problem was all the reviews I read, all the research I did didn’t actually give me a clear winner. Some were hugely popular for the view, some the food, some the setting but all had some grumbles. So I decided to wing it with a short list and go and check them out on the day … and I found my favourite – Cesar Meze Bar. The Acropolis towers over this rooftop restaurant, the terrace was beautifully set out with different areas and views. The staff and menu both seemed fabulous so I booked immediately and it exceeded my expectations.
We had drinks in a few other rooftops bars and another to note was Cozze Champagne. Amazing views further back of the Acropolis, it was quirky with so much character that it would have been a strong choice for dinner another night had we stayed in Lindos.
If you do make it to this village, which they do boat and coach trips t if the €60 cab is a bit steep then St Paul’s Bay is an absolute must. It’s utterly magical with an equally mesmerising restaurant – Tambakio build into the rocks.
Perfect as a beach side lunch venue if sunbathing all day and swimming in the most torquise waters or to go to as it’s own destination. It’s picture perfect.
Lastly, I also looked at a day trip to the famous Butterfly valley but it was an hour round trip in a cab for €70 each way or the local bus which has very limited timings and air con! I also read late July onwards is when you start to see the different type of butterflies we were mid July plus trekking in that heat and humidity you need to be a committed hiker with mossie replant!
Rhodes wasn’t on my list but due to availability, affordability and ease of flight timings it came out on top. Slightly less refined than my experience in Crete though on par with Kos – I mean what isn’t to love about a Greek island with that turquoise waters, stunning sunsets and the best Greek salads!
1. When booking restaurants call or use Instagram DMs. Pretty much every place I tried to book didn’t reply to my email or enquiry form.
2. If ordering a meat main course be ware there’s often no sides – it just the meat with a sauce. Perfect for those on Keto! I had lamb three times and each time was the same.
3rd is wear insect repellent. We were told there were no mossies and maybe they weren’t but one day we got eaten alive by something resembling the mossie family.
Lastly the people can sometimes seem a bit stand of ish but it’s just their manner. Greet them kindly and in Greek – Kalameria (if morning) Kalaspera (afternoon) And Kalinikta (evening) and you’ll have friends for life and you might even get a magical kiss (cocktail! 😉