A trip to Rhodes, Greece is worthy of any Bucket List.
Without hesitation, I accepted an unexpected opportunity to visit Rhodes, Greece this summer with my cousin and her family. I blindly dove in head-first and submerged myself in nearly three weeks packed full of all kinds of new sights and experiences. Far from my typical traveling style, I did no prior research of where I was heading. I did not Google “best hiking spots,” I did not browse through the local restaurants on Yelp to look at pictures of the food I planned on consuming. I didn’t jot down any places that I absolutely must visit at some point during my stay. I was going to Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands; and that’s all I knew for sure.
A few years ago, something spontaneously sparked my adventurous spirit and ignited a never-ending growing need to see and experience all that this world has to offer. Thinking BIG and small, I have been steadily adding new locations & experiences to my bucket list, checking them off as I go. And as backward as it sounds, some unexpected places and things even make their way onto my bucket list after they’ve already been checked off!
My Backwards Bucket List of Rhodes
Collect Pebbles at the Beach
The Island of Rhodes is known for its beaches. We spent 98% of our days in Rhodes at the beach, so I can certainly vouch for the appeal. First, Rhodes sun gets HOT, even for a Florida girl like me. So within footsteps of a cool-down is exactly where you want to claim your spot on the sand. The water is crystal clear and unquestionably refreshing. For the snorkelers like me, I found that each beach offered some decent reefs within swimming distance from the shore. I saw a plethora of Flounder, colorful reef fish, crabs, and at one beach I even found an Octopus hiding under a rock! Most of the beaches we visited are made up of a combination of sand and pebbles. Each pebble flawlessly smooth texture shone through the waters beautifully with a variety of colors and unique patterns. It’s hard to believe that these perfect stones occurred naturally, rather than lab-created and hand-placed by some severely bored human being. The pebbles were probably my favorite part about the beaches. And despite the rumors about a “Greek Curse” that would follow anyone who took them from the beaches, I collected my share anyway. So far, the curse only has me experiencing an average amount of daily misfortunes.
Dive Into Lindos
One of, if not the top highlighted location we visited was Lindos. It is home to a cliff top acropolis, which features monumental 4th-century gates and reliefs from about 280 B.C. The Acropolis can be reached by foot, but for an 8 Euro Donkey ride, you can get there in style (and still have energy left to explore more efficiently). The acropolis offered some great photo opportunities from the top, and one of the most incredible views I have seen so far. The beach of Lindos was much like the other beaches in Rhodes in quality and beauty but located in more of a cove-style setting. With many accessible cliffs to climb, dive off of, and caves to swim through, my thirst for adventure was more than satisfied after leaving Lindos.
Take a Selfie With An Ostrich
I traveled to Greece with a group of families containing a handful of kids, so the daily agenda had to accommodate the multigenerational mix. We visited “the zoo” aka Farma of Rhodes, and I may have enjoyed it even more than the kids. Farma of Rhodes is not like any zoo or farm I’ve visited in America. It’s very laid back, and thoroughly hands on. At the entrance, you have the option to purchase a bag of food to feed the animals. From goats, donkey, camel, llama, and boar, the kids got a chance to feed and touch them all. I had the opportunity to not only feed Ostrich, but to enter the cage, hold an egg, and most importantly: take a selfie with an Ostrich!!
Roam “The Castle”
Rhodes is home to Old Town (or “The Castle,” as we liked to call it), which is a full functioning town formed behind still fully-preserved medieval walls. Approximately 6,000 people call Old Town home. They live and work in the same buildings that were once used by the Knights of St. John more than 500 years ago. The Castle offers no shortage of places to eat or shop. You can buy clothing, art, toys, bags, handmade leather sandals, and jewelry. We were fortunate in that our “home” for three weeks was located very conveniently close to this. Many nights, we would head over to The Castle and wander through the streets, passing by the many shops and restaurants, until we chose a place for dinner. After dinner, we would meander through the streets again, enjoy the atmosphere, browse the shops and typically ice cream would make its way into the evening’s lineup.
Okay, so I may have only gained 8 pounds, or maybe the other 2 pounds is still stuck in Switzerland where I had a layover on the way back to the U.S. and will catch up with me soon enough. Either way, we ate our way through Greece. The first meal was late-night Yeeros from Pita Fan (located in The Castle), the last meal was authentic, homemade Pastitsio (baked pasta dish that contains ground beef and béchamel sauce), and every meal in between did not once stray from the quality set. We devoured some of the best hummus and pita, bread and olive oils, octopus and squid, smelt, soups, salads, olives, dolmades, feta, assorted meats, and the list goes on. I was introduced to my first Crepe, with a delicious filling combination of Nutella, peanut butter, and banana prepared fresh on a griddle right in front of me. I tried Loukoumades, bite-sized fried fluffy donuts, for the first time. While traditional Loukoumades are coated with honey, we visited a place called Lukumamma which offers them with a variety of fillings and toppings, made-to-order. (Banoffee, and Twix pictured – both filled with caramel!)
What’s the first thing you would check off your Rhodes bucket list?
(Check out more of Sabrina’s photos from Rhodes, Greece in our Flickr Photo Album)
Sabrina Kathleen is a talented photographer, world traveler, free spirit, adventurous soul and frequent Midlife Road Trip contributor.