Christmas in Rhodes, 21 December – 29 December 2012
If you want to escape the UK weather, “Christmas-hype” and crowded shops then this is the holiday for you. As well as easy walking, you can sample empty beaches, the quiet Old Town of Rhodes or the Acropolis at Lindos. Summer holiday type brochures do not mention Christmas, when the absence of crowds makes travelling about the island easier.
Leaving a cold, wet and windy Gatwick behind, it was a pleasure to arrive to a balmy temperature of 17oC. After the usual introductions we had an extensive buffet supper at our hotel.
We were eased in with an orientation tour of the harbour and the Old Town including a visit to the Grand Master’s Palace and walk back through the impressive ancient (dry!) moat.
To remind us of home, our first “long” walk had to be cancelled due to torrential rain, however not all was lost as the Archaeological Museum was open. This was not top of my particular list, but I found it fascinating and spent at least two hours there and now would recommend it to other visitors. It has to be said – rain can be expected in December. One street in particular boasted three umbrella shops, which were patronised by at least three of our party! Thankfully there was little further call for their use.
Christmas Eve was spent walking on the beach from Faliraki Harbour to the Italianate Spa of Thermes Kalitheas.
Much of the way was barefoot in a surprisingly warm sea. The Rhodes Acropolis Theatre and Stadium were easily reached from the hotel and gave views over the town.
Further afield, public transport to Archangelos was used as the starting point for a circular walk through orange and olive groves to Epta piges, the seven springs, although we could only find three! A bonus here was the opportunity to buy fresh oranges from a local farmer.
Our final day was spent at Lindos (??????), which was both sleepy and picturesque at this time of the year. There was a steep climb to the acropolis, but the remains and views were well worth the effort.
Unusually, this holiday allowed a full eight days to explore the island from a very comfortable hotel, with efficient and friendly staff. It may well be a quirk of the Christmas season, but our holiday left from Gatwick and returned to Heathrow, so you need to plan your travel accordingly.