The Fast Paced Rhodes

By: Douglas Scott

Rhodes or Rodos, Greece is the Crusader Isle, steeped in ancient history and boasting 300 days of blue skies each year. It lies at the southern end of the Dodecanese chain of islands that follows the line of the Turkish coast.

It is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and has been for many years, attracting relentless and overwhelming waves of visitors from March to November.

Its most popular resorts, such as Faliraki, are now almost totally devoted to package tourism and nurture an insatiable avarice in the islanders that only an unending supply of cash spending gullible foreigners can sustain.

Anyone is search of Greek goatherds and fishing villages has come to the wrong place.

The most popular beaches on Rhodes lie along the northern and eastern coastlines. To the north are high rise conference complexes of glass and steel towering over narrow strips of shingle and buffeted by the northern winds.

Down the east coast, from Rhodes to Lindos, are replicated rows of cement fun palaces. Only south of Lindos do the crowds thin out, though hotel complexes and modern apartments are still much in evidence.

The hilly interior and the much wilder west coast offer the visitor find a more authentic glimpse of a Greek island, though the coast offers little in the way of beaches and tourist facilities.

Charmless is too nice a word for this concrete mess but there are interesting Italian buildings near MANDRAKI harbour and remnants of Turkish presence persist at the Mosque of Mourad Reis.

The aquarium too is worth a visit although the stuffed and moth ravaged monk seals looked a sorry sight. You can catch the scenic holiday train outside the town hall for a tour of the sites with excellent commentary from the driver.

To explore the old city, the wise will get a map and guide. It brands you dumb tourist of course, but there is so much to see that there is really no alternative. A good place to start is Symi Square near Mandraki harbour for a tour of the CASTELLO where the knights left their most enduring mark.

For a different era in Rhodes history find the Plane Tree Walk where the clock tower marks the wall that separated the knights quarters from the rest of the city. The place is packed with shops, bars, cafes, restaurants you name it, but expect to pay for it.

The fast west coast road which links Rhodes Town to the airport is Leoforos Triandon noisy night and day. Resorts are strung out along this stretch of road and beach virtually without a break.

This is the main tourist holiday area north of Rhodes City. It is virtually back to back hotels with a narrow line of shingle to serve as a beach. Asthe beach is north facing, sunbathers can expect blasting winds at various times of year and swimmers must often cope with crashing waves

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