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Daily Mail: Romantic escape to Rhodes

Perfect trip for Autumn

British Daily Mail online sings the praises of the Greek islands of Rhodes and neighbouring Tilos as the perfect romantic getaways in Autumn. The piece, authored by Julian Robinson, describes an unforgettable experience during the brief trip on the two islands, while a lot of practical advice is offered for those travellers wanting to avoid the heat and crowds of the summer and enjoy a peaceful holiday in the Autumn: From the Daily Mail online:

Standing at the back of the high speed ferry and watching Rhodes dip below the horizon, it was easy to see why locals call the sea the ‘endless blue’.

For any voyage between the Greek islands and across the vast Aegean somehow feels like its own mystical odyssey.
We were off on our own mini-adventure, leaving the bustling Old Town of Rhodes for a lesser-known destination – the tiny island of Tilos.

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Our brief was to experience the merits of a holiday in Greece in early autumn, when the searing summer temperatures have subsided and when the huge tourist crowds of July and August have long gone.
It was early October and the temperature was a heavenly 27 degrees Celsius as we set off from Kolona harbour.
My wife and I had just spent four days on Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands and one of the country’s premier tourist destinations.
After a comfortable flight with Aegean Airlines, with a short transfer via Athens, we had arrived on the island and rented our car for the week from Rodos Cars – Rent A Car.
From the airport it was a simple enough drive to Rhodes Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval settlements in the world and now a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Since most cars are banned from the cobbled streets, we found a parking spot in a slightly chaotic car park along the city walls before walking up to our accommodation for the next four days, the Avalon Hotel – a hidden boutique hotel with comfortable rooms set around a peaceful courtyard serving traditional Greek breakfasts of yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit and pastries.
Despite its serene setting, the hotel is right in the heart of the town and a short stroll from some of the area’s best known landmarks.
The Old Town itself is a site of extraordinary historical interest where Byzantines, Greeks, Venetians, and Turks all left their mark over hundreds of years.
A guided tour reveals hidden delights around every corner from ancient statues and marble crests to fountains, mosques and hammams.

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The eerie Street of the Knights is just a few steps away from the hotel while the Palace of the Grand Masters and the town’s splendid Clock Tower are a short walk.
It’s little wonder tourist bosses describe the imposing walled town as a boundary between past and present and ‘the island’s coat of arms’.
But while the area’s historical riches can easily take up days of exploration, the island has a wealth of other activities.
We spent a day in the popular tourist town of Lindos to the south, visiting its awe-inspiring acropolis overlooking St Peter’s Bay – a wonderful swimming spot with crystal clear water and a beach-side taverna serving sumptuous grilled octopus and Greek salads.
On another day we took a boat trip down the coast with Yacht Charter Rhodes to enjoy some snorkelling and swimming in hard-to-reach coves.
In a third excursion we made our way up to the island’s mountainous interior, past orchards full of pomegranate trees, endless vineyards and quiet olive groves in a truly spectacular drive.
Back in Rhodes Old Town, we enjoyed some of the fabulous island produce at the Dinoris restaurant. The friendly staff treated us to a feast of fresh fish, beautiful salads, traditional deserts and local wines.
We also enjoyed a night’s stay at Villa di Mare, one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Rhodes. With breathtaking views of Turkey away on the horizon, the hotel has exquisite dining options. I had fresh sea bass filleted at the table by an expert waiter – washed down with a dry white wine from Santorini.
From being on a bustling island with a seemingly endless number of holiday opportunities, the contrast with little Tilos could not have been greater.
After a swift transfer with Dodekanisos Seaways, we docked in the village of Livadia and met our representative from Ilidi Rock, a magnificent hotel built into the cliffs with its own small beach that’s a short stroll from the heart of the community.
On arrival, the cheerful hotel owner confidently told us he could guarantee it would not be the last time we’d visit.
And no wonder.
The view from the hotel room was nothing short of breathtaking, looking out across a vast bay protected by a crescent of towering mountains.
In contrast to Rhodes, all that could be heard was the lapping of water down below and the chink of glasses and cutlery being laid out in the hotel’s cafe.
In classic Greek style, the hotel is painted bright white while the steps leading all the way down to the in-house cafe and beach are lined with colourful flowers.

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