Rhodes on a budget: Cheap and free things to do

Discovering Rhodes on a budget isn't as difficult as you might have thought. Yes, holidaymakers flock to the glorious Greek island to indulge in its mild climate, history, culture, stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and fantastic food, making it one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. However, although this pushes prices up in some areas, there's plenty to see and do either for free or on the cheap.

The beach at Lindos © imrek - Fotolia.com
The beach at Lindos © imrek - Fotolia.com

Getting around

Although hiring a car is handy if you want to explore the centre of the island, the buses are cheap, air-conditioned and run regularly from Lindos to Rhodes via Kolymbia and Faliraki. More adventurous travellers can also hire a moped to explore what Rhodes has to offer that way.

Cuisine in Rhodes

Food is fresh and delicious, especially local cheeses and wine, plus the infamous Greek salad and variety of fish. Prices are slightly higher in touristy areas, but you can easily haggle over the set menu and bag yourself a bargain, or seek out more secluded cafes and restaurants away from busier hubs.

Take a walk around Old Rhodes

As one of the most impressive and historically-rich medieval centres in Europe, the old town of Rhodes retains a truly magical feel. It's easy to get lost in the twisty roads within the city walls and picture besieged knights inside the turreted Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights as they prepared for battle.

The old town of Rhodes © David Spender - Flickr Creative Commons
The old town of Rhodes © David Spender - Flickr Creative Commons

Back in our time, you'll find countless stalls run by chatty islanders filling the streets, selling anything and everything, just don't forget to haggle. Enjoy lunch in one of the tavernas before making your way to the statue of Colossus at the harbour, the supposed site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Anyone looking to cool off after so much walking can head to the nearby Elli Beach, which is picturesque but can get quite crowded during peak seasons.

Climb to the acropolis at Lindos

Situated around a hill, the town of Lindos perfectly combines the old with the new, as the stunning acropolis, whose origins date back to 300BC, looks down on the hustle and bustle of the more modern town steeped in ancient ruins.

The partly restored Temple of Athena on the Acropolis © - Panos - Fotolia.com
The partly restored Temple of Athena on the Acropolis © - Panos - Fotolia.com

Wander the winding lanes, take in the views from the top or relax on the sandy beach that lies at the foot of the town. If you head off up the slopes to the acropolis, remember to take some water with you as it's quite a climb; if you're feeling lazy, take a Lindos taxi - aka a donkey - to the top and gaze over the Aegean Sea.

The churches in the town are also worth seeing, particularly the Greek Orthodox Church of St Peter with its painted murals, but make sure you cover up with one of the provided shawls. With plenty of cafes and bars in the town and by the beach, you could easily spend a whole day here, and buses run regularly from the old town of Rhodes.

Relax on Kolymbia Beach

Located between Lindos and Rhodes, Kolymbia is ideal for families. Much quieter than nearby Faliraki Kolymbia has plenty of hotels for all budgets, and the main street has bars, restaurants and shops run by some of the friendliest people on the island.

Kolymbia Beach, Rhodes © Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) - Wikimedia Commons
Kolymbia Beach, Rhodes © Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) - Wikimedia Commons

Many of the tavernas are family-run, offering local cuisine and great service. Be prepared to chat as they love to practise their English, but take it steady with the local spirits they give you - strong stuff!

Although small compared to some of the beaches on the island, Kolymbia Beach is a quiet calm area that's ideal for swimming, while the smooth rocks above offer the chance for a pleasant walk.

Splash about in Faliraki

Not the place to stay if you're looking for a quiet holiday, Faliraki is the party town of the island. During the day the it's fairly sleepy, so it's worth a visit and there's a three-mile stretch of sandy beaches, perfect for swimming or relaxing.

Falariki Water Park - photo courtesy of www.water-park.gr
Falariki Water Park - photo courtesy of www.water-park.gr

Faliraki also has the largest waterpark in Europe, which isn't exactly cheap, but a super day out for adults and children alike with Twisters, Black Holes and Kamikazes, plus plenty of child-friendly slides.

At night, the town wakes up as the bars and clubs open and the music blares, although there are some quieter places for those who just want to chill out and have a couple of drinks.

Whatever you're looking for on your holiday, it is possible to do Rhodes on a budget thanks to its variety of things to do and spectacular selection of natural beauty spots. Are you tempted to discover Rhodes for yourself? Visit our holiday deals section for the latest offers from leading travel providers.

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Michaela Clement-Hayes

Michaela Clement-Hayes

Posted on Thursday 27th March 2014 in: Beach Culture Europe Money saving tips

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