Rhodes 2024

A Few Days on Rhodes

2-5 October 2024 


Rhodes, with its wonderful walled medieval town, was often a definite on our gulet itineraries.  But these days we are less inclined to include it now that gulets are obliged to park in a thoroughly unromantic and removed service area rather than in Rhodes Town’s old harbour.  We think it therefore makes more sense to stay in a hotel – and a wonderful one at that – prior to a quick and easy ferry crossing to Turkey where our gulet awaits guests booked on our 5th-19th October tour.

As I am yet to carry out the full recce (not least in the aftermath of this summer’s forest fires), what follows is necessarily provisional in most of its detail, the price included.  But I hope it gives a good idea of what we plan to do.

Day 1: 2 October 2024:  Guests are met at the airport (or the ferry) and transferred to the Marco Polo Mansion (www.marcopolomansion.gr), a delightful hotel in the old town, where we dine.

Day 2: 3 October 2024:  We spend the morning exploring the old town’s maze of backstreets and alleys, which largely date from the 14th and 15th centuries, when the Knights of St John established Rhodes as their island redoubt against the Ottoman Turks.   But the town is a palimpsest of every age, with Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman edifices and features on every side.  Our wanderings include visits to mosques, chapels and the island’s synagogue.  After lunch we visit the town’s wonderful archaeological museum, housed in the atmospheric interior of the Knights’ Hospital and Hostelry.  Before dinner we wander the town’s magnificent defensive walls, mostly using the dry moats that encircle the town.

Day 3: 4 October 2024:  We transfer by minibus to Lindos, with its wonderful Hellenistic acropolis, painted Byzantine churches and delightful 16th-century mansions.  After a swim nearby (the local beaches are particularly good) and lunch, we travel onto Asklipieio to admire the magnificent painted interior of the village’s 11th-century Church of the Dormition.  We head back to Rhodes through the centre of the island, stopping off at Eleousa, a largely abandoned settlement of ostentatiously fascist buildings created by the Italians during their 1912-1945 tenure.

Day 4: 5 October 2024:  We spend the morning further exploring Rhodes’s old town and also the Italian-built new town.  Highlights include the Villa Cleobolus, set within an atmospheric Ottoman cemetery, where Lawrence Durrell stayed in the 1940s.  In the afternoon those booked on our Turkish gulet tour wander down to the harbour for our ferry to Fethiye.  The ferry docks, conveniently enough, some twenty metres from our gulet.

Our tours are designed and run by us.  We make it our business to be there every time you negotiate a challenge, be it on a city tour, an ancient site or footpath.  But we cannot always be  your eyes; it pays to be aware that the ground is often uneven, not to say steep, with no shortage of rocky protuberances, on Rhodes.  You will need a reasonable level of mobility, balance and fitness.  We grade the sites we visit to the best of our ability, but cannot be absolutely sure that all outings and activities will be within the capabilities of all guests.  We expect you to follow our advice if we feel that an outing, or an element of an outing, is beyond you.  If you are the least uncertain as to your suitability to join a tour, we’d urge you to consult us.

Provisional costs: £850 per person sharing rooms, £1100 per person in single rooms.  Price includes all meals, guiding, entry fees, airport transfers, ferry crossing and other transportation, and tips.  A discount to be confirmed will be offered to those also booking the 5th-19th October gulet tour.  Does not include flights, visas or alcohol.  

Your holiday is fully bonded and administered by Heritage Group Travel (www.grouptravel.co.uk) in Bath. For a small charge Heritage can also assist with your flights. 

The trip will only run with sufficient numbers; early indications of interest are much appreciated.

All initial enquiries to Jeremy Seal. (jeremy@somewherewonderful.com; 07757 703604).