“RODOS 5-0+”: Rhodes beyond summer season
a Silver Tourism campaign by PROTOUR
Rhodes during autumn and winter – the PROTOUR campaign “RODOS 5-0+”
Rhodes is a well-known tourism destination for the summer season, with great beaches and a bright, shining sun. However, the island has a lot to offer all year round, as the weather is mild during the winter too, many hotels and restaurnats remain open after the summer and the very interesting places to visit are still there, while it is easier to enjoy the local gastronomy without the summer crowd.
This is the reason that Rhodes Tourism Promotion Agency (PROTOUR) presented recently the Rodos 5-0+ program, oriented to boost silver tourism during the low season and to extend the duration of the season throughout autumn and winter. Culture, history, gastronomy,walking experiences, modern Rhodian life, tasting, museum visits, exploration and discovery, evening walks and entertainment, wellness and relaxation, cooking and tasting, uncovering secrets of 23 centuries of the Rhodian land arr the advantages of Rhodes that are exploited for the development of Silver tourism in Rhodes.
What Rhodes has to offer after summer – a short guide for year-round travellers **
Rhodes town, a university town with year-round inhabitants, is also the administrative capital of the Dodecanese islands. This makes it one of the better islands to visit off-season as it doesn’t completely shut down. The commercial centre of Rhodes Town, with high street shops, banks, pharmacies, is just outside the medieval walls. Towards the beach, you’ll find newer hotels as well as eateries and bars. The rest of the city has a fairly workaday feel and you’re unlikely to head that far in unless you’re looking for something specific.
Rhodes town is an UNESCO World Heritage-listed city. The centre of the Old Town is filled with trinkets and souvenir sellers, and dodgy-looking cafes with photo menus. The backstreets streets are a joy to wander, though. As with any labyrinthine town, you can always find a quiet spot (try the Jewish quarter). There are swirls of Byzantine and Ottoman history, churches beside mosques and hammams, . Don’t miss the walk around the outside of the city walls 4km – it’s refreshingly green and serene.
The Palace of the Grand Masters of Rhodes is one of the main points of attraction within the walled Old Town. The Gothic construction at various points it was a citadel of the Knights Hospitaller, a palace, and a fortress, an Ottoman command centre, and a holiday residence for Italian dictator Mussolini. The old city was reconstructed by the Italians during Italian rule from 1912; they encouraged greenery and fountains, turning the cemeteries outside the walls into a green zone for walking. The result is it feels more restored than other Greek sites.
Where and what to eat – restaurants & wineries
Rhodes is blessed in terms of natural resources so there’s plenty of good stuff here. But be warned: you’ll have to go looking for it. Take the time to talk to locals and find out where they eat. I dined well at Koukos and Nireas in Rhodes Town. If you’re looking for cheap eats, join the students and locals at the amazing Ovelix. Foodies – don’t miss Mavrikos in Lindos, one of the best restaurants on the island. Try the local wines at well-stocked (though slightly snooty) wine bar Cellar of the Knights in the Old Town (οut of season, some businesses will only open specific hours).
In terms of traditional dishes, you’ll find an eastern influence as well as the typical Greek taverna fare, particularly in the use of cinnamon, bulgar wheat, chickpeas, raisins. Pitaroudia – chickpea fritters – are a local speciality. The island produces several varieties of wine. You’ll find the wine region (“wine routes“) in the area around Attavyros and the village of Embonas on the western side of the island. Rhodes was one of the first Greek islands to establish viticulture. The main grape varieties are Athiri and Mantilaria. Emery is the main winery open to the public, but call ahead to check it’s open before heading there.
Discover Rhodes Off the Beaten Track – 10 places that locals enjoy
There’s plenty to explore throught the island:
- The castles of Kamiros, Ialysos, Kritinia and Feraklos.
- It’s currently under restoration, but it’s worth mentioning that Rhodes Town has its own (mini) Acropolis on Monte Smith Hill (named after an English admiral) – with remains of temples to Athena and Zeus.
- Rhodes Town also sports an Archaeological Museum (at the foot of the Street of Knights) which contains the Aphrodite Adioumene statue. and the Museum of Modern Greek Art.
- Profitis Ilias. Beat a retreat to this lush mountain and discover an abandoned villa that was once destined to be Mussolini’s pleasure palace villa, then became a sanatorium; when you reach the top, where the homonymous monastery is found, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view.
- Monolithos. Incredible views over the west coast from this fortress and church perched atop a huge rock. No entry fee.
- Akramatis. The second highest mountain of Rhodes is another great hiking spot.
- Head up to Fileramos Monastery for noisy peacocks and spectacular sunsets over Turkey in the distance; check out the remarkable towering cross that dominates the top of the hill, as well as the ancient Doric and the ruins of the ancient Acropolis of the area
** main source: the themediterraneantraveller
The Rhodes winter program
Ministry of Tourism is organizing a program to host European pensioners in Greece, for the months of November and December (and beyond), due to the energy crisis in Europe which will particularly affect third-generation people of age. Among the destinations that are included is Rhodes – and neighbouring Kos. About 20 hotels (members of the Rhodes Hotels Association) with a total of around 5,000 beds will remain open in the winter in Rhodes, to accommodate European citizens who will want to leave their homeland tospend the winter in Greece. In addition, a list of restaurants has been announced already and more are expected to follow.