Rhodes, Greece’s top tourist destination and one of the most historically rich in the world, surprised me in a way I would have never expected. It’s the end of September, beyond high season, and we get to see all we want without crowds. History, culture, sport, beach, sea, local food, tours for children, arts, night life… what else? The eastern coast is definitely the most interesting part of the island.
We arrive at Prasonisi Cape after one and a half hour drive from Rhodes Town and about 110 kilometres southwards. The sea is bright blue. There but a few houses, the beach is free and untouched. The main road connects the coastline with the mountains.
A faded sign reads ‘Prasonisis‘, our goal. I don’t have much expectation from this place which seems a stretch of land attached to an island. When the final slope begins I spot some cars parked on the right and there I leave my vehicle too. I can only see a piece of sea and a beach from here, but a few steps on the left reveal a beautiful surprise: a strip of land heading to an island inhabited by colourful windsurfs and kites moving freely in the sky and dashing over the water.
The wind is steady and strong. In winter the land strip connecting Rhodes with Prasonisi disappears and the Karpathos Sea and the Mediterranean join together. In summer the strip arises back.
There are only a few buildings, a bar with terrace and a huge beach used as parking lot by the cars coming from all over the island. We get to the beach to enjoy this colourful show, unconcerned with the sand hitting our legs like needles. We spend one hour admiring the performances of these acrobats and then move towards Lahanìa, where we will find Taverna Platanos, a typical country pub with food and drinks.
On the island’s eastern coast also lies the town once even more prestigious the Rhodes itself, the white city, Lindos. We are almost there when we spot a huge cubical block facing the sea: the Agorà. On the left there is an open space with parked cars and people constantly shooting pictures of the Agorà and the ancient Lindos, today an interesting archeological site including an acropolis.
Lindos is well renown for donkey riding. For five euros a guy will lead you on donkeyback to the Agorà. There is also a road reaching the top of the slope, but it’s quite wearing, especially under the sun. The donkey service is operative from 8.30 am to 6 pm. We arrive just five minutes too late, but an extremely kind boy agrees to allow a ride to our daughter – who was already breaking in tears.
In the evening we look for a tavern with roof garden. A few metres from the main square we find Taverna Hermes, and with forty euros we eat a first course each with greek salad and pita bread, drinks included. An excellent deal, considering we don’t manage to eat everything.
Around ten in the evening we are back on the road. If all the island is like this, we are going to have a terrific time!
Cover photo: Rhodes’ eastern cost, by Francesco Sgroi.