Initially the plan for our “Greece and Turkey” trip was to split our time evenly between the two countries. After spending a couple weeks busing around Turkey the goal was to spend a couple weeks island hopping around Greece. Then we looked up ferry prices to the various islands. Wow-za! Greece is not an expensive country to visit, but the ferries between the islands cost more than our daily budget. At 30-60 euro EACH WAY (in high season, which is when we were visiting), we just couldn’t justify blowing our budget to get to different islands within the same country. Maybe options coming from Athens are more affordable, but coming from Turkey your options are pretty limited and are not very budget friendly.
So we switched gears a bit and decided to focus on one or two islands and travel the much cheaper and easily accessible Turkish coast instead. After a lot of research and adjusted expectations we settled on one island, Rhodes. Why Rhodes? Honestly, location. It is one of the easiest Greek islands to get to from Turkey and it is large enough that five days there didn’t feel excessive. There are beaches and good restaurants and wine and history.
We had hoped to take a ferry from Fethiye to the island but for a reason still unbeknownst to us all the ferries from the Turkish city to the Greek island were cancelled the week we were in the area, so we ended up having to backtrack a bit up the coast to Marmaris, spend an unplanned extra night in Turkey and get on an afternoon ferry the next day. We were joined by dozens of day-trippers who had taken the morning ferry over from Rhodes to spend one day in Turkey (because you can absorb SO MUCH CULTURE by shopping in a tourist market for a few hours).
Most of our five days on Rhodes were spent exploring the island by car, but we did spend our first night walking around very cute, but VERY touristy Rhodes Town. The medieval city is the oldest inhabited in all of Europe and despite being stuffed with shops and restaurants catering to the literal boatloads of tourists packing the streets there is a certain charm to the cobbled streets and centuries old architecture.
We attempted to get away from the crowds and were rewarded with some romantic exploration of tourist free side streets.
Staying inside the medieval walls in Rhodes Town is pretty expensive (although we found a pretty okay deal for our one night there, only 40 euro), so we had booked an Airbnb in a town called Faliraki, which is one of the main party places on the island. Being the old married couple we are, we had no intention of parting and had chosen this spot solely based on the $28/ night room I had found. Plus there is a beach in Falaraki, which should be a given in picking a place to stay while on a Greek Island.
Our first full day on Rhodes was spent doing a whole lot of nothing at the beach in Falaraki. Some sun, some lunch, some swimming, some more sun, some reading, some dinner, some sleep. A vacation from vacation.