Driving around Southern and Western Rhodes

After the 2.5 hour ferry from Kos, we spent the first four days in Pefki (just below Lindos in the centre), and the last four days in the main town of Rhodes in the north.

We took a late afternoon ferry from the port at Kos to the one in Rhodes town. Generally the waiting area for ferries on the Greek islands are a basic room or nothing at all, and don’t expect air conditioning, many chairs/benches or even a bathroom. This was the case for the waiting area in Kos which filled up quickly long before the ferry came. So unless you get there early and snag a prime spot in the shade, you might be waiting awhile in the sun.

Furthermore, the ferries are often late so patience is a must. From what we’ve seen, it’s not always the fault of the ferry companies as the behaviour of cars, motorcycles and pedestrians can have a ripple effect on things along the way.

We took a smaller Dodekanisos Seaways ferry that arrived about 25 minutes late. We queued up and got on the ferry. The airplane-style seating was reasonably comfortable and the trip wasn’t too rough.

After a cruise of about two hours and thirty minutes, we arrived at Rhodes town. We met the contact from the rental agency in the parking area, picked up our rental car (VW T-Cross). From there we drove towards our first Airbnb in Pefkos, located about an hour away. The next day, we started checking out the southern and western parts of Rhodes.

Starting in Pefki, this drive wound around the southern and western side of the island.

The drive to Agios Georgios Beach took us down some narrow dirt roads off of the main track. Unlike many of the beaches closer to Pefkos or Rhodes Town, this one was huge and quiet.

I liked the little bit of extra clearance on rough roads but the engine was a bit weak
Heading to the beach
The water was clear but not cold
Agios Georgios Beach

We passed the ruins of an old silk factory on the way over to the west side of the coast. Slowly making our way north, we took a detour up a steep hill for our next destination: a monastery.

The way up to Skiakdi

Renovated in modern times, the Monastery in Skiadi was a nice side trip inland. We took a winding road before eventually reaching the monastery.

From the inside looking out
Grapes growing on the vines
Monestary interior

Along the way we stopped at a roadside fruit and vegetable stand, as many of the farmers set them up along the main road the rings around the island. We picked up some plums and watermelon for later and continued along the western side of the island.

Next, we went to Monolithos, whose name means “single rock.” This is an appropriate name, as the fortress is located on top of a 100m high rocky hill. Built by the Knights of St. John in the 1480s over an older Byzantine fortification, it once served as one of the four main fortresses used to defend the island. The castle was never conquered but fell into Turkish hands after the knights left the island. Still later it became abandoned.

The castle in the distance. This wasn’t the last time we’d hear about the Knights of St. John on the trip
It was a short but steep climb up from the parking area
The walls were relatively intact
The newer church on top

One of the most striking parts of the castle was the ruins of the old church, located just a little down from the main ruin. With a little effort we reached the inside of the ruined church.

Terrific views of the northern coastline from the ruin

Next to the ruin of Monolithos is a road that continues downward. With some time still available before dark, we drove the long and winding path down to the sea to check out two beaches there. We didn’t bring our swimming clothes on this day, but just walking along the beaches and enjoying the views was enough. The two beaches near Monolithos are Alyki Beach and Fourni Beach. Both were not busy on this day.

The drive down to the beaches
Going down to Alyki beach

We drove further down the dirt road and reached Fourni beach,

Fourni Beach

With the sun starting to dip and a long drive back to Pefkos ahead, we headed back. In the evening we enjoyed a nice dinner in Pefkos, with a plan to visit a much closer sight for next time: Lindos.

Evening in Pefkos

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