The ultimate Rhodes trip
Chalkmarks Rhodes

IN Rhodes the sparkling blue sea makes me wonder. Should I have champagne for breakfast?

The day is young but here I am at the morning buffet filling a flute glass with bubbles.

Is that right or wrong? There’s no telling on this Greek island.

I’d never before sipped fizz with my eggs and toast.

The legend has it that Rhodes rose from the seabed creating the most beautiful haven surrounded by endless sparkling waters.

I have a Meryl Streep moment like her character in Mamma Mia and flop on to the four-poster bed!

No wonder then that thousands of Brits flock to this most popular island in the Dodecanese in the Aegean Sea every year. It’s an exotic escape without having to leave Europe.

The rooftop restaurant at the 5-star Atrium Platinum at Ixia, just outside Rhodes town, on the northern tip of the island has floor to ceiling windows.

I sit down, lean back and take 50 photos…just of the panorama.

I contemplate a top up of champers but I have to make tracks: to the pools!

And there are plenty to choose from including the one on my balcony overlooking the sea – where I spot the Beatles biographer Hunter Davies.

It might be a dusty idea but I decide to spend the day in the hotel to enjoy the sunshine. With 300 summer days available this is the perfect spot to spend some prime time and this spa resort comes complete with steam room, fresh water indoor pools and saunas.

A full day of blissful relaxation lies ahead.

I’ll order a cocktail and calamari by the pool for lunch. And for dinner, I will sip a red wine in the bar. It’s all planned!

Tomorrow I will begin my odyssey for a real taste of local life.

Away from the hotel there’s an old world of ruins to explore. The island has ancient roots that chart the dramatic history of the Mediterranean.

Rhodes Old Town is Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval town – declared a World Heritage City by Unesco. The 14th century Grand Masters Palace is the big attraction with two huge fairytale-like towers that dominate the skyline.

Now a museum, its large rooms are elegantly decorated, packed with treasures, antique furniture, sculptures, floor mosaics and artefacts from 700 years ago when it served as the residence during the period of the Knights of St John.

Nearby is the busy harbour that’s filled with glass-bottomed excursion boats that allow you to see the colourful tropical fish without getting your feet wet.

In the early evening, I go out for traditional food at Ergon, which also has a restaurant and deli in London.

Dinner starts with pitta bread and tzatziki and ends six dishes later, washed down with Rouzo, which is pink lemonade, soda water and half a shot of Ouzo.

I have a couple more before heading off to night spot Phos for music and dancing.

The next day I went down the east coast, which has the best beaches, to the village of Lindos.

I walk the short zigzag cobbled track up to the acropolis. It was bigger than I thought it’d be considering it was built more than two thousand years ago.

There are high columns, temples and monuments with a view to the restored stadium.

It was like travelling back to the beginnings of civilisation but at the top was that classic back drop of the blue sea and scattered white houses – fittingly the colours of the Greek national flag.

On the way down, I stop for an ice cream and potter around the souvenir shops and tavernas.

I’m staying at the five-star Lindian Village where the welcome chilled lemonade was just what I needed. This is another top spa resort – this one though comes with a private beach.

I have a Meryl Streep moment like her character in Mamma Mia and flop on to the four-poster bed.

The accommodation blocks are laid out in an authentic Greek style with the restaurants and a few shops around a main square.

Rhodes is home of the mythical sun god Helios and his mighty statue Colossus – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The handsome giant, whom stood at 150ft (47m), built around 280 BC, fell following an earthquake and over the centuries the bronze and marble rubble was sold off.

To this day, nobody knows where he exactly stood so perhaps I could search for it? It’s not as if anybody could prove me wrong.

I’ll start later though as right now I have serious work to do.

The philosopher Plato said there is no harm in repeating a good thing so first I’ll have that second glass of champagne!

Book it

Flights with easyJet from London Gatwick to Rhodes

Atrium Platinum

Lindian Village

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