Our Rhodes Activities - Rhodes Town Boat Trip

After the epic storm and torrential downpour during our day trip to Lindos, and spending the majority of our days relaxing by the pool and all the facilities Mitsis Rodos Village had to offer, we couldn't have a trip to Rhodes without visiting the medieval Old Town.

We spent time earlier in the week considering how we'd visit the town as it was at the other end of the island and (despite being cheap) travelling by bus could take up to two hours, an unpleasant prospect in hot weather with two children. Other viable options included hiring a car (approximately £40 plus petrol), taking part in a tour operator excursion or considering a taxi.

There were plenty of excursions available from our hotel, including tours and discounted activities, but with a set itinerary we found that there wasn't as much time for exploring on our own and I really wanted to properly soak up the atmosphere of the sun baked, cobbled streets.

The best option we found was actually by chance, a high speed boat trip from the beach at Kiotari direct to Mandraki Harbour by Kiotari Sea Lines. The boat departed from the beach by our hotel and there were different timetables allowing you either 4 or 6 hours in Rhodes Town. It cost 45 Euros each for adults, children were half price and babies/toddlers were free and meant that we could enjoy a fun boat ride as well as a convenient mode of travel.

The journey to Rhodes Town from Kiotari by high speed boat takes approximately 90 minutes. It really was high speed and we all got quite windswept. But the views of the coast from the sea were lovely. We saw Lindos from a different angle to our previous visit and even caught an exciting glimpse of dolphins! I'm still not over that, even though we didn't see much of them, I loved it and so did the kids.

Speaking with staff on the boat, we found out that it is really rare to see the dolphins like that, as they are usually extremely shy of the noisy boats, which made our quick glimpse even more of a treat.

On arrival at Mandraki Harbour you directly pass the place where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood. Now there are two deer statues as well as a castle which now acts as a lighthouse. Walking towards the walled Rhodes Old Town there are plenty of tourist shops and stalls and handy maps with directions to the different sites.

We entered via the Liberty Gate and used on of the maps to find the tourist office, conveniently situated by the Street of the Knights (also know as Ippoton). Here you can grab a map or ask for directions as the streets can be a bit of a maze. This is where having Google Maps on your phone can come in handy, especially if you're looking for somewhere in particular.

But the best thing to do is put your comfy shoes on and just explore! There are so many covered walkways, beautiful courtyards and winding streets.  We walked up the Street of the Knights, peeking inside the enclosed gardens of the various 'Inns' which were palaces for the knights and soldiers, depending on their language. There were various exhibitions available whilst we were there and many were free but there were also churches, mosques, monuments, museums and plenty of shops and places to eat.

I won't lie, I don't really think that one afternoon is enough time to truly do Rhodes Old Town the justice it deserves. It was easy to get sidetracked and we didn't get round to everything that was on my list, like the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, but with two kids we found that they dictated our pace and our exploring was more leisurely, with plenty of stops for drinks.

Our first stop was in a stunning, shady courtyard where we stopped for milkshakes and iced tea. The Auvergne Cafe had an extensive menu and plenty of drinks and ice creams to choose from. From other reviews I've seen, I really wished we could have spent some time there in the evenings as they often have live music and I love the idea of enjoying a meal in a medieval courtyard under the stars.

For lunch, we headed to Hermes Grill House which had an impressive 5 stars on Trip Advisor, despite being classed as a 'Cheap Eat'. Hands down some of the best food we enjoyed on the island, it was certainly great value for money. The food was fresh and delicious and fed a family of four for less then 20 euros - the portion sizes were huge. On arrival it was very busy but the owner kindly ushered us to a restaurant next door, bought us a small draught beer each and came back for us as soon as there was a table free. I could see why it deserved it's ranking.

After lunch we wandered some more, making a few purchases in the many shops before going to the Palace of the Grand Master. It was amazing in there, and again, was very good value for money. Unlike the Acropolis of Lindos which would have cost us nearly 50 euros as a family, the Palace of the Grand Master was only 12 euros (the children were free), it's also possible to get combined tickets with other museums and galleries and so you can save further.

The outside of the Palace is 14th century but the inside was rebuilt by the Italians over time. There are various exhibits, including some small archaeological finds and a history of the island as well as the old town and the Knights who inhabited it. The children were interested in this area and the exhibition spaces were cool and shady so it was a great place to spend time in the early afternoon when it was really hot.

After all that, we found that there wasn't really much time for anything else. We stopped for ice creams at the amazing Da Vinci Gelateria where it was a hard job deciding what flavour to choose and an even harder job eating it all before it melted! Matt did better than me and actually managed to get a picture of his ice cream.

The children started to get tired around the time that we needed to head back for our boat. We wandered back around the outer walls of the Old Town with the harbour on our right, I loved the boats where you could buy sea shells and natural sponges, floating shops full of treasures and sparkling blue sea.

The staff at the boarding point were helpful and friendly, especially towards the children, helping them to feed the fish in the harbour whilst waiting for the boat to arrive and talking to them about the importance of keeping our seas clean.

On the way back the boat takes a slight detour in Anthony Quinn Bay for you to take in (and take photos of) the natural beauty of the cove and again in Lindos. Both the kids fell asleep on the trip back to Kiotari, a sign of a really great day!

You can read my previous posts about our summer holiday to Rhodes here and here! Have you been before? Where would you recommend visiting? Let me know in the comments!

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