If you think the Greek island of Rhodes has been discovered, delighted in and ruined by the tourist masses, I’d ask you to think again. While the island enjoys somewhat of a reputation as a party destination, filled with celebrating students, boisterous bar-hoppers and barely there bikinis (no judgement!), there are still some places you can slip away and enjoy a more authentic experience.
Pefkos is such a place. While this lovely little resort on the south-east coast of the island is certainly not a secret, its charm lies in its slower pace, beautiful beaches and the genuine hospitality the locals are only too keen to share.
Picture Perfect Pefkos
This is one seriously beautiful little slice of Rhodes, with its pristine beaches, pine-clad landscape and well-preserved sites where you can experience the surprising breadth of its history. Of course, if you want to kick back and do nothing except eat, drink and sun your buns, go right ahead.
For such a small resort you’ve got plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a favourite stretch of sand.
- Lee Beach: Considered the main beach of the resort, this gorgeous arc of fine sand has achieved the coveted Blue Flag status. It’s got great facilities (lots of cafes and restaurants) and there are watersports available. The shoreline is gently shelved, so it’s popular with families and can get quite busy; but don’t worry, if you’re looking to get away from it all, there are other options…
- St Thomas: This tiny sheltered bay is a local favourite, but the water is deep fairly close to shore so it’s best for strong swimmers. It’s BYO picnic and drinks though, and if you’re walking here, just remember you have to walk back as well!
- Plakia: Situated on the road out of the resort, Plakia Beach is a superb spot for snorkelling, swimming or, you guessed it, sunbathing. It’s not exactly deserted, but it’s definitely quieter than the main beach, while still being well-facilitated.
- Fokia: As usual, the best comes last, and Fokia Bay is a truly magical place – although there’s not actually a beach, as such. You can head down the rocky slopes to reach the bay and, if you’re lucky, you may even share the warm, calm waters with some of the sea lions for which it’s named.
Pefkos punches above its weight when it comes to dining options, too, with everything from casual beach cafes offering full English breakfasts, to authentic tavernas and restaurants serving up traditional Greek cuisine, or fine dining with ocean views. Rhodes is well renowned for its high quality food, and for those with an adventurous palate, some of the local specialities not to miss include:
If you’re looking for gastronomic diversity you won’t be disappointed, with Italian, Thai, Indian, Chinese and many other cultures represented along the village’s Main Street hub.
Top Tip: For anyone who wants to get a true taste of Rhodes on a plate, I highly recommend heading to Spitaki (‘The Little House’), where you can enjoy a traditional Greek meal in the lovely surrounds of their al fresco garden courtyard. It’s situated on Main Street in a gorgeous historic building that’s more than a century old.
Souvenirs with Style
While of course there’s always the regular tourist tatt available, Pefkos also has some really lovely little souvenir shops where you can pick up something more authentic. You can choose from the hand-woven textiles, ceramics, olive oil, handmade soaps and local honey for which the island is renowned. Even better are the eclectic local bazaars, where you can indulge in delicious food, spices, arts, crafts, shoes and clothing.
Where to Stay
Pefki Islands: The delightful Pefki Islands puts you just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach and a stone’s throw from cafes and restaurants. Mind you, you may never want to leave, because the onsite facilities include a gorgeous pool, garden and the excellent Elia restaurant. The bright, comfortable rooms (some with balconies) have well-equipped kitchenettes, so you can be as independent or indulgent as you like.
Pefkos Filoxenia: Cosy, calm and close to the beach and town, the peaceful Pefkos Filoxenia offers a welcoming ambience and all the comforts of home. Set within gorgeous gardens surrounding the two pools, the self-catered studios and apartments all have a kitchenette and access to either a patio or private balcony. With free Wi-Fi, a poolside bar and the option of a continental or full English breakfast, it’s like staying with a friend, only better!
Pefkos Blue: With its extensive facilities and stunning views, Pefkos Blue offers an authentic, laidback Rhodes experience in an outstanding location. The spacious, air-conditioned accommodation includes a kitchenette with the added bonus of a coffee maker. You can socialise with old friends and new in the bar and restaurant, which are set around the freeform pool, or simply relax on the terrace with cocktails and views.
How to Get There
One of the joys of heading to Rhodes is that it’s easy to get to and there are plenty of direct flights from the UK to Rhodes Airport (RHO). It takes around four hours and you’ll find some excellent budget flights with carriers like easyJet, Jet2 and British Airways.
I recommend you pre-book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct to get you directly to the door of your accommodation in Pefkos once you’ve landed. I find it’s far easier than messing around with public transport and, with the option of a shared shuttle, it’s totally affordable for everyone. The journey will take around an hour and there’s plenty to look at along the way.
About Shuttle Direct
At Shuttle Direct we know you want to make the most of your precious holiday time, so if you need a ride from the airport to your accommodation, we’ll take care of all the details. With a range of convenient shared and private shuttles, no matter what your budget, we’ll get you where you need to go. Simply make a booking before you leave home and one of our friendly local drivers will meet you at the airport.