This post is not sponsored. However we booked our flight and hotel package with Jet2, using a press discount kindly given to me.
Like every other person on Planet Earth, I have wanted to visit Greece for years. Those painted-white buildings, salt-sprayed surfaces, sun-soaked air, dreamily oceanic-blue topped structures… I mean, what a dream! And when you hold a destination up to such high standards in your head, it’s always tricky navigating finally getting to go and wondering if it’ll live up to expectations.
Harvey and I were thrilled to receive a generous discount from Jet2Holidays, which contributed nicely to our late summer getaway to the island of Rhodes this October (2019). We travel long haul to Hong Kong and Malaysia every year, so we try to counteract that with more environmentally friendly staycations and day trip throughout the year, and then one short-haul trip as a ‘treat’. We’ve both had tricky summers – and years – so it was delightful to be able to push the boat out a little and book five days at the Kouros Exclusive Hotel in Faliraki. An adults-only hotel, it isn’t a resort (I like to explore travel destinations!) but there are plenty of amenities available, including on-request massages in their wellness room or in your hotel room, a beautiful pool and plentiful sun-bed options, a delectable on-site restaurant and a bar and snack bar.
We soaked up every last moment on these swinging sunbeds; the perfect spot to get plenty of reading done!
Faliraki is a little village and seaside resort south of Rhodes town. Known for its stretch of sandy beach, nearby rocky surroundings, a lively nightlife and beautiful Old Town, I didn’t conduct any research prior to our trip because we ultimately wanted a poolside holiday full of relaxation. Admittedly, I’m glad I didn’t do any research because the village has a bit of a reputation as a partygoers’ dream during peak season! However, I absolutely adored our stay. There are wonderful restaurants, stunning beaches, crystal clear seas and the people were so accommodating and welcoming.
The main strip (told you it was a partygoers’ dream!) is full of restaurants, bars and made-for-tourist shops. We didn’t struggle to eat – we’re both vegan – and our favourite local spot was easily Cavo Costa Kouzina where we ate twice over the course of five days! There are plenty of veggie options, and the wait staff are more than happy to omit cheese to make meals plant-based. I LOVED the look of Rattan, a creative cuisine restaurant, but unfortunately none of their seasonal dishes were plant-based whilst we were visiting.
Within Kouros Exclusive Hotel is the residency restaurant, TERRA Med Restaurant. It’s a little pricier than most of the restaurants we ate at in Faliraki and Rhodes, but was a real treat on our first night on the island. Granted there were only two vegan options, but opt for the falafel and you won’t be disappointed. Trust me.
On Thursday, we decided to get up somewhat early (9am), carb-load at breakfast, and hike over to Anthony Quinn Bay. Our hotel told us it was about a 10-minute drive and at just 3km there and 3km back, we thought it’d be far easier to walk it. I’d say it’s a pretty straightforward walk, just be sure to slather on the SPF and take water with you.
The hike will reward you with picturesque views at Ladiko Beach – we stopped for beers at the beach taverna – and then a little further along, the much-lauded Anthony Quinn Bay. Both of these destinations are incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike, so prepare yourself! The rocky cliffs and crystal clear waters are a total dream though; a great spot for a picnic, snorkelling, or even a spot of Instagramming!
Our visit also saw us take an incredibly affordable bus from Faliraki to Rhodes town (you’ll need the 14 and it runs from the central bus station by the beach). I’m so glad we decided to take a break from sunning and relaxing because I simply adored Rhodes.
Again, we hadn’t planned on a day in Rhodes and, as such, were thoroughly unprepared for our day. We were dropped off in the middle of the town and made a beeline for the beach which is situated at the northernmost point of the island. It was entrancing to see nothing but sea! Next, we walked to the George & Maria Art Falafel Restaurant for a quick lunch. The owner is incredibly friendly and the restaurant itself is vegan-friendly. You MUST try their falafel wrap, aubergine salad and Greek coffee. Outstanding.
George & Maria Art Falafel Restaurant. 16 Madilara & Amarantou 20, Rodos 851 00, Greece.
We then opted for a walk through the town with no real destination, although pretty quickly we ended up at the port. At the very end of the harbour is a little brick hut which locals have converted into a cat home and local cats get to stay in little crates with soft bedding. I took the opportunity to duck behind and get some photos!
Next we headed for the infamous Old Town. The Medieval Old Town is a World Heritage Site and it’s not hard to see why. Bustling with people selling handmade wares, local food and much more, you could spend days meandering around myriad cobbled paths. It was here that we also came across To Marouli, a family-run vegan restaurant. And cue the meal of our dreams…
Not only are the staff SO kind and welcoming, they’re helpful and knowledgable too. Everything bar one dish is vegan here and it’s all delicious. Harvey and I went overboard and ordered everything from the Vegan Tzatziki to the Roasted Aubergine, the Garlic, Saffron and Broccoli Creamy Pasta to Onion Rings. And it was all absolutely amazing. We can’t wait to return.
To Marouli. Platonos 26, Rodos 851 00, Greece.
All in all, it was the dreamiest mid-autumn getaway and a great respite from the UK’s incessant rain. In fact, I truly miss it as I sit typing this guide out.
And on an additional note, we were completely delighted with our Jet2 experience. I’ve never booked a package holiday before and they have a stigma about them in the travel community. Usually I much prefer to be in complete control of my travels, poring over hotels, Airbnbs, travel options and locations within the destination until I can do no more, but despite that, I really enjoyed it and would absolutely book another Jet2Holiday. Harvey isn’t a great traveller and hates flying, which extends to totally freezing up when it comes to being organised for flight timings, finding out departure gates and so on. But Jet2 were incredibly accommodating and their helpers can advise you on gates and best times to leave, as well as help you discover places to go when you arrive.
Don’t forget to Pin our mini travel guide to Rhodes for future reference.
The perfect way to spend five days.