Welcome to Rhodes! Known as ‘Ro-dos’ by the locals, it’sthe 4th largest Greek island in the Aegean Sea and the largest of the Dodecanese islands. Rhodes has a long and enchanting history,and today prides itself on having one of the best preserved medieval settlements in the world, as well as a healthy amount of beach resorts that make it a mecca for sun seekers.

The north of the island is home to its jewel,the old town, while the south is best known for its natural beauty. On a drive across Rhodes you’ll see everything from valleys to beaches, picturesque villages and, probably, loads of goats! And with 300 days of sunshine a year, it’sno surprise that over 2 million people visit annually. So with that kind of popularity we had to come here and see what all the fuss was about.

We’ve been exploring the island to help you make the most out of your trip. Coming up we’ve got tips on food, money, getting around and language. But let’s start with our favourite things to do here on the island. Spending a day in Rhodes old town will feel like you’ve jumped into a time machine and gone back to medieval times. It’s the oldest inhabited medieval to win Europe and you can easily spend a couple of hours here wandering around and getting lost amongst the windy cobbled streets. (It says we're here) Navigation can be difficult, so I’d recommend downloading Google Maps before you go (Love Google Maps) to make sure you find the famous Street of the Knights, which runs from the Hospital of the Knights up to the Palace of the Grand Masters, a famous castle that stands tall and proud at the highest point of town. Having a local expert talk you through everythingyou’re looking at is so worth it.

I booked a walking tour with Rhodes Private Tours and was shown around the old town and the port. Our tour guide Dimitri was so passionate about the island, it was fascinating to hear all his insider's knowledge… The level is a bit higher than the level of the sea, so the intention was not to put water in, the intention was to create distance from one wall to the other. So the Turks, all was built to defend the city from the attacks of the Turkish, it was the new military power of the 15th century. Then they had to go down across this mote and cover, go up then behind is another moat, then again up, it was impossible to be invaded,the place. So no visit to Rodos would be complete with out a trip to the beach. There’s a bunch of beaches here and we’vecome to check out Elle beach, which is quite popular with tourists. There’s a load of hotels, bars, restaurant here. It’s a pebbly beach, but what’s quite cool about it is that there’s a diving platform right in the middle of the sea that you’vegot to swim out to.

In 2017 Greece ranked second in the world for the quality of its beaches on the Blue Flag scheme and there are plenty to choose from. But, named after the famous actor, my favourite beach on the island has to be Anthony Quinn Bay. With its crystal clear, emerald waters and lush green vegetation, it’s totally my kind of paradise. The valley is named after the thousands of butter flies which set up camp here in the summer, enticed by the vanilla scented Oriental Sweet gum trees. It’s one of the island’s beauty spots, with it’s green canopy, streams, ponds and waterfalls, making for a serene alternative to a day at the beach. It’s tourist friendly with a café and a shop, and all the paths and bridges are constructed harmoniously within their environment, soI’d suggest wearing comfortable shoes.

Lindos is a pictures, que ancient village nestled at the foot of a steep rock, and is surrounded by gorgeous coastline. It’s a great place to wander around the souvenir filled, chochlaki pebbled streets or stop for lunch at one of the roof top restaurants. Proudly overlooking the village stands a centuries-old acropolis, home to the famous temple of Athena. We spotted some kayaks by the beach, so obviously,we had to go do it! So we’re currently in the middle of the sea, having a little kayak session and it’s lovely, the water is so crystal clear, it’sbeautiful. It’s also a great way to see the island from a different perspective. We rented from Lindos beach but there are plenty of water sport companies all around the island so finding a place to rent onewon’t be hard. So one of the reasons I was so excited about coming to the Greek Islands was for the food! And if you’re here you’re gonna wanna find a local taverna serving traditional Greek meze dishes, and we have done just that! 

We’re here in Elle beach and it’s quite touristy, so to make sure that you find a traditional Greek restaurant, just have a little look inside and if there are locals eating there you’re probably onto a good thing! So we’ve ordered some Greek Salad with Tzatziki, fried courgette balls, fried potatoes - which are kind of like chips but they’re friedin olive oil which just makes them that much better! And this is filo pastry stuffed with feta cheese, drenched in honey. The Greeks are renowned for their mouthwatering,slow cooked and grilled meats - but it’s also a paradise for vegetarians too. Everything we had was so fresh and colourful. And if you're looking for something a bit naughty. (Donuts!) Greek bakeries are amazing… and so worth getting up early for! So an essential greek food that you don't want to miss out on is Gyros! It is everything you could ever want in ameal. You've got pitta, you've got chips, you've got veg, I've got Halloumi. You can get all sorts of meats, and I can't wait to get stuck in. So yeah. Planning to eat both of these.

Thanks! No I need to do this! Spanakotipa? English is widely spoken across the island, (Spanakopita?) but there's no reason not to learn a bit of lingo before you go. (Skanapotika? Dýo spanakopita!) Plus the locals really appreciate tourists making the effort. So we asked Dimitri to teach us a few key phrases while we were with him. My Greek isn't the best, so I need your help. Arriving you say Yasou. Yasou it means 'hello'. How about 'Please?' Parakalo. It is kind to whatever you ask just say parakalo. 'Thank you' is more complicated. It is Efcharisto. I think the most important word in Greece in my opinion is Kali mera. It means 'good morning'. It's a word that gives pleasure and costs nothing. (Exactly!) And it opens up all doors. I mean it's easy. (Yeah!) How do you say 'Can I have the bill?' Ton logariasmo, it's complicated.

'The bill please', everybody understands it. So how do I ask for a gyros? Because we love gyros. Everybody does! And it's easy. Ena gyro, parakalo. Kai Mira byra. (What does that mean?) And one beer! That's what you need. And so what is cheers? (Yamas) So finally can you just tell us what's your favourite thing about living here on Rodos? For me this is the best place of Europe. I have lived in Paris, in Rome, in Barcelona,in Athens, I'm Athenian. But here is the best place of Europe. It's so small, so nice. It is safe. You leave your door open, and that's the greatest thing I think. (Okay) You just have to smile and feel the sun. (and that's all you need to do in life!) You don't need any special thing. 

Hiaring a car is the quickest way to get around Rhodes, and the most fun, in fact you can hire one through Holiday Extras - check out the link below! And here are some things to know before hiringa car here in Rhodes.. To hire, you’ll need to be 21 or over with a valid driving licence. In Greece you drive on the right, just remember- right is right! At roundabouts… you’ve just gotta go forit! In built-up areas the limit is 50 kilometres an hour and on the two major highways it’s up to 80 kilometres an hour, but honestly,take the roads carefully, because you never know what “traffic” lies around the corner…! You can park for free in most areas of the island apart from the more convenient spots near the Old Town and in Lindos which are pay and display only.

Next up? Let’s talk money. So the currency here is euros and although tipping isn't a necessity it’s always nice to show some appreciation for the amazing food you might have eaten. But if you’re in the more tourist are as then do check the bill first because they might have already added a 10% charge to it. So anyway, let’s take a look back at our spending here in Rodos! This gyros cost €3This frappe cost €2.50 This Kayak cost €15 euros to rent for an hour. Travel insurance for three days with Holiday vacation cost £15.

And as our time in Rhodes comes to a close,don’t forget to subscribe for loads more awesome travel guides. So what can I say about Rhodes? It’s been a blast! We’ve had an amazing time exploring this island. The beaches are stunning, there’s a whole lot of history in the Old Town and the food is something else! I can totally see why people come on holiday here and I can’t wait to come back! Yamas!