Walking holidays in Rhodes
An interview with Stephen Williams from "Walking Rhodes"
It strange to me how people that visit Rhodes know everything about the beaches and a few well known historical sights (which are probably amongst the best in Greece) and nothing about the Island itself, ok I know I am bias, but Rhodes is so much more than hotel, beaches and the local bar, with maybe a few day trips thrown in.
It was winter 1996 Susan (my wife) was trolling through the usual holiday magazines deciding upon our summer holiday, we had been to Crete the year before and loved it, so it was another Greek island, Rhodes she decided upon, a little village called Haraki, two weeks we were there, the best holiday of my life fantastic food, beautiful people and the daily walking we did was brilliant, it was for me, there were only a few walking routes they were not marked, so it was all compass and map real exploring and discovery stuff I was in my element, Susan was not so keen give me a path any day she always sais, but it just seemed we would turn a corner or walk to top of a hill and every time that first year it was just jaw dropping views and discoveries.
Every year we have been to Rhodes sometimes twice a year and walked somewhere different every time and re-walked a few of the favorite routes, other people on holiday knew about our walking and used to ask to accompany us on occasional days, we always love walking with others, anyway as the years passed-by, we were told by our friends on many occasions that we should start a walking company on Rhodes, in 2008 Walking Rhodes Ltd was established.
We use 14 walking routes, that two groups per day one easy walking and one a bit harder walking, there are also walking programs which are fixed walking routes, you can use your own transport to meet us at the start of the walking route or transport can be organized to pick you up from your chosen accommodation anywhere on the island.
You will find accommodation on our website, these are supplied by others which have contacted us and are enthusiastic about people coming to Rhodes to walk and can cater for walkers.
Walking on Rhodes is in it’s infancy and we must mention the companies below that are working with us to provide walking holidays, Best Western Plaza Hotel, Natuurlijk Rhodos, Friendship Travel and our Travel Agent is Rodos Direct Holidays which will organize flights and accommodation for customers that prefer to have there holiday arrangements organized by registered authorized travel company.
This year we will be offering a Winter Walking Holiday with the cooperation of the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Rhodes Town, I have developed an unique walking program set over 5 days that will take people walking all over Rhodes on different terrains and we shall visit seven castles on the island, these are approx 6 hrs walks per day, with castles set in the middle or on the end of the walk, and the final day takes us into old Rhodes Town and the surrounding area, at the hotel it will be half board with packed lunch for the days walk and a drink at the bar on our return from the days walk.
What do you need to know for walking on the Island of Rhodes Greece.
Walking boots with ankle protection is highly recommended, and several pairs of good walking socks, be it spring, autumn or winter walking Rhodes is blessed with sunshine all year round and you can as easily be burnt by the sun on a winter walk as you could at any other time, sun hat, long sleeved walking shirt and trousers are again recommended, a rucksack for carrying additional clothing, food, water and personnel items sun cream etc. Your choice of water carrier will be an important choice, water intake should be small amounts and often, as gulping down half a litter when we stop will only wash out vital minerals from your body, the so-called bladder type are ideal for drinking water while on the move, we know that some types do change the taste of the water slightly but what I do is when we stop for a break I have a bottle of ice tea to accompany my packed lunch, makes a nice change from water all day, also makes your water go further on our long walks say 8hrs you will drink between 2-3ltrs of water without knowing with the bladder type water supply system, good high water intake not only keeps you going during the walk of the day but stops any ill effect you may feel the next day from not enough water intake, the symptoms will be headache and an overall feeling of weakness and inability to muster strength to move and perform normally, sunburn will have the similar effect but you know when you are burnt it hurts, with the lack of water you do not know what’s wrong so water intake very very important.
If you are going to hire your own car while here, you will need a full valid driving license in your name, when hiring the insurance for the car is usually within the hire price, ensure it is a fully comprehensive cover they usually are, the paper document you get from the car hire company will have the details on it that the police will require if you are stopped, keep it in the car and have your driving license with you it is a legal requirement to have the required documents with you in the car.
You should have with you your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), check the expiry date, Your EHIC will allow you access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the country you are visiting. However, in Rhodes any healthcare will expect the patient to pay towards their treatment, and even with an EHIC, you might be expected to do the same. You may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in Rhodes.
The EHIC is NOT an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. For these reasons and others, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you have one.
We strongly advice that you have travel/medical insurance, you should photocopy the policy and your passport and have them with you at all times if for any reason you have to visit the hospital with these copied documents your treatment will start immediately and you will not be placed in a waiting room while others run back to your hotel to search for these documents.
We are a fully insured walking company with Atlas Insurance Company, our walking leaders are qualified under the Mountain Leader Training Association (MLTA) and are all trained in First Aid, as there is no Mountain Rescue on Rhodes we have our own rescue and recovery system, there will always be two members of our team with each group, a vehicle always at our disposal during the walks, on linear walks we shall arrange for transport to be there waiting for us, of course it will be parked next to the nearest taverna/caffe for a relaxing drink before we return.
After all these years walking in Rhodes I am still finding new places on the island, there are still more discoveries to be made on Rhodes, I hope you will be there to share them with me.
Looking forward to walking with you in Rhodes Greece,