With passport back in the nick of time (a week before the June school holiday!) the mission for this family was to find a last-minute hot holiday, with a pool, and on the coast that wouldn’t break the bank. This is how it was done.
Cesar Meze Rooftop Bar, Lindos © Kerry McCarthy
Why choose Rhodes? Why choose Lindos?
The choice was simple – get on the Jet2 app, then sort by cheapest first! We also filtered for a few countries with short flight times, and hotels close to the beach and with a pool. An Ibiza location was the top result, but it was so close to the party zone that it wasn’t an option for us – we were really looking for something family friendly and peaceful.
The next result was a place called Palm Bay Hotel in Pefkos, Rhodes, just a couple of miles from Lindos. We heard that Lindos was beautiful so decided this would be close enough to enjoy the delights of the historical Greek town.
- Tour Operator: Jet2
- Flew from: Stanstead Airport
- Travel time: 4 hours
- Package: Flights, Transfers, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast
- Hotel: Palm Bay Hotel
- Travel Date: June half term 2023
- Weather: Mostly sunny, 26 degrees
Pefki Beach, Pefkos, Rhodes © Kerry McCarthy
Location Location Location – but not in Lindos!
Lindos is indeed incredibly beautiful, but sadly wasn’t within our budget so we got as close as we could get in one convenient package holiday. It wasn’t until we arrived that we realised that we were actually on the very edge of a resort called Pefkos – a very different vibe from Lindos indeed! While very beautiful, the resort itself was mostly restaurants and bars catering to a British audience (a far cry from the traditional Greek experience we were hoping for) but luck was on our side and our hotel was in an isolated beach-front spot along the Lindos-Lardos road, right on Pefki Beach.
Authentically Greek Experience
Palm Bay Hotel was once the only place to stay in this part of Rhodes, and when the family opened their first taverna (closer to what is now the resort) Pefkos and Pefki beach were only accessible by donkey. In fact, the reputation for it being a remote hideaway made it a secluded location of choice for celebrities the world over.
Today, the road between Lindos and Lardos is built for four wheels over four legs, but Palm Bay Hotel remains a Greek family hotel with all the welcoming hospitality you’d expect, traditional Greek food and traditional Greek entertainment – mixed in with some evening fun for a British family crowd!
We opted for a sea-view apartment which had stunning balcony views of the Mediterranean, and the mountains that wrap around this stretch of the coast. The pool, restaurant and beach bar were on the opposite side of the road right on the sandy shore. Closing the door to the apartment to toes in the sea took no more than 3 minutes.
Lindos Town © Kerry McCarthy
Luscious Lindos & The Acropolis
We travelled by bus to spend time in Lindos. Its white walls, narrow streets, and jaw-dropping vistas totally lived up to our high expectations. The bus stop is at the top of a hill, so before you get into the town you are greeted with the most wonderful views across the bay, and the acropolis sitting high on the next hill.
As we dropped down into the town we made our way through the winding streets, lined with white walls and pebble paths, snaking in all directions. It is clear that Lindos is very much geared towards tourists as barely a wall went by that wasn’t adorned with mati (evil eyes), crochet pieces, linen clothes, jewellery, and leatherwork. It was however still a totally serene experience, even in the school holiday!
Lindos Acropolis Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay CC0
The walk to the Acropolis is hot hard work for small kids, but worth it for the adventure. Once up high on the hill, the age of this monument hits you hard. Steep worn steps, ancient engravings, toppled columns, and crumbling parapets merge with modern repairs. Olive trees and cavernous dark rooms offer some respite from the sun. The views form the top – of the ocean in one direction and the town in the other are a huge reward, but if you don’t have a head for heights, definitely keep away from the parapets as it is a long, steep, and rocky drop from every part of the acropolis walls!
After embracing the Indiana Jones vibe, the only way to go is back down to the town – donkeys are waiting patiently for those who don’t fancy the steep descent on foot.
For light refreshments and to cool down we visited one of the many rooftop bars – this one in particular, Cesar Meze Bar had a swimming pool – the perfect place to cool down and take in more of those stunning views!
Lindos Museum © Kerry McCarthy
St. Paul’s Bay Beach, Lindos
Before heading back to Pefki beach we visited St. Pauls Bay – a hidden gem of wonder in this town. It is very small, but sits in a wonderfully secluded bay, and has plenty of luxurious beach-beds amongst lush vegetation to chill out to the max, as well as a beach bar. It isn’t maybe the right place to head for a family day out, or if you are on a budget, but definitely one to bank if coming back on an adults-only break.
Top money-saving tips
- Bulk buy big water bottles – €2 for 5 litres
- Order all-day-breakfast or continental breakfast (giant croissant with greek yoghurt, honey & nuts)
- Make your own lunch with local ingredients
- Catch a bus to tour the island – Family ticket to Lindos was less than €5
- Eat at a local taverna over a restaurant €8 for calamari vs €15
- Order starters over mains or share a dish – portions here are BIG!
- Drink village or “bulk” wine – €2 a (very) large glass or €8 a litre
- Get travel insurance! Even with a GHIC medical care could still be costly, plus the peace of mind it offers in the event of something going wrong on holiday is worth every penny.
Lindos Beach © Kerry McCarthy
Pefki Beach, Pefkos
Even though it is on the edge of a resort, Pefki beach feels like a bit of a hidden gem. It was quiet, had a small number of loungers with parasols to hire – €12 for 2 for the day, a beach bar for food and drink (very reasonably priced), and the views of the surrounding mountains – and the resident mountain goats was just beautiful, especially as the sun moved during the day. The rockpools were great for exploring as the tide changed, and having the family-friendly pool available just a minute’s walk away was an added bonus.
Best bits staying on the road between Lindos and Lardos
The beach was quiet and the sea was calm. We weren’t in the resort proper so felt like a more remote location with clearer views. There were two local shops nearby to get snacks, drinks, and ingredients to make our own food in the apartment. The hotel staff were super friendly and the whole place felt incredibly welcoming. Transport is easy, cheap and frequent – reference was made to the first bus arriving at 8.50 GMT – Greek Maybe Time – which got a few laughs! Even if they aren’t on time, they do come every 20 minutes or so.
The Pefkos resort in particular has a community vibe, where the local businesses watch out and take care of each other, and look after the place incredibly well.
Overall we felt safe and welcome – a great place for a budget-friendly family break!
© Kerry McCarthy
Travel Writer Bio
Kerry McCarthy is a Writer, Editor, Artist & Breathwork Instructor who loves to travel. You can find out more about her adventures over on instagram at @kerrymccarthystars
Diagoras International Airport Rhodes © Kerry McCarthy