We had occasion to pass through Faliraki last Sunday. With perfect weather and a little time on our hands, we decided to take a small detour. We went somewhere we've been once or twice before, but really not stayed long enough to investigate. If you know Rhodes at all then you'll know that there's a mile or two-long-strip of huge hotels heading north on the coast road from Faliraki to Kallithea Springs. Not long after you pass the springs you approach the Koskinou area, which is preceded by yet more huge hotels. It's not my favourite place I have to be honest.
I know some will disagree (and Koskinou itself is an exception, of course), but I have the feeling that true Greco-philes will side with me when I say that I fail to understand why people want to visit an island in Greece and stay in such accommodation, by which I mean these huge homogeneous hotels that, once you get inside the front gate, could be anywhere on the planet.
The interesting thing is that, between the area I call 'hotel alley' and the headland north of Kallithea Springs there is this forested area, right on the coast that, once you get off the main road, gives you the impression that those huge altars to tourism could not possibly be in such close proximity.
Round the headland above 'hotel alley', where you can glance back along Faliraki Bay, and pretty soon the only landscape is forest, which glimpses of the sea. Pretty soon you reach this spot (pic courtesy of Google Maps, please don't sue!) -
|This is heading north, away from Faliraki|
See that entrance on the right in the above photo? well take it!! You'll soon find yourself in a small driveway between mature pines and edged by a low (and ever so slightly alarming) stone wall. Secreted in this area are a couple of wonderful rock and sand bays, the first of which sports a really lovely taverna called Nikolas. Cue photos...
|You can drive down a part-dirt lane toward the taverna, then walk down this path to arrive at a true beauty spot.|
|Taverna Nikolas terrace.|
|It's easy to spot the sign directing you down the lane to the taverna.|
We didn't have long, so I just snapped the photos and we made a mental note to be sure and go there to eat at the earliest opportunity. Don't know about you, but this taverna has everything I look for when eating a lazy lunch (or evening meal in high summer) on a Greek island. That link above is to the TripAdvisor page for this taverna and the reviews by and large are extremely encouraging. If this helps (again courtesy of Google Maps) here's the general area...
|See that small headland at the bottom of the image, the taverna is nestled in that bay above it.|
On an entirely different subject, we had some Greek friends over for dinner recently and they turned up with a couple of bottles. Things are improving. Traditionally if you invite Greeks they'll turn up with a box of diabetes-inducing cakes in one of those admittedly attractive boxes that the cake shops pack them in. They cost a small fortune anyway, but most of our friends these days know that we don't 'do' sickly cakes and stuff. OK, I might make the exception when it comes to bougatsa.
Anyway, these bottles; well one of them we knew, the other was this one...
If you like real wine - and by that I mean not the medium sweet supermarket stuff that seems to be ubiquitous these days - no, I mean a full-bodied dry red that goes perfectly with some crackers and cheese, well look out for this one.
It's a true local wine from Embona, the village which is the wine capital of the island of Rhodes and it's very - and I mean very - nice. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't buy a decent local wine in Rhodes. In fact there are loads, but this one was a surprise to me and a very pleasant one at that.
So, there you are, two surprises in one week. I need a lie down, maybe with a glass of wine...