Hopping into your Honeymoon
Hop on and join Charlotte Saunders on her adventures around the islands of Rhodes, Symi and Halki, hidden treasures on the Grecian coastline…
Scattered across the dazzling Aegean Sea, you will find the picturesque Greek islands, ideal for an island hopping trip of a lifetime! During my time in Greece, I explored Rhodes, Symi and Halki to experience the Olympic Holidays package deals available. Island hopping in Greece is a fabulous and hassle-free way to experience the joys and character of each individual island and is a popular choice for newlyweds.
WHEN IN RHODES
My adventure started with the island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands. Known for endless beaches with crystal clear waters, divine fine dining and a Medieval Old Town with charming churches and ancient ruins, this is the ideal spot for either a romantic break or a lively party holiday. If you’re planning a hen weekend, Rhodes is the place for you. You will find a sublime variety of bars and restaurants to enjoy cocktails, delicious Greek food and live music that’ll take you late into the night.
Thriving with culture, there is an unrivalled choice of places to visit when in Rhodes. If you are looking for a family-friendly escape with stunning sandy beaches, pretty winding streets, and whitewashed walls, Lindos is the place to be. Or you may choose the walled city of Rhodes Old Town, full of history and impressive architecture with numerous shops, bars, and market squares, with a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
During my time in Greece, I stayed at Grecotel LUX ME Dama Dama in Rhodes, named after the dama-dama deer that you will only find living here on the island! The all-inclusive holiday concept Dama-Dama offers combines a superb seafront location with modern design, service, entertainment and delectable food and beverage. With an immense 318 rooms and an exceptional collection of 17 room types, this striking hotel is the ultimate hot spot. Dama Dama sits within the picturesque Blue Flag Kallithea beach. The sea view from my Lux Me Guestroom balcony was simply breathtaking, and the sunrise I woke up to every morning reflecting on the gleaming sea was something else! The neutral interior tones are juxtaposed with brightly coloured, bold-patterned artwork and furnishings. Stunning details enrich each individual room: the sea-inspired embellished cushion covers and sculptured lamps reflect a touch of Greece. If the stunning beach isn't enough for sunbathing, the hotel has three pools, including a 100-metre freshwater outdoor pool, a children's pool and waterslides. Located right by the beach and outdoor bar, you get the best of both worlds. With cabanas and sunbeds dotted throughout, this is the ideal base while island hopping.
Dama Dama has five exceptional restaurants, including late-night snack bars and a beach lounge. During my stay, I experienced a variety of these superb eateries. Dama Dama is a Mediterranean buffet-style restaurant in the hotel, serving a variety of fresh foods with a divine selection of desserts, this is a popular, family-friendly spot. With the option to be seated outside, the view of the spotlights glistening onto the stunning outdoor pool with the warm climate and gentle breeze created an immensely peaceful atmosphere.
Caffe Italia offers classic Italian dishes and hot stone specialities. During my alfresco dining experience, I enjoyed a three-course meal from the carefully selected menu. For my starter, I couldn’t resist the grilled vegetable bruschetta, the beautifully designed colourful dish was picture-perfect. For my main course, I devoured mushroom and ricotta tortellini before finishing off with a delightful profiterole dessert. The food's aesthetic plating and superb service were spot-on for my dining experience.
A restaurant not to miss is Tavernaki Olive Oil, which specialises in spectacular Greek plates using the best local produce. Located on a balcony overlooking the resort and surrounded by foliage and candles, this is the place for a romantic dinner with a loved one.
Greece is designed for hassle-free island hopping for people who crave stunning scenery steeped in history and a Mediterranean climate. During my stay in Rhodes, I took day trips to the surrounding islands, Symi and Halki. This enabled me to have a base while experiencing the ultimate island-hopping venture. If you’re after a beach-based holiday with a touch of adventure, island hopping is the perfect choice for you.
As I took to the seas by ferry across the Aegean waters, I arrived in Symi 90 minutes later. One of Greece’s best-kept secrets is the island of Symi, with colourful hillside houses greeting you as you sail up to shore, it was breathtaking. I arrived on the island to the sun glistening on the blue sea with numerous elite yachts dotted around the harbour, the majestic feel to the port captivated me instantly. After spending the morning exploring the boutique shops and taking in the glorious views I enjoyed lunch at Nireus Hotel. Positioned on the waterfront, I indulged in a traditional chicken souvlaki paired with Greek salad and tzatziki. The sound of the waves crashing onto the shore created an exquisite location to devour my splendid Greek cuisine. The neoclassical Nireus Hotel is the ultimate location for an intimate destination wedding, with the hotel team always on hand to help, they will work with you to create the wedding of your dreams in the most idyllic setting.
If you’re looking to incorporate an overnight stay while at Symi, you can find a variety of traditional apartments and hotels on the island. Taxiarchis Apartments, located in a quiet area of the island radiates a rural feel suitable for a relaxing stay. Pedi Beach Hotel is a stunning choice for an authentic Greek retreat, with a beachfront setting and many on-site facilities - this is the ideal choice for a more restful and calm holiday.
A HIDDEN GEM: HALKI
The final island I visited was Halki, a small island in the Dodecanese island group, just 6km west of Rhodes. After a short ferry journey from Rhodes I arrived at the postcard-worthy destination. Similar to Symi, you are greeted to colourful, Lego-like houses around Nimporio port, the main port of Halki constructed around a large bay. The picturesque port is surrounded by traditional tavernas, cute boutique shops and many cafes to explore.
During my time at Halki I spent the afternoon on Potamos beach, only a 15-minute walk from the port, and in a spectacular, private setting. Despite Potamos being the most popular beach on the island, I was surprised at how peaceful it was. There are numerous sunbeds and umbrellas situated around the beach that can be hired for a small fee, or you also have the option to sit on the sandy strip of beach. This idyllic swimming spot was blissful for an afternoon swim, the sheltered bay with shallow waters is excellent for a family holiday. Overlooking the bay, you will find Nick Taverna, a traditional Greek restaurant, serving up fabulous fresh food. You can also enjoy an ice-cold cocktail from the bar while admiring the gentle sea view.
With the Olympic Holiday packages, you have the option to stay at Halki overnight, with accommodation owned and managed by Greek hosts, it is suitable for couples and families, offering an authentic Greek experience. Aretanassa Hotel is a great choice for a longer stay, the hotel has a prime waterfront position, giving you spectacular views from the majority of the 19 boutique-style rooms. Enjoy cocktails on the terrace with a view of the pastel-coloured hilltop houses and the stunning boats dotted throughout the turquoise sea. Fourlanou House offers three separate apartments, two of which can sleep up to six people, ideally suited for a family-friendly holiday. Each apartment is fully furnished yet spacious with modern interiors ensuring a comfortable, homely stay.
This hidden gem of an island gives you a feel of authentic Greece and you can tailor your day depending on what you’re seeking. For me, a day trip was plenty of time to explore the island, although to spend time to unwind with a loved one, the beautiful island of Halki would make a tranquil holiday destination for a longer stay.
IN A NUTSHELL
Island hopping is totally unique to what you desire, whether you decide day trips are the option for you, or overnight stays, Olympic Holidays can tailor flexible itineraries to work with your preference and budget. Depending on what islands you decide to visit, maybe two, three or more, Rhodes is an ideal base for an island-hopping experience that can be relaxing or lively and culturally enlightening.
The Greek islands are a favourite among honeymooners. Travelling to new destinations, delving into culture and having a romantic escape is a wonderful way to start married life. You will be mesmerised by the characteristics of the islands, known for ancient Greek architecture, exquisite fine dining and striking scenery. Island hopping around Greece will ensure newlyweds enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon.
A 10-night island hopping holiday package around Rhodes, Symi & Halki ranges from £1,885pp based on two people travelling. The package includes return flights to London Gatwick airport, transfers and baggage. To book your dream island-hopping honeymoon, visit olympicholidays.com or call 0208 492 6868.
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