About Faliraki beaches
Faliraki, on the island of Rhodes in Greece, is Rhode’s prime party resort. Its reputation was, and still is, based on British 18-30s on package deals searching for cheap booze and all-night discos. It is a purpose-built resort that grew up here due to a 5km (3-mile) stretch of sand beach, which through high season is lined with some 4,000 sun beds and umbrellas. The centre is filled with pubs and discos, and while it remains sleepy through the day the riotous nightlife runs from 2300 till sunrise. Local authorities consequently tightened up on yobbish behaviour and tour operators were obliged to clamp down on pub crawls. Despite all this, it appears prosperous enough and remains a popular ‘must-do’ destination for the full-on party and binge drinking crowd.
Faliraki grew up along a 5km-long (3 miles) stretch of sand. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, and watersports facilities including doughnut rings, banana boats, waterskiing, jet-skiing, plus bungee jumping. The beach is generally quieter in the morning as clubbers are rarely out of bed before lunchtime, though some sleep off their hangovers on the sand. South of the main beach, there are slightly quieter opportunities for sunbathing on the sandy beach of Kathara Bay and on the pebbly Anthony Quinn Beach. In between these two, there is also a nudist beach.
Beyond the beach:
Sleeping off hangovers seems to take up a fair proportion of most visitors’ time, however those who feel up to it might visit Faliraki Water Park (www.water-park.gr) said to be one of the biggest in Europe. It’s also possible to take a three-hour trip along the coast by a glass-bottom boat.
Faliraki’s main beach is fine for kids as the water is safe and shallow, however some people might consider the resort too noisy and chaotic for children. Faliraki Water Park is a vast complex of pools, giant Jacuzzi and slides. There is also a Luna Park (fun fair) and go-kart track in Faliraki.
The island’s elegant capital, Rhodes Town, is contained within impressive medieval fortifications and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cobbled streets of the atmospheric old town lead through a labyrinth of souvenir shops and tavernas, across leafy squares overlooked by mosques with proud minarets, and up to the monumental 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters. From mid-June to late September, the green valley of Petaloudes (‘Butterfly Valley’), located 25km (16 miles) southwest of Rhodes Town, is worth checking out for its black-and-white striped butterflies. There are also organised one-day boat trips departing from Rhodes Town. These take visitors to either the unspoilt Greek island of Symi, northwest of Rhodes, or to Marmaris in Turkey to explore the bustling bazaar and the Marmaris Castle Museum above the harbour.
If you really want to dress to impress, take a day off from the beach and head for upmarket Rhodes Town, where you’ll find a wide selection of sexy, Mediterranean style clothes, shoes and jewellery, great for flaunting your tan. What’s more, clothes and shoes are generally cheaper than they would be in other western European countries. And remember, the summer sales start in July.