I used to think people who went back to the same place on holiday year after year were really, really boring – now I have become someone who goes back to the same place on repeat, I’ve had to ask myself a couple of questions; what make a holiday destination a keeper and am I boring?
We have been going to Gennadi, a village in the south of Rhodes, Greece for ten years! Ten whole years of going back to the same place and loving it a little bit more every time we go. It’s an actual village where people live, there is a school, a police station a Post Office and all the shops a village needs with bonus points for the very slow ten-minute stroll to the sea and all the gorgeous tavernas that sit on its shore. There are hotels of course, huge ones owned I think by Scandinavian corporates, tiny ones owned by local Greek families and a glut of Airbnb rentals.
Somehow all the different visitors and the local community manage to rub along together and the village doesn’t change. Its slow, laid back, lots of things don’t make sense and I think this is why I love it. It’s not exciting, its predictable and reliable. The moment we land on Rhodes we know exactly what to expect and we slow down immediately, we don’t think, we don’t work, we eat our weight in watermelon and we soak up the vitamin D. Best of all I take too many pictures that look exactly the same year after year.
I’ve had to think about sharing the village details with anyone coz you know I don’t want crazy people going there and spoiling it but like the rest of Greece, Rhodes is struggling financially since the crash in 2008. So many people rely on tourism that Rhodes does need as many people as possible to visit and if staying in a hotel, particularly all inclusive ones, to get out and explore and spend a bit of money in local shops and restaurants. Exploring is so easy to do on Rhodes.
The bus service is really good, its regular, its cheap and you can ride up and down the length of the island in air-conditioned comfort for about €5.00. We just hire a car now, its cheaper to get a car when we arrive for our whole stay than it is to get a taxi transfer to the south of the island – like most things Greek, that doesn’t make sense but that’s how it is. Lindos is too cute, if visiting use the car parks, the first time we visited we drove down the uber steep hill and our little car barely made it back up the incline.
So I’ve concluded the reliable comfort of having a holiday with no major surprises in a familiar environment that requires no emotional labour together with lovely people, sunshine, empty (pebble) beaches, gallons of iced coffee and handmade ice cream is what I love about Gennadi and what will be keeping me coming back for many years. If that makes me boring, I’m so good with that. Gennadi, Rhodes is my utopia, my happy place and I’m already excited about visiting in 2020.