Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes.

Posted on March 8, 2019

Claire Douglas

Claire visited Rhodes in October 2018 and writes here about her time riding in the south of the island.

I had the most amazing time on the South Rhodes Trail.  I left behind the grey, dreary skies of England and jetted off to lovely sunshine and 27°C.  If the weather isn’t enough to tempt you, here’s five reasons why you should book a riding holiday to Rhodes.

1. The horses

The ranch has a small but carefully selected herd, chosen for their temperaments and sure-footedness on the trail.  The horses are trained by natural horsemanship methods and as a result are pretty calm.  I fell in love with the horse I was matched with, a very pretty 8 year old Arab x Andulcian called Al-risha.  Elpida our host told me she was very fast, sensitive and full of energy.  I found this to be the case and I couldn’t be happier.  She was the equivalent of a Duracell bunny meaning that she never got tired and had a brilliant attitude even after 5.5 hours on the trail.  I was tempted to squeeze her into my suitcase.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

The beautiful Al-risha

As well as Al-risha, there’s Geisha, Al-risha’s sister, her brother Takhi, their mum Maisie an Andulsian pony, Apollian, a paint x mountain pony and Soi an Appaloosa x draft.  Not to forget Bob Dylan the Haflinger who stayed at the ranch during our trail.  Because of the small number of horses and limited accommodation available, this trail takes a maximum of just five guests.  The small group size was really nice as it meant that it was easy to get to know the other group members better.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

L – R: Soi, Al-risha, Apollian, Geisha and Maisie

2. The riding

The riding really exceeds expectations.  Before my trip, I wasn’t aware of Rhodes other than it was a package holiday destination so I was really surprised to find that on the South Rhodes Trail, you are off the beaten track and unlikely to see another human for days.  We rode through olive groves, along ancient donkey tracks, visited medieval churches and monasteries.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

Elpida our host and guide on Takhi.

We were lucky that the weather was warm enough to swim in the sea and had fun canters on the beach.  This is not an overly fast ride due to the terrain but we had lots of trots and canters where possible.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

Al-risha and me on the beach

3. The culture

The island is steeped in history and on this holiday you get a real insight to Greek culture.  Your host and guide Elpida is passionate about both and is very knowledgeable about the different sites you visit along the way.  The ranch is situated not far from Thari monastery that dates back to the Byzantine period.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

Thari Monastery

You also visit Asklipio, a very interesting medieval town complete with castle and one of the most fascinating churches in Rhodes due to it’s beautiful wall paintings that adorn the inside.  These are just a few of the attractions that you visit on the trail.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

The wall paintings of Kímissis tis Theotóko.

4. The hosting

Elpida and Taki are incredible hosts.  Elpida is passionate about her horses, the history of the island and having a good time.  She is full of fun, enthusiasm and is always smiling.  Taki her husband, works behind the scenes ensuring everything runs smoothly.  Taki will often join you for meals too and is also a very entertaining host.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

Elpida and Takhi

5. The food

Imagine tables groaning with the weight of the amount of dishes on top of them and you might get close to what we experienced every dinner time.  Taki is Greek and each evening he would order a vast array of different dishes for us to sample.  It was amazing.  Everything was freshly cooked and presented beautifully.  Moussaka, dolmades, tzatziki, spanakopita, pastitsio and Greek salad to name some of the local delicacies that we tried.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

Some of the delicious Greek food that I got to sample.

The warm welcome we experienced from the staff at each taverna along the trail, was second to none.  One night we were serenaded and even invited to a village party.

Riding Holidays in Rhodes, Five reasons why you should go to Rhodes., In The Saddle

The owner of the taverna, who serenaded us.

I really would recommend a holiday to Rhodes for fun riding, fantastic hosts and an cultural insight into this interesting island.  The trails run from March to June and then start again in September to November.

If you’d like to find out more about the South Rhodes Trail, then please call Claire on +44 1299 272 243 or email claire@inthesaddle.com

 

 

 

 

 

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