Places near Panagia Tsambika
Overlooked by a Gibraltar-like rocky outcrop topped by a monastery, the huge swathe of fine, soft sand at TSAMBIKA or TSAMBIKI, also called Tsampiki or Tsampkia, is approached down a precipitous, hairpin cement road. The steep descent of 1.5km or so rules out tourist buses and other public transport, but the beach nevertheless teems with tourists and sun beds are jammed together like playing cards, particularly along the northern stretch. A beach taverna is supplemented by several caravan cafes offering little more than lemonade, beer, rolls and shady relief from the midday sun. Behind them the sand peters out to a dirt and gravel area that serves as a huge car park. Expensive sun beds peter out at the southern end which is favoured by hundreds of hermit crabs and shoals of tiny fish. According to legend, barren women had only to climb barefoot up the concrete steps to the tiny white Byzantine church of Panayia Tsambika to ensure pregnancy. As a result many of the island's children are named Tsambikos or Tsambika, depending on sex. The outcrop overlooks both Kolimbia and Tsambika beach with stupendous views of both and more besides, while the surrounding area is protected from development.
Built as a model farm by the Italians, KOLIMBIA, KOLYMBIA or KOLMYPIA, is full of identical houses noted for their over large chimney stacks. The approach is dramatic, along an arrow-straight road lined with mature eucalyptus. The resort itself, about 25km from Rodos, is small and is much favoured by German package tour operators. There is a picturesque rocky cove and attractive beach to the north. The flat beach is mostly shingle with water sports at each end. There are also some sandy coves to the south about 10 min walk away. There is another long but scruffy beach there backed by an impressively ugly hotel complex. That said, Kolymbia has an unhurried air despite the numbers and most of the hotels blend unobtrusively into the landscape. The holidays style here is leisurely with fun and games restricted to the hotels. The resort proper has a dozen tavernas and 20 or so bars. There are boat trips to nearby island and a regular bus service to nearby resorts.