Places near Beach
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.
This must surely rank as one of the most boring beaches in the Greek Islands. White stones and shingle at AFANDOU stretch in one great 7km desolate swathe, just about as far as the eye can see. Parts of the beach are so desolate you would not tether a goat there. Stone and shingle make up most of the beach, dipping steeply at the shoreline where large and slippy underwater rocks make paddling difficult if not impossible. Some travel brochures boldly boast how you get a beach to yourself - but one look at this monotonous holiday desert and you can understand why. Few visit more than once. The plucky resort, about 20km from Rodos, does its best to attract visitors with an 18-hole golf course and a tourist train that ferries visitors the 2km between village and beach and across a very busy main road. Afandou village is the second largest on the island. It is still a working village, though tourism is now the staple trade. Dozens of tavernas and holiday bars line the busy main street which pedestrians must share with busy traffic. Although there is little nightlife as such there is loud music and karaoke from the busy bars around the town square. The biggest problem is avoiding yobbish British families. Check on the location of your apartment before booking here. Many are sited in scrubland between the village and the beach with a 15min walk either way and a main road that is busy and noisy both night and day. Just outside the village, surrounded by pines, is the monastery of Agios Nektarios, with an immense pine tree and a drinking fountain fed by springs in the surrounding hills.