One of our many visits to the Greek island of Rhodes took us up to the wonderfully picturesque hilltop village of Koskinou…
For years, we’ve been making the short hop across to Rhodes from Fethiye by boat.
In days gone by, it once served the purpose of renewing our tourist visa. We would alternate between a day on Rhodes and a day on the Greek island of Meis.
But, more recently, the island has become a bit more accessible to us.
And that means we’ve been able to explore a little further afield.
Exploring Koskinou, Rhodes
The reason for us being able to cast our exploration net a little further was thanks to one of the crossings that was on offer with one of the companies, here.
It was a very early start. And a late return. Which meant more hours for us on the island.
It was lovely to be able to research some different places and work out where we can head for.
One summer, we jumped on the bus and headed to Lindos for the day.
The following year, whilst virtually mooching around the island, Barry stumbled across the village of Koskinou.
Walking To Historic Koskinou
A hillside village…
One of the oldest villages on Rhodes. Traditional stone Rhodian houses famous for their colourful doors…
We had to see Koskinou for ourselves.
And we could walk. the village is around 8 kilometres from Rhodes Old Town. A good leg stretch – and a way to wake up after disembarking from the catamaran.
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend the walk to the village. The road follows the coastline of the eastern side of the island.
We could only imagine how pretty – maybe even dramatic – all this would have looked in the past as the shoreline is rugged and the sea an azure blue.
But we were walking along a very busy highway and through the industrial area of Asgourou.
If you want to visit Koskinou village for yourself, hire a car, hop into a taxi or take the bus.
All are better options than walking.
Arriving At Koskinou
As we said above, Koskinou is a hillside village.
The route we chose eventually became more pretty and rural. Locals tended their vegetable plots. And the surroundings were green and lush.
At the top of the hill, we could see our destination – the outskirts of the village Koskinou peeping through the trees.
And the hill was steep.
‘This had better be worth it,’ were the thoughts pushing forward in my head as we trudged up the steep, potholed tarmac road.
Smart new villas eventually gave way to the Koskinou village square.
It was Sunday morning and scores of cars were parked around the church whilst the church service was in progress.
One small taverna had opened its doors for the day. And a couple of people were eating breakfast and drinking frappe outside.
We could see Koskinou is a place where the wealthy people of Rhodes must reside.
It was all neat and tidy – and new.
Where was the traditional Koskinou we had seen in photos? The village we had walked all this way to see?
Discovering Old Koskinou
And if you read up on the scant online information available about Koskinou, that, too, will tell you the same thing.
It could be easy to go to Koskinou with no knowledge of the place and not even know the pıcturesque historic alleyways are there, waiting to be explored.
You’ll stumble across traditional Koskinou when you venture just behind the cafe in the photo above.
Ahh, this was the Koskinou we had come to see.
All of a sudden, from the modern village square, we were in the pretty, historic streets of Koskinou.
The village is protected. And it’s clear to see that the residents of the area take pride in this important little corner of the island of Rhodes.
Even the pathways of the narrow streets of the preserved part of the village are painted with colourful patterns.
And all are swept pristinely clean.
Famous Koskinou Doorways
Koskinou village is famous for its colourful doorways.
And, if doors are your thing, you are not going to be disappointed with your wanderings around the streets and alleyways.
Vibrant colours – paints, natural foliage and fuchsia bougainvillea – and soft pastels mingle easily.
Heavy wooden doors, limestone archways closed off with equally vibrantly coloured iron gates.
We could hear families conversing in the courtyards behind some of these huge gates.
Beyond the gates that were ajar, we could see the traditional black and white mosaic pebbled floors (hohlaki) with Rhodian motifs and potted plants.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when we were in Koskinou (an early Sunday morning in late summer) so we can save it for another visit.
But it is possible to take a peek inside a traditional house of Koskinou.
As well as the hohlaki floors, these traditional Koskinou homes have wooden beamed ceilings and walls completely filled with hand-painted Rhodian decorative ceramic dishes and plates.
We wondered how many of the families living behind these heavy doorways stuck to tradition.
Are their walls also filled with the Rhodian ceramic plates? Or have some of those plates now made way for the latest Smart TV?
Time To Eat
The traditional alleyways of Koskinou won’t take you too long to explore.
We lingered there for a while because I was taking so many photos.
Eventually, however, thirst and hunger got the better of us. We’d been up since 4am and lunchtime was approaching.
We took ourselves off to Jasmine Cafe (in the photo above) for some cold refreshments. And a spot of people watching.
The owners were a young couple – it was a new business.
They were serving Belgian beers, herbal teas, coffees and natural fruit juices.
Their simple breakfast was served with a homemade organic marmalade made by the owners themselves.
The young guy spoke to his Greek friends, spoke to us in fluent English and spoke to the lady on the table next to us in fluent French.
They were proud of their homemade produce and the Belgian beer menu.
There is low key tourism in Koskinou. But, thankfully, Koskinou doesn’t seem to be a village that relies on that.
We had lunch at the only taverna that was open.
Fortunately, it was serving up traditional cuisine. We went for the octopus salad followed by grilled pork cutlets.
And washed down with a cold beer.
Time To Head Back
And then we decided to head back.
This time, we headed straight back down the main road towards the resort of Kallithea and it’s famous attraction, Kallithea Springs.
We were treated to panoramic views along the way until we hit the highway that runs between Lindos and Rhodes Old Town.
Because of our previous visit to Lindos, we knew a bus would be along at some point.
Every 20 minutes in high season, in fact, so we didn’t need to wait long.
Back from Koskinou in time for a bit of shopping before our crossing back to Fethiye.
Koskinou, Rhodes – Useful Information
- Koskinou village lies 8km from Rhodes Old Town, just inland (see map below).
- If you want to go by bus, from the main Rhodes Town terminal, there is a bus to Faliraki and Lindos every 20 minutes in high season. Tell the driver you are going to Koskinou. You will be dropped off on the main road around the Kallithea area and it’s around a 20-30 minute walk up the hill.
- If you go by car from Rhodes Old Town, head along the highway towards Faliraki. In the Kallithea area, you will see Koskinou signposted to the right.
- There’s a handful of tavernas and cafes in Koskinou. We were there early on a Sunday morning so they were all closed, bar one. We ate on the village square in a taverna serving Greek dishes and grills.
- There are a few places to stay in Koskinou, which you can check out on Booking.com.