The name 'Afandou' actually means 'invisible', but this stunning village is anything but. It has one of the longest beaches on Rhodes, many hotels and restaurants, and is within easy distance of historic Rhodes Town and vibrant Faliraki.
A family friendly resort
Afandou is a small village with a population of around 7,000. Set in lush countryside and surrounded by shady olive trees, it's a popular destination for families. It's easy to get to nearby Faliraki – less than 30 minutes' drive away – but with its variety of eateries, beautiful walks as well as a local golf course, Afandou will satisfy those looking for a relaxing holiday.
Connecting the village with the wonderful beach – only minutes away – is a miniature train which is always popular with children. The calm, shallow water is ideal for swimming or simply paddling, and the beach has been awarded a Blue Flag for its pristine condition. Sunbeds and watersports equipment are easily available, and you can also explore the fascinating caves and rocks further down the coast.
Armed with your drinks and snacks you could spend most of the day sitting in the old village square, taking breaks for shopping and then exploring the church of Pagagia Katholiki with its 17th-century frescos.
With numerous coffee shops, bars and restaurants surrounding the beautiful tree-lined square, Afandou is a wonderful place to unwind. The village is famous for its local carpet industry and you can buy an authentic local carpet to take home with you. The village is also known for its museum of ceramic art, which lies between Afandou and nearby Kolymbia.
Golfing in Afandou
One of the main reasons behind the growing popularity of Afandou is the fantastic 18-hole golf course. Designed by the renowned golf-course architect, Donald Harradine, the course is popular with amateurs and professionals alike. All equipment can be hired for a small fee. Overlooking the sea and set against a backdrop of majestic mountains, the Afandou golf course is open throughout the year. The club bar is another enticing attraction.
There's also a shooting range just outside Afandou. Visitors to Colossus shooting ground can enhance their skills with expert tuition, and its Laporte machines mean you can try out all the Olympic disciplines. The range is set in the hills overlooking the sea, and the panoramic view from it is idyllic.
Art and culture
Although only a small village, Afandou is big on culture and the arts. Spare some time to wander around the museum of ceramic arts. Not only will you get to admire the pottery on show but you'll also be able to see craft-workers making their own pots – right through from throwing clay on to the wheel to firing their product in the kiln. The museum has a comprehensive history of ceramics on Rhodes, and explores the craft's relationship with the island's culture. As an added bonus this museum is open until 9.00pm and is free.
The local church of Our Lady, situated on Afandou's central square, has some fantastic wall paintings on display. Just look out for the tall, decorative white tower and you'll know you've reached your destination.
Afandou is also a centre of carpet making. Around 40 women around Rhodes still make carpets in their own homes and you'll be able to source these in Afandou. Many of the village's shops display the distinctive Rhodes' carpets and kilims. If you have the time drop in to Kleopatra carpet factory, just outside Afandou.
Eating in Afandou
Love seafood and homemade Greek cuisine? You'll be spoilt for choice with the selection of eateries in Afandou. Many of the restaurants are family friendly with high-chairs available. Whether you fancy eating octopus, sea urchin, or beautiful fresh prawns marinated in ouzo, just make your way to one of the local restaurants. If you prefer a more international flavour, there are restaurants serving pizzas and pasta as well as steaks accompanied by tasty Greek salads.
Many of the cafes and restaurants also have live music, so if you're looking for an evening of entertainment you don't have to travel to Faliraki –- you can simply stay in Afandou and enjoy its timeless beauty.