Greek holiday with beautiful beaches, boozy speedboat rides and 5* hotels from £50 a night | The Sun

THEY call him the Barefoot Prince of Rhodes, as he slips shoeless between the packed restaurant tables, greeting customers with a huge grin.

“You like fish, yes?” says Dimitris. “I will bring you everything!”
And that’s literally what happens.

A stunning selection of seafood arrives at our tiny table at Stegna Kozas, overlooking the calm, clear waters in the pretty village of Stegna.

Huge chunks of crispy calamari, delicate clams and a steaming bowl of mussels are followed by yet more treasures of the deep — sea urchin sliced and pickled, grilled octopus, deep-fried red fish in a golden crumb.

The Greek salad, glistening with olive oil, and garlic pittas are irresistible.

And even with full tummies, we are envious of the whole sea bass and bream served to fellow diners.


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Dimitris is the third generation of Kozas to dish up the freshest seafood at this cracker of a restaurant, which this year is celebrating its centenary.

It’s obvious why the place has been around for so long and its latest barefoot owner is continuing the tradition of letting the island’s fish shine.

I have to thank the clever team at the Ixian Grand & All Suites hotel for the stellar recommendation.

Manager Michaelis has a host of ideas for exploring the very best of Rhodes, although leaving our swim-up suite was a struggle.

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The 5H adults-only beachfront hotel sits on the shores of the Aegean, with easy access to the sands and great views from its pools.

Rooms are chic with a cool, calm palette but it is the private pools — some on rooftops, others tucked away in the landscaped grounds — that are difficult to resist.

Our top-end sea-view suite is spacious and comes complete with an over-water deck with loungers, where even in early summer the chance to cool off with a dip was welcome.

Opt for the all-inclusive and you have got plenty of choice.

There is a buffet restaurant serving a good selection of fresh salads, meat and fish, plus pizza and pasta.

And two à la carte restaurants promise relaxed fine dining.

Muza Htista has a quirky Peruvian/Japanese theme.

And for traditional Greek delicacies, Milonges offers hearty fare at lunch and dinner.

The speciality restaurants need to be booked in advance but the snack bar near the pool was our go-to when peckish during the day, the gyro wraps a big hit with my other half.

Entertainment is low-key, with the lobby bar’s terrace overlooking the sea and pool bar perfect for a post-dinner nightcap.

For those looking for a bit more nightlife, Rhodes Town is 15 minutes away and easily accessible by bus or cab.

We took a cab there after dinner for a stroll through the pretty streets of the Old Town.

Younger clubbing fans should head to Orfanidou Bar Street for partying until the early hours.

For those looking to explore a little more of the island, car hire can be picked up for less than £40 for a couple of days.

Lindos and its incredible clifftop Acropolis, with the 4th-century Temple of Athena, is a must-see.

But go early or late as possible in the day to avoid the crowds.

And prepare for a climb as you wind your way up through the narrow, whitewashed streets.

Spring or autumn are perfect times to explore, with plenty of sunshine but lower temperatures.

Toast the sunset

Stop off for a breather at one of the many lovely rooftop bars and restaurants and after your clifftop ascent, grab some rays on the beach.

Lindos and Pallas beaches have lots of facilities but the rocky cove at St Paul’s Bay offers a more relaxed, less-crowded vibe.

Heading back to the Ixian Grand & All Suites, we stop off at Kalithea Springs.

This thermal spa by the sea is an Art Deco gem and is once more welcoming guests following a ten-year restoration programme.

It is five euros to enter and after admiring the restored buildings and beautiful pebble mosaics, you can relax on the beach or take a dip in the clear waters.

Or simply sip a coffee or glass of wine at the on-site bar and restaurant.

Back at the hotel, we grab two loungers in the gardens to soak up the last of the rays with a beer and wine to toast the sunset.

Then it’s back to our room for a quick refresh and another night of great food, served yet again by friendly and attentive staff.

Our fellow guests range in age from Instagram-obsessed young adults in their twenties to couples in their sixties.

While it may not be right in the centre of the action on this popular Greek island, that is a huge part of its charm.

We enjoyed days exploring the treasures of Rhodes but also had time to relax by the pools, on the beach or in the hotel’s excellent spa.

It is close enough to the action to keep younger guests happy but secluded enough to ensure a properly relaxing, chilled break.

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You can almost see why the lovely Dimitris at Stegna Kozas chooses to go barefoot.

A week at this lovely resort and I’d happily follow suit.

GO: Rhodes

GETTING THERE/STAYING THERE: Rooms at the hotel start from £115 for an inland-view room and from £350 for a Beachfront Grand Suite, per night.


A seven-night, all-inclusive package holiday including flights with easyJet from Gatwick on June 1 costs from £795pp.

For more details see

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