If your looking for something a little different to do away from the beach then the Jungle Tour of Rhodes could be for you. Escape for the day and let Nikos Papas your guide take you to a very different side of the island.
I joined The English Speaking Association of Rhodes on a trip into the jungle near Archangelos. A fun day out that is suitable for all ages, but it’s a not a trip for everyone. You’ll need a sense of humour, a sense of adventure and a little patience. You will get wet and muddy, you’ll have to climb a little and rough it a lot. A certain level of fitness is required though the staff can offer some help if needed.
Come prepared with walking boots or walking sandals, beach shoes and shorts. We wore swimming clothes under our shorts, though on a cloudy April day it wasn’t really swimming weather.
The tour began with an introduction from our guide Nikos. There was coffee or mountain tea, biscuits and some sweets for the children to keep us going. Soon we began the walk heading up a dirt road among the olive and citrus groves.
A battered old pick-up truck brought the children up the track. A woman in local costume greeted us with some fruit at the top of a rise. Soon we were leaving the dirt track and heading off into the groves. Brushing against swathes of wild herbs with many of them in flower, the smells were amazing and at times sneeze inducing.
After having an orange picked from the trees we headed further down and into a dry river bed, walking up towards a gorge and a dry waterfall.
Some people on the trip had been before when it was possible to swim below the waterfall.
the walk levelled out, continuing through the water we made our way through and under swathes of very tall bamboo. Coming out into a rest area.
Seating was set up in different ways, with chairs and tables in the water, hammocks and bamboo mud benches.
Cold drinks were soon distributed with a choice of water, beer, wine or ouzo.
Then our host set about making lunch. We didn’t expect the feast he prepared. There was Greek salad, bread, gigantes (giant beans), meatballs with rice, a pork dish and a chicken dish. All washed down with more beer or wine if you wanted it.
All hot and cooked in the jungle, sat with our feet in the water we enjoyed the food.
Be warned though f you need the bathroom it was a case of squatting over some bamboo out of site!
After lunch there was some extra entertainment as our host performed a wedding on a couple of the group.
Then it was time to hike through the bamboo and head back to where we’d left the cars. Along the way were makeshift bamboo bridges that required a very good sense of balance!
Once back at the start our host produced ice-cream cones for everyone.
We were wet, we were muddy but we’d had fun. A number of people on the trip who had been before reported that the route has been very different each time they’ve been.
The whole area is subject to flooding, Nikos has to rebuild and form the pathways each time there are heaving rains. He also moves things around depending on the season and where the water is.
Nikos is real character, his enthusiasm for the area and his guests is palpable. He’s been bringing people to the land for one reason or another for 40 years now. Born in the nearby town of Archangelos, originally he showed people the local women (his mother) washing clothes in the river. Joined by his dog Xion and his wife it’s real local family business in a very unique setting.
It’s a full day out, we met at the roundabout at 10am and left around 5pm, looking forward to hot showers and clean clothes. I was tired and later ached but thoroughly enjoyed it.
Have you been on the Jungle walk or are you planning to go? What other experiences on Rhodes are you interested in? If you enjoyed this post and found it useful please comment and share. Thank you