Lying on a narrow, fertile and flat coastal plain, backed by some green hills the village of Afandou (or Afantou Greek: Αφάντου)1 is one of the biggest villages on Rhodes (pop. 5500). It is the seat of the Municipality of Afantou, located on the east coast of the island at about 18 km south of the capital and 20 km from Diagoras International Airport.
The name of the village derives from the Greek word afanto which means invisible, and for a good reason. There were times when Mediterranean islands were overrun by the pirates. The villagers in order to protect themselves from the excursions choose wisely the position their village close enough to the beach but in a place not noticeable from the sea.
Although it is not considered among the top tourist spots on the island, Afandou has recently begun gaining popularity for its fabulous 4 km long beach and its vicinity with the famous Faliraki (5 km). Like any other place in Rhodes, this village is also all natural beauty but at the same time you can find everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable vacation in a relaxing atmosphere. At the village square you can spend night and day, enjoy drinks and watch people passing by and still not get bored. There are stores and shops of every kind. You can find great stuff and get gifts from the souvenir shops to take home like the hand-made carpets, a local speciality or the beautiful hand decorated ceramics (notably painted plates bearing a deer the symbol of Rhodes).
In the village and the surroundings of Afandou, there are a number of modern holiday villas, apartments, hotels and studios that one can book to stay. Afandou beach is perfect for kids, being wide, at a safe distance from the busy traffic and offering calm and clear water. The miniature “train” that runs between the village and the bay makes it very easy to access the beach and it is bound to appeal particularly to kids. If you like walking there are several paths you in the olive and orange tree orchards that surround the village or you can take a walk up to the hilltop church of Profitis Ilias, offering impressive sea views. On the main road that leads down to the beach stands the small but very old church of Pagagia Katholiki with 16th-century frescoes, built on the remains of an early Christian basilica.
There is a number of activities which you can practice during your holidays in Afandou, mainly a choice of water sports down on the beach-front. Golfers will particularly enjoy the 18 holes 72-par golf court designed by Donald Harradine, overlooking the sea, at Afandou Golf Club.
- A common problem when dealing with Greek names is how to render them using latin characters. The letters nt (ντ) are pronounced more like d in the local Rhodian idiom. Notice that the letter d, although it originates from the Greek δ, has no phonetic correspondent in Greek.