Why Rhodes is the World’s Safest Destination
In July 2023, Rhodes earned the prestigious title of the safest island destination on Earth.
On July 19, a fire broke out in the southern part of Rhodes, lasting for eight days, and affecting the island’s largest forested areas. For the first two days, due to the low wind speed, it seemed to be under control. The wind however, had other plans. The very next day, before the fire could be fully extinguished, the stormy winds that were blowing in the area fanned the flames, opening large fronts, which spread rapidly. Today, a rough estimate estimates that more than 120,000 acres have been burned by the fire.
The significant spread of the fire has resulted in coordination challenges primarily due to preexisting equipment shortages. Simultaneously, it has brought attention to the legal complexities surrounding prevention and suppression of such incidents, highlighting the disparities in funding compared to other sectors, such as countries’ armaments.
The firefighters’ efforts were monumental, while the pilots went above and beyond in their dedication. With the support of thousands of remarkable volunteers, the island’s residents joined the battle of extinguishing the fire, engaging in an unequal struggle. Individuals armed with simple shovels, tractors, private hoes, tanks, and more, fearlessly fought the flames day and night, without rest, driven solely by their determination to save the island of Rhodes.
Thousands of acres public and private, dozens of houses, properties but mainly souls of nature and wildlife living in the forest fell victim to the firestorm. The suffering in our souls resonated with every deer, hare, and all those souls that couldn’t escape in time. In their efforts to safeguard the ecosystem, firefighters and residents endangered themselves to rescue each animal and preserve every tree. The disaster that befell our ecosystem in this area is so heart-wrenching that tears will not stop flowing.
I would like to highlight that in the southern part of the island, approximately 30,000 visitors were enjoying their holidays at that time along with around 50,000 permanent residents. People staying in dozens of different hotels, holiday homes and in small accommodation units. This is the point at which our island rightfully deserves the title of the safest tourist resort in the world.
In the heart of the summer season, in an unexpected tragedy, amidst a situation that felt almost like a war, Rhodes accomplished something unimaginable. Merely an hour after the evacuation order was given for several hotels, the island’s permanent residents took matters into their own hands. At the reception and hospitality points that were available, they warmly welcomed more than 20,000 visitors, providing them with food and drinks, either prepared by themselves or generously provided for free by various local businesses on the island, both small and large. Through every possible means, they ensured the visitors’ comfort, aiming to dispel fear and create a sense of being at home rather than in a foreign place. They even provided entertainment through traditional music and dance, aiming to momentarily alleviate the visitors’ thoughts from the events and any discomfort they may have experienced
Local businesses upheld their standards by opening their doors not only to all visitors but also to fulfill the needs of the reception structures.
Both private and public boats conducted the evacuation of thousands of visitors from the shores to safety, ensuring that no one remained in harm’s way.
The state and the government efficiently handled the issues that arose with flights by establishing a help desk and creating infrastructure for repatriation or scheduled departures with streamlined procedures. This approach aimed to prevent congestion and panic at the airport.
Another noteworthy aspect is that in the hotels, residences, and accommodations where evacuation was ordered, no reports of any loss of personal belongings left during the evacuation have been made. This testifies to the security provided by law enforcement and high business standards.
The island has rapidly regained its normalcy, and plans are in place for the restoration of the ecosystem, aiming to bring back the green beauty that currently weighs heavy on our hearts. The rescued animals are receiving the necessary care and will be soon returning to their natural habitat.
Dear friends from all around the world, rest assured that Rhodes is the safest island to spend your holidays. The security it can provide to visitors under any circumstances, however unpredicted, is unique.
Those who were present during the dark days of the fire can attest that as long as the residents of Rhodes are by your side, you have nothing to fear.
They will always be here, generously offering you the Greek hospitality, their genuine smiles, and their authentic love. This is what distinguishes Greek culture and makes it shine across the globe.
To all of you currently on our island, we offer our best wishes for a pleasant rest of your holidays.
To those who are scheduled to come, we eagerly await your arrival and look forward to welcoming you.
For those of you who planned to come but have any doubts, I urge you to read the testimonials by the guests who were here during these moments and come to witness the beauty of our paradise for yourselves.
To all of you planning your next vacation, we present Rhodes as your ideal choice for the safest holidays in the world.
On behalf of the local and online community of Faliraki, Rhodes Faliraki.com
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the island’s volunteers, firefighters, pilots, security forces, and all those who fearlessly stepped up to the occasion, doing everything within their power. A big thank you also goes to our guests for their cooperation, patience, and understanding.
Rhodes is the safest place in the world; now you too know it.
Thank you for everything