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  • Writer's pictureFrank Klaus Jordan

hollywood in Rhodes - anthony quinn bay

Anthony Quinn made Rhodes famous

Two rocky hills protruding out to sea, creating a wild yet impressive scenery. Natural stone surfaces, ideal for reclining under the sun, adding to the greenery landscape of pine trees that reach down to the shore, giving the water a deep emerald color. Anthony Quinn certainly showed impeccable taste when he fell in love with this miniature bay, during the filming of "The Guns of Navarone" in Rhodes 1961. And yes, this bay is one of the most beautiful spots on Rhodes island.

The bay is known today by the late actor's name since he had decided to buy the place to create an international centre for artists and film-makers. Anthony Quinn made Rhodes famous and put the island on the touristic map. But later the local government annulled his purchase of the property and instead gifted it to him for a symbolic amount in appreciation of his role in publicising the beauty of the island. Anthony Quinn always believed that he bought the property legally but the whole affair ended up in Greece's labyrinthine bureaucracy. The movie star, an acclaimed sculptor and painter when he wasn't on the silver screen, never stopped trying but it is said that he never received the deeds.

However, every story has another side and the local people who live near Anthony Quinn Bay have a very different version to tell. According to them, the local government gave Quinn the property because the actor claimed that he was going to build something for the benefit of the local people. But as soon as the property was handed over, Quinn erected a fence and declared it his own private beach. It became an island enclave for rich Hollywood actors. Locals, as well as tourists, were prohibited from entering, getting more and more upset about the actor and the local government. Eventually, a decade later, the fence was knocked down and the beach was reopened up to the public.

Don't miss a thing

To get the best impression about the island's beautiful coastline, we book a boat trip from Faliraki marina. For one hour we are hopping from bay to bay along these fantastic cliffs, admiring the water edges' mix of blue and emerald colors. Finally, we throw anchor at Anthony Quinn Bay where we will stay for the next two hours. Time enough for a training swim. The water is still cold but crystal clear. Barely in the water, we are surrounded by shoals of fishes. The underwater scenery is amazing. The rocks from above continue seamlessly into the deep water. The waves are caught in small caves right underneath the surface producing clouds of bubbles and roaring sounds. There are soft corals and sea urchins moving with the currents of the water's edge. It is difficult to concentrate on our swim training while passing through this underwater spectacle.

Back on board the captain hands out drinks, a mix of Ouzo and fresh pressed lemon juice. Half an hour later we leave the Bay heading to the open sea. A seal is greeting us on our way out, giving this trip a perfect ending. Having a last glance back on this little paradise, we are glad that we do not have to be Hollywood actors to enjoy its beauty.

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