Among so many locations and points of interest Rhodes Island has to offer, here are a few which will surely give you something extra to remember from your holiday.
Valley of the Butterflies – Monastery of Kalopetra
The route begins at the north entrance of the Valley of the Butterflies, where the Museum of Natural History is located at an altitude of 150 meters. The trail is 1.3 km long and leads to the monastery of Panagia Kalopetra (Virgin Mary of Kalopetra), at an altitude of 370 meters.
Hiking along the verdant ravine with the small waterfalls and the ponds is pleasant and comfortable, you will also see the butterflies of Rhodes (Panaxia quadipunctaria), which gather by thousands from early June to late September. In the Valley of the Butterflies is located the only natural forest in Europe consisting of a broad-leaved tree called oriental sweetgum tree or “zitia” (Liquidambar orientalis).
The trail features bridges, wooden rails and has an entry price which includes a visit to the Museum of Natural History.
Filerimos and the ancient city of Ialysos
Ascent to the top of Filerimos hill to visit the monastery of Our Lady and the remains of the ancient acropolis of Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes Island.
Walk along a 'Golgotha', a tree sheltered pathway with a series of shrines with scenes of the Holly Passion.
The footway leads to an enormous imposing cross, from the top of which one can cherish the outstanding view of villages and bright green valleys that are generously stretched around.
Ialysos is one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes with remains of occupation dating back to 3rd millennium BC and also settlements & cemeteries dating from the Mycenaean-Minoan period.
The building remains, to date, on the Filerimos hill, which was given this name in Byzantine times. Its earliest known name was Achaia, which is further evidence for the presence of Greeks in this area during the Mycenaean period.
From very early times the hill was in fact used as a strong point and also as a place of worship. A 30m stone cross was constructed but it was destroyed during the WWII. In 1996 a 16 meter cross was rebuilt on the top the plateau from which you can enjoy the view. Well worth a visit!
‘Epta Piges’ (Seven Springs). A sight of natural beauty with the scent of pine on every breath, with wooden bridges, trickling streams, wild peacocks and ducks. At the entrance, a lake with turquoise waters is nestled in a pine-clad gorge.
The seven springs is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the green surroundings. Adventure seekers may walk around the footpaths searching out the source of each of the seven springs, and pass through the tunnel that takes you from one side of the hill to the other. The walk through the 610ft (186m) long dark tunnel is not recommended for claustrophobics, but you can follow the sign posted alternate route.
Hydrobiological (Marine Aquarium of Rhodes)
The Hydrobiological Station of Rodos is located at the Elli Beach, Rhodes town. The Aquarium was constructed during 1934-1396, initiating its activities in 1937. In 1945 it was incorporated as a peripheral station of the Greek Hydrobiological Institute under the supervision of the Athens Academy.
The marine is operating as an Aquarium-museum and research unit since 1963 beloning to the National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR) which is developing its research activities in oceanography, fisheries and inland waters corresponding institutes. The NCMR falls under the supervision of the General Secretariat of Research and Technology belonging to the Ministry of Development.
The Monastery of Tsampika
A tiny, Byzantine church, dedicated to Our Lady, located on the top of a hill which offers breathtaking views. The road to Tsambika monastery turns off the main road, some meters before the road to Tsambika beach. The road will take you half way up the hill. After this point, you need to walk up the hill, following 350 steps.
t's perched high at 300 m with impressive coastal views, both North over Kolymbia and South over Tsambika beach until Lindos, well worth climbing up. According to the legend, the Virgin of Tsampika is said to work miracles and young women having difficulty in conceiving often pray for her aid. If their prayers are answered, the child will be named after the Virgin. The saints’ day is on 7th of September.
Lindos & the Acropolis
Hypnotic Lindos! with golden brown sandy beaches, enticing you to swim and enjoy soaking up the sun. Agios Pavlos Bay is a combination of sand and pebbles, just south of the Acropolis of Lindos, a paradise for divers with scenic rocks on the bed of it waters. For more tranquility and a less crowded beach head for the Lindos Bay beach, just perfect for families with children where the sea is shallow and very clean.
Lindos is one of the most impressive archaeological sites on Rhodes. The dramatic natural landscape is enhanced by the picturesque quality of the more modern town. You will find the most important archaeological monuments at the acropolis, interesting ruins are also scattered at various points within the town and some just outside.
To get to the Acropolis follow the road that leads up to the hill. The medieval walls are the first ruins you will encounter, fortifications built by the Crusaders (early 14th century) on the remains of earlier defenses, both Byzantine and ancient. There are a few of towers along the medieval walls, which follow the natural contours of the high ground.
The Medieval Town of Rhodes
The Medieval or Old Town of Rhodes is oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe. There are many gates, a suggestion first enter through Eleftheria (Liberty) Gate, which will bring you to the Plateia Simi (Simi square), containing ruins of the Temple of Venus, identified by the votive offerings found here, which may date from the 3rd century B.C.
The Medieval City of Rhodes offers an opportunity to lose track of time. There are roughly 200 streets or lanes that simply have no name. Getting lost here is not a defeat; it's an opportunity. Whenever you feel the need to find your bearings, you can ask for ‘Sokratous’ street, which is the closest the Old Town of Rhodes comes to having a main street.
On the north-western shore of Rhodes, close to the promontory of Agios Minas (the Ancient Mylantio) lays the third of The Island's ancient cities - Kamiros. Ancient Kamiros was one of the three large Doric cities of the island, which united with Ialyssos and Lindos in the 5th century B.C. to create the powerful city - state of Rhodes.
Although it was established by the Dorians, it seems like the first inhabitants of the area must have been Achaeans, as the ruins of an ancient Mycenaean necropolis close to the village of Kalovarda reveal. Kamiros was basically an agricultural society which produced oil, wine and figs. During the city's golden era of the 6th century, it was the first Rhodian city to cut its own coins. Definitely a choice for history followers!
Profitis Elias and the Elaphos hotel
Near to the summit and 8 km from Eleousa are Hotel "Elaphos and Elaphina" and the Byzantine monastery named "Prophetes Elias". There are two hotel buildings, “Elaphos" (now restored and functional) and the "Elaphina. The "Elaphos" hotel was built by the Italian colonists in the Dodecanese in 1929 as Albergo del Cervo (Deer Hotel).
In 1930, a ground floor restaurant, a large veranda, a tennis court and a dancing floor were added. Later, the second floor was constructed (replacing the veranda). In 1932 the building was extended with a new wing, called "Elaphina". The hotel was named after the deer Dama dama , platoni living in the adjacent woods.
The village of Monolithos and its Castle
Monolithos is situated on the south, western coast of the island, its name translated into English means the ‘lonely rock’ and this is an accurate description for the large rock outcrop standing 240m above the village.
The charm and atmosphere of this unique village comes especially from its Amphitheatre-like shape, the white washed courtyards, well maintained traditional stone houses with their tile roofs, the views of the medieval Castle of Monolithos, and the unspoiled beauty of the surrounding landscape. Monolithos offers the visitor the colorful experience of walking through a traditional, village.
Within the castle walls stands the church of Agios Panteleimon. Bellow the castle you will find an attractive stone building housing a small café. The road leads on to Fourni, the beach at Monolithos, ideal for those who like pebbles, waves and a peaceful setting.