Salakos – Prophet Elias Monastery

Salakos – Prophet Elias Monastery

This route is of slight difficulty. The trail is built and begins from a steep face of the rock that lies above Salakos village, at an altitude of 220 meters. There lay the sources of high the quality steel water, Nymph of Rhodes. The trail ends at the Monastery of Prophet Elias, at the altitude of 610 meters.
The route is approximately 650 meters, which crosses a landscape with dense vegetation, measuring 115 species, of which 20 are extremely rare and of unique beauty. Most notable of them grow in the spring, from mid-April to mid-May. Among the violets and orchids, one will have opportunity to gaze at rare native wildflower, called peonia. The vegetation grown throughout the years, starting from the rich oak and shrub forest, followed by a smooth ascent among cypress, mixed with a few pines.
Here, one can encounter the deer of Rhodes, called Platoni or Dama and Hawk Petritis. The area is a wildlife sanctuary and protected from the Natura 2000 program. On the way, you can enjoy the cool breeze of the mountains and the incomparable sea view.
Just before reaching the top, another Catholic monastery of the Archangel Michael, will catch your eye. And at the top, before the end of the path, the enchanting hotels “Elafos” and “Elafina” that were built in the 1930’s, will make you want to change your accommodation, if you are not already saying there.
Finally, for the most demanding nature lovers and those keen on walking, there are smaller paths, which are hidden among the woods, leading to monasteries, the water sources and the glades which will amaze the visitor.


The Valley of the Butterflies
(Museum of Natural History – Holy Monastery Kalopetra)

Taking the western road (provincial road Rhodes – Kamiros) and shortly beyond the village Paradisi, turning left towards Psinthos and before arriving the village, there lays the Butterfly Valley. The route begins at the northern entrance of the Valley, where the Museum of Natural History is located, at an altitude of 150 meters. The path length is 1300 meters and ends at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kalopetra at an altitude of 470 meters. The trail is organized by bridges and wooden rails and has an entry fee which includes a visit at the Museum. It is a comfortable and pleasant walk along the verdant valley, with the small waterfalls and ponds. The Valley of the Butterflies, another of the island’s landmarks, is the only natural forest in Europe for a species called Ygramvari (Zitia).
The “Zitia” tree, hosts millions of butterflies, which peacefully assemble on the shadowy wet paths it creates with the brook, occasionally transforming to lakes and small waterfalls.
During August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia (species Quadripunctaria Poda) swarm into the butterfly valley in order to reproduce. During the rainy period, the butterflies, still in the caterpillar stage, remain in the Mediterranean thicket (arbutus, myrtle and rush) feeding on the foliage. As the end of the wet season approaches, towards the end of May, the final stage is concluded and the butterfly in all her perfection, makes her appearance in the recognizable to us all, form. They move constantly towards areas with high humidity, always following the “water ways”, and as the dry period progresses, they finally arrive at the valley.


Panagia Tsambika Holy Monastery

Following the eastern road (national Rhodes – Lindos road), before reaching Archangelos village, and the point where a sign indicating to the left, towards “Panagia Tsambika”, begins a paved road with many turns, of about 1200 meters, which ends in a square.
There, from the tip of the steep slope, starts a winding path, consisting of 297 steps. Passing through a magnificent forest of cypress mixed with a few pine trees, germinating on the rocky ground, you reach the top where the church of “Panagia Tsambika” or “Psili” is standing, at an altitude of 320 meters.
The panoramic view of the surrounding area, along with the monastery’s atmosphere, will compensate the visitor, the short in length but quite steep climb. The descent is along the same route.
It is not known when the old monastery was founded, however we know that it was reconstructed in 1770 by a monk. Some sources mention that the altar to the goddess Artemis, would stand on the same site, during the ancient times, at which, sacrifices of animals used to take place. This monastery was built according to the Dodecanesian architecture, with hollow roof tiles. The temple’s floor, as well as and the yard, are covered with pebbles and shells. Some icons date back to the 19th century, while the iconostasis is even older.
The name of the monastery comes from the word tsamba, which means spark in the local dialect. In fact, tradition says that a local shepherd found an icon of Virgin Mary on top of the cliff, where the old monastery was later built, following a vigil light.
Legend has it that women facing difficulties in conceiving, should climb the hill barefooted to pray to the Virgin for fertility and at most of the times, faith is compensated and wishes are fulfilled.
The icon of Panagia Tsambika is considered miraculous, particularly for the childless women, which is why many women offer child dolls to the icon of the Panagia.
This monastery is considered as the protector of the island and in fact, many locals are named Tsambikos for men and Tsambika for women.

Rhodes–Kritika (Kato Petres)

Coastal path Rhodes – Kritika (Kato Petres)

The trail begins at the southern end of Psaropoula beach, near the entrance to the city of Rhodes and ends at the northern end of the bay of Ialysos where the Kritika village begins, just in front of Monte Smith.
Starting with a 300m walk along the seaside, followed by an earthy path, paved with small stones at some points, reaching a length of approximately 1800 meters and a width of 2.5 meters. The sea lies to the west and on the east rises a steep slope. Throughout the route there are stone benches and small auditoriums where one can relax and enjoy the cool sea breeze and the sunset. Also there are steps that lead to a non-organized beach, mostly rocky, though ideal for swimming. Some other steps lead to the main road along the trail.
The trail is well organized, with elegant stone walls and wooden railings that protect the stroller from any danger, offering a calming and soothing view of the blue sea and sky, even though it is of slight difficulty. The visitor may descent from the same route, as well as the main road. Do not forget also to visit the little chapel, built inside the Main Rock, just next to the main road.
It is the most popular walking path of the Rhodians.


Ascent to Attaviros

Ιt is quite demanding, due to the difference in altitude ( 750 meters ).
The most popular route starts from the south of the Embona village.
There are two alternative pathways that can become circular.
The western one, easier but not marked, starts from a small dirt road next to a shrine, into a ravine, goes on southwest, climbing over a rocky ridge. The visitor can go on the dirt road leading to the wind turbines and follow up beyond the big turning point. From this spot on, the trail has red marks. Following back uphill, then downhill, meeting the asphalt road leading to the radar on the peak, ending up climbing the ruins of the temple of Jupiter known as Jupiter of Attaviros, on the side of the highest peak, which is not accessible.
The second route starts at the end of the dirt road (fence and steps) initially moving to the side of a stream (a few red marks). Then without a path, either going straight up a steep field or a curvy path, which leads to a small valley below the top.
It is also possible to make the ascent, starting from the north edge of Agios Isidoros village, where there is a marked path to the wind turbines, coming and going as above. Whichever route one decides to follow, one should be equipped with the necessary clothing, because even during the summer, the temperature difference is noticeable and there is always the possibility of fog. Also, barre in mind that there is no water well or other source of water supply. The soil physiology is consisted mostly of rocks and sand.


Archaeological site of the medieval moat

Ιn the late 7th century AD, the ancient city of Rhodes shrank, due to the Arab Raids. The medieval town was gradually fortified, taking its present form with the moat, in the 16th century AD.
The total length of the medieval moat is 2300 meters and at several points the width reaches 70 meters. It is a pleasant walk under bridges, medieval towers and bastions, at the center of the town and away from the city hustle. It is a living monument literally, full of monuments and history. Admission is free to the public daily, 24 hours a day, all year round.
The entry-exit points are:
1. From the port of Mandraki (behind the main taxi rank)
2. Gate Akantias
3. From the Kanonia Gate after Ag. Antoniou Gate


Walk of the Medieval Walls

This route of the medieval city walls, is 1100 meters long. Starts at the Kanonia Gate and ends at St. John’s Gate or Gate Koskinou, offering panoramic view of the medieval city of Rhodes.
It offers a view of the world heritage city, sacred and inspiring due to thousands of young people falling in the Rhode’s town sieges, painting the walls with their blood.
The entry fee and the timetable are set out by the Archaeological Service, depending on the needs of each period.


Rhodes Ancient Acropolis

Ιn the area of Rhodes Ancient Acropolis, where the Temple of Apollo, the ancient theatre and the ancient stadium lay, there’s a rich grove of myrtles, laurels, oaks, pines and cypresses.
Among the trees there are several paths one can follow and enjoy nature with a backdrop of severe Doric lines of the landscape.
Visit the ruins of the ancient Acropolis and admire the important antiquities, preserved in the beautiful archaeological park, which offers delightful archaeological and ecological walks.
There, you will have the opportunity to tour the restored ancient Diagora’s stadium and enjoy the sunset at the top of Monte Smith Hill. Next to the stadium stands a small marble theater which today hosts musical and theatrical performances, just as in antiquity. On the hilltop overlooking the Acropolis, among the ruins stand parts of the Apollo Temple columns, testifying to all its ancient splendor. In the northern part of the Acropolis lay the broken ruins of the Athena and Apollo temples.

Filerimos Hill in Ialyssos

Filerimos Hill in Ialyssos

Τhis route starts at the foot of the Filerimos hill, which can be reached by following the western road (provincial Rhodes – Kamiros road) turning left at the Ialysos intersection, where there is a relative sign “Filerimos Acropolis”. Arriving at the foot of the Hill, after covering a distance of 1500 meters from the village, stands a water source with crystal clear water.
Beginning at the steep paved road through pine, oak and sage and walking for 2000m, you arrive at the chapel of Young Prophet Elias and the Old Prophet Elias, you will find also a well with drinking water. Following the same uphill, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the bay and, as well as Ialysos.
Continuing, walking through the green landscape to a big square, there is a cafe beneath a huge oak tree. Up to this point it is accessible by vehicle and the total length, is 4000 meters.
From this point onward, it is only accessible on foot and continues for another 500 meters. Left, climbing 33 stone steps, you reach the Ialysos Acropolis and the Monastery of Our Lady of Filerimos. A little further, about 100 feet and after descending 5 stairs, stands the chapel of St. George of Hosti. Going right and passing through the pine Calvary you will see 14 stone representations, corresponding to the stops Jesus Christ made on the road of torture, you arrive at a square where the cross stands imposingly, reconstructed in 1996 at a height of 17.80 meters and 66 internal steps, which can simultaneously accommodate 25 guests. From there the view is unique!
In the area there are many peacocks which give a special color at the landscape. You can admire nature and relax in the tranquility offered through the entire route. The scents emanating from the sage and other shrubs are intoxicating. Also, from the end of January until the beginning of March, you can find the wild cyclamen which grows in the region. The descent is done by the same route. It is of mild difficulty, at the altitude of 247 feet.

Kallithea Springs

Kallithea Springs

The Kallithea Springs are located nine kilometers northeast of the city of Rhodes and three kilometers from the Faliraki tourist resort. The springs’ healing properties were already known since ancient times and the era of the Knights. The opening of the initial installation of Kallithea was on July 1st 1929, and has attracted a large number of patients and scientists from around the world. The therapeutic waters of Kallithea are used for many medical conditions.
Today, the area is popular because of its natural beauty with both locals and visitors celebrating Spring and Labor Day, especially those who reside in the surrounding area.
The area consists of a pine forest with trails and paths, ideal for walks. Some of them end up in sandy bays and rocky shores which the sea have carved over the centuries.
To rest, you can visit the monument of Kallithea Springs, one of the most popular destinations in Rhodes, in brilliantly organized facilities, houses at times, exhibitions and cultural events. It offers coffee, snacks and a beautiful beach.
This magnificent monument, is an exceptional combination of nature, monumental architecture and unique history.
Next to the monument you can enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea or stroll around the picturesque cove with its stunning natural beauty and artistic compositions, crafted into pebble mosaics.
The specially designed rooms, hold works from past and present artists, a permanent photography exhibition, displays the past and future sources of Kallithea. This area often holds organized cultural and artistic exhibitions, festivals, concerts and many other events.
Do not forget to visit the small History Museum where you can see interesting photos of the 1929 construction and scenes of certain famous movies, shot at Kallithea Springs, Such us the Guns of Navarone.


Seven Springs

Taking the main Rhodes- Lindos road, at the intersection of Archipoli, approximately 2-3 kilometres before reaching the church of Agios Nektarios, you will find the Seven Springs.
It is a magical place with sycamore trees and streams. A place which reveals the nature’s grandeur of the Rhodian countryside
Paths, suitable for walking, await for you near the river, which fills with crystal clear waters, from the Seven Spring sources.
Seven Springs (Epta Piges) offers a cool, magical landscape, a real oasis, even in the heat of high summer. A charming retreat in the most lavish Mediterranean greens. Water flows out of the springs all year around, forming a small lake. The lake remains replenished due to a dam, built by the Italians, in order to provide the nearby settlement Kolympia, with fresh water.
The access to the lake is very popular, as well as a unique experience to visitors. If you feel adventurous enough, you can walk through a 186m long and quite narrow dark tunnel, in order to get to the lake. The tunnel, constructed back in 1931, leads the water of the seven springs, along with the water from river Loutanis, at the lake. Walking through the dark tunnel and dipping your bare feet in the running fresh water, is an exciting experience! However, in case you are claustrophobic, is best you avoid it. As an alternative route you can simply follow a walking path to the lake.
The lake is also suitable for swimming, but barre in mind that the water is quite cold, with less buoyancy, due to being fresh. The Seven Springs area and the nearby forests are also ideal for walking. Also, there is a coffee shop and restaurant where visitors can relax and enjoy nature.
*The Seven Springs area is a Natura 2000 protected zone (GR4210006)

Apolakkia Bay

Apolakkia Bay

An endless beach on the southern side of the island, about 20km long, which does not attract many visitors, due to waves being too high, when the south winds are blowing. The entire Apolakkia bay has been included in the European NATURA 2000 Network, due to the ecosystem: the dunes, a shrub called Agriokedrou and Caretta-Caretta turtle that lays its eggs in the area.
During the autumn season, the beach is filled with White Sea lily. Visitors can walk the sandy paths and dirt roads of the Fourni area, up to Limni.
At the St. George Kalamos chapel, you can rest and enjoy the view, especially the sunset hours, watching the sun disappearing to the wild Karpathian Sea.

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