Monolithos: paths and routes in wild Rhodes

Discovering remote destinations on the western side of the island

Monolithos is a pleasant village surrounded by greenery in the southwest of the island of Rhodes. The picturesque little town does not have any particular attractions to offer, but a stroll through its streets and a meal at one of the town’s characteristic taverns makes for a relaxing break and an opportunity to observe local life and enjoy traditional food and the beauty of the village’s natural surroundings. The village of Monolithos is an excellent starting point for hiking to other destinations.

To the southwest of the village, by the coast, is a Venetian medieval castle. Perched atop Mount Akramitis, the second highest peak on Rhodes, it was constructed by the Knights of St. John in the fifteen century to protect the island. The castle may be reached on foot in under half an hour from the village, along the main road or a walking path through the greenery. When you arrive at your destination, via a stairway cut into the rock, the panorama makes the climb truly worthwhile, opening up over the splendid sea and the islands around. Inside Monolithos Castle is a chapel dedicated to Saint Panteleimon, along with a number of unusual water cisterns. After visiting Monolithos Castle, you may resume your hike along the road to the coast. Stop for a break at little Alyki Beach, a splendid pebble beach, then walk on to Fourni Beach, a marvellous expanse of sand and pebbles with fantastic sunsets. The bay has a kiosk selling refreshments for an energy boost.

From the village of Monolithos, you can climb toward Siana to the north. You may follow the main road connecting the two villages (Epar. Od. Ialisou-Katavias), or venture into the network of gravel paths to the west of the main road. It takes about an hour to walk to Siana. In this hamlet, famous for its grappa and honey, you may visit the orthodox church of Agios Penteleimon with its marvellous frescoes. At this point, you may decide to leave the village and continue further north to the village of Embona, about 15 km away. A stroll through the village offers a splendid occasion to immerse yourself in the local life, enjoying the excellent local wines, strolling the characteristic cobbled streets and peering into the craftsmen’s workshops.