After a hearty buffet breakfast we head off to Lindos. I had read that the village was beautiful and the Acropolis was spectacular.
My first impressions weren’t great. It was heaving with tourists and looked a little grubby and run down. It may be a case of it being a bit of a shock to the system. Even though some of the other islands we’ve visited were pretty touristy, this part of Rhodes takes it to another level. Here, we are in the heart of package holiday territory. I didn’t manage to photograph it but I was a bit put off by the sight of overweight tourists being heaved around on donkeys. Blimey if I can walk up to the acropolis unaided then anyone can!
Despite it being very busy, the walk up to the Acropolis is worth it for the views across the surrounding coastlines and the village. I use whatever photography skills I have to photograph the ancient columns without people litter. But with people draping themselves over every monument for a selfie it is very difficult.
After visiting the acropolis we decide to have a mooch around Lindos village stopping off for some crepes and a cup of tea whilst we are there.
We decide to head on South to Prasonisi, a tiny little island that sits at the very bottom tip of Rhodes. During summer and when the tide is out, a narrow strip of land appears enabling you to walk to the island. It is here that the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea.
Today we are in luck as the tide is out and the strip of land is revealed. We walk out to the island and determine that looking back to land the sea on the left is the Aegean (a bit more choppy) and the sea on the right is the Mediterranean. The beach on the Aegean side also known as Prasonisi is a haven for kite and wind surfers.
It is clear that a lot of environmental damage has been done to the area. It used to be a nesting ground for turtles but now this is very rare as the sand has been heavily compacted due to vehicles driving on the beach. Camper vans and cars are still allowed to park on the beach although in a restricted area. Even more eye opening are the plans to build a power station that will powered by a sulpher based oil with waste that will be discharged into the sea and air (according to the Save Prasonisi sign). What a tragedy this would be for such a beautiful place.
After stopping for a coffee at one of the cafe’s on the beach we get back on the road and continue driving in an anticlockwise direction around to the South West part of Rhodes.
The landscape looks very different here – in parts quite barren. As we drive past Katavia we notice a strange rock formation just off the coastline which I later discover is a barren islet called Chtenia island. We even stop at a roadside shop to buy honey and pomegranate liqueur!
Our next stop is the village of Monolithos which sits at the foot of Mount Akramytis. The village is small and the local community make their living primarily from agriculture. The church in the heart of the village is beautiful but unfortunately closed so we don’t get the opportunity to see inside.
The name Monolithos means single rock which refers to the large isolated rock on which the medieval castle of St John is situated – and this is our next stop. However, we do make another stop at another roadside stall to purchase more local goodies!
We arrive at the Monolithos castle shortly before sunset. We make the 100 metre ascent to the top via the steps that are carved into the rock. It is just before sunset and the views are spectacular. The castle was built in 1480 by the Knights of St John – one of many castles built around the island for protection. This castle was never conquered and it is hard to see how marauding pirates would have been able to access the castle from the sea.
There is a little working chapel at the top dedicated to St Panteleimon. In the distance I can see the island of Halki and Alimnia which are going to be my next port of call in a few days.
At this point the last battery on my camera dies – but you get the picture!
We decide to head back to Pefkos by cutting across the middle of the island and have an early night ready for new explorations in the morning.