The village of Monolithos is 73km from Rhodes. It is a touristic and picturesque village which took its name from the big rock, a monolith, hanging above it. On the top of the rock there is a castle that has been inhabited by people since antiquity. The castle had three entrances: one on the east side for supplies; one on the west side which served as an exit and entrance point for troops; another on south-west corner accessible only through stairs carved into rock.
The castle of Monolithos is a must see destination for every traveler, built on the foundations of another older fortress and situated 236 meters high in an amazingly tough natural terrain. The construction was even more challenging due to close proximity with the village below - mere minutes from civilization yet ironically one's most difficult climb!
The steps were created by the people who came before you. So they're quite slippery and not steep at all, but that's part of what makes them so special. Hundreds or even thousands have left small piles of rocks on these stairs as a reminder to themselves when climbing up—a memento from their time there; an homage to those with whom this sacred ground has connected them in life-changing ways.
In the past, there was a watchtower on this rock. Then, during Byzantine times in the 15th century AD (CE), it became home to knights from The Order of Saint John. These brave men rebuilt their castle hereafter they obtained control over Rhodes it's been an important stronghold ever since!
The reconstruction was done around 1476, when Grand Master of the Order was D’ Aubusson (1476-1503). His shield is carved above the gate to show that he oversaw this project. It used to be one of four strongest castles in Rhodes during Ioannite period.
There is not much information on what happened to the castle after its construction, but it was clear that Turks gained control of Rhodes in 1522. The Knights left and since piracy no longer posed a threat by 17th century time had passed so slowly that this once mighty structure has been abandoned or forgotten about entirely.
At the village you must discover the very nice traditional taverns that offers you high-quality local delicacies.
Tip: The owner of the "Old Monolithos" is one of the two or three people on the island that knows how to gather the delicious local mushrooms of Rhodes! He can tell you a lot of information about that!
There are 2 very good tours including Monolithos that we present you below.
The first is going to take you to the highest peak of Rhodes, Akramitis mountain and you will begin and end from Monolithos. Starts from 73 euros per person and provides pickup from your hotel! Click here to see more details of the excursion through GetYourGuide.
The second tour including Monolithos, will travel you for 6 days assuming of giving you the best of Rhodes on a 4 hike and 1 sea kayaking tour. Explore this beautiful country side, conquering mountains along with exploring all that is non touristy about their island! Its about 135 euros per day and comes with a free cancellation from GetYourGuide.