Visited on May 10th, 2013. Rating 5 out of 5

Get ready for some mountain climbing as you head through the woods for the Monolithos Castle. It was built in the 1480ies by the Knights of St John as a protective fortification, a very effective fortification one might say, as the castle was never conquered. Going there by foot gives a hint of why.

Below the mountain path, in the woods, you come across an almost symmetrical circle. As no material is given on the site, without Google, you are left to guessing, so we decided on this circle being a circle of conjuration. Less imaginative people would probably attribute this circle to a place for parking visitors horses, the ruins of a reception building perhaps, or a small fold for live stock.

Passing through the circle, a rather steep climb up a few hundred steps forming the stony stairs leading to the one-was castle, 340 meters atop the ocean.

Overlooking Monolithos Castle

 The castle itself, unfortunately, is almost perished now. What remains, is a few wall sections and some very deteriorated foundation blocks. What is left, however, is the remains of an old chapel, overlooking the bay offering a fantastic view of the island. Also, in the middle of what must have been the courtyard, is a relatively new chapel. Here, you can donate to the chapel as well as light a candle and send a thought to someone near and dear.

An old, derelict chapel
An old, derelict chapel

The site is very serene, and beautiful and we quickly decided that the otherwise hot walk up the stairs was well worth the effort. Stepping close to the remains of the outer castle wall, looking over the wall and 340 meters down, gives a funny feeling in the stomach, and you cannot help but to think how many people must have given their lives to build this place some 500 years ago.

Looking up - better than looking down
Looking up – better than looking down

Thankfully, the place was not too crowded with tourists with time of year, which offered a lot of photo opportunities, and the views from the top of the mountain is something that can hardly be matched by any other places on the island of Rhodes.