Castles to visit in Rhodes
If you’re planning a holiday to the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes, get ready to sample plenty of rich culture and history, with ruins that date back hundreds of years to ancient civilisations and worlds gone by. History lovers will enjoy discovering the many places of historical importance that the island has to offer, and the stories behind the many ancient relics that are left behind. There are a few castles in Rhodes that offer a fascinating glimpse into what life was like on the isle in the Byzantine era. Why not visit them all during your villa holiday? Here’s our guide to the best must-see castles in Rhodes.
In the village of Monolithos, is the grand Monolithos castle. In ancient times, the castle had three entrances – one for troops, one for supplies and service goods, and one secret entrance via steep steps carved into rock. Monolithos castle is a must-see when visiting Rhodes, as it offers incredible views that make for beautiful photos in your holiday album. Climbing the rocky steps from the village below to the castle is all part of the experience. On your way up, you’ll pass piles of rocks that previous visitors have placed as mementos across the centuries. It’s a bit of a climb, but definitely worth it.
The castle was reconstructed in around 1476, when D’ Aubusson was Grand Master of the Order. You’ll notice his shield carved into the gate upon entry – a symbol of strength and the castle’s status as one of the strongest fortresses of the Ionnite period. You can take tours that provide insight and talks on the historical significance of Monolithos castle.
The ancient site of Lindos castle in Rhodes is arguably the most impressive on the island. Surrounded by dramatic landscape, and perched on a cliff that’s 116m high, Lindos castle boasts incredible sea views, and well-preserved fortress walls and columns that make it one of the most-visited historical attractions on Rhodes. As you tour the Acropolis walls, you’ll come across the Medieval castle, the Governor’s Palace, and a Doric temple dating back to the 4th century, devoted to Athena Lindia.
This temple is where ancient civilians used to offer their patron goddess sacrifices and offerings. Near the castle, you’ll find the ancient town of Lindos, which dates back to the 10th century, and was an important shipping and trading centre because of the island’s close ties to the Middle East. If you’re looking for a fun family day out from your luxury Rhodes villa and pool, Lindos castle and the surrounding archaeological ruins are worth a visit.
Castle of Kritinia
Known as Kastello castle by the locals, the Castle of Kritinia dates back to the Venetian era, and was constructed in the 16th century. It lies on a hill positioned 131 metres above the village of Kritinia. Climb up the hill to the castle and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the nearby islands of Chalki, Strogyli and Makri, as well as the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Unfortunately, the castle’s shell is all that remains, but look closely while wandering around, and you’ll notice the coats of arms of two of the Grand Masters of the Medieval Era, that are close to the entrance gates.
There’s also a chapel with rather well-preserved 16th century paintings on the walls. To get to the castle, a car is ideally needed. You’ll need to make a one hour drive from Rhodes Town, before heading up a dirt path that leads right up to the castle. Remember to wear sensible closed-toe shoes for walking around the site.
Searching for your dream home from home on the island of Rhodes? Why not browse our selection of Rhodes holiday villas.