On our last full day in Rhodes we drove down the west coast. Beyond the airport, this side of the island is pretty quiet. The west side of Rhodes is greener, with more trees than the east coast. We made four stops: Ancient Kameiros, Kritinia Castle, Monolithos, and Fourni Beach.
This was a site we could enjoy without crowds. There was just one small tour bus there during our visit. These ruins from the 5thcentury B.C. weren’t discovered until 1859, and were excavated in 1929. What a setting, on a hill above the Aegean. The ruins are quite extensive on the slope of the hill, with a main street running southwest from the Acropolis to the lower part of the town towards the sea. Kameiros was a sister city to Lindos, but its economy was based on agricultural products rather than shipping like Lindos. The city was suddenly abandoned around 300-400 A.D, with little explanation, and buried and forgotten for centuries. Because it was not disturbed, it is considered one of the best preserved classical Greek cities. There is an entrance fee of €4.
Kritinia Castle (Kastello)
This castle was built (late 15thcentury) by the Knights of Rhodes on a high point commanding a great strategic view of the coast of Rhodes and west to the island of Symi. As castles go, there is very little remaining (the wall pictured makes the castle look more complete than it is). However the views of the coast from inside the castle walls are wonderful and we enjoyed the stop. No entry fee.
Further down the west coast (about 80 km from Rhodes town) is the site of Monolithos, named because the fortress sits on top of a 750 foot “monolith” rock between the road and the sea. It is quite a view, looking down on the castle (15th century) ruins and little white church on the top of the rock pinnacle. There is a little parking lot near the short trail up to the castle ruins, with a little shop for refreshments. Also in this area (in and around the village of Siana) are lots of small roadside stands selling local honey and souma (local alcoholic drink). The ruins are free.
At the parking lot of Monolithos we saw a sign pointing to Fourni Beach and we decided to check it out. We were glad we did. The beach is perhaps 2-3 km down a very windy steep road. It’s a lot farther down to the water than we imagined from the top of Monolithos! The beach is sandy and secluded, but has restrooms and a taverna. Hike out to the point at the south side of the beach for a view of other coves and beaches.