Perched atop a 100-meter tall sheer rock face overlooking the Mediterranean, the journey to Monolithos Castle – an arduous scramble up a set of steps carved into the rock – is no easy task. It’s worth the climb though and those who make the effort will be rewarded with some of Rhodes' most dramatic views, towering over the village of Monolithos and the nearby peak of Akramytis, and stretching across the ocean to Halki Island.
The castle, built by the Knights of Saint John in 1480 to guard the shores from invasion, is renowned as one of the island's most impenetrable fortresses and remains unconquered, staring out towards the distant shores of mainland Greece. Today, the Venetian castle lies in ruins, but its perimeter walls and two medieval chapels – St. Panteleimon and St. George – provide ample distractions from the view. Free to enter and uninhibited by the crowds of Rhodes' northern attractions, Monolithos Castle is evocative of its name – Monolithos translates as 'Lonely Rock' – and the secluded cliff top makes a tranquil destination to watch the sunset or enjoy coffee with a view from the castle's adjourning café.