All About Monolithos Castle
Monolithos Castle is a fascinating medieval castle located outside the village. This Castle was built in 1480 by the Knights of Saint John to protect the island from attacks, and, interestingly, it was never conquered.
Today, Monlithos Castle is mainly ruins but offers excellent views of the sea and the two islets opposite it. Inside the Castle is a small working chapel dedicated to Agios Panteleimon (Saint Pantaleon). Access to the Castle is by a staircase cut into the rock, which, whilst not particularly steep, can be slippery due to the number of visitors wearing it away.
On the climb up to the top, you will likely see hundreds, if not thousands, of small piles of rocks from 3–10. These piles are left there by visitors as a form of memento.
Monolithos Castle was built under the orders of Grand Master D’Aubusson, after overcoming the difficulties of transporting building materials to its rocky outcrop location. The castle's strategic position allowed for a clear view of the Mediterranean, making it one of the most important fortifications on Rhodes. The difficult accessibility also made it very difficult for enemies, including Ottomans, to seize the castle, forcing them to retreat empty-handed.
Even though only some external parts of the fortifications remain today, they are still in quite a good condition. But what also makes it worth climbing the steep hill are the magnificent churches, the two 15th-century chapels of St. Panteleimon and St. George, and the breathtaking view of the mountain of Akramytis, the village of Monolithos below it, the island Halki, and of course the vast Aegean Sea.
The castle of Monolithos is an interesting 3km drive from the village of Monolithos. As soon as you reach the rocky outcrop, you must continue your adventure on foot, following the steep footpath leading to the castle.
From the city of Rhodes, the distance is about 70km (1h 30min drive). While driving to the castle, the scenery is one of the most beautiful on the island, and it is well worth making some stops to admire the landscape and views of the smaller islands and islands close to Rhodes.