So, let us continue our journey on the west coast and talk about Monolithos Castle In Rhodes. Just like the castle in Kritinia, this castle is also a wonderful place to see and is packed with history and wonderful views.
Again, it offers peace, tranquility and a real look at the ancient times on the island.
Monolithos and the castle are located approximately 70 Kilometers south of The City Of Rhodes and 5 Kilometers from the small village of Sianna.
Its sits tall and proud on the hill at 236 meters and looks over the coast line, out over the Aegean Sea and protects the neighboring village of Monolithos.
The Castle And Its History
The castle was built by The Knights Of St John in 1480. Its purpose was to be the same as Kritinia Castle, and this was to protect the west coast of Rhodes from invasion by pirates.
Because of the location of the castle, standing tall on the peak of the hill – it was named accordingly, as the word Monolithos actually means ‘The Lonely Rock’!
The Castle Of Monolithos was challenged many times during battle, but it was never breached. This was mainly due to the strategic location, and the aggressors of the past were unable to deal with the high elevation of the hill it was built on.
Monolithos Castle, Kritinia Castle, Rhodes Medieval City and the Citadel of Lindos were crucial location for The Knights as they ensured overall command of the waters around the island. This offered a solid protection for the inhabitants on Rhodes during the 14th Century.
Monolithos Castle Today
As with most ancient structures, the castle itself lies mostly in ruins today, but this is not a reason for putting you off visiting. There are still some areas that are standing strong of the original structure and they have been kept in good condition.
Once you enter inside the huge walls of the castle you will come across two medieval chapels. One of them is The Chapel Of Agios Giorgios which unfortunately lies destroyed for the best part. The other is The Chapel Of Agios Panteleimon which is quite good condition and said to have been built in the 15th Century.
A lot of people refrain from visiting Monolithos as it is a little out of the way. Many choose to stay in the areas where there are more attractions nearby and they miss out on this breathtaking place.
Although a lot of this ancient site lies in ruins. It is well worth making the trip. The history here is amazing and you can really feel what went on here.
The Views From The Castle Of Monolithos
A huge attraction for this location is the views. They are simply amazing. The clear blue sky and waters are not to be missed. Also, from the castle you can see two very small islands (islets actually) namely Gria (Γρια In Greek) and Stroggylo (Στρογγυλο) right opposite. These sit just off the coast!
From here you can also see very clearly Petrokopio Beach in the small village of Fourni. The is a beautiful white pebbled beach and has crystal clear blue water. Another place you may like to make a stop!
You can also see many other small islets further out to sea and you can see the island of Chalki too. Have your camera ready, you will regret it if you don’t.
Enjoy the video here. A couple of minutes of beautiful views with some really nice capturing music!
Getting to The Castle
Well, like I have said, the castle sits on the top of a hill at 236 Meters.
With this in mind, it is quite obvious you will need to do a little walking. Do not worry though, it is not too strenuous!
To access the castle, you need to ascend some steps which have been carved in to the rock surface. I just want to make you aware of a couple things here.
First of all, take your time. The steps can get a little slippery at times and it is easy to lose your footing.
Second, be prepared for people stopping in front of you as they make the climb. Although some people stop to take a small rest, others simply stop to take photographs as the views are quite superb.
The last time I made the ascent it took me about 10 minutes, just to give you an idea! It is steep, but it is not something to put you off.
Another point of interest is, as you tackle your way to the top of these steps you will see lots of small rocks (thousands actually) all piled up! A lot of people have asked me what they are and why they are there. This is just something that people have chosen to do, and those who have visited have left them in situ as a momento for their visit. Maybe you would like to do the same?
It is forbidden to collect any of the stones or rocks and take them away from the castle. There is a sign clearly visible that tell you so. Please do not remove any of them from this location. If you are caught you will have big problems!
Entrance And Parking
You will be pleased to know, entrance to the castle is free. There are no fees whatsoever and you can park your transport there free of charge too.
If you travel by car, you will find you can park quite close to the start of the steps at the foot of the hill in the parking area. Of course, sometimes it can be quite busy, but you will always find space.
Also, at the entrance area to the castle you will see a small outlet where you can buy refreshments and something to eat. Be sure to take water especially in the high season. It can get very hot and you will need to keep hydrated
For your information the castle is open for you to see 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Of course be careful if you visit at night. as it is easy to slip when you are negotiating your footing in the dark!
Watch This Video And See Monolithos Castle To Some Beautiful Music
I personally love it here. I like the tranquility, the views, the history and the feeling of freedom and open space that it offers. I would recommend everyone visiting Rhodes makes an effort to see Monolithos Castle.
Yes it is a little off the normal tourist path, but well work making the effort to see it.
Let me know if you have any questions. Ask them in the comments’ area below and I will get back to you. Maybe you have seen this amazing castle yourself? I would love to hear about your experiences.
Thanks for reading!
It is amazing to see the way this castle was built on top of the cliff. It looks as if it grew naturally out of the rock. And the views look spectacular.
Do you know if there is any information at the site about the different stories that took place there? The chapel is in great shape is it still being used in any way?
The castle was actually constructed by The Knights of Saint John over 500 years ago for fortification and protection of the island. It did a fine job too as the castle was never breached.
As for the little chapel, it is very quaint and beautiful and the inside has been well maintained.
You can go inside and have a look around and you can light a candle should you wish to do so. This is common here to light the candle and say a prayer for someone you care about.
To my knowledge it is not used for official purpose, but it is really nice to step inside and have a good look.
Thanks for your interest Linda!
Great video Chris, much appreciated.
I’ve been to Monolithos many times yet only now can I get a perspective on the Castle layout. If you haven’t been there at sunset in summer, make it a date, the views are breathtaking.
Have you considered taking small groups to your favorite spots? Your knowledge, insight and passion would make for a great excursion.
Hope to see you in September
Hey there Emmanuel, great to see you here again my friend. I hope you are keeping well.
Yes, I have been lucky enough to be at Monolithos Castle during a sunset. You are right, the views and scenery is amazing during these times. Now the summer time is approaching, so I will be going down there again one evening to get some photographs. I am looking forward to that.
At the moment I have not yet considered doing excursions. But never say never 🙂
Thanks for getting in touch again. Nice to hear from you.
Hi Chris what a wonderful site you have, I have always been fascinated by the Greek islands and have often made comments to family when i see the country from different perspectives on and in the media.
I have always been gobsmacked by the color of the waters that surround the islands and it must surely be a most beautiful existence for you. I am glad you found peace.
All the best in your endeavors.
Thank you so much for your kind words Shane.
I am happy now, and I do not regret making the move here.
The way of life suits me fine and it is at a pace I like, with things and people around me that I like. The blue waters is one one them for sure. Taking a swim on the coast here is a real pleasure.
Actually, around the area of Monolithos Castle, there is a wonderful beach called Fourni Beach. This is a real great spot to take some sun and have a dip!
I cannot complain Shane 🙂
Thanks my friend.
Wow what a place to live, So much history and not talked about enough, well at least where I live In Canada it`s not. This castle in Monolithos looks really inviting.
Your article is great and the island looks amazing. Maybe one day I can take you up on the offer and you can show me around lol. Until then, thanks for the read and the history info.
Hi Jeremy and thanks for your interest.
Monolithos is indeed inviting. I love this location and the views are worth it alone. Although the inside of the castle area is mostly ruins, you really can get the feel of the history. The church within the grounds is really beautiful too. Definitely a must see if you are on the island.
I am happy you enjoyed the information here, and my offer stands. Let me know when you arrive!
I love all the pictures and I love reading about historical sites and your post offered a lot of detailed information about Monolithos Castle and its history.
My wife has always wanted to go to Greece. I will make sure to let her know about this site.
Keep up the good work. I’ll definitely visit again.
Thanks so much Doug.
There is a lot of history here in Rhodes. Monolithos Castle is only one of the areas (out of many) where you can soak up rich history and culture.
If your wife has always wanted to see Greece then I would say Rhodes would be a great choice. It is one of the more popular islands with lots to offer and plenty to do.
Let me know if you ever get plans in place to visit, and I will happily help you out with as much information as you need!
Wow, very nice and very attractive. I have never been to Greece before and I never knew much about it. Thank you very much for the information on this castle.
This will be one of the nice places to visit. Nice pictures and view.
How old is the castle and is it one of the world protected sites?
Thank you very much for reading, I appreciate your visit.
When it comes to the investigation as to whether Monolithos Castle is a world protected site, I cannot say it is, but I cannot say it isn’t either.
When I was making my research and composing the information for Rhodes Medieval City, it was clear that this was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I cannot find any evidence to say this is the same situation for Monolithos Castle.
I do have a list of UNESCO protected world heritage sites, and this castle is not listed, but it is not to say it is not under the protection of another body! This is something I am struggling to find out.
I am sorry i cannot offer more concrete information here, but trust me, I will keep digging!
I so appreciate sites like yours that show people reasons to leave the well traveled routes to find wonderful historic sites and beautiful scenery.
To often I have not stopped long enough to see some some of the great sites along many of the places I have traveled. It’s frustrating to have someone ask me if I have ever visited this or that wonderful site, especially in a place I have lived, only to find out I have missed out on some incredible history or discovery.
You have reminded me to make sure I look more closely to places I will be traveling to and also places around where I currently live.
I think you bring up a great point here Rick!
I actually have a friend that lives local to me here on the island, and he was born here. A really nice Greek person and well educated too. The problem is, in all his years (he is 34 now) he has never seen the area of Lindos.
He lives only 50 Kilometers away from a world famous historic landmark that millions of people travel from all over the world to see every year, and he has never been! To me it is criminal, and he admits it too.
I think it is easy to overlook areas of interest when they are sitting on your front doorstep. A think it is easy to say ‘hey, it will still be there tomorrow’, and finally you never see it.
A lot of people are like that when they visit places for their holidays too. They take a vacation for a well earned rest, and because they are happy relaxing, the time passes by and they have to go home without seeing anything.
It is always worth paying attention to your surroundings and seeing a few places. Certainly in Rhodes it will be worth while!
Thanks again Rick! I know you have visited me here more than once, it is always nice to hear from you.
Many things that are most worth visiting are off the tourists path. This place looks beautiful and I would love to visit.
I think it would be so fun to go at night and explore or stargaze there.
Thanks for the info!
Hello Ariana and thanks for your message.
You put a different viewpoint on this which I really appreciate. A lot of people will sit and watch the sunset from here, but I am not sure about looking late in the night at the stars.
I think that would be an excellent experience in fact, as most of the time the skies are very clear. I think you would get a great view of the stars.
I will try that one time in the summer months and let you know how it is!
Thanks Ariana. Really great to hear from you.
Me and my buddy travel a lot and we actually got the chance to visit this place when we were in Rhodes. It’s amazing how intact it is still in after so many years.
Castles are huge and this one was just that. If you have any issues walking or standing for long periods of time though, you may want to reconsider visiting Monolithos Castle.
Other than that we had a blast and if traveling is your thing., you must have this on your list.
Hi James. It is great to learn you have been on the island and had the chance to see this amazing castle.
Things back in the day were built to stand the test of time, and this is the proof 🙂
I agree to a point with you when it comes to being on your feet for a long while if you choose to visit Monolithos Castle. Although it is not too much of a challenge to scale your way to the top, it is a long day and there is not a lot there for taking a break.
There are places you can sit down, but you have to bear in mind the heat too, especially in the high season.
On saying that, at the entrance to the castle grounds in the parking area, there is a small restaurant where you can refresh yourself and take a bite to eat.
Thanks James. Do you have plans to visit again?
Wow, this was a very interesting read.
Rhodes is on my list of places to travel to but I’ve never heard or read up on Monolithos Castle until now.
I’m glad to hear that the entrance is free since every tourist destination nowadays requires you to pay. I’ll have to make an outline one day when I get around to actually planning my trip & booking tickets & I’ll definitely add this to my list of sights to see.
Thanks for the article, I had such a great time reading it. I love anything enriched with a history that has to do with travel as well.
Hi Alex, it is really nice to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and for your interest in Rhodes and Monolithos Castle. This location (along with Kritinia Castle too) is rich with history. I personally love these locations. You can soak up the history and some great views all in one place. There is nothing quite like it!
I also like that the entrance is free. There are not so many places in the world that will allow you to see places like this for nothing. I respect this i must admit. Considering there are other areas on the island that are far less interesting (in my opinion) and you are charged around 10 Euros for an entrance! How does that work? 🙂
I hope you get here soon Alex, let me know if you make plans!
This is a very interesting article. The Monolithos Castle In Rhodes looks like a place one needs to visit.
I like the tranquility one feels by just looking at a place like this. It’s a shame though that some parts of the castle are ruined, I wonder how it happened.
Places like this ought to be preserved for the next generations to come, and the stories behind them should be told.
Thank you for showing us the video too, it’s beautiful and looks like a peaceful place to be.
Hi Stella, and thanks for reading!
Well, as the castle now sits there hundreds of years old and unused, I guess it is only a matter of time before it was to meet its demise structurally.
The Knights Of Saint John occupied the castle during their stay here on the island of Rhodes. They were here from the year 1309 and stayed for over 200 years. After this, The Ottoman Empire controlled the island and the castle.
Once there was no need for defense anymore, the castle became defunct and abandoned. Many years later, this is what is left today!
It is a shame, but believe me these places are still quite wonderful to see!
There is a lot of history here that will never be forgotten, and if you manage to visit Rhodes, you will see the stories are still being told today!
Thanks Stella, really nice to hear from you!
Very informative review of Monolithos Castle In Rhodes. The video helped very much (if picture is worth 1000 words, then a video is much more) to see the amazing view from the Castle . It is very tempting . It would be shame not to visit the Castle if you are in Rhodes .
One technical question: is video made by drone?
Hello Alex, yes this castle is a really amazing location and one that should definitely be seen by people visiting the island of Rhodes.
I wanted to put the video here (as I have done with other sections) as sometimes it is difficult to capture and show people what it is like with simple words and a photograph.
I feel this video of Monolithos Castle gives you a clear idea of what it is like along with some beautiful views. So, I am happy you liked it. By the way, the answer is yes to your question. It is drone footage!
I enjoyed reading this bit of history of bygone days. I also enjoyed the images around the area as well, makes me wish I was there.
Building a castle like that to protect against pirates implies that the pirates must have been well organised and well armed and there must have been a good number of them as well. I wonder are there any good stories and folklore about the pirates and also about the people who built the castle.
I found it interesting that the castle itself was never breached during its long history. I see that it is in ruins today and wonder when it stopped being a functioning castle.
Hi David, yes this castle is a wonderful piece of history for the island of Rhodes.
When it comes to this location, The Knights Of Saint John occupied it during their reign on the island. Once there time here was taken over by the Ottoman Empire, it is known that the Turkish also occupied the castle.
As time went on though, and there was no longer a serious threat from pirates, the castle was no longer required like it was before and slowly from there it was abandoned and the ruins are what remain today!
A real shame to see these places in the shape they are today. But hey, this is what time and war does.
Thanks for your interest David. Much appreciated!