Acropolis of Ancient Ialyssos / Ancient City of Kamiros / Castle of Kritinia / Monolithos Castle / Lunch Break in Embona

This private tour of the South-West Coast of the island appeals to all the senses. You will see architecturally distinct historic buildings and fantastic views, touch ancient stones, smell the fresh air of the Aegean Sea, the Pine-Tree Woods, and taste our local cuisine and wines. You will have plenty of time to savor your experiences and enjoy this beautiful part of the island.

Suggested for those staying on the East Coast (but not exclusively) and want to get an overview of the West Coast of the island, and for visitors staying for a longer period.

Private Tour Overview - Full Day

Private Tour Details

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(Stop Photos) = Stop and get out of the car for photos from outside of the Sight/building

(Stop Visit Photos) Stop and visit - go inside the sight/building for photos

Private Tour Activity Level: Moderate

Private Tour Vehicle: Sedan Car Mercedes Benz - hold 4 passengers comfortably, plus the driver (bigger group?)

Private Tour Driver: English speaking knowledgeable tour/driver specialize in Private Tours

Private Tour Start Time: 8:30 AM. Or later
If you are a Cruise Ship Passenger - depend on your cruise ship dock time. If the ship arrives late into port, we'll adjust our schedules, and the rental time will start from the moment you meet your tour/driver

Private Tour Meeting Point: Hotel / Port / Airport (Meeting point varies depending on option booked)

Private Tour Extensions: You can extend the itinerary of this private tour adding the Valley of the Butterflies (mid-June to mid-September), or add Free Wine Tasting in Embona Village, or add the highlights and landmarks you want to visit.

Private Tour Description:

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From your selected point, you’ll be driven along the west coast of the island up to Mount Filerimos, where we come to the ruins of the Acropolis of the Ancient Ialyssos. The plateau of Filerimos rises nearly 267 meter / 876 feet above sea level. Here you’ll visit the Church of Our Lady of Filerimos, built upon the foundations of the ancient Temple of Athena from early Christian times. You’ll also see the exterior of the monastery and the barrel-vaulted Chapel of St. George.


On the right-hand side there is a beautiful tree-sheltered pathway the “Way of the Cross” where are displayed a series of shrines with relief scenes depicting the Passion of Christ. This pathway leads from the main square to the west edge of the plateau where there is a large cross (16 meters / 48 feet tall), from the site of which you can enjoy a stunning view of the west coast. (Stop Visit Photos)


The drive continues 22 km / 13 miles southwest on the Island to Ancient Kamiros, which was, during the 5th century BC, a thriving Doric city. Kamiros retains much of its historic past. If you enjoy ruins you will not be disappointed by the atmospheric site of Kamiros. The Agora Square, the Temple of Pythian Apollo, the Fountain Square, the Sanctuary dedicated to the Gods and Heroes of Kamiros, the Baths-House, the Main Street, the Houses, and more… On the Acropolis you can see the remains of the Temple of Athena Kameiras, and the remains of the large Stoa and the Archaic Cistern (water reservoir), also you can enjoy a panoramic view over the Aegean Sea and the surrounding agricultural area. (Stop Visit Photos)


We continue south and visit the medieval Castle of Kritinia (of the Knights of St. John Hospitaller) located just outside the village of Kritinia, built in the 16th century which stands proudly overlooking the bay atop a pine clad hill. From this vantage point you can have a 360° view, and see the islands of Chalki, Alimia, Makri, Strongyle, Tragoussa and Symi. (Stop Visit Photos)


Then your journey to Monolithos will take you along a beautiful, 20 km / 12 miles drive of the west coast of the island, through natural pine tree woods revealing beautiful Aegean Sea Vistas. On the way, you stop at a vantage point for a closer view of the little beautiful islands. On your left side is the green of the pine trees and on your right, is the turquoise blue of the Aegean Sea. (Stop Photos)


From a vantage point along the coast, the impressive rock of Monolithos will come into view with the remains of the castle situated on the top of it. (Stop Photos) Your Tour/Driver will drive you down to the foot of the cliff, and you follow the narrow little steps all the way up until you reach the summit. (Access to the castle is by a staircase cut into the rock).

The Castle of Monolithos was one of the four main castles of Rhodes, built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John to have control of the sea and to protect the inhabitants from pirate raids. Today only the external wall fortifications remain. Inside the perimeter of the walls there are a few remnants of the fortifications, the very well preserved 15th century Chapel of St. Panteleimon, and the shell of a chapel dedicated to St. George. The view from it is breath-taking. You will see pine-tree forests far below you and the island of Halki, also the little rock islands Strogylo and Gria of the western coast in the cool waters of the turquoise blue Aegean Sea.


On the way back, you’ll be driven to Embona village the most important grape producing village on the island. You will take a break for delicious snack or lunch experience (at your own expense) at a Traditional Greek Taverna, with Rhodian cuisine and excellent homemade wines. Locals come from everywhere to eat grilled meat in Embona, for which it is widely known.

Later your Tour/Driver, using an inland route through pine-tree woods, will drive you back to Rhodes Town or to your place.

Frequently Asked Questions

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+ Q: How much are the entrance fees on this tour?

A: No entrance fee to Acropolis of Ialysos. The fee to see the monastery is 6 Euro per person. Seniors (with Id or Passport) 3 Euros / person. Children under 18 free.
Entrance fee to Ancient Kamiros is 6 Euro per person. Seniors (with Id or Passport) 3 Euros / person. Children under 18 free.
The Castle of Kritinia and the Castle of Monolithos are open sites, no entrance fees.

+ Q: How difficult is to climb up to Monolithos Castle?

A: Climbing up to the castle is quite short and easy, but don’t wear sandals as there are no handrails and a lot of loose stones and rocks lying around everywhere.

+ Q: Can I take my children up to Monolithos Castle?

A: You must be very careful and pay extra attention, as the ground is very dry and slippery and on some parts are no railings or fences. So, consider if this is a place to bring small or young children, who may not have the respect for heights, that older ones have.

+ Q: Are there Butterflies all the time?

A: There are Butterflies only during their season, from mid-June to mid-September. The Valley is open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

+ Q: How much time will we need to pass through the "Valley of the Butterflies"? How much is the entrance fee?

A: It’s not an actual valley, but a hillside with two gates, the Main Gate (lower gate) and the Secondary Gate (upper gate). You can have a quick look around for about 10 minutes using the Main Gate. The climb to the upper gate and back takes about 60 minutes. We usually drive our clients to the Secondary Gate (upper gate) so they can more easily walk down (one way 30 - 40 min).
Entrance fee: Low season: 3 Euros per person / High season 5 Euros: per person / kids under 12 years old free.

+ Q: What is Rhodes known for, in terms of food / beverage and souvenirs? What's the one thing we shouldn't miss?

A: Traditional Food of Rhodes, Wines, the famous handmade Rhodes Pottery, Ceramics, and the beautiful Rhodes Beaches

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