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Monolithos Castle, Rhodes

The castle of Monolithos was built on the foundations of another, older castle, and lies about 236m high on an amazingly difficult natural terrain, which made its construction even more challenging, near the village of Monolithos.

  • Monolithos castle was built in 1480 by the Knights of Saint John
  • Few ruins remain, bit the location offers great views of the sea and the two islets opposite to it
  • Access to the castle is by a staircase cut into the rock
  • The distance from Rhodes is about 70Km (1h 30min drive)
  • The route from Rhodes town to Monolithos offers some of the best scenery on the island


Under the orders of Grand Master D’Aubusson, and after having overcome the difficulties of transporting the building materials needed for its erection on the rocky outcrop, the castle of Monolithos was finally built, constituting one of the most important fortifications of Rhodes, due to its strategic location that allowed a clear view of the Mediterranean. The extremely challenging accessibility route and position also made it very difficult for enemies, including Ottomans, to seize the castle, forcing them to retrieve empty-handed.

Monolithos Castle © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Monolithos Castle © RhodesGuide.com

Today only some external parts of the fortifications remain, but they are in a quite well reserved condition. But what also makes it worth embarking on an arduous attempt to climb 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 right below it, the island Halki and of course the vast Aegean Sea.

Monolithos Castle © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Monolithos Castle © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com

Monolithos Castle Location

The castle of Monolithos is a 3km drive from the village of Monolithos. As soon as you reach the rocky outcrop, then you need to 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). The scenery while driving to the castle is one of the most beautiful on the island, it it is well worth making some stops to admire the landscape and the views towards the smaller islands and islands close to Rhodes.

Monolithos Castle © Rhodes Guide / RhodesGuide.com


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Monolithos Castle reviews & comments

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We arrived to Monolithos Castle after a breathtaking journey along the island's western coast. Because cell coverage was spotty, getting there was a bit of a challenge. The vistas were breathtaking, and there was enough of signs to learn about the castle. I'd love to see the Rhodes tourism office provide a driving tour commentary on its sights. I believe it would encourage more people to visit this part of the island.

Commented by Maria April 25, 2022

Monolithos castle ruin lies on a mountain that can only be reached by foot. Your automobile can be parked at the bottom, however there is no designated parking area. All you have to do now is park on the side of the road. It wasn't particularly busy when we went at the beginning of the season. Going up is completely free. The climb to the top is rough, and the stairs can be treacherous. If it's a windy day, think twice about going up there. There are only few safety barriers in the area, and a blast of wind nearly knocked my wife and me down the steps. At the summit, there's a modest chapel with spectacular views of the bay.

Commented by Chris M. September 15, 2021

I was just there is September...really amazing views and well worth the stop. This article say\'s Venetian Castle and continues on to say it was built by Grand Master D\'Aubusson of the Knights of St. John...so it would not be a Venetian Castle.

Commented by Bill Williams November 01, 2015

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