Trek subject: The Italian influence and a view of the whole island
Area: Profitis Ilias Church on Mt. Profitis Ilias
Overall trek time: 8 hours
Additional activities: Aerobic exercises or yoga-based exercises, a visit to a monastery, visit to villa de Vecchi, a visit to the ancient city of Kamiros
Comments: The route is ideal for those days with very high temperatures
Length: 7.2 kilometres
Altitude: 550 m
Estimated time spent trekking: 3 ½ to 4 hours
Degree of difficulty: 1 (easy) but can be increased to 2 (average) for anyone who wants
We start by following the stream that flows by the village of Salakos on the SW side of Rhodes, having first done some warm-up exercises or yoga-inspired exercises. The gentle upward route is accompanied by constant sound of running water flowing down from the mountain top.
We soon reach the home of the island’s rare butterflies, who cover the tree trunks and sides of the gorge. This butterfly valley is much prettier than the island’s more famous one located on Mt. Kalamonas. The gorge deepens and we continue onwards to the ruins of an old hydroelectric plant built by the Italians to supply power to the buildings at the peak.
We reach the peak and visit Profitis Ilias monastery dedicated to the Prophet Elijah. Next door are the Elafos and Elafina Hotels built by the Italians to host the VIP guests of the island’s governor during the period of Italian rule. We also visit the ruins of the villa built by the governor of the Dodecanese, De Vecchi, a close friend and associate of Mussolini, which lies only a few meters beyond the Monastery.
Here we can enjoy the uninterrupted view of the western side of the island facing the Aegean Sea. Heading down from Profitis Ilias one gets a view of the eastern side of Rhodes. Before stopping for aerobic exercise on the plateau in front of us, we also visit the chapel dedicated to Archangel Michael.
Afterwards, we take the downward winding path to Nymph’s spring dedicated to the nymphs. We stop off there for lunch and rest, watching the view of the plain and the beach of ancient Kamiros. Finally we board the mini bus and end our day out with a quick visit to the ruins of the ancient city of Kamiros.