Monolithos Fortress

Monolithos castle is a favourite on the tourist route, an impregnable fortress on the southwest coast near Apolakkia Bay and perched on top of a 300ft high precipitous rock overlooking the sea.

It was built around 1480 by the Knights of St John and it is certainly an impressive sight, but you must leave your car at the bottom and take a steep 15 minute hike up a narrow pathway to get to it. This is not a climb for those with walking difficulties.

Within the castle walls stands the church of Agios Panteleimon. The village of Monolithos is three kilometres from the rock and is a small, relaxing and peaceful place with a few hotels and a clutch of tavernas.

The road from Monolithos village leads on to Fourni, the beach of Monolithos, ideal for those who like pebbles with a little sand, gentle waves and a peaceful setting.

Unnerving rock formations add interest to the beach. One huge rock looks as though it might topple over onto the tourist sunbeds below at any minute. A beach cantina opens in the summer.

Nearby are some 17th century Christian caves that have been carved into the rock at Fourni beach, but expect to get lost trying to find them and beware the badly worn steps down to the cave entrances.

The wines of Embonas

Embonas or Emponas boasts the Emery grape which produces much of Rhodes' best wine and there are complimentary tastings for visitors. The red is better than the white which has been described as relatively lifeless.

Endless coach parties snake up the hills between 10am and 2pm and the village of Embonas is riddled with tavernas and tourist shops as not only do visitors come to see the vines but the village is also a favourite for tour operator's Greek evenings.

The landscape in this area of Rhodes is very attractive with vineyards climbing the steep foothills to the mountains above.

Rodini Park

The Rodini Park lies on the outskirts of Rhodes City, about 3km from the city centre and makes a cool refreshing escape from the summer heat.

Thought to be one of the oldest landscaped parks in the world Rodini was very popular with the Romans who built and an aqueduct and various other buildings here.

The park lies in a green and shady river valley, with several small lakes crossed by bridges. The park also has a delightful rose garden and a small zoo. There are peacocks and deer which run freely in the park as well as turtles, swans, ducks and many other animals.

There are woodland paths to follow and rowing boat rides around the lakes. Rodini Park is a popular place for both visitors and locals alike and offers a refreshing attraction in the heat of summer.

The park is easily reached by car or bus and, as it's only 3km from the centre you can even walk there. It can get quite busy in summer months but it's still well worth a visit.

Rodini Park was recently given its own management team to develop it as a wildlife park and to promote it among locals and visitors alike.

Butterflies Valley of Rhodes

During July and August tourists outnumber the insects in Butterfly Valley near Petaloudes which lies about 5km inland from Tholos. The butterflies are actually Jersey tiger moths, Euplagia quadripunctaria, but let's face it, how many tourists would want to visit Moth Valley?

The moths are a well camouflaged and difficult to see, except in flight when they show their deep red overwings. The result has been thousands of tourists clapping their hands and even blowing whistles to drive the sleepy insects into the air.

Unfortunately, the moths have come here to rest before mating and the consequence of all this disturbance has seen a worrying decline in the numbers returning each year. Not before time, tourists are being asked to keep the noise down. The moths arrive in their thousands in June, mate in late August and fly off in September.

The 60-minute walk through the valley is pleasant enough, with plenty of shade from the trees and a well marked path through the woods past small pools and over wooden bridges that cross the River Pelekanas. Visitors should wear decent walking shoes as the going can be rough at times.

Afandou Golf Course

There are not many Greek Islands where you can enjoy a round of golf but Rhodes is one of them with an 18-hole, par-73, golf course links along the shoreline behind the long beach at Afandou.

Designed by British golf course architect, Donald Harradine, this championship-level course opened in 1973. Admission fees are nominal and there are all the usual facilities here including pro shop, changing rooms, lockers, showers and a small snack bar.

Fairways and greens have been laid with different grasses specially selected to keep the course green throughout the year, even during the high summer season. The club stays open all the year round and this is a very active and tourist-friendly golf club.

Afandou Golf Club is located along the shore at Afandou Bay, about 20 kilometres from Rhodes Town and it is well signposted off the main Rhodes to Lindos highway

Springs at Epta Piges

More a lowlight than a highlight, Epta Piges or Seven Springs is touted as a pleasant picnic spot with a stream and a waterfall. Tourists usually walk to it as the coaches can't get very near, but few are likely to return for a second look. The springs are no more than muddy wet patches of woodland that tend to give off the very damp, musty smell of decayed vegetation.

There is an unlit tunnel carrying the spring water to a reservoir that you can walk through. It is about 150 metres long, the water is ankle deep and the only light is from a shaft half way along. The reward for the walk is a small lake at the other end and you have to wonder why this place is promoted so strongly by tour firms.