Rhodes Dodecanese Guide Page 14

Rhodes Southern Tip

Around the southern tip of the island Kattavia, surrounded by grain fields (wheat and barley) is the southernmost village on Rhodes. In high season it draws windsurfers who drive out to Cape Prassonisi (which means 'leek island'), at the island's southernmost tip. The town's inhabitants have mostly emigrated to find work in other parts of the world, though the town boasts a gas station, and a few tavernas (not so cheap), including one with some vegetarian dishes. A paved road through a military area and then a sandy isthmus take you out to the island, which has a lighthouse on it. On one side (the east) the water is flat, and on the other there are six-foot waves. There are two wind-surfing outfits operating here, both with email addresses: procenter.prasonisi@Eunet.at and Sportif@compuserve.com Though there are rooms, they fill up fast in July and August, and there are no facilities for campers. Ruins of a 6th-7th BC century walled settlement was discovered by Danish archaeologists at Vroulia, near the isthmus and up over the sea.

Mesanagros an inland hill village reachable by paved road from Lahania (9km) has ruins of a 5th century basilika just outside of it. Remnants of floor mosaics survive and a 13th century chapel, as well as pebble mosaics (hoklakia) and stone barrel arches. Mesanagros is reachable as well as from Katavia and both routes will get you to the 13th century monastery of Moni Skiadi which houses an icon of the Panayia (Virgin Mary) and Child. It is said to have bled when stabbed by a heretic during the 15th century, with the stain still visible (on the cheek). The hand that performed this act was said to have been immediately paralyzed. There is a festival of the icon on 7-8September. It might be possible to spend the night there, but you'll need to ask someone in one of the two villages about this first.

Up the West coast

The road (unpaved) continues down to the coast on the west. There are wonderful views from there but the sea is buffeted by wind and the beaches get a lot of garbage washed up on them, both of these accounting for their being deserted. Apolakia, a little to the north, has great watermelons, great wedding feasts, and a few rooms, though an unremarkable town. There are some rooms here as well as some tavernas and kafeneia. South of this town 4km there's a taverna along the coast.

Continuing up the west coast the road going northeast from Apolakia towards Yennadhi offers an interesting short side-trip on a road off to the north just in a little from the coast, which is paved (and sign-posted) and goes to the irrigation reservoir. Dirt roads off of this road take you to to the small Byzantine chapel of Aghios Yiorgos Vardas, which is well worth seeing with its 13th to 14th century frescoes. It's only about 4km from the main road, but you might want to ask someone before heading out there how to find it.

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