Attractions of Nature

Rhodes is home to some unique and beautiful flora and fauna, much of which can be found just a short stroll from the main resorts but to get a true taste of what the island has to offer, exploring the interior is a must.

Here are some of the best places to visit to make the most of the island's nature.

The Municipal Park of Rhodes

Once used as the Royal Gardens, the Municipal Park of Rhodes is the largest in the city. Just a short walk from the centre, it is often used by locals as a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or to simply stroll among the pretty gardens.

Within the park, the former "Royal Pavilion" accommodates, nowadays, the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Rodos including a library and reading room and a small collection of Greek sculptures.

Rodini Park

Lying just south of the city is Rodini Park, a paradise of streams and paths winding between pine trees, oleander bushes, cypress trees and maple. Within the park is a small zoo whose inhabitants include the Rhodian Deer, a protected species only usually found in the mountains of the island.

The location of the park is one of particular historical interest, reputedly the site of the School of Rhetoric where many famous Greeks and Romans studied, including Julius Caesar, Cato the Younger, Cicero, Pompey, Brutus, Cassius and Mark Anthony.

Besides its natural beauty, the park contains the remains of an 3rd century necropolis with Doric-style tombs and the Tomb of Ptolemeus, carved from living rock.

Filerimos

The pine-clad Filerimos hill at the site of the ancient acropolis of Ialyssos offers a panoramic view of the east coast of the island, the city of Rodos, as well as the Turkish coast.

The Valley of the Butterflies

The Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes Valley) is a setting of rare natural beauty. This natural beauty spot is a maze of walkways, waterfalls, rock pools, rustic bridges and resting places, with the air permeated by a sweet smell from the pine and storax trees.

During mid-June and the months of August and September, the Valley of the Butterflies hosts hundreds of thousands of panaxia quadripunktaria butterflies, coming to mate by the storax trees.

Storax trees, which smell like vanilla, exude a resin which is used by local churches to make.

A museum of natural history is planned for the site.

The Seven Springs (Epta Piges)

This picturesque valley in the interior of the island is so named because of the seven springs that flow easily through the area. The water is surrounded by a maze of footpaths and enormous plane and pine trees.

By following the footpaths it is possible to find the source of each of the seven springs. Entry to the area is by road, alongside a beautiful green lake and then either by a main footpath or through a long dark tunnel - the tunnel is not recommended for claustrophobia sufferers!

Peacocks are common to the region, although they are not easily spotted; but there is no doubt of their existence as their penetrating cry can be heard for miles.

Take off your shoes, join the queue and then make your way stooping and splashing through the tunnel, which leads the water from the springs and streams into an artificial lake.

Passing through the Tunnel is a must and a fun experience.

Prophetes Elias

This pine-wooded forest is named after the Prophet Elias whose walled-in monastery can be found at the top of the mountain at a height of 720m/2,600 ft.

Prophetes Elias is an important area for wild flowers and rare plants including the Cyclamen repandum and Paeonia clusii ssp rhodia, both of which thrive at high altitude. April and May are the best times to visit.

At the charming Elafos and Elafina hotels resembling to Swiss chalets, there is a café and a restaurant where you can enjoy the cool shade and magnificent views to the sea.

The Biotope of Apolakia Dam

Near Apolakia village, an important project in the development of the region, the Apolakia dam and its artificial lake have created a beautiful biotope, a natural reserve, shelter for numerous species of bird and animal life unique on the island.

Fasouli Spring

Located in the village of Psinthos, not far from the resort of Faliraki, are the Fasouli Springs.

Shady woods and numerous village tavernas surround these natural running waters - a perfect place to escape the crowds that fill the nearby resorts.
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