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Written by Tim Ross
What an incredible place. Rhodes offers almost any kind of holiday you could want. If you want peace and quiet, youíll find it on Rhodes. If you want activities and night-life, Rhodes has got it. If you want to explore history and culture, that is there too. The island is clean, the locals are very warm and friendly to tourists. English is spoken everywhere and most signs are in English too.
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The Cloister of Tsambika

This cloister, situated on a lofty peak, is the destination for today's five-hour trek. The ascent is from the most beautiful beach on Rhodes, up through rocky terrain. Refreshments can be found at the beach as well as near the cloister.The starting point is Archangelos, which can easily be reached by bus. By alighting earlier, it is possible to tramp to the beach and thus take a short cut.

8 km, difference in alt. 340 m, moderate to difficult

AWT Starting at the middle bus stop in Archangelos (with a bust /150 m), you walk back as far as the cemented stream bed on whose northern side is a small WC.

0.00 From there, leave the main street to the right by taking the street on the left of the dry bed. After three minutes go straight ahead. Walk 100 m directly 0.05 along the stream and then up the roadway to the left until you come 50m below dirty pens.

0.10 Here you veer left and, 20 m further on, right and cross a hollow with olive trees. To the left of the fence on the next hill you find a field track going left. At the next fork in the little forest, bear right and, past a rather chaotic looking farm pen, continue uphill to the road.

Go 300 m downhill to the right along this road and then uphill to the left at

0.25 a small private chapel (P:36o13.077'/E28o 07.823'). You catch sight of today's destination up on the mountain: the cloister of Tsambika 1. Behind the concrete wall of a villa (right), descend right and after 20 m, below a fence, left. After about 200m you pass a gate and a few tethered dogs. Then a narrow path 0.40 runs in a right-hand arc between pines to the roadway at the small Profitis Elias Cloister, sited in a garden. The key hangs on the left, should you wish to draw water.

Beside the wall of the cloister, go down the field track, turning left at the fork.

0.50 At the left turn-off further down you proceed a short distance straight ahead through the olive grove, but turn off to the left 15 m before the rocks on the left side.

Your way continues along a rough dirt track directly on the right of the olive grove - not in the phrygana. From the lower edge of the grove a new roadway leads right, through a sparse pine forest 2 to a slope with fine sand 3.

1.05 Swing downhill in elegant slalom curves to the sandy beach of Tsambika. Empty the sand out of your shoes, change your clothes, take a break!

After that you stroll over to the far end of the beach (with the quieter places for a swim) and, on the left beside 1.15 the bus station kiosk, look for the water pipes which run along the ground diagonally uphill to the left 4. Follow them a few metres, then, before the pens, turn upwards to the right at a right angle. Cairns already await you! To the left of your steep path stands an outcrop of rock.

1.25 Where you reach the same level as it (80 m), the path forks (P:N36o13.945'/E28o08.930').

One could hike to Kolimbia on the right. But we head left, almost on the level. Then turn steeply uphill to the right again, with a steep outcrop on the left. Climb uphill in wide curves to a spot where you have to cross over an out- crop on the left. If you have a great fear of heights, you must keep looking towards the right for five metres. As a reward, you reach a magnificent picnic spot right away. Down below is the beach and its little restaurants, which have staked out their claims.

1.50 Through a sparse pine forest you come to ruins (right) and steps leading 1.55 uphill to the car park. You share the last 297 steps with panting motorists 2.05 until you arrive at the cloister of Tsambika, or Our Dearly Beloved Virgin.

The guest is received in the courtyard. There are some dormitories for women who wish to bear children: a night on the mountain is said to have helped produce offspring even in difficult cases. That's why a lot of photographs of healthy infants can be seen on the chapel's left wall. St. Charambos looks positively old in comparison.

The descent down the steps leads to a restaurant with a terrace, where you can sit as if you were on a quiet Alpine meadow and look down upon the huge hotels in Kolimbia. You can smile hopefully at a car driver here or else walk down the 2.30 road for 15 minutes and hop onto the next bus in the main street