Everyone has heard of the famous Acropolis in Athens, but the Greek term "acropolis" applies to any hilltop fortification that is part of an ancient city. Athens certainly has the most famous acropolis, but the village of Lindos on the Greek island of Rhodes has an impressive acropolis that is one of the country's most important archaeological sites.
Lindos is a small town located on the east coast of Rhodes, about 30 miles (an hour's drive) south of the town of Rhodes. The village is exactly what one expects of a Greek town on the Aegean Sea--lots of narrow cobblestone streets, white-washed houses, small shops, and a lovely beach.
Most cruise ships visiting Rhodes for a day usually offer both a half-day shore excursion to Lindos and a full-day shore excursion that includes a few hours in Lindos, lunch, and a tour of old town Rhodes. Guests on either shore excursion enjoy the scenic drive to Lindos from the town of Rhodes and can use their time in Lindos to climb up the acropolis from the village to visit the 2400-year-old archaeological site. After exploring the acropolis, there's still time to do a little shopping.
Travelers with mobility issues may not be able to ascend the acropolis at Lindos. It's a 1000-foot climb over an uneven trail from the village up to the edge of the acropolis, followed by a climb up a steep flight of stairs through the fortress when the hikers reach the top. The good news is that there are plenty of shops in the village to occupy the time of those who can't make the climb. Donkeys are usually available to take visitors up to the fortress on the acropolis, but the donkeys can't ascend the stairs at the fortress.
Fortress on the Acropolis of Lindos
Visitors who make the climb up to the top of the Lindos Acropolis will not be disappointed. The first structure they see is the ancient fortress, the Castle of the Knights of St. John, which dates back to the 14th century. Many of the other ancient remains are older, and the Knights used the ruins of an old church as the foundation for their fortified castle. They built the fortress to defend the island of Rhodes from the Ottomans.
Those who climb up the steps of the fortress are rewarded with views of the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, which dates back 300 BC along with amazing views of the Aegean. With views like these, it's easy to see why this acropolis was so important for the island for thousands of years.
Ancient Ruins on the Acropolis of Lindos
The columnar ruins of the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia are among the most remarkable of those seen at the Acropolis of Lindos. Many of the ancient buildings on the acropolis were buried or torn down when the Knights built the giant fortress on the top of the acropolis.
View of Lindos on the Greek Island of Rhodes
The Acropolis of Lindos offers great views of the village below. The village offers diverse structures from ancient, medieval, and modern times. Lindos was once a major naval power from the 16th to the 19th centuries. At the height of its importance, the village of Lindos had over 17,000 residents. Not that many people live in Lindos today, but the ruins on the Acropolis of Lindos get over 600,000 visitors each year, making it the second-most important archaeological site in Greece (after Delphi).
St. Paul's Bay
Visitors to the top of the Acropolis of Lindos get views of the village of Lindos on one side and the interesting St. Paul's Bay on the other. St. Paul supposedly shipwrecked at this bay in 51 A.D. and spent time introducing Christianity to the residents of the Greek island of Rhodes.
From the Acropolis, St. Paul's Bay looks like it is separated from the Aegen Sea, but the narrow opening to the sea is hidden by rocks in this photo. The bay has a nice small beach.
Lindos Beach on the Greek Island of Rhodes
Lindos has two main beaches near the town. The largest beach is seen in the photo above and is called Megali Paralia. The photo was taken from the Acropolis, so it's easy to see that the beach is nearby. The second beach is smaller and quieter. It's still within walking distance of Lindos and is called Lindos Pallas.