On my 2-week holiday in Rhodes I stayed the first week in the beach town of Ialyssós on the north coast some 8 km west of the capital of the island, Rhodes Town. Like most places in Greece, Ialyssós (Triánda) has a long history stretching all the way to 1500BC when Ialyssós was one of the three powerful cities of ancient Rhodes together with Lindos and Kamiros.Some 5 km from the town of Ialyssós lies the remains of the ancient city of Ialyssós, one of the most important archaeological sites in Rhodes. A winding road leads to the top of a 267 meters high lush green hill, Mount Filerimos, where the ancient city is located.From the entrance of the archaeological site a flight of stairs lined with green cypresses lead up to the Monastery of Virgin Mary with some gorgeous golden mosaic artwork on display on the walls, the ruins of an ancient acropolis and the ruins of the Temple of Athena and Zeus. The grounds around the monastery are peaceful and quiet with lots of green trees and hundreds of peacocks playing around. Cypresses shade the way to view points right on the steep edge of Mount Filerimos with spectacular views over Ialyssós Bay.To the other direction from the car park a pathway, Via Crucis, leads towards the south-western edge of the plateau, to a small square with a gigantic concrete cross standing in the middle. Stunning views from here are dominated by Mount Attavyros and other mountains in the distance as well as Ialyssós town.In addition to great ancient history at the archaeological site on Mount Filerimos, today Ialyssós is a cosmopolitan beach town with lots of shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and tavernas that keep visitors entertained until the small hours. I am not really into any tourist activities or clubbing so I tried my best to avoid the busy touristy town centre. I was lucky to stay in a hotel located in a very peaceful and quiet area a couple of kilometres from the main center of action.The long pebbly and shingle beach of Ialyssós with stunning blue waters and refreshing sea breeze is a great place to enjoy a hot day. However, I only went to the beach once or twice as I found it a bit uncomfortable to walk on shingle and pebbles with bare feet making entering and exiting the water extremely painful and difficult with huge waves.Thanks to the sea breeze Ialyssós a popular place for water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing. It was a lot of fun watching and photographing people doing their sports so passionately when the waves were huge.In Ialyssós I mostly spent my days chilling out at the hotel swimming pool, walking around in the village admiring the beautiful neoclassical mansions and getting lost in the small backstreets with old run down houses and cute little churches.I also rented a bicycle for three days as I wanted to explore the surrounding areas away from the tourist crowds. Along the coast further west from Ialyssós I found some very quiet and stunning beaches with no tourists, just a few groups of local people having a picnic in the shade of trees.As you know, I am a serious sunset freak, so every night at around 8 pm I headed to the beach to see the sun set below the horizon painting the sky with all shades of pastel colours. More sunset photos here.
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