It’s the big star of the island, the most famous village of Rhodes! Every summer, it is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists. The narrow arched alleys form a real labyrinth, making it look almost inevitable to get lost! Fortunately, the castle of Lindos, a landmark on the island, will help you find your orientation.
Lindos has been inhabited since the Neolithic Period. Homer mentions that its first inhabitant was Cercaphus, one of the seven sons of the Sun and nymph Rhode. Pindar and Strabo mention Lindos, son of Cercaphus, as the first inhabitant. According to an ancient myth, Hercules had visited Lindos, along with his son Hyllus. When he arrived there, he asked for food from a villager, but instead he was called names. Then, Hercules killed one of the villager's oxen and boned it on the spot, while the villager was cursing him from a safety distance. Since then, sacrifices would be made to honour Hercules and according to the ritual, the priest would hurl abuse and curses at Hercules. Lindos came to its peak during the 7th and 6th century BC. It participated in the Dorian Hexapolis and pioneered the foundation of Gela settlement in South Italy. In the 6th century, it was governed by Cleobulus, one of the seven sages of Ancient Greece. During his time, the temple of Athena was built in the citadel. Lindos started declining after Rhodes was founded (408 BC). However, it was the only one of the three ruling towns of the island that was not extinguished.
In the Middle Ages, the craft of pottery was developed in Lindos. It is believed that the Knights captured a ship of Persian ceramists and settled them in Lindos, to teach their craft to the locals. The tradition in pottery, and especially in the construction of decorative plates, survives to present day. It is obvious that the motifs stamped on the plates (the so-called porringers) are influenced by the East.
Among the houses of Lindos, the oldest ones were built between the 17th and the 19th century. The so-called captain's houses stand out. Originally, they had only one room, but later on the "captain’s room” was added on top. They are surrounded by high fences, they have arched entrances made of limestone (pillars), decorated with coats of arms and embossed patterns, and heavy wooden doors. Their yards are full of flowers and floored with hohlakia, the black-and-white pebble mosaic tiles. The patterns reveal the number of ships held by the owner. A characteristic captain house is Papakonstantis mansion, which was built in 1626 and is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday, from 10:00 to 13:30.
At the beginning of the 60’s, most of the traditional houses in Lindos were derelict. Then, the village was discovered by the hippies and later on by travel agencies, which renovated most of the houses and started renting them. The village became famous all over the world and many shipowners, film directors, authors, musicians and dancers started visiting it frequently. Some of them even bought houses, such as Pink Floyd guitar player David Gilmour. Lindos has countless traditional houses to rent, luxury hotels, shops selling souvenirs and traditional local goods, taverns -which set their tables on the terraces of neighbouring houses at nights, facing the lighted castle - and buzzing clubs for night entertainment.
Lindos is 46 km far from Rhodes. You may also come by boat from Mandraki.