92 kilometers away from the city of Rhodes lies a village of about 400 inhabitants, Apolakkia, which was named after the place it had been built on; compared to the rest of the ground which is flat, the village seems to have been built inside a pit (Greek: lakkos [hole in the ground]). Traditional houses with tiled roofs, old windmills, serene monasteries and a landscape rich in flora and fauna make up a piece of heaven on earth.
One of the most beautiful buildings in the region, a classic sample of the exquisite Italian architecture, once serving as a primary school and currently hosting the Cultural Center, stands out at the main square.
There are olive groves, as well as citrus and coniferous trees in the particularly fertile soil of the village, which makes the area ideal for hiking and explains the wide range of agricultural produce throughout the whole year.
Although the village is located inland, it is just a few kilometers away from the coastline. To the west of the village there is a wondrous beach of about 12 kilometers, composed of an ecosystem full of dunes and cedars of the “Juniperoys Oxycedrus” (Juniper) species, which is protected by the European Network “NATURA 2000”. Even at the peak tourist season, the beach is the ideal place to enjoy some tranquility, away from the tourist crowds. Another extremely interesting feature of the area that has attracted the attention of the scientific community is the presence of two important, and quite rare, sea species: the Caretta- Caretta turtle and the Monachus-Monachus seal.
And if you start feeling excited at what you have heard, no doubt that now you will be thrilled. Two kilometers away from the village, you will find a man-made heaven. The artificial lake, a.k.a. Apolakkia dam, was constructed in 1989 to irrigate the area, but has evolved into an important wetland that hosts a large number of birds. Around the lake one can also see deer, foxes, as well as rare plants such as orchids – important features that have helped the place become a so-called “protected area”. If you wish to explore the unique beauty of this area, you can choose between plenty of walking routes and trails or the various sports activities offered. In fact, it is also a venue where lots of cultural events and festivals are organized every year.
Here you will also find an important monument of the Byzantine era, a picturesque chapel wherefrom you can enjoy a breathtaking view. “Agios Georgios (St. George) of Vardas” was built in 1290 AD and, during spells of heavy rainfall, it is surrounded by the lake waters making access extremely difficult. It is absolutely certain that exploring Apolakkia will fascinate you…