Enjoying the nature…


To the south of the island, 85 km away from the town of Rhodes, there is a small oasis that combines the beauty of the natural landscape with the preservation of tradition. Istrios is a picturesque village built amphitheatrically at an altitude of 380 meters above the sea level; a quaint place of natural beauty where people still follow their old traditions and customs with utmost respect and affection. The village is inhabited by about 80 people, mainly engaged in farming.

A large, quiet square gives a warm welcome to visitors along with the locals who are more than friendly and hospitable, while tiny but cozy houses with ceramic and fine needlework decorations compose a picturesque setting for a delightful stroll.

In the center of the village stands the large church of Agios Merkourios [St. Mercurius] with its wood-carved iconostasis, pebble floors and the icon of Agios Nikolaos [St. Nicholas], bearing the signature of a well-known Cretan painter. Walking towards the village boundaries, we come across another beautiful and unique chapel of Agios Merkourios that was built in the 17th century on the ruins of an older Byzantine temple. Agios Merkourios is the patron of Istrios and both the village churches are dedicated to him.

Istrios is considered an ideal place for hiking and mountain biking –so, all nature and adventure lovers need to do is to enjoy a hike or a ride through pine forests, olive groves and vineyards or visit the waterfall in the “Kipolisti” area, just outside the village. While wandering either in the center of the village or out in the lush nature, it is more than likely to come across fallow deer (Dama dama), since there is a large population of this particular deer species in Istrios.

From the highest points of the village one can admire the panoramic view of Apolakkia and, on the distant horizon, the mountains to Siana and Monolithos. If you stay in the village till late in the evening, make sure you won’t forget to take a break while you are admiring the breathtaking sunset.



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