In the southern part of the island, 84 km away from the city of Rhodes, there is a small rural village, Ancient Kattavos or Kattavia. At the entrance of Kattavia, we come across the church of Agios Stamatis [St. Stamatios], as well as a remarkable religious monument of the 10th century, the church of Panagia Katholiki [Catholic Virgin Mary]. The church, which is also the cemetery of the village, hosts magnificent frescoes that date back to the 17th century. At a distance of 12 km from the village, archaeological excavations have unearthed Mycenaean and Hellenistic tombs.
A quiet village with a picturesque square, Kattavia is the place water sports lovers prefer for their accommodation (although there are only few rooms available), as it is close to Cape Prasonisi, a popular spot for surfers due to the strong winds and the characteristics of the shore break. In the village there is a traditional kafeneio [café], a restaurant and a grocery store. The whole layout of the village, the few cottages, the old airport, the derelict Catholic Church of Agios Markos [St. Mark] and its clock tower bear witness to the fact that the village was first developed during the times of the Italian rule. Opposite the church of Agios Markos, on an impressive road lined with cypress trees, there is an alley leading to the chapel of Agios Georgios [St. George], the bell of which is actually an old World War II bombshell that marks the end of the conquering of the inhabitants by other peoples. Crossing the dirt road, you reach the beach of “Mavros Kavos” [Black Cape], a sandy beach with no sun loungers, famous for its clear waters and cherished by campers and travelers who try to avoid the hustle and bustle of the crowds on the beach.
A significant natural reserve & a surfer’s heaven on earth
Leaving Kattavia, in the southernmost part of the island, you will find Prasonisi, an island-like geological formation, protected by Natura2000 network, which becomes a peninsula attached to Rhodes due to sandy spits. The place is not permanently inhabited, but there are private catering businesses and tourist accommodation on site. If you find yourselves there during the summer, you will notice a sandy spit of about 500 meters that joins the islet with Rhodes, while when winter comes and the water level gets higher, the beach disappears under the sea, making access to it impossible.
Particularly interesting are the weather conditions at the point: When there are no winds on the rest of the island, the speed of the wind on Prasonisi is 4-6 on the Beaufort scale, while when the city of Rhodes has gale force winds, the place is windless. Due to all these, Prasonisi has become a popular tourist destination for those who love windsurfing sports, while others can enjoy a swim in its crystal clear waters. Free camping is allowed on site, that is why you will probably see lots of camping tents and trailers.
Places of particular interest are also the archaeological settlement of Vroulia, which is considered to be one of the earliest settlements in Greece, and the lighthouse of Prasonisi. To get to the lighthouse you will need to walk quite a bit, but the enchanting view will make up for it.