There’s no doubt that Rhodes is a stunningly beautiful island, with plenty to see and do such as Lindos or The Old Town. However, if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, you’ll want to check out some of the lesser-known destinations on the island. In this article, we’ll take a look at two such places: Gadouras Dam and Tharri Monastery. So if you’re looking for an adventure, read on!
Truth be told, there is not such a story, that the Gadouras Dam could be called, the Dragon Dam! BUT if you head to Google Maps and see Gadouras Dam, you will realize that its shape is like a Dragon!
The Dam’s estimated effective capacity is 63 million cubic meters aims to cover the needs in water on the island when the annual demand is calculated to be near 30 million cubic meters. This created a wonderful artificial lake -swimming is prohibited for safety reasons- that is worth visiting and have some photos. Its location in the middle of the mountains adds a spice up to the whole atmosphere. Near the Dam, is a hidden hiking path.The beginning is the Gadouras dam, which you travel north on a dirt path. Although the signage is incomplete, you just follow the path of the dirt road.You trek over barren, treeless hills where you pass by raggedy half-collapsed huts. The vegetation in most places is sparse, the result of an old catastrophic fire. However, there are a few sites where the forest is already beginning to regenerate. Some of the views are breathtaking, with mountains visible on the interior of the island. At the midway point, there is a gorgeous environment with two little man-made lakes. There are also many fields with olive trees as well as scattered small pieces of forest. When you reach the river Makkari, take the way back with exactly the same path.
Pale natural stones, are the main ingredient of this wonderful Byzantine Basilica the foundations of which date back to the 9th century. Tharri Monastery is immersed in nature, making it a wonderful location to find peace and silence. The decorations in the temple are from 1506, according to the inscriptions. The dome’s hagiography depicts Jesus Christ as a ruler of the world surrounded by 16 prophets. In the corners, you can see the evangelists Mark, John, Luke, and Matthew, below them frescoes with the archangels. The iconostasis, with the two main icons depicting Christ and Mary, is also noteworthy.However, when visitors are adequately clothed, the monks will only open the door for them.At the entrance, you’ll discover blankets to borrow, so don’t be concerned about dressing up.
It comes from the imperative of the ancient verb θαρσῶ (= έχε θάρρος), meaning “To have courage”. Legend says that the monastery was founded by a Byzantine Princess, who was plagued by a deadly disease and miraculously healed. The ship that carried her from Constantinople to this island, traveled to the port of Lindos and from there she moved to the area of Tharrio. Her healing was aided by the water from the spring and fresh air that she found in the area. In return for her healing, she founded the monastery. The fountain that may be seen today approximately 100m southwest of the Katholikon and outside the enclosure, is believed to be the same of which the princess was healed, and is still considered a holy water spring.
To reach Tharri, turn left at the village intersection in Laerma (also signposted as Monastery of the Archangel Michael)