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Afandou, Rhodes Island

The small town with the somehow peculiar name “Afantou” is an inland town, at a distance of less than 2 kilometers far from the sea, situated some 18,5 kilometers southern to the town of Rhodes. Built among low mountains and hills, it is invisible from the sea and it is to that characteristic that it owes its name (“afantos” in Greek means “invisible”). The settlers of the town have chosen this place in order to be protected from the pirates’ invasions, very frequent some centuries ago. However, it is exactly this place that makes the town one of the most scenic of the island, a feature that today attracts many visitors. The town counts some 5.500 permanent residents.

There are several alternatives for accommodation and food, both in the town and in the area around. The central square of the settlement with the big ficus is ideal for relaxing and enjoying a coffee, a local sweet or a cocktail, which you will find in the cute traditional cafes and pastry shops surrounding the square.

Swimming is possible at the well organized, long beach close to the settlement (less than 2 kilometers far away at the East), within the bay of Afantou.

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Once in the town, you may visit the church of Panaghia Katholiki (Virgin Mary, the Catholic), built on the ruins of an Early Christian Basilica, whose foundations are still visible. The church is found beside the central square of the town. It is a three-aisled basilica with Ionian style columns, defining the three aisles. It is a triune church, celebrated in the name of Virgin Mary, Aghios Loukas (St. Luke) and the Three Prelates. According to tradition, the first basilica was established in the 5th century, but it collapsed by earthquake and was rebuilt again. In the 8th century it was destroyed, again by an earthquake and rebuilt anew, in its present form. It seems that the altar was constructed in the 11th century. Two layers of frescoes, dated in the 13th and 14th centuries, are still visible, badly preserved due to the long time and the humidity of the walls. A small collection of icons, holy books, ritual utensils, photographs and the archive of the church is kept in the church.

The tour of the town and of the area around by the Municipal wheel driven train is very interesting. Within the town you may see many nice, traditional stone houses, several of them restored.

Also you may loaf about in the souvenir shops , where you may find nice handmade rugs and traditional needlework and embroidery.

At a distance of 8 kilometers Southwestern to the village, you can visit Epta Piges (“the seven springs”). The landscape is fascinating, full of trees, wild vegetation and current waters. You will also see a small lake and falls and you may enjoy a tasty meal or a coffee in one of the scenic taverns or cafés of the place.

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It is also worth visiting the stone bridge at the river Loutanis, some 4 kilometers to the South, on the way to the beautiful tourist resort of Kolymbia. The way to the bridge is scenic and very nice, as the road is full of trees.

Finally, you may visit the Holy Monastery of Paramythia (“solace”), at a distance of some 2 kilometers southern to the village.Afantou has a rich cultural life and several events are organized in the town, the most important of which are those on Epiphany and the Carnival.

The locals celebrate the important religious feasts with “panighyri” (local feasts), taking place at the churches and monasteries of the town and the area around. Many tourists attend them, especially in summer. Some of the most well known are the one in honor of Aghios Georgios (St. George) on the 23 of April or on Monday following Easter, in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary on the 15 th of August and in honor of Aghios Loukas (St. Luke) on the 18 th of October.

Close to the town there is also the Golf Center of the island of Rhodes.

For health problems, a local Medical Center is available in the settlement. You will also find a Police Station and a Post Office.

Access from the town of Rhodes is possible by public bus, with frequent service, by taxi (a taxi station is also available in Afantou), as well as by rented or private car and motorbikes.
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