At the south end of Afandou Bay is the settlement of Kolymbi­a. Originally named ‘San Benedetto’, it was created as a model agricultural village by the Italians in the 1930s for settling colonists. Its grid-plan of streets and its style of architecture are similar to many of the settlements of the Pontine Marshes, south of Rome, created by the political regime in Italy at about the same time and with similar aim. Inland of Kolymbi­a a turning (right) off the main road (at 22km), leads west up a shallow valley to Epta Pighes (3km) where, in a ravine of pines and plane trees, the confluence of seven, year-round springs feeds a small lake used for irrigation. The place is a peaceful re treat from the heat in summer, and is frequented by picnickers and peacocks. Among the trees found here are a variety of arbutus, Valonia oaks, Oriental planes, azaroles and some storax trees, recognisable in spring by their mass of white flowers. After the Epta Pighes junction, the road rises with Mount Tsambi­ka to the left; at 23.5km, a turning to the left leads up to the hermitage of Panaghia Tsambi­ka Kyra on its panoramic summit. After the road finishes its steep climb, a further 300 steps lead through cedar trees to the 16th century chapel on the summit (287m a.s.l.). The foundation is related to the appearance of a miraculous icon on the hill, and in all probability replaces an earlier pagan cult of Artemis in the same place. The Virgin of Tsambika is especially the protectress of women in pregnancy, and of problems related to conceiving and bearing children—matters which came also into the purview of Artemis in antiquity. Inside the chapel, the whitewash has been spared at one point to reveal the fine, bearded head of a saint, in style contemporary with the foundation: to the south is a small hermit’s cell. The views are magnificent. In the valley below and beside the main road (2 km further to the south) is the monastery of the Panaghia Tsambika (1760), a spacious grouping of buildings, shaded by an ilex tree of truly remarkable size.

Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.

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