When I saw the stable of donkeys at the base of the Acropolis at Lindos I realized I was in trouble.

I knew the Acropolis at Lindos stood 400 feet above the sea, but the Acropolis in Athens had a gradually sloping walkway. I wasn’t anticipating a hard climb. I was wrong.

The Acropolis at Lindos has temples dating from the Dorian Period in 300 B.C. to ruins from the Roman Period 300 A.D. to a castle from the Knights of St. John built before the 1300’s. It has been inhabited by no less than the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans. No mere “climb” was going to prevent me from experiencing it.

The city of Lindos is beautiful. About 3500 inhabitants live in this typical white and blue Greek village, settled on the edge of a gorgeous beach, nestled beneath the towering Acropolis.

Tourists begin their ascent meandering through the narrow streets of the city, stopping along the way at souvenir shops crowned by glorious bougainvillea. The way is narrow, and the walkway and steps become more steep and slick as you rise above the village.

When you arrive at the entrance to the castle, you’ll be amazed by the relief of the Rhodian trireme, carved into the cliff face. The carving was done by the Athenian sculptor Pythokritos about 180 B.C. It is quite large, and depicts General Hagesander at the bow of the great ship.

Our guide took this moment on this landing to allow us to catch our breath and explain the history of the Acropolis. We then continued our climb up the narrow castle steps, entering as thousands before us have done throughout the ages.

At the top (as we began to re-consider the usage of donkeys) we entered through the thick walls of the ancient castle, built upon Byzantine fortifications. It was like stepping through a portal back in time. Immediately inside we were in the 1300’s, and began walking through the rooms of the castle, amazingly intact.

After touring the castle remains we made our way to the magnificent Hellenistic staircase leading to the Temple of Athena Lindia. Now we are going further back in time, with still more climbing, but the view from 400 feet above the Aegean Sea was incredible.

At the top of the staircase we enter the highest point of the Acropolis through the Propylaea (ancient entrance), and stand in the remains of the Stoa (covered public meeting place – although the roof is now gone), where the ancient inhabitants walked and talked.

The view from the Temple of Athena Lindia was incomparable. At this highest point we all took turns (those of us who survived the climb) sitting on the edge of the cliff and having our pictures taken as proof of our accomplishment. The temple is in the Doric style and inside there is a table for offerings and the base of the statue of Athena. Below us are the remains of a Roman Temple from a few years later, dedicated to the Emperor Diocletian.

At the Acropolis of Lindos you are surrounded by layers of antiquity since it has been inhabited since the 10th century B.C. It was incredible to find a Roman Temple below a Greek Temple surrounded by a fortified medieval castle with a Byzantine church thrown in for good measure.

You can find great pictures of Lindos at www.lindoseye.com . Whether you spend a half-day or a full week in Lindos, you’ll have thousands of years of relics as well as a gorgeous beach and the warm clear waters of the Aegean to appreciate.

Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns The Joy of Travel. See her photos of Lindos at www.thejoyoftravel.us. Contact her at 918-339-4805.

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