Located at an altitude of 620m, Elafos, with its small Elafaki traditional restaurant, is just one part of the Elafos and Elafina complex. Set amidst the lush Profiti Ilias forest in the NATURA 2000 area, the alpine-style hotel is probably the only one of its kind in Greece.
The development of the Elafos-Elafina hotel and tourist complex dates back to 2012 when the Italian occupation of Rhodes, and the Dodecanese islands, began. Prior to the Italians, Rhodes had been under Ottoman rule since 1522 when the Knights of St John were forced to leave the island after ruling Rhodes, and several other islands, for about 200 years.
Its leisure and holiday facilities are complemented by a children’s campground, located on the east side of the mountain at an altitude of 700m. The camp was built at the same time as the hotel to accommodate and train the children of Italian government officials, military and other individuals active in various businesses on the island then.
The Elafos proved a popular place. Its increasing clientele, and the frequency of organised events, led to the Elafina’s development in 1932. The work of Italian architects Florenstano di Fausto and Petracco Rodolfo, Elafina was completed in four phases by 1937.
In the same area, on a slightly higher level, the Italians also built a holiday home for the Dodecanese senior commander. Villa del Ritrovo boasted a tennis court, stables and garage. Its first resident was Mario Lago. This villa is popularly known as ‘Villa de Vecchio’, taking its name from General Cesare Maria De Vecchi, the Italian Governor of Rhodes between 1936-1940, the island’s difficult fascist era.
The whole complex is complemented by the Catholic churches of St. George, near the villa, and St. Michael to the west. On the side of the mountain, overlooking the village of Salakosvillage, is the Greek Orthodox church, which dates from 1919, and is dedicated to the Prophet Ilias. A nearby service building is now used by the Forestry Office.
A 20km pathway to connect buildings and services on the Elafos-Elafina complex is still in use. These trails have attracted official Mountain Road races, supported by the regional SEGAS sports authority, and Mountain Bike races, organised in cooperation with the Greek Cycling Federation.
The Elafos hotel often hosts cyclists and cycling teams, and is constantly improving specialised facilities for both riders and bicycles. With Bike Friendly Hotel certification, and meeting all necessary requirements, the hotel can provide the cycling ‘family’, and enthusiasts and competitors, with services that facilitate their stay, practice and bike maintenance and repair. The area is blessed with huge biodiversity of ecological value, with a Mediterranean botanical macaw forest of great botanical interest and a significant number of endemic orchids. It is also a refuge for many rodents and predatory birds.
The Elafos Hotel offers elegant accommodation with views of the mountains and the Aegean Sea. Its restaurant boasts a large dining area, a wine bar and a traditional taverna, with free WiFi throughout. The Elafos Hotel rooms and suites are classic in design with soft colors, elegant upholstery and wrought iron beds. Each includes a TV, mini fridge and private bathroom with free toiletries. The restaurant also has classical design features and offers local and international flavors, as well as handmade pastries, all served in the impressive dining room with its arched walls and ceiling and large windows. The ElafakiTavernaspecialises in Greek cuisine. In the evening, guests can enjoy a drink inthe hotel bar, while a breakfast buffet, with local produce, is available in the morning. The property is 4.5kms from the picturesque Apollo village, 9kms from Eleousa and 19kms from Embonas, which is known for its outstanding tavernas and traditional food. Rhodes International Airport is 32kms away. Free private parking is available on site.
Bike friendly facilities offered by the hotel
- Information about bike friendly services either on the website or in the hotel brochure, or in a special brochure.
- Area map with cycling routes in printed or electronic form (free service).
- Secure parking or storage area for bicycles or co-operation with a corresponding space near the hotel (free service).
- Tool kit availability (free service).
- Washing machine-dryer available on a daily basis (on-site or off-site – paid service).
- Renting and repairing bicycles in the hotel or near the hotel (paid service).
- Collaboration with a company that organizes cycling tours.
- Parking places with a special rack for bicycles.
- Electric bicycle battery charging point.
- Rent a mini van service for bicycles transport.
- Lunchbox availability with fruit, toast, energy drinks, etc.
- Availability of healthy breakfast with organic-bio products