Monastery of Tsambika (Tsampika) , Rhodes
Tsambika Monastery is a Byzantine Church on the island of Rhodes in Greece, or as I like to call it 'the church with all the wax babies'. The legend attached to the church is that any woman having problems conceiving, should walk the 300+ steps to the monastery to pray the the Virgin. She will then be blessed with children. If a child is born after this and you live on Rhodes it is said that you must call a boy Tsambikos or Tsampika if its a girl. As a mother of eight you can imagine that I made sure that my shoes were well and truly tied on.
The walk up is hard, the steps are gradual and there are around 350 to negotiate. Every step has it's number painted on, we did the whole 'hey kids let's count the numbers!' from the bottom and it's a lot easier if you don't tell them how many steps there are! The views as you get towards the top are amazing and if you are struggling with the steps but still want to look cool in front of your travelling buddies you can use the old 'ooo can we stop to admire the view?' excuse.
At the monastery at the top of the steps is a tap and bottles so you can help yourself to water. You can light a candle, say a prayer if that's your thing and view the fertility chapel. A donation of a few euros is customary at this point.
Around the monastery you can see for miles, south towards Tsambika Beach and Lindos and north to Kolymbia (and the Mark Warner resort where we were staying).
We are really glad that we made this trip to Tsambika Monastery whilst holidaying in Rhodes, for us, staying at the Mark Warner Levante Resort it was a handy place to visit on the way back from a visit to the Acropolis of Lindos. If you are staying at Levante I'd recommend hiring a car 'on resort' for a day and doing both Lindos and this Monastery.