Standing at 2,619 feet (798 meters), the pine-clad peak of Profitis Ilias is the second-highest mountain on Rhodes and offers wonderful views over the island's Aegean coastline. During their occupation of Greece in the late 1920s, the Italians built two resort hotels on the mountain for their top brass to enjoy weekends of hunting and partying. These were designed in an incongruous Swiss alpine-chalet style with sloping roofs and decorative wooden balconies and were abandoned after World War II; the Elafos Hotel reopened in 2006 after significant renovation and the Elafina is currently under restoration, while a traditional kafeneio (coffee and ouzo house) serves the walkers and bikers who traipse the forest tracks of Profitis Ilias.
Elsewhere amid the pine forests of Profitis Ilias are the ruins of the Villa de Vecchi, built for Mussolini as a luxury retirement home. Obviously these plans went awry and it has stood empty for years; recent rumor whispers that it may be turned into a tourist attraction in the same way that Hitler’s mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden near Salzburg, which brings in thousands of visitors per year. Around eight km (five miles) from Profitis Ilias is the village of Campochiaro, also built by the Italians, who shipped farming families over from the alpine north of Italy to work the land. Other pretty villages flanking Profitis Ilias include rustic Platania and Eleousa.
Profitis Ilias is 45 km (28 miles) southeast of Rhodes Town, and is best approached via the serpentine track up from the village of Salakos.