Up in the Kos Hills visits to Old Pili, Zia and Pili and a walk up to the top of Mount Dikeos.

Pyli (Pili) and Old Pyli (Old Pili). Note - Pyli is a populated village situated up in Kos's hill area whilst Old Pyli is now deserted and really only consists of the ruins of the village and an old castle.
Kos, Ayios-Nikolaos at Pyli Kos Sightseeing, Pyli fountain

Visiting Pili up in the Kos Hills.

Pili should not be confused with Old Pili - they are quite a way apart and Pili is a fully occupied mountain village. There are two particular places of interest - the Springs (Pygi) which can be found a little way from Pyli village square. These springs have a six spouted fountain and are quite old as they were apparently renovated in 1592. Secondly, at the top of the village you can find a signpost indicating the ancient burial chambers of the Heroon of Charmylos and there is also a nice small church located there.
Heroon of Charmylos burial chambers, Kos Heroon of Charmylos burial chambers burial chambers - Heroon of Charmylos Heroon of Charmylos

Touring Old Pili, Kos - it's village and Byzantine Castle ruins.

Old Pili - also known as Paleo Pili - is situated up amongst Kos's hills and is reached by taking the road from Amaniou. On the way up this road it's worth mentioning a really nice taverna which you may care to visit called Old Pili Taverna. From their terrace you can have a nice Greek salad or similar and enjoy some really good views across Kos's mountain sides and flat lands.
Once you reach the end of the surfaced road there is a parking area by some springs and drinking troughs - this is serious Greek Goat territory by the way!. To reach Old Pili's ruins take the path on the left which is signed to the castle - this path climbs and brings you firstly to a small church and then you continue a little further to reach the ruined houses. The path to the castle is not marked for some reason however just before the first house go left and you soon reach the set of steps leading up to the castle. Once up at the Byzantine castle (which was built in the 12th century) you get pretty good views but it is in a pretty poor condition unfortunately - you need to take care because of unguarded steps, holes and some drops. Return back to the old village buildings (some of which pre-date the castle as parts are from 1088) - the village was abandoned in the 1830s after a cholera outbreak. Some of the buildings have started to be renovated especially the ones further up the hillside. One of these buildings has now been turned into a cafe.
Old Pili - Kos - Castle path
Old Pili Castle path
rocky steps leading up to Old Pili Castle on Kos, Greece
Old Pili narrow steps
Old Pili Castle on Kos
Weathered Old Pili Castle
ruins of Old Pili Castle
Castle ruins at Old Pili
Not much left of Old Pili Castle - Kos
Ruins of Old Pili Castle
Castle at Old Pili - Kos
Old Pili Castle
Lots of goats wandering around at Old Pili Castle
Kos goats at Old Pili
Church at Old Pili - Kos
Old Pili Curch, Kos
Re-instated house at Old Pili - Kos Greece
"new" Old Pili House
ruins of an oven at Old Pili - Kos
Old Pili oven
Usually dry Spring at Old Pili on Kos
Old Pili spring
Byzantine - Kastrianoi, Old Pili, Kos Greece
Byzantine - Kastrianoi, Old Pili, Kos
Church at Old Pili in Kos, Greece
Old Pili village, Kos
Cafe at Old Pili
Cafe at Old Pili
nice monipath leading to a church at Old Pili on Kos
Old Pili monipath
Ag. Basileious Church near Old Pili, Kos
Kos - Ag. Basileious Church
On returning just before the car-park you can take a path on the right - which soon becomes nicely cobbled - this leads you slowly down to have a look at Ag. Basileios church - there are several seats, trees and goats around here.
Note re safety - if visiting this castle remember it is somewhat "weathered" - and could easily pose a hazard to un-attended children.

Mount Dikeos Walk - one of the few nice walks "on paths" that we could find on the Island of Kos in Greece.

Kos Villages - Zia. The mountain village of Zia is extremely popular with coach tour companies so if you want to have a look round where you can actually see anything the best time to go is as early in the morning as possible because by midday the village is inundated with day-trippers. However any Monday is also a good day to visit - the tour companies usually include Zia on their "round the island" trips and since quite a few of Kos's locations are shut on Mondays they often do not run these trips on that day.
There are lots of shops and tavernas in Zia - it is worth taking a walk round the village - especially consider taking at least a short wander up towards the mountain.
Some of the many roadside shops at Zia, Kos The tavernas at Zia are covered in flowers Mountain village of Zia on Kos Several of Zia's shops - Kos mountains
Taverna in the centre of Zia, Kos Zia - KosZia up to Mount Dikeos and back. This walk starts off in the mountain village of Zia and soon gets you onto one of the few paths available for walking on the island. It takes you up through pine forests and then along ridges - generally speaking there is no problem with vertigo although one part of the path near the top is somewhat thin. There are considerable drops usually to the left of the path when up on the ridge - with the slopes going off at around 30 degrees. The climb is around 555 metres and distance from Zia to the top is only around 3.9kms but particularly in the summer months it's best to start early as this is quite a hot and strenuous walk - underfoot there is often rock and scree and you really need walking boots or very good trainers. There are no facilities once you leave Zia so take plenty of water - also be aware of possibly very strong winds once you get up to the church right at the top [N36°50'02.61" E027°12'25.42"].
When we walked this in early July we only saw 3 other people - so particularly if you intend walking alone it is worth telling somebody where you are going. If you start early or on Mondays there is car-parking easily available in the centre of Zia but the village does get filled with tourists from mid morning onwards and parking can then be difficult. From the main square walk up to the bus stop (which is on the right) and take a narrow alleyway on the right going in between shops. Turn right at the end and walk along a narrow lane soon passing a watermill (it's a taverna as well) - continue up steps and go through another taverna to reach a church. Turn right and continue along looking out for a sign - "way to the mountain".
Kos - Mount Dikeos walk Church just outside of Zia on the way up to Mt Dikeos on Kos Just about a gate - walking up Dikeos - Kos Getting higher - great views - Mount Dikeos
If you are unsure ask any of the shopkeepers who are very happy to point out the correct way. Continue climbing out of the village and soon go onto a concrete road then as you pass a house on the right turn right onto a dirt road. Follow this and just after passing a chapel on the right go through a gate in front of you - the dirt track now swings off round the hill and you will meet it again later.
Mount Dikeos Walk on Kos Kos Sightseeing - on top of Mount Dikeos Mount Dikeos shelter - Kos Church of Christ - Mount Dikeos, Kos Greece
Go through the gate and head half right up across the rocks - initially the way is vague but you soon acheive a proper clear route. Follow the path which climbs steadily and then arrives at the dirt road - turn left and follow the road for a while - you pass by a farm on the left and then after a dip you pass a house on the left. Around 250 metres from here look out for a marked path heading into the forest on the left - from here the path is always well marked with red arrows and dots. Just follow it on up into the mountain - it is mostly through forest but eventually you come out into the open and start to get some really excellent views of everywhere - also the rocks are gorgeous.
Marvellous views - Kos's Mount Dikeos Kos Greece - Mount Dikeos Walk Getting back towards Zia - Kos Watermill and Taverna at Zia - Kos
Always keeping to the marked path you eventually go up over rocks and reach a more open plateau - from here the path bears left, drops down a little and then goes on round the left hand side of the mountain. This is perhaps the only part of the walk where vertigo sufferers might be a bit iffy. You can clearly see the Greek Flag up and ahead - this is the top. There is a mountain refuge at the top and if you follow the path to the right you will reach the really lovely little Church of Christ and a little further on a trig point marking the highest point.Returning is obviously a re-trace - however when you get to the Watermill you might want to stop in there, sit under some shady trees, perhaps take a look at the mill workings and then enjoy a large glass of home made lemonade.
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