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.
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.
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 Castle path
Old Pili narrow steps
Weathered Old Pili Castle
Castle ruins at Old Pili
Ruins of Old Pili Castle
Old Pili Castle
Kos goats at Old Pili
Old Pili Curch, Kos
"new" Old Pili House
Old Pili oven
Old Pili spring
Byzantine - Kastrianoi, Old Pili, Kos
Old Pili village, Kos
Cafe at Old Pili
Old Pili monipath
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.
Zia 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".
Our other items about Kos Greece:
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