Hiking Trails on Kos Island
An island like Kos is best experienced at a slow pace – either on foot walking or hiking, on horseback, or from the saddle of a bicycle. And yes, Kos offers plenty of routes specifically designed for these purposes. But, for amateurs of “long, vigorous walks,” as hikes are defined, here are a few suggested hiking trails on Kos Island.
Igroviotopos Alikis loop
Close to Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa, enjoy an easy hike around the Salt Lake (Igroviotopos Alikis) in Tigaki and Asfendiou. Take your time to observe the local flora and fauna. Watch out for vipers (rare but not unusual to spot) and admire the beautiful flamingos if you hike in the spring. This hiking trail is just four kilometers around the lake and is ideal for all skill levels. Wear proper shoes: you are in a wetland, and muddy areas are customary. Use insect repellent to guard yourself against flies and mosquitos. If you want to combine a hike from Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa to the Salt Lake, you will have to walk about 1 h 30 minutes (6.7 km) along the coastal road.
Zia to Óros Dikaios
This is one of the most spectacular hiking trails on the island. It starts from Zia village, and it goes all the way up to the summit, which will reward you with breathtaking views of the island and the sea. At the top of Óros Dikaios, which is the highest mountain of Kos, you can also visit the Church of Christos Dikaios (Christ the Righteous), a small church with an arched dome surrounded by monks’ cells build by Arsenios Skinouris in 1079. The length of this hiking trail is about seven kilometers. It has moderate difficulty, and it is not suitable for beginners. Wear day hiking shoes and pack water and snacks.
Hike around Óros Latra
Óros Latra (426 meters above sea level) dominates the south of Kefalos peninsula. A hike around Mt. Latra takes you from Kefalos, up to Vigles, Koutsouri, and Latra, with a stop at Ag. Ioannis Monastery before returning to Kefalos. From the lovely monastery, you can admire green landscapes and beguiling sea views. The route is about 16 kilometers with a medium level of difficulty. Do wear proper shoes and pack water and snacks – you’ll be on the trail for more than five hours.
Amanioú – Paleo Pyli loop
A genuinely memorable hike, on a loop from the village Amanioú, up to the ruined village Old Pyli – abandoned around 1830 after a cholera epidemic – then continuing to the Castle of Old Pyli, and back to Amanioú. The castle is at the end of the country road going out of Amanioú on the southeast. From here, you follow the sign marked Castle of Palio Pili, reachable after a steep climb on weather and time-tattered steps. From the castle, you get spectacular views of the area, with the villages of Marmari, Tigaki, and the Aegean Sea in the distance. Descending in a loop from the Castle of Palio Pili to Amanioú, the route takes you on a dirt track and a forest road, and you will experience other beautiful vistas. This hike is easy to moderate because of some steep hikes, dirt roads, and time-worn steps. Nevertheless, it takes about three hours for an experienced hiker.
Besides these hiking trails, the island has many other options for all skill levels. For example, to discover more routes, you could purchase a printed map for hikers. There are several available on the market: Hiking & Walking in Greek Islands Kos & Kalymnos, Kos Island Map by Freytag & Berndt, or Kos by Road Editions. Or, you can choose an app like Komoot to discover ready-built routes filtered by distance, difficulty, and public transport links or plan your hiking adventure on Kos Island. There is also an app just for Kos island, called Welcome in Kos, but it is only available in Dutch. Finally, the Kos app for vacation by EBBS Germany is designed for lovers of watersports. Still, it can be helpful for hikers and backpackers, too, as it shows weather forecasts, local public transport timetables, airport information, boat trips, access to restaurants and beach bars, accommodation, beach information, and more.