Picnic in Plaka Forest: A Nature Lovers’ Pastime on Kos Island
As far as nature goes, Kos has enough to satisfy explorers of all ages. When you want to take a break from the beach, head to the mountains from Astir Odysseus Kos Resort & Spa to Plaka Forest, just 35 minutes by car, towards Antimachia village. The forest is one of Kos’ most picturesque areas, favored by locals and tourists alike for rich shade in the summer, picnic areas, wildlife, and fantastic forestscapes in a natural gorge that descends to the beach.
A lot of the forest is natural, untouched by man, but this part is hard to explore because there are no paths and the vegetation – prickly shrubberies, brambles, and thistles – makes the hike challenging. To enjoy a relaxed picnic in Plaka Forest, stay on the beaten path, which leads to an area organized with wooden tables and a barbecue pit where the locals sometimes come to roast lamb or grill.
The forest is home to a growing peafowl population – friendly enough to roam close to humans. You’ll see peacocks flaunting their colorful trains with blatant pride and glee and unassuming peahens watching you with a shy yet curious stare. The occasional squirrel will cross your path, and if you walk by the stream and you pay attention, you’ll see a pool with terrapins too. Frogs are in love with the habitat of Plaka Forest: you’ll probably scare some of them off as you cross a bridge or you walk close to the water.
The Animal Welfare team from Kos Town cares for the peafowl living in the forest and feeds them daily, but feel free to bring some food for the birds if you visit Plaka Forest with children, and you want them to have a great time. While many people bring simple bread, it is better to feed the peafowl fruit, berries, grains, and some raw meat, chopped in small bites, for the terrapins. While bread is fine, it doesn’t give the animals enough nutrition.
Among the happy inhabitants of Plaka Forest, you will notice an unusual number of domestic cats. They favor the park because many people coming here for a picnic feed them.
Despite the popularity, Plaka Forest remains a natural oasis of undeniable charm. Most visitors who picnic here care for and respect the environment and clean after themselves. Being mindful of the environment ensures that the place remains enjoyable for future explorers and maintains a safe habitat for the animals that call the forest home.
If you are not coming for a picnic, but just for a quick stop to see the peafowl, you should still take time for a short walk in the woods. Relax, and reconnect with nature: take in the pine trees’ scent and listen to the peacocks’ calls – they sing an odd melody accompanied by the wind and the trills of other birds.
And sure, you will want to fill up your bottle with fresh spring water from the Plaka Forest.