The breath-taking views over the Dodecanese make the hike to the summit of Mount Dikeos more than worthwhile. Pop on your hiking boots and traverse the walking trails, breathing in the scent of wild herbs as you go. The best time to visit is between April and June when the brightly coloured wildflowers are at their very best.
The walk takes around two hours and taking food and water is recommended by Olympic Holidays. The best time to visit is between April and June when the brightly coloured wildflowers are at their best, while an early start will help you to avoid the hottest parts of the day – although there is a shelter at the top for those who decide to hunker down overnight.
Many walkers begin their trek from the village of Zia, although it is possible to drive another 3km up a dirt road to the start of the mountain trail (which some have highlighted can be a little difficult to find). The lower part of the trail is narrow and wooded, and sometimes rocky and steep, and there is less shade nearer the summit.
There is evidence of ancient human activity on the mountain with traces of settlements, reservoirs, quarrying and the discovery of clay artefacts, and at the summit is a chapel, Dikeos Christos, dating from 1079 and built by a monk from Kos.
You may encounter goats on the journey, while birds soaring over or between the olive groves and pine trees include Bonelli’s eagles, buzzards, kestrels, falcons, wheatear, warblers and buntings.
Try to spot Leros, Tilos, Nisyros, Kalymnos and the other neighbouring islands as you gaze in wonder across the sparkling Aegean Sea, it’s a fabulous view.
Families with young children who don’t fancy the hike could visit nearby Zia Natural Park, which still offers lovely views with binoculars installed, a snack bar, playground and the chance to meet goats, peacocks, geese, donkeys, turtles, deer and rabbits.
We at Olympic Holidays think that sounds like lots of fun!