Zia is a place I had heard much about but on the insistence from both my local bus driver and conductor, I opted to jump on a connecting bus to the top and boy, am I glad I did, as the road was long, winding and very steep. Zia is very touristy, so it’s advisable to go early morning before the flocks arrive, it’s also a well-known place to watch the sun setting – I will have to take the guidebooks’ word for that.
Zia is indeed a very pretty village with loads of little shops and if you venture far enough, you can take the path up to Mount Dikeos – sadly my fear of heights and time were against me. There are plenty of eateries to stop and admire the stunning views of the island from and a reliable bus service. I’m not one for souvenirs but I did buy a small bottle of the local cinnamon syrup there, and there are loads of other Kos gifts on offer from lace through to honey. There’s a fabulous little shop near the top of the village called the Positives Shop, that will arrange to have merchandise shipped home and they also have an online store – amazingly friendly staff and words of wisdom aplenty. https://www.thepositiveshops.com/
I decided to walk from Zia, via Platani and onto Kos town – mostly downhill so an easy walk with great views and an abandoned village to have a look at. There is one point along the road that left me feeling uneasy – mainly as I was alone and very aware of my camera around my neck – just before you get to Platani there is a small refugee camp, and small children came running up to me begging for money. I am sure that I was quite safe, hire cars went by me quite often and I could have easily flagged one down, but all the same, I was glad to get away from the makeshift tents and into the village of Platani. En route I passed by the Asklepion, which is the ruins of an ancient healing temple & medical school where Hippocrates once practised, plus a museum, there is a fee but I decided against it and headed onto Kos and my bus home.
My final full day on the island and I decided to stay local and walk around the southern part of the island, so after heading up to Kefalos village, I headed south towards Agios Ioannis Thymianos, with the idea being to walk along the coastal path around the peninsula. Now, I shall not bore you with details other than the path is very, very long, it very breezy, there are no lights and the track is a little shaky in places! By 4pm, I was starting to get a bit worried as my phone had died, the sun was starting to do the same and there was no road in sight. Having little option other than carry on, I finally made it to the tarmac, a welcome sight, and continued uphill back to Kefalos village. The walk was invigorating, all 15 miles of it but I was so unprepared – thankfully no harm came to me but it did teach me some very valuable lessons about walking alone – next time make sure someone knows where I am going and take my battery pack for my phone!