The walks suggested will enable you to visit the whole island and to visit places which cannot be reached by car/ Walking at your own pace, you will be able to see the island close-up. The routes are suitable for average walkers and the highest you will climb is 350 meters. You will need solid footwear, as the paths are stony and sometimes rough.
Each season has its charm, but the best time to walk on the island is the spring. The hills are bright green and covered with every colour of flower. In summer, you should set out early, so as to walk before the hottest part of the day, when the best place to be is on the beach.
In summer take your swimsuit because all the routes lead to fine beaches. At the end of each walk, apart from the first, you can return by water taxi or fishing boat (“kaiki”), as long as you have arranged it in advance. Make sure that the weather will allow the trip on the day you want to head out. Returning by sea allows you to take in the magnificent coastal scenery of Kimolos and Polyaigos.
Route 1: Horio - Xaplovouni - Ag. Nikolas - Karras - Goupa
Duration: 2 hours
Start from the central square of Horio and walk in the direction of Psathi. At the baker’s, take the left fork and just after you pass the Farmers’ Association building, turn left, following the orange arrows. From here to the top of the hill the paved path is one of the most beautiful in the island, maintained in excellent condition. Shortly before you reach the top, turn right to visit the chapel of Pantokratoras. The chapel itself is usually closed, but the spectacular view of the east coast and Polyaigos will reward you for your effort.
Continue along to the derelict windmills. This region is named Xaplovouni, which is thought to be a corruption of the word Klapsovouni, the hill of tears, since, according to tradition, sailors’ wives went there to look for the boats returning and cry, longing for their men. As evident from the many threshing floors and half-ruined windmills, in the past this area was the scene of constant busy activity.
If you do not have enough time, from the windmills you can go down to the other side of Horio. If you wish to continue, turn right and proceed along the stone wall in the same direction, with the quarries of Prassa in the distance. After 300m, you start to go down towards the petrol station. The road, which in winter turns into a stream, is not in the best condition, as it is not used anymore.
Cross the road and you come to Ag. Nikolaos. Continue along the coast to the south, first on a path and then on a dirt-road leading to Horio. If you are not too tired, we suggest you cut off to the left a little before Ag. Nektarios, and go down to the sea (a swim would be an excellent idea) and then continue along the coast through the picturesque houses and past the boat-house caves of Goupa. You can return from the main road.
Route 2: Horio - Skiadi - Mavrospilia
Duration: 3 hours
Level: easy up to Skiadi, then medium.
The departure point is the OTE (telecommunications) building. Heading out of the village, turn left shortly before the church of Ag. Efstathios following the blue arrows. The first hour of this walk is the same as the walk to Paleokastro (indicated by the red arrows). Leave the village and take the right-hand road at the first fork. Where the road ends, turn left. Don’t take any of the smaller paths which you come across but keep on the wide, mostly well-paved track.
Roughly half an hour after you pass the chapel of Ag. Anargiri, you’ll see the chapel of the Profitis Elias a little further on, off the track on your left. Roughly 45-50 minutes from Horio, you go left, still following the blue and red arrows. Alternatively, you can reach this point by motorcycle – up to here the track is reasonably negotiable.
The path, which starts to narrow, continues along the slope – on your right is Mount Sklavos (you will see the radio transmitting dish on the summit). Leaving the mountain behind, you will reach a point where two paths diverge. For Skiadi you continue straight on, following the blue arrows while for Paleokastro you turn right. Starting your way down, you can see Skiadi, even if the path is not very clear. Skiadi itself is a remarkable geological formation – a rock, perhaps three metres high and three or four metres wide, sculpted by the wind into the form of a mushroom.
If you want to continue towards the sea from Skiadi, head down the steep slope into the deep valley on your right (90 to your previous course). The path is difficult to find, and you may have to make your way through the low scrub vegetation. Once you reach the valley bottom (about 10 minutes), however, you will again find a good wide track on your left following a stone wall. Follow the track in the direction of the sea and it will lead you to Mavrospilia beach.
Route 3: Horio - Paleokastro - Agioklima
Duration: 3.5 hours
Medium to difficult
From Horio follow the path towards Skiadi, as in route 2. When you reach the point where the two paths divide, turn right, following the red arrows and continuing with Mount Sklavos still on your right, This path has an impressive view of the rocky west coast of the island. Directly north of Mount Sklavos, which is the highest point of the island, is Paleokastro. The path passes Paleokastro to the west and does not continue up to the top of the mountain. For those who want to enjoy a panoramic view of the Aegean, the ascent is easier from the eastern side.
From this point you can return or go on to Agioklima beach. The path goes gradually down until you reach a hut and a stone threshing floor. Immediately beneath you is Agioklima bay, with its two small beaches. Unfortunately, for the last 200 metres the path disappears, but the descent is not dangerous.
Route 4: Horio - Monasteria - Soufi
duration: 2 hours
From Horio the path to Monasteria, marked with red arrows, goes in a straight line due north. Take the road which leaves Horio to the north (the continuation of the main street). At the exit from the village the road forks to either side of Ag. Efstathios (a distinctive church, painted in a grey and white pattern). Take the right fork and follow the paved lane downhill into the valley, to the only stone bridge on Kimolos. Don’t cross the bridge, but take the left fork, climbing up the hill and leaving the chapels of Ag. Pnevma and Ag. Zoni on your right.
After about 1 km, you come to a dirt-road. Turn right onto this road and follow it downhill for roughly 400 metres to where the dirt-road bends to the right. Turn left onto a smaller track, heading for the beehives on the hillside in the distance. After two or three hundred yards a smaller path leaves the track, at an acute angle, on the right hand side and bears away uphill. Follow this path up the right-hand side of the valley, heading for the pass to the right of the high mountain and the abandoned huts at the top.
Before you start to descend, stop and enjoy the view of Monasteria. See across from west to east, the islands of Serifos, Antiparos, and Sifnos. The path down to the beach is easy, following the right-hand side of the valley. Take care as you descend, as in places the path has been eroded by rain. The church there is dedicated to Virgin Mary, with a festival in her honour onsite every year on August 15.
To reach Soufi, cross the beach and at the end turn left and then immediately right. Soufi offers shade and is ideal for a swim as it is protected from the wind, whatever the weather.
Route 5: Horio - Ellinika
Duration: 2.5 hours
Starting at the church of Ag. Haralampos, set off along the asphalt road that leads to the port. Take the second turn on the right and immediately afterwards turn left, following the brown arrows. The route follows a paved path that in places has been replaced by a dirt road, with splendid views of the beaches in the south of the island.
Stop to see the chapel of Ag. Panteleimonas and to admire the landscape. Roughly 600 metres further on, the path bears to the left and you come to the asphalt road. Turn right and at the second bend before the road begins to go uphill, you turn left onto the next path. Continue until you reach Dekas beach. Beyond Dekas is Ellinika, and then Mavrospilia.
Route 6: Epano Mirsini to Faros (Polyaigos)
duration: 3.5 hours
Giving directions for this walk is more difficult, so you might need a compass or GPS with you. From the point which boat drops you off at Epano Mirsini, follow the green arrows. Pass behind an old stone hut and begin the ascent through the ravine from Kato Mirsini on your right. Climb to the top of the ravine and then follow the ridge to the East. Skirt the highest point of the island, leaving it on your right and begin to descend the ridge bearing to the north-east. If you have the time and the energy, a detour to the summit is not difficult.
As you continue, the path becomes clearer and you climb to a vantage point (a small pillar) in front of you. As the map depicts, the descent to the lighthouse is from the northern side of the bay. The sea appears splendid from above and a plunge in it is a must in the summer. If by mistake you find yourself on the southern side of the bay, (on the right-hand side as you face the sea) do not climb down, but turn back again to the path.
Source: Kimolos High school environmental team (http://gym-kimol.kyk.sch.gr/english/index.htm)
This is an island for hiking. There are many good walks with different sights and natural attractions. One cautionary word though, there are some snakes on the island, so sticking to the trails and avoiding thick bushes would be wise. One snake – a type of viper – will require antivenin immediately. Nonetheless, prudent trekking can be very enjoyable on Kimolos. Adventurers have hiked from Psathi over Chorio to the bay of Monastiria and back, covering the island on foot. A couple of suggestions are:
- Horio - Agii Anargyri - Skiadi - Paleokastro - Horio
- Horio - Dekas - Ellenika and back
- Horio - Goupa - Klima
- Chora - Aliki beach - hill of Hellenika