Pyli lies a few kilometres to the west of Asfendiou and is a picturesque
village surrounded by green fields and rich in traditional houses that have been
preserved in excellent condition. The village is nestled in an idyllic
Mediterranean landscape of olive trees, orchids and farmland. It is a popular
tourist attraction firstly for its authentic Greekness and secondly for the
incredible views and ruins at Old Pyli a few kilometres climb up a lot of steps
and a dirt road to the top of a hill where the settlement ruins are located.
Pyli village is a small, traditional village and is characterized by small stone houses built around the main square with cafes and traditional tavernas. Following a small road and climbing steps, you can reach the ancient medieval village of Old Pyli, today standing in dramatic ruins. It is located at the foot of Mt. Dikeo and offers some magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and nearby beaches, the Turkish coast of the Bodrum peninsula and the islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos. Old Pyli, or Paleo Pyli, was the capital of the island during the Byzantine period. Today it is abandoned and in ruins but the remains of the Byzantine castle built by the Knights of St John stand on the summit of the hill. There are also the remains of two 16th century chapels with beautiful fragments of wall paintings that date from around the 14th century. Here too are the ruins of the vaulted tomb thought to be the resting place of the mythical hero Charmylos, a semi-circular construction of twelve identical crypts dating from the Hellenistic period. Please note that it is a bit of a trek to the top and it is advisable to wear sensible walking shoes. There is a small taverna near the top of the hill where you can refresh yourself and enjoy the views.