Palio Horio (Old Village)
The now ruined settlement in the shadow of the Knights’ castle was built on the northern slope of Ai Nikolas so as not to be an easy target for pirate raids. It was the capital of the island from the ancient times to the middle 19th century. The last residents left the area in 1970 and settled by the sea, in Emporios. The first building you will see coming from the old path is the little church of Agioi Anargyroi surrounded by olive trees. Following, there is the church of Sotiras that has been listed as a monument, and the old school which is preserved in a better condition. The small monasteries of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), Agios Konstantinos and the vaulted church of Panagia Choriani, with the enormous cypress (the latter has also been declared a monument since 1949), are all preserved in good condition around Horio.
These pilgrimages remain irrefutable witnesses of the bloom that the settlement once knew. It is worth observing the isodomic walls that are located in various ruined houses, the scattered oldest architectural parts in the cemetery, the sarcophagi and the Doric capital in Agios Konstantinos. Two thrones carved on the rock with the inscription ‘DIOS EKATIS’ were found a bit further above Horio. Palio Horio lays underneath the impressive ruins of a hilltop medieval castle, built by the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller). The castle was built in the middle of the 14th century and after the fall of Rhodes it fell into the hands of the Ottomans.
Palio Horio is located on a hill, approximately 2.5 kilometers from the island's port, and it is certainly feasible to hike all the way there. Even though, you will be walking along the main island road for most of the journey, it is a relaxed and quiet hike as there are barely any cars on Halki. As it located at an altitude of 210 meters above sea level, it is an uphill hike. If you are fit enough, you can climb 100 more meters to reach the castle. From Horio, the footpath up the hill to the Kastro is clearly marked. Although it is too much of an effort, it is worthwhile as you can enjoy some lovely views over the Halki countryside.