A Guide to Kalymnos
discovered the island in 1994, when I took my
mum with me on holiday following the death of
my father. I chose the island because of the
fact that it could only be reached by ferry
and the romanticist in me just couldn’t
resist. I also considered Kastellorizo but
decided I couldn’t drag my aged Mum to
somewhere quite as remote! It wasn’t the most
successful of holidays as Mum fell on our
second night and badly broke her wrist. Having
visited the hospital, we were seen
(eventually) by a “specialist”, dressed in a
designer suit who then disappeared to fetch
some “equipment”. He returned 30 minutes later
with a plastic carrier bag, inside which were
some rather large stones from a beach. He
proceeded to tie Mums’ arm to a drip trolley
and hung the bag with the stones over Mum’s
lower arm. This was my introduction to Greek
traction on a small island! You would think
after an experience like that, the last place
we would want to return to would be Kalymnos
but return we did, the following year and had
the holiday of a lifetime. I have been nowhere
else since and have no wish to. I visit as
often as I can and hope to make the island my
is a small island, accessible only by ferry at
present, most people traveling to Kos Airport
and then catching the ferry from Mastichari.
It can also be reached by ferry from Piraeus. I have also travelled
via Rhodes in order to enjoy Easter (I shall
tell you about THAT later) celebrations on the
island. Once the centre of the sponge diving
industry, the island now is in decline,
relying on tourism which is rapidly dropping
due to the large tour operators pulling out.
When I first visited there were up to 3000
tourists per week, now they number only a few
hundred. The island has SO much to offer,
spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches,
wonderful food and amazing people, whose
hospitality is second to none. They always
remember you, from year to year (even the
ferry captains) and you are greeted as one of
the family. An example of this is YIANNIS
TATSIS, owner of the Tatis Apartments in which I
stay. He has extended
an invitation to my friends who have accompanied
me over the years in the summers, stating that
they could also stay free in the out of season
months. This kind of gesture is so typical of
the Kalymnians, everyone you meet has similar
tales. On my first Easter visit, the most
special of occasions in the Greek calendar, I
was invited to Yiannis’ cleaners’ house to
share the family meal on Easter Sunday! The
island is also good for
climbing and appears on several climbing web
pages. It is also featured in a climbing
Pothia is the main town in Kalymnos and with a population of more than 12000 quite a large one for a small island. It is the main port of the island and so chances are this is the first place you will see when you arrive. The waterfront is lined with restaurants, cafes, shops, bakeries and hotels and there are several town beaches, Therma, Kasonia and Gefira. Therma has hot springs. The old Chora
is the area around the castle which was the old capital of the island in the days when pirates roamed the Aegean. There are two important museums: The Archaeological Museum and the Nautical Museum which both contain artifacts from ancient times as well as exhibits that highlight the more modern history of the sponge divers. For those who don't know it Kalymnos is known worldwide as the island of the Sponge Divers which was the primary occupation of the island for centuries. In the early
20th Century many families from Kalymnos moved to Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida turning that town into the sponge diving capital of the world. Very few people are still diving for sponges though you can find them for sale on the waterfront, (and in Athens) and every summer they have a Sponge Festival with food, drink, exhibits and events.
Beaches and Coastal Villages
beaches. Therma (photo) has a taverna. Both close to
Pothia- the main town.
resort in the south of the island. Beautiful
bay. Nice for swimming. Plenty of
tavernas/accommodation. A little
TELENDOS ISLAND: Extremely
hot in the height of the season. Little shade.
Main beach is Chohlakas and is quite a trek in
the heat to the other side of the island from
the jetty but is worth the walk. Other
swimming along the side of the island facing
Kalymnos including a nudist beach and a new
sandy beach. Yes! They’ve imported the sand.
Plenty of tavernas. Beautiful
Some rooms to rent and hotels.
resort on the island. Very large sand/shingle
beach. Plenty of sunbeds and a few watersports
to hire. Wonderful swimming but beware of
current far out. Shelves gently, water really
clear, the fish swim right up to the
waters’edge as it warms up. Couple of tavernas
accessible direct from the beach. Others are
reached by several sets of steps along the
beach. They’re a long climb on the way up of
an evening! BUT it’s worth it.
close by. To watch the sun setting over
Telendos from the beach in the evening is
truly to be in Paradise!
amazing fishing village on the other side of
the island. Best approached from the sea but
the trip boats never give you long enough
there. Swimming area. Couple of excellent
tavernas. So laid back it’s almost stopped! A
MUST to visit. In the most fertile valley on
the island, the smell of the citrus fruit
grown there is almost overpowering in the
growing season. There is a “canal” which runs
through the village and is teaming with
Another great place to wander around.
pebbly beach at the end of a “fjord”. Sunbeds
available. Quiet. Taverna at end and slightly
uphill serves traditional well cooked food.
Wonderful views out to sea towards the fish
farms, which are well away from wonderful
pleasant shingle beach. From the jetty catch
the little ferry boats across to the island of Telendos.
Hotels and apartments in abundance. Shops and
tavernas all close by.
is a small island reached by boat departing
Pothia every day at 9am returning 4:30pm. This
is THE MOST WONDERFUL BEACH in the area, and
could almost be in the Caribbean. Long with
fine golden sand the beach lays in an arc
around a turquoise bay of shallow warm water with cafes on the sea and some tavernas behind. The local
herb seller wanders along the beach with his
basket and later the nut seller comes. Only a
couple of vehicles on the island, the local
donkey is brought down for his drink. A few
rooms to stay if you want. Celebrations are
held on the beach and Kalymnians visit e.g
Paraskevi. IDYLLIC, HEAVEN ON EARTH! Gets busy
with trip boats from Kos but they only stay an
fishing village with beach and good
swimming. Very laid back and remote.
Rooms/apartments to rent. Picturesque with
beautiful church. Lovely village to wander
around. A few tavernas with nice food.
resorts. Kantouni has a beautiful sandy beach
but there are no sunbeds and there is only a
small amount of shade. Plenty of
hotels/apartments, Kantouni Beach is main
(Thank you Tom Katsadas for the photo)
sandy beach. Sea shelves steeply and sea is
quite wild. Taverna on beach serves good food.
A few sunbeds available. Looks out to Ag.
Kyriaki- a small deserted islet. Extremely
popular at weekends.
small beach(shingle). Looks right out towards
Telendos(neighbouring isle). Sunbeds available
and the taverna at the end serves wonderful
food. Several apartments to rent. Popular with
locals at weekends.
beach on the road to Vathis . Apart from
Massouri my second favourite. Pebbly but the
water is crystal clear. The only taverna is
run by an English woman married to a Kalymnian
and serves basic food. The goat stew is
lethal-don’t touch it unless you want to be
seriously ill! Beach is reached by a
precarious “road”- an exhilarating experience
driving a hire car- goodness knows what it’s
like on a bike but well worth the
other numerous small beaches dotted around the
island but you need a bike to get there. Also
some which can only be reached by boat. Great
experience- hire a water taxi from Vathis and
get them to drop you off at a beach (usually
pebbly). They then come back to collect you at
an agreed time later in the day. A real
castaway feel but make sure you take water and
everything you need with you
Spongediving in Kalymnos
As anyone who has visited Greece will tell you, the country will change the way you view the world. Maybe it is the sunlight that makes everything seem clear. Maybe it’s the contrast of beautiful blue skies and emerald seas with the harsh mountainous landscape and white stone houses and churches. And like the rest of Greece Kalymnos will change the way you look at the world. Or at least the way you look at sponges. With a history of sponge diving that goes back
to ancient times, this strange creature is neither plant nor fungus but an aquatic animal that attaches itself to a spot and stays there, filtering seawater through its pores for nutrition until it is picked up by a sponge diver or wiped out in a blight. Both of which figure factor in the history of Kalymnos. The first by sustaining the island for centuries and the second causing the collapse of the Kalymnos economy in the 80s sending divers and their families to Tarpon Springs, on the gulf coast of Florida
where the sponge were plentiful and had already been settled by earlier in the century by people from the island. Using bell helmets and rocks as weights with air pumped through a hose from the boat above them, divers walked on the sea floor gathering sponges for a worldwide market and the island’s fortunes rose and fell with the sponges. Today there are still sponge fishermen though many if not all use their talents to put food on the tables of the restaurants and their own homes catching octopus, sea urchins,
lobster and an orange fungus they put in bottles with vinegar, called Fouskas that tastes like... well it tastes like nothing you have ever tasted but I mean that in a good way, unless you hate it, in which case I agree.
But the history of the sponge fishing on the island is in the museums, shops and the photos in restaurants and cafes and you can still buy real sponges on the waterfront. If science has invented something better than an actual sponge, especially for washing your car, I have not found it.
Rock Climbing on Kalymnos
Among sports climbers the island of Kalymnos has a reputation of being one of the best places to climb in the world since it was discovered in the mid 90s and the climbing season lasts 8 months a year with a few stragglers even showing up during the other 4 months. Though you could probably find places to climb on any Greek island, (since they are all mountains rising out of the sea), and in thousands of places on the Greek mainland, Kalymnos, because it was “discovered”
early has the infrastructure, Route maintenance, shops, climbing schools and a large variety of places to climb so whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced climber there is a cliff face to suit you. There are climbing guidebooks and websites which if you are a serious climber you probably don’t need me to tell you about.But if you are a serious climber and you want to know why you should choose Kalymnos instead of somewhere else
it is because you are on a small beautiful Greek island with beaches, restaurants and nightlife instead of somewhere out in the boondocks where there is nothing to do except climb or talk about climbing to other climbers. And if you are traveling with someone who is not a climber and are worried that you are the one who is having all the fun, you probably aren’t.
Other Places to Visit
For those who prefer more gradual ascents Kalymnos, like many Greek islands, is full of walking paths between towns, settlements, beaches, churches and monasteries.
capital of the island. Some interesting
Kafenion and Ouzeria if you want to go native
i.e. octopus and Ouzo! Above the village are
the ruins of the castle and the old settlement
which are fantastic to wander around but it’s
a mammoth climb so go early in the morning or
out of season.
KEFALA: Reached by
boat trip, the caves are again quite a walk
but well worth the effort.
reached by caique from Vathis.
reached by walking from Emborio.
Damos, Panagia, Chriso, Agia Varvara and
Chostos (haven’t been to these yet)
Platanos, Vothini and Metochi all traditional
CHURCHES: As to be
expected, there are numerous churches and
chapels dotted all over the island. I have
visited many of them, the chapels at Massouri
and on Telendos being well worth a
SAVVAS is the jewel
in the crown as far as churches go.
Overlooking Pothia high up on the hill, the
illuminated cross at night looks like a beacon
offering safe haven for shipping at night. A
MUST but it is a hard climb in Summer. Take a
taxi- it’s easier.
Kalymnos has one of the largest fishing fleets in the Aegean so of course fish is on the menu just about everywhere. But for those who prefer meat go for the local mououri, goat stuffed with rice and giblets, slow-baked in a sealed clay pot, or the fylla which is their take on dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice. Here are some recommended restaurants...
The family owned Mamouzelos is a legendary seafood restaurant in the harbor of Pothia known for fresh high quality seafood, large portions and friendly service. Nice view and besides the normal seafood dishes you will find on every island they have many specialties like seabass carpaccio, seafood pasta, whole lobster, shellfish, eel, swordfish steaks, squid/cuttlefish risotto cooked in its own ink, grilled barbounia,
large salads and seafood mezedes. You get the idea.
Bakalogatos is a small chef-owned ouzeri/mezedopouleion restaurant in the center of Pothia with great food, very popular with locals and Greeks from Athens because of its authenticity. They also have a beach bar-restaurant in Palionissos. It is the kind of place you go the first night, decide you love the food and atmosphere, try another place the second night, and then come back to Bakalogatos on the third
night and eat (and drink) every night for the rest of your trip.
Prego Mediterranean Cuisine in Masouri is very famous because the chef Pandelis Vouros was on Greece’s Master Chef Greece cooking reality TV Show and his episode was so funny it went viral and he became a cultural icon. But that is not the only reason why people go there. It happens to be a very good restaurant as you would expect if the chef is invited to be on Master Chef Greece. Prego
restaurant is known for its fresh creative salads, a wide range of appetizers and dishes from all around the Mediterranean, fresh fish, whole or filet with the option of pre-ordering the fish you desire something in particular. They also have fresh homemade pasta and pizza, and meat, beef and pork grilled to perfection. Pandelis is the son of the Vourlos bakery family, one of the best, if not the best bakery in the Dodecanese, mentioned below. Order the spareribs and let Matt know how
Massouri Restaurant is just off the square in Massouri, behind two large trees and with a wonderful terrace out the back from which to dine and watch the sun set over Telendos, it is run by Stelios and Maria who came from Skiathos many seasons ago. The food is wonderful, they will cook anything to order provided you see them the day before. They have three young children, are a wonderful couple and it’s just that
little bit up-market in terms of presentation, service etc.
Taverna is located
between Massouri and Myrties this is THE
restaurant to go to for that extra special
Greek meal. Their
Kleftiko is to die for but is not always on
the menu so keep an eye
the board during the day. The service is
excellent, bread comes warm as a mini loaf
complete with bread knife and you are always
given Loukoumades free at the end of the meal.
Extensive menu – traditional and other, good
service. Very popular so you may need reservations.
The Glaros Snack Bar is run by Sue and Steve, an English couple who have lived and worked on the island for many years, located at the top end of Massouri and is ideal for a light meal. Mainly used by regulars in the evenings as a place to enjoy a drink and unwind or for after dinner drinks, Sue and Steve are the real asset here. Steve speaks Greek, knows everything you need to know and they both act as an informal tourist information office. They
will help anyone with anything, from advice on where to shop to where to stay and know all the local gossip! A wonderful safe haven. They even serve the “Full English” for those who can’t do without it!
Domus on Kantouni beach is run by Michalis whose English is so perfect he can even mimic accents. It is widely acknowledged by the locals as being one of the best restaurants on the island, very posh with linen table cloths etc. It is also one of the few restaurant it’s advisable to book reservations. It looks like a beach bar, which it kind of is too, or what they call in Greece a cafeteria, which is a word
not used the way you probably do, but it has a large and varied international menu including seafood pastas, salads, sandwiches,crepes, pizza, coffees and cocktails. It is right on the beach and at night it becomes a club. You could spend your entire day here if you are staying nearby.
Just before you arrive at Arginonda, on the left hand side is this traditional taverna run by an old woman and her son called Sea Breeze. It is almost always empty but they always have good basic food on the menu. Rather like being in a time warp, they have private steps down to the sea from which you can swim and are always warmly invited to do so. The view across the bay is amazing and for a quiet, simple meal I can think of nowhere else better.
Zorba's Restaurant is a family owned seafood taverna in Masouri, famous for its fresh meat and fish cooked on the grill. The owner Nick is a great host and the restaurant is popular with locals too. On Sunday they have Greek live music night with dancing.
Vourlos Bakery has a couple places in Kalymnos and one in Kos as well. They have a huge selection of pastries, pastry, chocolate treats, cakes, handmade chocolates, syrup, cookies, marshmallows, handmade jams, buns and the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted. Also Michalaras' zacharoplasteion in Pothia is known for its galaktoboureko and other sweets.
Rita's Restaurant in Telendos is right where you get off the boat. It is family owned, run by Yannis and Rita who are wonderful hosts. The food, atmosphere, and prices are excellent and faces Kalymnos. Also a great place to go for a beer after a day of climbing.
George J Limberis from Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides Facebook Group adds...
"I had 3 great meals in Kalymnos last May: Stoukas Taverna - about a 5 minute walk once you get off the ferry. Great food and the owner told me all about the island. Harry’s Paradise Garden in Emborion- lunch in a very lush, peaceful courtyard. No menu - they brought me a pikilia of several dishes. It is an authentic family owned restaurant and the owner is very friendly and speaks English and several other languages as well. They use all
local ingredients and vegetarians will find plenty to choose from too. They also serve breakfast and the garden setting is really beautiful. To Kapsouli - one of the 4 restaurants on the island of Telendos. First time I ever tired octopus balls - delicious! Very friendly family place - the owners son was having his 6th birthday party and they brought me a piece of cake. Beautiful island and wonderful people all around!"
And from travel writer Marc Dubin "Kafenes on Platia Hristou is just that, a mezedopoleio with great salads and seafood. Stoukas in Pothia is a reliable bet, with good meat dishes too, popular with the yachties who berth nearby. Melitsahas has two very good fish tavernas, including Anna's (aka Psarokatastasi)."
See also Azure Wine Bar in the Bar's section.
Hotels, Apartments, Villas and Rooms
here with my Mum on our first visit. Brilliant
location right next to the beach at Masouri with good facilities, a swimming pool, snack-bar and free wi-fi.
All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV and fridge. Breakfast is included in the room rate. You can walk everywhere from here. But you may just stay and enjoy the view.
Located on the seafront in Masouri, the 4-star Carian Hotel features an outdoor pool with unobstructed sea views and a spa center including hot tub and offering a variety of relaxing treatments.The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and also offers free WiFi access throughout. Elegantly decorated with modern furnishings
and soft colors, the rooms and suites at Carian Hotel are air conditioned and come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Each unit includes a modern, private bathroom and a work desk, while some also offer views over the Aegean Sea.
MOUSELIS APARTMENTS is located within a few steps of Platys Gialos Beach and a 15-minute walk of Melitsachas Beach. The air-conditioned units are furnished with tiled floors and feature a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, desk, a living room, an equipped kitchen, balcony and views over the sea. There's a seating and/or
dining area in some units.
Built right on the beach of Masouri in the MasouriBlu Hotel offers rooms and suites with Aegean Sea views. It features a sun terrace, a garden, and a lounge area, while free WiFi is available throughout. Opening to a furnished balcony or terrace, each accommodations unit in MasouriBlu is uniquely
decorated and features a satellite, flat-screen TV. Air conditioning, and a bathroom with hairdryer and free toiletries come standard.
As mentioned above Tatsis Apartments are owned by
Yiannis Tatsis, now a good friend. Have been
staying there since 1996. Two sizes of studio.
Small has bedroom, terrace, bathroom and
kitchen. Large has two bedrooms, two
bathrooms, dining area, kitchen and two
terraces. Located right in centre of Massouri,
next to Punibel restaurant. Cleaned daily by
Popi, fresh linen every third day. All the
studios have views towards Telendos. Four
blocks, the top ones have views right across
the bay but tend to be hotter than the bottom
ones which are in the shade more.
Offering a pool and a fitness center, Elena Village features self-catering accommodations with Aegean Sea or pool views. Facilities include free WiFi access and a snack bar. Kastelli Beach is 500 feet away. Opening to a furnished balcony, all air-conditioned apartments of Elena have a separate bedroom. Each
consists of a living room with flat-screen TV and a kitchenette with hobs and dining table. A hairdryer and free toiletries are included.
Hotel Porto Potha
Built on a hillside, within 1,650 feet of Telendos Port, Hotel Porto Potha is a family-run property following the traditional architecture of the Dodecanese. It has a swimming pool and a poolside bar, and offers accommodations with Aegean Sea or mountain views. Rooms and studios at Porto Potha open out to a
balcony and they are air conditioned. They come with an private bathroom with shower, while some also include a kitchenette.
Centrally located on the waterfront in Pothia, the capital of Kalymnos, Olympic Hotel is just 150 feet from the port and 650 feet from the famous thermal springs. It features a bar and air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and furnished balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea. A TV and fridge are included in
all rooms at the Olympic Hotel. Each has a private bathroom with shower.
Petra Boutique Homes
Offering views of the Aegean Sea, Petra Boutique Homes are located in Arginonta, 650 feet from the nearest beach and a mini market. All holiday homes are built according to the local architecture and come with free WiFi. Fitted with beamed ceilings and built-in beds and sofas, all house open to a private
terrace, some with a private pool. Each unit has a fully equipped, colorful kitchen, a fireplace in the living room and a flat-screen TV.
Kalydna Island Hotel
Kalydna Island Hotel provides a scuba diving and a climbing school, as well as a large swimming pool with bar. It is found just 300 feet from Kantouni Beach. This hotel is located 3 miles from the port of Kalymnos and close to the most interesting climbing areas. Guests can make the most of this magnificent area and enjoy mountain
biking, windsurfing and trekking. Kalydna Island Hotel is a unique hotel and bungalow complex of luxury construction in a traditional Aegean style. Each room at Kalydna has its own balcony, bathroom with shower and TV.
Facing the beachfront in Vathís, Hotel Galini has a restaurant and a bar. Free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk are offered. At the hotel, rooms have a closet. Complete with a private bathroom equipped with a shower and free toiletries, the rooms at Hotel Galini have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and certain
rooms come with a balcony. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. A Full English/Irish breakfast is available each morning.
You can find more hotels, apartments, villas and Air BnB style accommodations with rates, reviews and photos on Matt's Booking.com Kalymnos Pages
Bars and Nightlife in Kalymnos
You won't have any trouble finding places to drink and listen to music because Kalymnos is loaded with bars and cafes, in the town of Pothia along the waterfront, and on the beaches especially around Myrties. Most, if not all of them are open all day long so you can start with breakfast and coffee and progress through the day ending with a nightcap. And most of them, again if not all of them, serve food
and could be considered restaurants. There are several dance clubs that stay open late in the summer.
AZUL: Not your ordinary island bar, Azul in Armeos is a Wine Bar with cocktails with a beautiful view of the sunset and good food in a stylish setting with indoor and outdoor seating. Quiet and perfect for couples with a nice selection of the best Greek wines and imported booze, probably including your favorites. I would have put it with the restaurants but thought it might be overlooked and anyway
you should come here for a drink or two and you will probably stay for dinner. And desert. And a nightcap. There is an art gallery and it is open in the daytime for coffee as well. See above photo.
Hammer Wine Bar on the waterfront in Pothia serves pizza and other Italian main courses, appetisers and seafood and a good selection of Italian wines. They have live music in the summer and sometimes karaoke. Open in the daytime too.
NADIR ROCK CAFE-Myrties. Cool bar with cold beers, good music and fresh homemade popcorn, food and cocktails.
Myrties- has wonderful swimming pool at back.
Extremely friendly, caring, genuine
people and good food, it has been open for at least 25 years and was one of the first hangouts for the climbing community.
Run by Sue and Steve (mentioned above).
A great place to meet, eat and hang out and make friends. Steve and Sue are wonderful and are very involved with the rock climbing community. Highly recommended.
PUB: Despite the name this is more of a younger person's place and you won't hear much rock or blues, but techno heavy on the beat modern stuff. But with new management in 2020 maybe they will play more roots music as the name implies.
Elies Square. Elies also has the oldest
Kafenion on the island and is wonderful to sit
in and watch the world pass by.
Sunrise – right on the square in Massouri and run by
Fatolitis Snack Bar in Mirties is the place to go for a beer if you are a climber and want to talk about your conquests with other climbers. Beautiful setting, friendly owners, cold beer and alcohol free beer and lots of snacks, cocktails and even a swimming pool.
OTHER KALYMNOS INFO
Being the centre of
the sponge diving industry at one time , the
island is full of reminders of the past and of
course tales of the diving era. Faith Warn has
written a book called ”The Bitter Sea” which
tells the story of the sponge fishermen. There
is a sponge factory to visit in Pothia and you
can see the sponges being washed and prepared.
There are also several small museums in Pothia.
takes a variety of forms. There are plenty of
taxis to hire which are relatively
inexpensive. Cars, bikes and scooters can all
be hired BUT the roads are somewhat primitive
and particularly narrow in Pothia, making
driving a somewhat nerve-racking experience.
There is not much sense of the Highway Code
either- traditional Greek driving! But there
is a bus service which runs if a little
many customs and folk tales on the island such
as that of the sleeping princess whose face
you can see on the side of Telendos and the
tale of the seven virgins who are supposed to
have hid in a cave to escape
pirates and who
in the bottomless channel beneath the cave in
which they sought refuge.
have to mention Easter on Kalymnos. It’s a
wonderful but somewhat disturbing experience
in more ways than one!. On Easter Saturday,
the lamb is slaughtered and the Mouri, a traditional Easter dish of stuffed lamb that is cooked in a sealed clay pot (similar to what they call mastela in Sifnos), is brought to the village ovens to be cooked until the next day.
Every church on the
island prepares a float which forms part of a
parade down to Pothia in the evening and the
parade is met by the Mayor and council and
various ceremonies are carried out. After the
parade the fun begins with firecrackers etc
being thrown and most people stay late in
Pothia. Most worrying by far is the Kalymnian
tradition of throwing dynamite! Last time I
was there for Easter, we were enjoying a meal
down in Pothia near the water front when
someone threw a stick of dynamite which
exploded just opposite the restaurant but
fortunately in the water. It can be quite
alarming and dangerous. Several people have
been killed with the dynamite over the years but everyone
joins in with little regard for safety. On
Easter Sunday the ovens are opened and the
meal is eaten with all the usual specialities
such as dolmades etc. It’s a wonderful
experience with all the traditional Easter
customs; painting, dyeing and cracking eggs
I hope this has
a reasonable overview of the island. If
you do manage to fit in a visit call in and
say “hello” to Yiannis Tatsis, Jane and her
husband at Selene and Steve and Sue at Glaros.
You will be made MOST welcome I can assure
Thanks to Nikki and
Vicky and Matt, who contributed to this article.
Getting to and from Kalymnos
There is an airport built in 2006 with flights from Athens on Sky Express and Olympic. When booking your flight make sure it is not extraordinarily long. A direct flight to Kalymnos should take about an hour and there are several flights a week that do that. If it takes more then there will be other stops and layovers involved, possibly an overnight stay on Kos.
People who don't like long ferry rides can also fly international flights to Kos or Rhodes and take a much shorter ride than the trip from Pireaus. The trip from Pireaus takes about 11 hours and boats go 3 to 5 days a week depending on the season. The Blue Star Ferries
are the best boats doing the route. in fact they may be the only boat doing the route. Do yourself a favor and get a cabin. The ferries to Kalymnos generally stop in Patmos, Leros, Kos and Rhodes so if you are hoping to go to more than one island those would be the easiest to get to along with some of the smaller lesser known islands like Symi, Tilos, Lipsi, Nissiros and Halki which may have smaller local boats connecting them. See Matt's Dodecanese Islands Page
Use Ferryhopper to find all direct and indirect ferry routes for the islands of Greece, Spain, Italy
Turkey, compare ferry companies & prices, and book cheap ferry tickets with no hidden fees in one go!
hotels and transportation to and from Kalymnos and assistance combining Kalymnos with other islands
or Dolphin Hellas Travel or Aegean Thesaurus Travel or use Matt's Create-an-itinerary form to get prices or even see if an itinerary is possible or practical.