Kalymnos in Greece

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Kalymnos in Greece.

Kalymnos belongs to the Dodecanese islands and lies between Kos and Leros. It is the island group's fourth largest island in terms of surface area (111 km2), the three larger islands are Karpathos, Kos and Rhodes. In terms of number of inhabitants (16,200), Kalymnos come third after Kos and Rhodes. The highest mountain is Profitis Elias (670 m), located in the Valley of Vathy. The nearest neighbouring islands is Leros and Telendos.

Kalymnos was previously an island that I could not make head or tail of: did I like the island, or did I not like it? Did I want to return, or did I never want to set foot there again? The first time I came to Kalymnos (it is many years ago), I wanted to leave the island as soon as I disembarked at the port, but there were no departing ferries so I had to stay for a whole week on Kalymnos. (Read about the trip here.) When the week was over, I felt sad at heart. Had I begun to like Kalymnos? Yes, I had. But I could not really understand why. I have felt the same many times when I have returned, first I want to leave, but after a few hours I want to stay for life. At my last visit, it was love right away, and not once I felt that I wanted to leave. Kalymnos is an island that just gets better and better for every year, and the island is now high on my ranking list of my Greek favourite islands.

It's not just me who like Kalymnos, almost all who travel here take the island to their hearts. In fact, there are few other islands that have so many fanatical returners. Some foreigners lives on the island, former tourists who liked Kalymnos so much that they moved here, also some Swedes lives on the island.

Kalymnos. Myrties.

Kalymnos is surrounded by wonderful water, like in Myrties.




Rina and the beautiful Vathy valley.

Rina and the beautiful Vathy valley is a must when you are on Kalymnos.


What is it that makes me being fond of Kalymnos? There are several reasons, but perhaps the biggest reason why I - and many others - like Kalymnos so much, is the people who live on the island. Greeks are well-known for their friendliness and their hospitality, and it apply well to the islanders of Kalymnos, but it is even more noticeable here than on most other islands I've been to. There are many other things that make me like Kalymnos, including the unruly capital Pothia (see photo on top), the barren but very beautiful landscape, closeness to the nice little island of Telendos and that Kalymnos is an island where one for once get the opportunity to experience what many of us are looking for: the genuine Greece.

The last time I visited Kalymnos, I also travelled to other islands, more exactly to six other islands. The Greek crisis was evident in all the islands except two: Kalymnos and Telendos. Certainly they talked about the crisis, but mostly as a crisis for the country, not for Kalymnos and Telendos. I experienced a great positivity during my stay, and it was a great feeling. It was different for not so long ago, when fewer and fewer tourists chose to spend their holiday on Kalymnos. For over ten years ago, I was invited to dinner by Katerina, the tourism manager of Kalymnos. There were the two of us and two British residents who met. They told me that tourism had dropped sharply because many stayed on the neighbouring island of Kos. Did I have any advice to give? What could they do to get more tourists to an island that did not have an international airport, and that could not offer the huge diversity of beaches like Kos. The conversation turned on that they planned to go in for a different kind of tourism. And so it became. I wish I could take the credit for what happened next, but I can not, it happened anyway. What happened was that from being known for its sponges, Kalymnos nearly became world famous for its unique mountains, and today the island attracts climbers from around the world, not least during the Kalymnos Climbing Festival which take place during one week each autumn.

Palionisos. Kalymnos.

One of my favorites on Kalymnos is Palionisos.


You can read more about Kalymnos via the links at the top of the page. A short summary of the information comes here:

There are international charters from some countries. If you choose to travel independently to Kalymnos, it is easiest to fly to Kos and then take the next boat to Kalymnos, either from Mastichari or from Kos town. Another option is to go by air to Samos and continue by boat from Pythagorion. The small car ferry Nisos Kalymnos has its home port at Kalymnos and ply the route Astypalea, Arki, Agathonissi, Leros, Lipsi, Patmos and Samos. Boats to the neighbouring island of Telendos departs from Myrties from early morning to late into the night. Read more about how to travel to Kalymnos here »

A large part of the island's population lives in Pothia, the capital, and in Chora, in addition there are some smaller settlements, as well as a number of tourist resorts, of which the best known are Myrties and Massouri. The most interesting of the smaller villages are Rina, Panormos, Kantouni, Emborios and Vlychadia. Read more about the villages here »

Nice beaches are perhaps not Kalymnos' cup of tea, at least not if you for example compare with the beaches of Kos and Rhodes. But several of the beaches is nice and the water is clear and inviting. The most popular beaches are in Myrties and Massouri. One of my favourite beaches are Platys Gialos. Other beaches are Arginonda, Akti Kalamies, Gefyra and Palionisos. Read more about the beaches here »

Kalymnos is not only known for sponges and rock climbing. There are also many interesting sights, such as the two monasteries of Agios Savvas and Agios Panteleimonas. Other attractions are the Kefalas cave, the Church of Christ of Jerusalem, the Castle of Chora and the nice museums, not least Sea World of Valsamidis. Read more about the sights here »

Most hotels and pensions are available in Myrties, Massouri and Pothia. Accommodation is also available in Emporios, Kantouni, Panormos and Vlychadia. If you want to stay near the beach and be close to Telendos, choose to stay in Myrties or Massouri. If you want hustle and bustle, choose Pothia. If you are looking for peace and quiet stay in any of the other villages. Suggestions for accommodation can be found here »


Gefyra beach, Kalymnos.

The beaches on Kalymnos are not the same quality as for example the beaches of Naxos. But the water is fantastic, as you see here at Gefyra beach, near the capital Pothia.

Read more about Kalymnos via the links at the top of this page.



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