Kalymnos island is the best spot in dodecanese islands group. Kalymnos island, home of the famous sponge divers, this island in the Dodecanese is ideal for modern-day adventurers and aspiring rock climbers. You may find our suggestion such as where is Kalymnos, how to get there, things to do and see, villages and beaches of this Greek island and more.
Kalymnos island is located on the northern side of Dodecanese and close to the Turkish coasts. This island distinguishes for the wild rocky mountains, which is why it has developed as a rock climbing destination over the last years. In fact, an International Climbing Festival takes place in Kalymnos island every September. In the past, the locals used to make their living from sponge fishing. Although this activity has declined today, there are many sponge sellers at the beachfront of Pothia, the capital of the island. The beach resorts in Kalymnos Greece are nice and relaxing, while during your Kalymnos holidays you should not miss a day trip to the small island of Telendos, a popular nudist destination.
Are you looking for pure and pristine places? Do you crave simplicity and authenticity in the Greek islands? Do you like serenity, relaxation and outdoor recreation? Are you mad about rock climbing, scuba diving, or both? Well, if this is what you’re after, Kalymnos is a hidden gem in the Aegean, a unique piece of Greece that you must discover.
Where is Kalymnos island
Kalymnos is one of the most northerly islands of the Dodecanese group and located about 100 kilometres north-west of Rhodes. It lies near the Turkish coast, with the islands of Leros to the north and Kos to the south.
How to get to Kalymnos island
The airport of Kalymnos was recently constructed (in 2006) and works only in summer. It receives domestic flights from Athens and the flight time is 1 hour. The airport of Kalymnos is located at the regions of Argos and Panormos, on the southern side of the island. After arriving, visitors can take a taxi to their hotel.
There are ferries from Piraeus to Kalymnos 3 times a week. As the distance is long, the trip takes about 10 hours. These ferries connect Kalymnos to other islands of Dodecanese, including Rhodes, Kos, Leros and Patmos. Local ferries from Mastihari Kos also run to Kalymnos 2 or 3 times a day, all year round. From the small port of Myrties in western Kalymnos, there are daily boats to the secluded islands of Telendos.
Transportation in Kalymnos
Kalymnos is a beautiful, tranquil island, ideal for some relaxing holidays! It is known as the “Sponge-divers island”, because of the fact that for many years its residents are occupied with sponge diving. On this island there are many lovely places to visit and various ways to move around the whole region.
Local Buses in Kalymnos
Public transportation is a convenient and affordable way to reach almost any place on Kalymnos. The central bus stop is located in Pothia, which is the capital of the island. From this point, buses depart with direction to many different locations, like Kasteli, Platis Gialos, Vlychadia, Vathy, Emporios and Argos.
Car and motorbike rentals in Kalymnos
With a car or motorcycle, you can explore the island at your own pace and gain access to the most secluded spots! In case you don’t have your own vehicle, it is an excellent idea to rent a car for your sightseeing trips! There are many car rentals in Pothia and in other places as well.
Kalymnos travel guide
Kalymnos is a relaxing family island with strong character. This place distinguishes for the picturesque architecture, the long tradition in sponge diving and the impressive rocks ideal for climbing. In fact, over the last years, rock climbing has largely developed on the island and even a climbing festival takes place there in autumn. Very popular places for climbing are the mountains on the northern side of Kalymnos and on the neighboring island of Telendos. Holidays in Kalymnos can be combined with other islands of Dodecanese, like Kos, Leros or Patmos.
Things to do and see in Kalymnos island
Organized things to do in Kalymnos are limited as the island is not developed in tourism. Over the last years, Kalymnos is developing as a rock climbing destination due to its granite mountains on the northern side of the island and on the neighboring island of Telendos. In fact, an international climbing festival is organized on Kalymnos island every autumn.
Apart from climbing, hiking is also an enjoyable activity. Hiking trails are actually old footpaths that cross the island and lead to old castles, mountainous villages, small chapels, and secluded beaches.
Treasures of the Aegean Sea
Arid and rocky Kalymnos. The only exit for its residents: the sea. Generously, the sea provided the locals with its valuable sponges, which they gratefully began harvesting. Exactly when Kalymnians started sponge diving is lost in the mists of time. Today, they have one of the largest fishing fleets in the Aegean and they produce about 30,000 sponges annually. You’ll be able to see the numerous species of sponge, as well as witness the various stages they go through before reaching the market.
International climbing destination
Some of the most beautiful rock climbing routes in Europe can be found here, and Kalymnos has become world-famous for its gorgeous (and safe) climbing venues. The rocks on the island have excellent traction and access to climbing areas is a breeze. More than 60 climbing fields and more than 1,300 marked and secure routes can be found here. It’s an adventurer’s paradise in the Mediterranean!
Diving in the deep of Kalymnos
The International Diving Festival convenes here, on this island in the Aegean, every year. Magical worlds – like Nera, Telendos, Platy and the nearby island of Pserimos – will stay carved in your memory as you dive into their depths. Explore the sunken ancient city hidden under the Myrties-Telendos sea channel.
Perhaps the most beautiful fjord in Greece. The deep and wonderful, centuries-old world captivates visitors. The valley, embroidered with tangerine and orange trees, slopes down to the Aegean, where it meets the water. Inhabitants from the Neolithic period onwards have all left their mark.
What to do in Kalymnos island
Telendos: once a peninsula, now an island
A terrifying earthquake in 554 AD sliced off a piece of Kalymnos, which sunk into the water at Pothaia. Today the island of Telendos lies across from Kalymnos, with fragments and ruins from that era. During your holiday here, you can take the boat across, go for a swim, and walk along the island to see the lost ancient civilisation.
Holidays and Dorian gastronomy
The cuisine of Kalymnos is based on the simplicity and austerity of the Dorians. Mououri is lamb stuffed with rice, mirmizeli is a bread rusk salad with oil, tomato and cheese, fylla are stuffed vine leaves. Delicious!
The Sanctuary of Dalios Apollo
The sanctuary constituted the most important place of worship of the patron saint of the island, but it also functioned as a political and religious centre for ancient Kalymnos. There were places of worship here, such as temples to Apollo and Asklepios, as well as a theatre and a gymnasium. It can be found to the west of the hora, on the road that leads to Panormo. As you explore the area, you’ll find two large Christian churches from the 5th and 6th century.
Nightlife in Kalymnos
The nights in Kalymnos count on plenty of bars and a couple of clubs. Most of them can be found in Pothia, the capital of the island, with a series of cafe tables facing the port. Many such lounge bars are found in the most tourist places of the island, including Kantouni, Emporios, and Myrties. These bars stay open till around midnight, while there are some clubs that stay till 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. For more peaceful nights, enjoy a local dinner in the many taverns around the island.
Villages of Kalymnos island
Pothia is the capital village and main port of Kalymnos. Most villages are located on the eastern side, which has a more even landscape and it is protected by strong winds. Tourist villages on Kalymnos include Massouri, Myrties, and Kantouni.
- Pothia Kalymnos Town
Beaches of Kalymnos island
Kalymnos is one of the most beautiful yet unexplored islands of the Dodecanese. Some of the most attractive Kalymnos beaches are Emporio, Myrties, Kantouni, and Massouri, which are organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. Other beaches in Kalymnos are totally secluded and perfect for privacy. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Kalymnos island.
List of All Beaches in Kalymnos island
Where to stay in Kalymnos island
Kalymnos Hotels: Kalymnos is a secluded island in Dodecanese Greece, considered an alternative destination of the Aegean Sea. Look and search Kalymnos accommodation, rooms, hotels apartments, studios and pensions.
Hotels in Pothia Kalymnos Town
- Evanik Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Ross’ vacation home in Kalymnos, Booking.com
- Kalymnos residence, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Katerina Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Villa Melina, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Hotels in Massouri village
- Villa Niki, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Elenis Studios&Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- MasouriBlu Boutique Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Massouri Rooms, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Oasis Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Hotels in Myrties village
- Apollonia Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Panorama Studios & Apartments, Booking.com
- Myrties Boutique Aparments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Melina’s Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Themis Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
Hotels in Kantouni (Panormos) village
- Kantouni Beach Hotel, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Irene’s Studios, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Aggelos Studios, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com
- Alkyonis Apartments, Booking.com and Hotelscombined.com