Home Destination Guides Accommodation 27th January 2020


(also written as Kalimnos)
General view
Kalymnos is a small Dodecanese island, to the north of Kos, which has managed to avoid main stream tourism, possibly because of its size and probably because there was no airport on the island, that was until late 2006 when a brand new airport was completed.  The runway was, in fact, built in 1991 but in true 'manyana' fashion, or should we say 'avrio' fashion, it has taken a further 15 years to finish the project!  However, the local population turned out in their thousands to celebrate the first of the Olympic airways flights, as only the Greeks know how - with music, fireworks and dancing.  Currently the airport is only operating domestic flights with Olympic Airways, but this is an important development for Kalymnos and is likely to have an impact on the number of visitors heading its way.
     The only other newsworthy event happened in 1996 when Kalymnos ruffled the feathers of the Turks in a dispute over the neighbouring islet of Imia, where Kalymniot locals grazed their goats.  Aside from this the island has a relaxed atmosphere and an authentic feel, known for its impressive caves and local sponges. 
Pothia - Kalymnos town
     On the southern side of the island is the capital, Pothia, also known as Kalymnos town.  Pothia was originally the centre of the island’s sponge industry which has now all but ceased apart from a small Sponge Factory, by the waterfront which is open to visitors.  Sponges are initially boiled, then bleached and finally acid is used to colour the sponges, which can be off-putting for the environmentally conscientious.  The town has good amenities with banks, supermarkets, souvenir shops, chemists, car and moped hire, doctors and a hospital.  Pothia also has an interesting Archaeological Museum and various modern statues scattered around the town which you either love or hate, but are certainly conversation pieces!  On the waterfront is a very attractive harbour area, shaded by trees and lined with tavernas and cafes, where you can sit and watch the world go by. 
     Pothia harbour is the islands’ Ferry Port, accommodating inter-island ferries, hydrofoils, tour boats and the day excursion boats from Kos packed with tourists.  You can take a tour boat to the Kefalas Sea Cave renowned for its stalagmites and stalactites and its claim of being the hiding place of Zeus.  Some tour boats also visit the Daskalio Cave at Vathi, which is located further up the coast to the north of Pothia.  Worth a visit are the ruins of the castle of the Knights of St John located just outside Pothia and further inland, the ruins of Pera castle with their imposing views.
Mirties and the island of Telendos
     The centre of Kalymnos is mountainous,the highest peak being 678 metres above sea level, with green fertile valleys and on the west coast is the friendly village of Mirties.  Mirties is starting to cater for tourists, has a small quay, tavernas and numerous small hotels and pensions.  From the quay you can take a taxi boat to the totally unspoilt volcanic island of Telendos.  Tiny Telendos was originally part of Kalymnos, but in 554 AD an earthquake split the two apart and now Telendos is separated from Mirties by a narrow sea channel.  Close by are the sand and shingle beaches at Kantouni and Linaria, and further north there are sandy stretches by the village of Emborio. 
Island Connections
Package holidays are available from Greek specialist tour companies with charter flights to Kos and onward travel by ferry boat to Kalymnos.  The ferry will take approximately 1 hour from Kos, depending on weather conditions.  As there was no airport on Kalymnos it relied on ferries for all its needs and consequently has a fairly comprehensive ferry services.  There are almost daily ferry services to Kos and Rhodes in the south as well as Leros, Patmos and the Athens port of Pireaus.  In addition to the ordinary ferries there are hydrofoil services to Kos, Leros, Samos and Lipsi and tour boats to Telendos and Pserimos.  Frequency of sailings and timetables are subject to change depending on ferry operators and weather conditions.  The circuitous routes tend to be more susceptible to delays than direct sailings and information should always be checked locally.   With the new airport currently now open Olympic Airways are offering direct flights from Athens to Kalymnos on a daily basis, with a flight time of approximately 40 minutes.
The foregoing information was last reviewed in August 2006. Things change, and whilst we are often travelling in Greece we do rely to some extent upon others to provide updates in order to keep the site as current and accurate as possible!  If you have any updates or information that you think should be included here, please do mail the webmaster@aguide2greece.com  - thank you.


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