KALYMNOS THE ISLAND OF SPONGE FISHERMEN
KALYMNOS is known to all Greeks as the island of ePONGES PECHEURS. This activity has been practiced for several hundred years. The capital of KALYMNOS is POTHIA where most of the island’s population lives. HORIO which is the largest city on the island. It used to be the capital of the island. A little less crowded but sincere and charming. The island is steep with vertical cliffs. KALYMNOS is an incentive to idleness on its beautiful beaches or to CLIMB on its sharp walls and in its volcanic cavities. The Greek island of KALYMNOS is located between KOS
and LEROS in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The island belongs to the DODEKANISOS ARCHIPELAGO. Its area is about 110 km2 and it is the fourth largest island in DODEKANISOS.
The rocky and steep landscape, once perceived as a curse by locals, has proved to be a real blessing for climbing enthusiasts. The entire island is a unique natural area with more than 1300 climbing tracks of different levels of difficulty: slabs, walls, overhangs and tuffs.
There is frequent ferry service to TPIRAEUS, RODOS and the other DODEKANISOS islands. There are also ferry lines operating in the islands of the Cyclades, Samos and, during the summer season, for Chios, Mytilene, and Thessaloniki.
Spend a few days there or fall in love. As soon as you arrive in KALYMNOS you feel in the cities of POTHIA and HORIO the atmosphere of a besoly and traditional island. POTHIA the port does not present much charm. The island is closed except in tourist areas. It is very hilly, the whole eastern part is made up of huge cliffs as well as the northern part of the island. The population is like the island. It is easy to get to KALYMNOS since it is now the decision-making place of all the islands of the North Dodekanisos withLEROS, PATMOS, LIPSI and ASTYPALEA.
These mountains make it a worldwide reputation for the quality of climbing spots. At the KALYMNOS CLIMBING FESTIVAL competition is held every two years. Fantastic caves with sea views with the light so typical of Aegean landscapes are exceptional for climbing enthusiasts. The very mild climate of the island also allows a very wide practice season from April to November in general.
Sports practice attracts a relatively young tourism that differs from other islands. Some literally fall in love with this island especially Anglo-Saxons and many choose to stay to live and even work there. This has helped to form the tourist area of the island between PANORMOS, MYRTIES MASOURI and also the island of TELENDOS. Everything concentrated hotels, restaurants, bars for tourist beaches to laz in real seaside resort. It’s on the western part of the island with a sumptuous sunset.
At PANORMOS , the two sandy beaches of LINARIA and KANTOUNI are excellent, the taverns and bars are very pleasant and the days can go on forever.
The island of TELENDOS is the panorama of MYRTIES AND MASOURI, an island formerly attached to KALYMNOS that has detached over the soe. Although there is accommodation and taverns, it is mostly timed on a canoe excursion. The few attractive beaches of the island makes it easy to take one of these caïques to go on an excursion on the Ilots around (KALOLYMNOS, PSERIMOS , TELENDOS) or visit the caves especially that of KEFALAS to the north of the island. Caves marked by mythology since it housed the famous mermaids of Ulysses in the Odyssey of HOMER.
Above MASOURI, a long road will take you north to STIMENIA with a pebble beach surrounded by cliffs with a very special atmosphere. Going further north you will reach at the end of a road along the cliff and not much else, the village of EMBORIOS which has no particular interest. By continuing again you can still get lost to find wild and very pleasant beaches but here we are at the end of the world.
On the eastern part of the island fromEMBORIOS you can go to PALIONISOS beach (the only beach in the east of the island) in a majestic decorum.
The spectacle of these cliff roads is enhanced by monasteries built on the heights of these in unlikely places.
If the center of the island has no interest so you are not a mountaineer, it is on the other hand magical to go to the southeast of the island to VATHI. A geographical curiosity with an isthmus resembling a deep fjord of about 1 km and very small. At the bottom (VATHI in Greek), you will find a small fishing village with a few shops and tavernas. There is also the oldest chapel on the island to visit with emotion. Emotion there are sometimes few since VATHI is the stopover excursion from POTHIA , but also KOS and even BODRUM . The huge caïques then pour their streams of tourists and the small village is then submerged…. In short, it is appropriate to choose your moment to take advantage of it at its true value.
There are many places to visit in
and we recommend to HORIO (the historic village of Kalymnos) the Museum of Folk Art. You should also visit one of the sponge shops. Since it has been the specialty of the island for many centuries. The sponge is a flower and the fishing is deep and is done in deep apnea or with a suit. There have been many decompression accidents and the island is marked by this demanding fishery. In these stores or in the factories in POTHIA you can buy them but also see how they are caught and worked.
For tourism and enjoy the best of the island you will choose to go to MYRTIES or MASOURI and visit the island through the excursions in Caïque. TELENDOS and PSERIMOS seem to us to be obligatory passages.
KALYMNOS is the third largest island in the DODEKANISOS archipelago. At present it administratively manages all the northern islands of the archipelago including LEROS and PATMOS. It is united worker with a strong diaspora in the USA and Canada. With the tradition of PECHE IN EPONGES. Kalymnos is also a world-renowned CLIMBING spot with an INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and has greatly expanded its tourism including to MASOURI and MYRTIES.
There are ferry links to KALYMNOS from MASTIHARI
There are small beaches around the island but you need a scooter to get there. And also, some can only be reached by boat. Great experience – hire a water taxi and get dropped off at a beach (usually pebbles). They come back to pick you up at some point in the day. A real castaway status, but make sure – you take the water and everything you need
Not surprisingly, there are many churches and chapels dotted throughout the island. The chapels at MASOURI and on TELENDOS are well worth a visit. Ag. SAVVAS is the crown jewel as far as the churches go. Overlooking Pothia high on the hill, the illuminated Cross at night looks like a beacon offering a safe haven for expedition at night. A MUST but it’s a difficult climb in the summer. Take a taxi-it’s easier.
There are many customs and folk tales on the island like 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 hidden in a cave to escape the pirates and who disappeared into the bottomless canal under the cave in which they sought refuge. Being the center of the sponge diving industry at one time, the island is full of reminders of the past and of course tales of the time of diving. A book entitled “The Bitter Sea” which tells the story of sponge fishermen. There is a sponge factory to visit in Pothia and you can see the sponges being washed and prepared. There are also small museums in POTHIA.
Transportation takes a variety of forms. There are many taxis to hire that are relatively inexpensive. Cars, bikes, and scooters can be engaged, but the roads are a bit primitive and particularly narrow in Pothia, making for a somewhat nervous experience. There is not much – of the road code, either – traditional Greek driving! But there is a bus service that works so a little wrong!