Kalymnos, the steep island of the Dodecanese

The island of Kalymnos is an island famous for its rock climbing and its production of sponges. Not far from Leros and Kos, if you want to visit this island, here is what we have selected as information during our trip.

As soon as you arrive in Kalymnos, you feel in the towns of pothia and of Horio the atmosphere of a needy and traditional island. If Pothia, the port does not present great charm, the rest of the island conceals hidden treasures. Indeed, the island at first glance seems “closed”. This is partly due to its geography, as it is very rugged. And for good reason, the east and north of the island are made up of immense cliffs.

The towns of Vathy And Myrties are not lacking in charm and are opening up a little more to tourism. Resolutely turned towards the sea, they are the starting point excursions for neighboring islets.

Many people have fallen in love with Kalymnos and put their luggage there.

You ask yourself what to see and what to do in Kalymnos in Greece? Discover our Top 7 must-sees to visit as well as our practical advice.

What to do in Kalymnos? Our Top 7

1 – Enjoy the pleasures of the sea on the west coast of the island

It is from the western part of the island that you can admire sumptuous sunsets.

© Didier Pesson

Myrties, Massouri and Arméos, seaside towns

The three villages constitute a small tourist area fully fledged. It is here that the hotels, restaurants and bars are concentrated. The tourist beaches offer the services of a real seaside resort. It is not uncommon to come across Anglo-Saxons there, who have fallen in love with the island and have chosen to settle there.

Panormos and its sandy beaches

A little further south, Panormos is a charming village. From the village, you can access two sand beachesthat of Linaria and the one at Kantouni. These two beaches have pleasant taverns and bars where it is good to drag on at the end of the day.

2 – Take a caique trip to the neighboring islet of Telendos

The island of Telendos, which can be admired from Myrties and Masouri, is an astonishing islet, on which vehicles are prohibited. The island was formerly attached to Kalymnos, but it would have detached following an earthquake. It is located just 10 minutes by boat from Myrties.

Even if the islet has accommodation and taverns, people come here mainly on a day trip by caïques. The islet has few accessible beaches, so it is recommended to go on a boat trip. You can then discover the nearby islets Kalolymnos, Pserimos, Telendos or visit the caves, especially those of Kefalas in the north of the island. Of the caves marked by mythology since they housed the famous sirens of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey.

3 – Discover the North of the island

North of Masouri, the road runs along the coast which becomes wilder, you will pass next to 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. If the village itself is not of particular interest, the pebble beaches surroundings are worth seeing. These wild beaches give the impression of being at the end of the world.

From Emborios you can easily get to Palionisos, the only beach in the east of the island. Again the decorum is majestic: roads along the cliffs and monasteries built in unlikely places.

4 – Horio, the former capital of the island

Horio is the historic village of the island. Located high up, you can discover the ruins of its Kastro, which made it possible to resist pirates. We also advise you to visit the interesting little Folk Art Museum.

5 – Visit the amazing village of Vathy

Vathy kalymnos island in the dodecanese greece
© Didier Pesson

It’s a bit magical to get to Vathy, southeast of Kalymnos. Vathy is a geographical curiosity with an isthmus resembling fjord about 1 km deep and very narrow. Moreover “Vathy” means “at the bottom” in Greek. At the bottom, therefore, you will find a small fishing village with a few shops and taverns. There is also the oldest chapel on the island to visit with emotion.

Unfortunately, there is sometimes little emotion since Vathy is the favorite stopover for excursions organized from Pothia, Kos and even Bodrum. The huge boats then pour out their waves of tourists and the small village is submerged….

In short, it should choose your moment to take full advantage of it. Avoid lunchtime!

6 – Kalymnos, paradise for climbers and climbing enthusiasts

climbing kalymnos island greece
Author: David Bolius Description: Lowering from Daniboy (Kalymnos, Greece) Reference: http://www.photoglobe.info/db_kalymnos/kalymnos_2005_022.html

Thanks to its mountains, the island enjoys a worldwide reputation for the quality of its climbing spots. Moreover, a competition Kalymnos Climbing Festival is held every two years. The cliffs, caves and panoramas over the Aegean Sea are exceptional for rock climbers.

Moreover, the very mild climate of the island makes it possible to practice this sport over a wide season from April to November. Sports practice attracts a fairly young tourism which differs from other islands.

To practice climbing in complete safety and serenity, we recommend this introductory course in outdoor climbing, intended for indoor climbers or beginners on rock. Or this climbing course for climbers with some climbing experience who want to learn multi-pitch techniques. Big plus of these coursesthey can be dispensed in French by Simon a passionate climber, climbing instructor since 2008. Climbing on the rocks by the Aegean Sea is yours!

7 – Sponges, specialty of Kalymnos

We recommend that you visit one of the stores that sell sponges. Since it has been the specialty of the island for many centuries.

I’sponge is a flower and the fishing is deep. It is done in apnea or with a diving suit. At the time, there were often decompression accidents and the island is marked by this demanding fishing.

In the shops of Horio or in the factories in Pothia you can buy sponges but also see how they are fished and worked.


In short, you will understand, there are many things to do in Kalymnos.

Didier Pesson

Didier, one of our readers, a lover of the Dodecanese and founder of Dodeca.online, shares his passion with us. We therefore offered him this platform so that he could talk to us about the island of Kalymnos. Find all the best addresses in the Dodecanese and Kalymnos on its Dodeca.Online website.


Now that we’ve made you want to visit Kalymnos, here are some practical tips for staying on this island. The best time to visit Kalymnos is between April and October, when the temperatures are warm and the weather is sunny.

Kalymnos, island of the Dodecanese

How to get to Kalymnos?

By ferry: It is easy to get to Kalymnos by ferry. Either from the port of Piraeus in Athens, i.e. from Kos and Leros, these adjoining islands that you can easily visit before or after your stay in Kalymnos. To look up ferry schedules and book your trip, we recommend the website Ferry Hopper. Simple and quick to use.

By plane : Furthermore, Kalymnos has a airport making connections from Athens in particular. You can look at the different flights on the comparator Ulysses. In addition to being in French, the site also has very good customer service. Its neighboring islands Kos and Leros also have an airport.

Sleep on Kalymnos

Before leaving, we advise you to rent accommodation. The island has a great offer on Booking : luxury hotels, apartments with sea view, houses rented by private individuals… Do not hesitate to read the comments to get an idea of ​​the rental. In addition, several accommodations offer free cancellation.

Getting around Kalymnos

To move, you can several solutions:

  • The bus : the Kalymnos municipal bus service connects Pothia to the main villages of the island such as Kasteli, Emborios, Vathy, Vlyhadia via Masouri, Myrties, Skalia… Timetables for information only.
  • The scooter: ideal if you are alone or in couple, a little less if you are in family with children.
  • The car : it is the means of transport that we prefer to always have our beach bag with us, to flush out the pretty viewpoints, the quiet and isolated beaches, to be independent and free to leave when we wish. For this, we advise you Rentalcars which compares the different offers available on the island. You will also find rental companies on site.
  • The taxi : for those who do not intend to survey every corner of the island
  • Walk !
Booking, To book your accommodation
To book your accommodation in Kalymnos
Rental Cars, to book your car
To book your car in Kalymnos

Finally, a bonus for foodies:

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