Rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece

Getting from Kos to Kalymnos: a step-by-step guide



The peak of the Kalymnos climbing season is coming up, and for many climbers traveling to Kalymnos the best option is to fly to the neighboring island of Kos. Kalymnos and Kos are very near, but if this is your first time traveling via Kos you might be wondering how to get to Kalymnos, and, most importantly, how much extra time and money will it require? Isn’t it best to fly straight to Kalymnos instead? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make informed decisions the next time you plan your Kalymnos climbing holiday.



Flying to Kos: pros and cons


PROS (+)
(+) The airport at Kos is international (it can receive flights from other countries); the airport at Kalymnos is not (there is one flight daily to / from Athens only).


(+) The airport at Kos is bigger. This means that the planes flying to Kos are also bigger; therefore they are not as affected by the weather conditions as the smaller planes flying to Kalymnos. The Athens – Kalymnos flight has been cancelled on occasion due to gusty winds (if this happens and you are already at the airport in Athens, run to the ticketing desk of Olympic Air and ask to get onto the next flight to Kos, usually a few hours later).


(+) There are about 5 flights daily from Athens to Kos; there is only one flight daily from Athens to Kalymnos. Translation: ticket prices to Kos vary, and if you book early you can get some very cheap prices. The prices for the Athens-Kalymnos flight are fixed. At the moment, the Athens – Kalymnos roundtrip fare is a staggering €203 per person (updated April 2012).


(+) With so many flights to Kos, there is more availability. It is quite possible to get onto a flight to Kos at the last minute; on the other hand the flight to Kalymnos fills up early, since there is only one plane (and a small one, at that).


CONS (-)
(-) The obvious drawback when you fly to Kos is that you can’t just leave the airport, drop everything off at your room and run to the cliffs. Instead you have to take a taxi to the port, wait for the boat to Kalymnos (anywhere from a few minutes to 8+ hours if your flight comes in late at night), then take another taxi or bus from the port of Kalymnos to your rooms. And this can end up costing more than you think: besides the taxi and boat fares, if you have to wait for the boat for a few hours you’ll probably spend money on beers, food, even a room for the night (however: you probably saved a lot of money on a cheap ticket to Kos in the first place, so this drawback may not apply).



What to do when you arrive in Kos


1. Collect your luggage as soon as you can. Don’t waste time at the airport, since you need to get to the port of Mastichari (or Mastihari) straightaway and onto the next scheduled boat to Kalymnos. There are plenty of shops and cafes at the pier if you do end up with time to kill before your boat departs.

2. To get to Mastichari, take a taxi from the airport. The drive is short (~ 10 min). Clarify with the taxi driver how much the ride to Mastichari costs. Naturally we like to think of most taxi drivers as decent hardworking people, but climbers have occasionally complained about being overcharged. The consensus seems to be that a taxi ride from the airport to Mastichari costs around €15 per ride, not per person. So the best advice we can give you is to clarify the total price before you take the taxi, and expect to pay about €15 per taxi. A cheaper alternative is to take the bus from the Kos airport to Mastichari. Buses are not very frequent, but if you have time to wait or happen to see the bus coming, it can be very cost-effective. Perhaps you can get some information about the bus schedule at the airport.

3. When you arrive at Mastichari go to the kiosk by the pier to find out when the next boat to Kalymnos departs. You will also get your tickets there.

4. When you arrive at the Kalymnos port, in all likelihood there will be taxis waiting. If you book your accommodation ahead of time, ask whether they will pick you up at the port. If you need a taxi but there is none, you can call the Kalymnos taxi station (number below). You can also rent a scooter or car at the port, or take the bus (main station in front of City Hall).


In case of bad weather
The sea connection between Kos and Kalymnos is disrupted only by very severe winds. This doesn’t happen often. When it does, the best option is to stay an extra day until sea travel is restored. However, if it is imperative that you leave immediately (due to work, school, or another emergency) try contacting Capt. Arvithis. His vessel travels between Kos and Kalymnos in all weather conditions, but the cost is much higher (there is no fixed price; it depends on the number of people on board).



Useful links & numbers


Fast ferry timetable (enter from Kos – Mastihari to Kalymnos in respective fields)
Slow ferry timetable
Olympic Air (for Athens / Kalymnos and Athens / Kos tickets)
Aegean Airlines (for Athens / Kos tickets)


Kos-Kalymnos Slow Ferries (ANEM Ferries): 0030 22420 59124 / 59027
Kos-Kalymnos Fast Ferries (ANEK Ferries): 0030 22430 29612
Kos Port Authority: 0030 22420-26594
Kos Taxi Station: (0030) 22420-22777
Kalymnos Taxi Station: (0030) 22430-50300
Capt. Arvithis in case of severe weather: (0030) 697-747-0993

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 26th, 2010 at 17:37 and is filed under Kalymnos news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

31 Responses to “Getting from Kos to Kalymnos: a step-by-step guide”

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  1. Steve says:

    Very good, clear and detailed instructions. I’m a local so I know things first hand, but I’m often surprised at the misinformation (not to mention the messy syntax, typos and grammar) of anything you can find online. This is really helpful for visitors. Well done!

  2. Michal says:

    Hi, I really thank you for your help! we’ve decided to call off accomodation for one niht (24/25/04) and we’ve already changed our arrival time from Sunday to Monday. Now we are landing on Kos on Monday morning, and we stay one day in Athens waiting for our plane to Kos (and of course we do some sightseeing as we’ve never seen Athens, so maybe it’s a good idea). Now we see it wont be a problem to get on Kos on Easter Monday so we take a ferry on Monday morning

  3. Admin says:

    Hi Michal,

    After running around in circles on the phone, I spoke to the Kos – Kalymnos ferry ticketing agency and asked about the crossings on Easter day. The answer was “well, there will be reduced crossings but we don’t have the exact details yet”.
    Me: “What? When will you know?”
    Them: “Well, any day now, if you keep calling back we should know soon”

    I am really sorry I can’t give you a more specific answer, I will try to call back in a few days, just FYI the number I called was +30 22430 29430 (Kalymna Yachting). I also tried the Kos port authority but there was no answer!


    P.S. After some more calls I just found out there will definitely be a 22.30 crossing on the 24th on the ‘Kalymnos Dolphin’, plus one more crossing earlier that day which has not been determined yet… I will update this comment when I find out more.

  4. Michal says:

    I would like to ask about ferry crossings from Kos to Kalymnos on 24th
    April.We bought our air tickets much earlier and we hadn’t taken Easter into
    account. We have checked the timetable for Sunday 24th April and it seems
    to us that there are no ferry crossings on this day.
    Does anybody know whether there are any ferry crossings on 24th April? Or
    perhaps we will be forced to stay at Kos for a night and get to Kalymnos on
    Monday 25th only?

  5. admin says:

    Hi Roger, yes, this is unofficially true. The last ferry usually waits for the last flight of Aegean and/or Olympic from Athens, as long as passengers get to Mastihari port promptly. I am not sure what happens if the flight is delayed. One of the ferry captains told us this –it’s not in writing anywhere, hence my use of the words “unofficially” and “usually”.

  6. Roger says:

    I’ve heard that the last ferry leaves late to wait for passengers on the last flight from Athens; my flight arrives 10 minutes after the scheduled departure of the last ferry to kalymnos. Know anything about this?

  7. admin says:

    Thanks Sam, you are right on all counts. Although the Mastichari option is cheaper and more direct if the ferry schedule suits you, Kos Town is far more interesting. A fast ferry from Kos Town to Kalymnos runs every day at 10:50 a.m. (“Dodekanisos Pride” 45 min, €15 per person). A few times per week (but not every day) you can also catch one of the slow ferries. But it’s about 30km from the airport to Kos Town, so a lot more €€ for a taxi..

  8. Sam Judson says:

    Do some ferries not leave/arrive at Kos Town as well? We returned via this route once as we had a long wait after the last ferry before our 4am flight home. It is possible some of the other ferries were not sailing due to high winds as well, I don’t remember.

    Also there are things to do/places to eat in Kos Town than in Mastachari.

    Obviously the taxi from Kos Town to the airport is much more expensive.

  9. Pawel says:

    Thanks 🙂

  10. admin says:

    In reply to Naheech:
    I asked for the feedback of two friends who’ve stayed overnight at Kos more times than I can count. I’ve posted their replies below.

    He said:
    I’d only stay at the airport if the weather was totally foul and it wasn’t peak travel season (because the airport gets absolutely heaving… although there is covered space just outside).

    If I had a bit of cash, I’d ask the taxi driver to take me to his cousin/auntie/brother in Mastichari because, apparently, there’s a fair number of little apartments for about 30 euro a room or less. Alternatively, I’d ask at one of the sea-front restaurants because, last time we were there, the English woman who owned it said “No Problem, we can sort you out”.

    If I was really rich, I’d pre-book the Mastichari Bay Hotel which is really nice but it would cost upwards of 50 euro a room AND if you arrived too late for the last ferry you’ll have also missed the evening meal. Hey, but if you’re rich, what does that matter.

    If I was poor/on my first trip/feeling romantic/it wasn’t too cold and I’d remembered a light sleeping bag/duvet jacket then I’d rough it on the beach loungers. It’s magic to wake up and see Kaly for the first time across the water. (You will get a little damp with condensation though).

    And she said:
    When I arrived in the airport at the end of July it was so busy, noisy and overcrowded that staying there was not an option for me. It was about 2am in the morning when my (delayed) flight arrived so I got a taxi to Mastichari and went to the empty sun loungers on the beach, sleeping there until about 6am. I did need a mosquito net though and preferably something to keep warm even though it was the height of summer. If I had arrived earlier though I would definitely got a room. I would have either asked the taxi driver to take me somewhere (near to the port) or gone into one of the many bars and restaurants to ask there. We did go into a bar at Easter and when talking to them they often have people staying over one night in order to get the first ferry to Kalymnos the next day.

  11. admin says:

    Hi Pawel,

    I checked that out. Yes, ferries are available all year-round, even in the winter. But the timetable changes every month, and it is published at the beginning of the month for the next 30 days. So you will have to check again on October 1st…Thanks for pointing that out, I will update the post accordingly.

  12. PAwel says:


    I check all links for the ferrys from KOS to Kalymnos in October but I couldn`t find it any ? Are the ferrys are available in October ?
    If someone could help I`ll be at Kos on 9th of October about 1p.m. and Just wondering what possibilty are ?


  13. Naheehc says:

    If you miss the ferry or have a flight that arrives late what do you think would be best; sleeping at the airport, the port or in the streets?

  14. admin says:

    Thank you for the feedback, Lez! It is much appreciated, and I have updated the post accordingly. It’s hard to tell with the taxis, everybody seems to be charged a different price…

  15. Lez says:

    The taxi isn’t the only way to get Mastihari port… there is a Bus starting from the airport, we took it, it’s very cheap, I dont remember but it was about 2 or 3 € per person.
    If you have time to wait the next bus or if you are lucky and the bus is just in front of you at the time you landed to Kos.. it’s cheaper than the taxi.

    Another tip.
    The first time we was there a guy alone asked us to share the taxi trip (kos Airport-Mastihari). It was nice to meet one more friend and save some money 😉

    P.S. The taxi driver took 15€ (not 12) for the short trip, but his radio played so nice music……. maybe you can bring with you some CD’s and make a good deal !

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