- Getting to Kalymnos
- Kos – Kalymnos ferries
- Alternatives to the Kos – Kalymnos ferries
- About the island
- Local transportation
- Other amenities
- Things to do on your Rest Day (or with the family)
- Useful links & numbers
Kalymnos is a small island in the Aegean Sea, so it can be relatively hard to get there. Travel often involves a stayover in Athens or the nearby island of Kos, and the airfare to Kalymnos costs more compared to most other climbing areas in Europe. On the other hand, once you get to Kalymnos expenses are low. Getting around the island is easy, so a car is not absolutely necessary; accommodation and food prices are much lower compared to the rest of Greece and mainland Europe; and in most rental studios you can prepare your own meals.
There are several ways to get to Kalymnos:
1. Fly charter to Kos; then, take a boat from Kos to Kalymnos
A charter flight to the nearby island of Kos is probably the most economic and fastest solution. Between April and October, all major European airports offer charter flights to Kos with the price of a return ticket ranging between €20-400. An alternative solution is to look for a holiday package based in Kos, something you will not need to use but may still be a better value. One or two holiday companies offer packages based on Kalymnos (though the season is shorter than those for Kos).
When you land in Kos, take a taxi to Mastichari port. From there, catch the next boat to Kalymnos (see below). Mastichari port is 10 minutes by taxi from Kos airport. Expect to pay around €12-15 per taxi, not per person. It is perhaps important to verify the price before you take the taxi, and make sure the price quoted is per ride: it should be the same whether you are travelling alone or not. Another 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 will save you some €.
Slow ferries and faster ferries connect Mastichari (Kos) to Pothia (Kalymnos). The ticket costs between €4-7. There are several connections between Kos and Kalymnos every day (between 6-10 crossings per day) year-round. In fact, many people from Kalymnos work on Kos so they commute between the two islands on a daily basis. For more info and timetables please scroll down to the next section.
When you arrive at Pothia (the main port in Kalymnos) you will find a number of taxis waiting. A taxi ride to Masouri costs between €12-15, depending on the luggage, petrol prices, and so on. Again, ask about the price before you board the taxi and be aware that taxis are obligated by law to give a receipt. Alternatively, if it is not too late in the day you can rent a scooter / car at the port, or take the bus. If the tourist info kiosk at the port is open, they can direct you to the nearest bus stop (otherwise ask at one of the many sea-front cafes).
NOTE: 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 Captain Arvithis. His motorboat travels between Kos and Kalymnos in all weather conditions (hello motion sickness!) but the cost is much higher. There is no fixed price; it depends on the number of people on board and it’s usually upwards of €20 per person. Nevertheless, you ought to know your options. Captain Arvitihis can be reached on his mobile number: +30-697-747-0993
You can also check out this older post for some helpful hints and comments on getting from Kos to Kalymnos.
Useful links and telephone numbers:
It’s a good idea to call the Port Authority of Kos the day before you travel for an automated timetable message in English. Tel: +30 22420 26594.
In the unlikely event that there is no taxi waiting at Pothia, call the taxi station on the following number: +30 22430 50300.
For the Kos – Kalymnos ferry timetable please scroll down to the next section.
2. Fly to Athens; then, take a second flight to Kos and, from there, a boat to Kalymnos
If you haven’t found a direct flight to Kos, you can fly to the Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) and then catch another flight to Kos. There are cheap flights to Athens available if you book in advance. Easyjet flies to Athens regularly from many major European cities. From the airport of Athens there are at least 3 daily flights to Kos on the two major Greek air carriers, Olympic and Aegean . A return ticket costs approximately €150.
To get from Kos to Kalymnos, follow the steps detailed above on #1.
3. Fly to Athens; then, take a second flight directly to Kalymnos
The Kalymnos airport opened in 2006. Olympic Air flies from Athens to Kalymnos and back once or twice per day, and a return ticket costs anywhere from €100 to €210, depending on how early you book your ticket. At the moment (November 2013), if you book at least three weeks in advance, a return ticket is about €98. Now you’re probably wondering: why don’t more people fly directly to Kalymnos? Why bother with Kos? Well, for one, it’s a financial issue. Charter flights to Kos can be much cheaper than the flight from Athens to Kalymnos. Secondly, the Kalymnos airport is small; its runway can only accommodate smaller prop aircraft, so the Athens – Kalymnos flight may be canceled due to bad / very windy weather. The much bigger airport of Kos is able to accommodate larger airplanes in all weather conditions, hence the risk of cancellation is much smaller. So what do you do if you arrive in Athens only to find out that your flight to Kalymnos is canceled? Go over to the Olympic Air ticketing desk, and ask if there’s a flight to Kos you can get on.
Once in Kos, follow the steps detailed on #1 above.
4. Fly to Athens; then, go to Piraeus Port and take the ferry to Kalymnos
The ferries to Kalymnos depart from the main port of Athens, Piraeus. From the Athens International Airport (see #2) there are two ways to get to Piraeus: the metro or the X96 express bus.
Metro (total time approximately 1hr): The metro departs every 30 minutes and costs €8.00 (price increased Feb. 2011). Follow the signs in the airport toward the station. Take the metro (line 3) to Monastiraki Station. Get off at Monastiraki and transfer to the green line (line 1) which ends at Piraeus. When you get off at Piraeus Station (the terminus), cross the street via the bridge and enter the port. You will see a bus stop inside the port; a free bus stops here every 10-15 minutes. Check which gate your ferry departs from. Usually ferries to Kalymnos depart from Gate E1 (at the western edge of the port, about 5-10 min on the free bus). The booking office is just opposite the departing boats. Generally, you don’t need to book your ferry tickets in advance, unless it is high travel season (Easter, July, August) or you prefer a cabin.
Express Bus #X96 (total time approximately 1hr 15min): The bus departs every 20 or every 40 minutes, depending on the time of day, and it costs €5.00 (price increased Feb. 2011). The buses are stationed just outside the ‘Arrivals’, between exits 4 and 5, at the Athens airport. Take the X96 to the main train station at Piraeus. Get off and you will see the port. Go inside the port and take the free bus to gate E1 or gate E3 (see above, ‘metro’ details).
Typically there are ferries from Piraeus to Kalymnos every 2-3 days, but the actual times change frequently. Ferries usually depart in the evening and follow the Piraeus-Patmos-Leros-Kalymnos-Kos-Rhodos line. The journey from Athens to Kalymnos takes about 12 hours and the cost of a one-way economy ticket is around €50, while a one-way ticket in a sleeper cabin starts at around €70-85.
Ferries travel year-round; however, timetables change every month. Therefore, it is essential that you check the ferry timetable a month prior to your travel dates to make sure you get the latest schedules. Sea travel in Greece is continuous, and it is only interrupted if weather conditions are very severe (wind speed exceeding Force 8). This is rare, and usually lasts no more than a day. To be sure, though, always check the weather forecast 1-2 days before your departure.
Please note that ferry timetables change every month and they become available only at the beginning of each month.
5. Fly charter to Rhodes; then, take the ferry or plane from Rhodes to Kalymnos
A less popular but equally possible alternative is to fly to Rhodes then come to Kalymnos. A charter flight to Rhodes (or Rodos) is often cheap, as Rhodes is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. Once you arrive at the Rhodes airport, you would have to go to its main port, Mandraki. From there, a ferry, catamaran or other speedboat connects to Kalymnos. Between April and October, daily fast ferries connect Rhodes to Kalymnos (~ 3 hours); in wintertime, ferries on the Rhodes-Piraeus line stopover at Kalymnos (~ 5 hours). As of spring 2012, Olympic Air also connects Rhodes and Kalymnos by plane twice per week. Check the airline’s website for more info. While you’re at it, try to spend a few hours in Rhodes and visit the Medieval City before you start your journey to Kalymnos; it is a UNESCO World Heritage site well worth seeing.
The timetable for the Mastichari (Kos) – Kalymnos ferries isn’t easily available online, so your best bet is to call either a travel agent on Kos or Kalymnos or their respective port authorities. Even so, keep in mind that timetables aren’t sometimes available until the very last minute for the following month, which can be very frustrating.
A couple more things to keep in mind:
1- Crossings between Kos and Kalymnos never stop; they continue daily, year-round. You will rarely get stranded. As the weather becomes warmer the crossings increase, so between April and October you can expect at least 7 or 8 crossings per day.
However: many charter flights arrive at Kos in the evening. According to the ferry company, the last ferry of the day waits for the passengers from the last flights arriving to Kos airport. Still, because this is a bit vague, if your flight arrives late at night you may have to spend the night in Kos and catch the first morning ferry to Kalymnos. There is plenty of cheap accommodation around the pier in Mastichari, Kos, but many climbers have also been known to spend the night on the beach if the weather is mild.
2- There are five vessels (two ‘slow’ and three ‘fast’ ferries) connecting Mastichari (Kos) and Kalymnos:
–Slow ferries (Olympios Zeus and Olympios Apollon) take approximately 45 minutes and cost 5 EUR per person. They can also transport cars (17 EUR) and motorbikes (5 EUR). Slow ferry timetables are listed below and on the slow ferry website here.
–Fast ferries (Kalymnos Star, Kalymnos Dolphin and Ilias) take approximately 20-30 minutes and cost around 6 EUR per person. They don’t take cars but on occasion can accommodate one or two motorbikes (depending on which of the three ferries is used). Fast ferry timetables are also listed below and on the fast ferry website here. The fast ferry website also lists timetables for ferries from Kalymnos to other nearby islands (besides Kos) and to Turkey.
Below we have combined the timetables for all the Kos-Kalymnos ferries (fast + slow) for each day of the week.
Kos-Kalymnos ferries, March 31st-April 30th, 2014
MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY
05:10 | 07:00 (slow ferry) | 12:30 | 13:30 (slow ferry) | 15:00 | 16:00 (slow ferry) | 18:30
05:10 | 07:00 (slow ferry) | 12:30 | 15:00 | 16:00 (slow ferry) | 18:30
09:30 | 12:30 | 16:00 (slow ferry) | 18:30
MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY
08:10 | 09:00 (slow ferry) | 13:45 | 14:30 (slow ferry) | 16:00 | 17:00 (slow ferry) | 21:00
08:10 | 09:00 (slow ferry) | 14:15 | 16:00 | 17:00 (slow ferry) | 21:00
08:10 | 09:00 (slow ferry) | 13:45 | 14:30 (slow ferry) | 16:00 | 17:00 (slow ferry) | 22:00
09:00 (slow ferry) | 11:00 | 14:15 | 17:00 (slow ferry) | 21:00
Note: According to the ferry company, the last ferry of the day from Kos waits for passengers from the last inbound flights and from the Blue Star ferry from Piraeus.
Disclaimer: please forgive any mistakes in the ferry timetable. We do our best to keep up with its frequent modifications and to ensure its accuracy; however, it is subject to change at any time. It’s always a good idea to check with a travel agent or the port authority the day before you travel. Numbers for both are listed on the bottom of this page.
Upon special arrangement, Captain Arvithis and Captain Yiannis Galouzis can also transport climbers to / from Mastichari:
• Capt. Arvithis can take you from Pothia to Mastichari and vice versa in his vessel Anna-Maria. Capt. Arvithis is the one who travels even in severe weather.
Contact: +30 697 747 0993
• Capt. Yiannis Galouzis can take you from Myrties to Mastichari and vice versa in his vessel Telendos Star. Myrties is the village next to Masouri, where you catch the boats to Telendos, so you are spared the trip to Pothia.
Contact: +30 694 481 9073
Important to know: these are good alternatives for large groups of climbers. The more of you there are, the less each of you will pay.
Kalymnos belongs to the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean; it is located 183 nautical miles (339 km) southeast of Athens and 85 nautical miles (157 km) northwest of Rhodes, the capital of the region. Many smaller islands are nearby; most notably Telendos, (which was part of Kalymnos until it was separated by a devastating earthquake in 554 AD), Pserimos, and Plati. At 109 km² Kalymnos is the fifth largest amongst the Dodecanese Islands, with a population of nearly 17,000 people. On the east coast is the capital of Kalymnos, Pothia. Lively and picturesque, it is built around the port and combines strict traditions with the hustle and bustle of a modern town. The small and attractive ‘climbing’ villages of Panormos, Myrties, Masouri, Arginonta, Skalia and Emporios are to the west and north; Vothini, Vlychadia and Vathy are to the south and east.
Kalymnos was once known as Isola Umbrosa, the ‘island of shade’, but that is certainly no longer the case. Today it is dotted with low vegetation (herbs and small drought-resistant bushes), but it is virtually bare of trees. The land is mountainous with a major rock escarpment all along the west coast. In the past, this barrenness drove the locals to sea for a living. The men of Kalymnos became sponge-divers, a traditional and dangerous occupation; they excelled to such an extent that their island went on to be the most celebrated sponge trade center in the Mediterranean, until the sponge trade began to decline gradually in the 1980s. Nevertheless, the history of Kalymnos will forever be linked to that ubiquitous little creature, the sea sponge. When rock climbing was ‘discovered’ on Kalymnos in the late 1990s, the island found its place back onto the map, so to speak.
• A brief history of Kalymnos
In antiquity Kalymnos was known as Kalydna, or ‘good water’. The first settlements on the island date back to the Neolithic period (4000 BC), and the island has been inhabited ever since. Diving for sponges has its roots in antiquity, and it brought significant economic prosperity to the island, which minted its own silver coins in the 6th century BC featuring the lyre of god Apollo. In The Iliad, Homer reports that the island contributed 30 ships to the Trojan War. During the Persian Wars, Kalymnos was conquered by the Persians but then liberated by the Athenians; later, it came back under Persian rule. Roman occupation ensued. In the 7th century AD, Kalymnos was invaded by Arabs and pirates; the residents barricaded themselves behind castle walls built at high points, many of which survive to this day (something to see on your rest day). In the 14th century, the island came under the Order of the Knights of St. John, then the Ottomans. Italians occupied Kalymnos from 1912-1943, while the Germans took over in 1945. Following WWII the Dodecanese Islands, including Kalymnos, officially joined the Greek state in 1948.
Modern-day Kalymnos features a number of small hotels and rental studios at very reasonable prices. Depending on season, hotel prices range from €30-70 per day for a double room with breakfast. The most frequently offered type of accommodation is the ‘studio’, usually a double room with private bathroom and kitchenette. Studios cost approximately €20-40 per day, depending on season. Unfortunately there is no organized campsite on Kalymnos, and unregulated free camping is strictly prohibited.
There are places to stay throughout the island, so no matter which part of Kalymnos you stay in, you will never be too far from a good selection of climbing crags. Keep in mind that it’s a small island, so distances are relatively short. That said, the majority of climbers seem to prefer the ‘climbing’ villages of Armeos, Masouri and Myrties. These three villages are built along the privileged west coast of Kalymnos, with a view of Telendos Island across the water and with many climbing sectors looming above. Many of the major crags are within walking-distance: Grande Grotta, Panorama, Afternoon, Odyssey, Poets, Kalydna, Iannis, and Zeus, among others. Other points in favor of these areas are that: a) you don’t need a scooter, since you can also walk to mini-markets, restaurants and other shops; b) the climbing ‘community’ hangs out here, so you are sure to meet other climbers at restaurants/cafes afterward; c) you can walk to at least 3-4 different beaches, and d) you can easily walk to the jetty at Myrties and catch the boat to Telendos. On the other hand, the ‘climbing’ areas are busier and noisier than other villages between April – October, and they are not as authentically ‘Greek’ as some of the other villages.
There are other areas where you can stay: Panormos, Kandouni, Linaria and Platis Gialos are villages on the way between the capital (Pothia) and the climbing areas. It only takes a few minutes by scooter to reach the major climbing sectors from here. Arginonta, Skalia and Emporios are tiny picturesque villages situated in the northwest, in the quietest part of Kalymnos yet near some of the most outstanding climbing sectors (Ghost Kitchen, Arginonta, Arhi, Kastri, Palace, Styx, etc).
No matter where you stay, we strongly suggest that you book your accommodation in advance if you are visiting Kalymnos in April-May or September-October. Otherwise you can ask around once you get there; if you are staying for an extended period of time consider asking for a monthly rate, as many landlords are flexible. You can find lists of sponsored links in hotel directories here and here, as well as in the special advert section of the Kalymnos guidebook. The guidebook adverts are mostly by businesses near the climbing areas which operate year-round and are specifically targeted toward climbers.
If you stay in Masouri or Armeos you can easily reach many of the most important climbing crags of Kalymnos (from Poets to Kastelli) on foot in 15-60 minutes. Still, the alternative preferred by most climbers on Kalymnos is to rent a scooter as the distance to virtually all the sectors is short (4-5 km). The price for renting a scooter is about €13-15 per day and a driver’s license is required. Ask the shop whether they offer a package discount for multiple days. The scooter can easily accommodate two passengers plus all their equipment, especially if there’s space at the driver’s feet for extra storage. If you’d rather avoid a scooter, you can rent a car (prices start at €30 per day depending on season). If your budget can’t cover either solution you can take the public bus, which costs €1-1.50 according to destination. Unfortunately buses don’t run very frequently: between Pothia and Masouri they run every hour in the summer months, and every 2 hours the rest of the year. Buses between Pothia and the villages of Arginonta, Skalia & Emporios are less frequent (twice per day, in the morning and afternoon). Many important crags are situated along the road to these villages (for example, sectors Arhi, Ghost Kitchen, Amphitheatre, Galatiani, Local Cave, Summertime and others). The bus timetable changes depending on season, but it is posted at the bus stops and the buses do stick to the schedule. You can buy bus tickets at most mini markets and convenience stores. Keep in mind that you cannot buy tickets on the bus; you must buy them beforehand and present them to the bus driver when you board. In case you can’t find tickets at the shops in Masouri (at wintertime when most shops are closed), let the driver know when you board. Last but not least, a ‘greener’ (and usually quieter) option is to rent a bicycle for about €5 per day.
Remember to drive carefully and always, always wear your helmet! Also, make sure you follow the ‘one-way’ system through Masouri in the summer.
Pothia, the capital, features every basic amenity (banks, doctors, ATM machines, travel agents, shops etc.). Here’s a useful list:
• Hospital: It is on the outskirts of Pothia, on the road from Pothia to Hora. Alternatively, there are several private medical practices and labs in Pothia. Most doctors speak a reasonable amount of English.
• Pharmacies/Chemists: There are several (but none on the west coast). Please note that pharmacies keep the same hours as regular shops, so they are closed in the evenings/weekends, apart from one which stays open 24 hrs. To find out which pharmacy stays open after-hours, stop at any pharmacy and look on the door/window: the emergency rota will be listed. If it is listed in Greek only (sometimes it happens), pull a local over and point to the notice – they will understand and steer you in the right direction!
• Police: Hopefully you won’t need it, since the crime rate is very low. For your information, though, it is located on the main inbound road to Pothia, just before the taxi station. Remember, you can always call the universal emergency number 112 from any telephone free of charge.
And if you are staying near the ‘climbing areas’ (Myrties, Masouri, Armeos):
• Gas/petrol station: The one nearest is in Elies village (5-7 min drive). As you drive from Masouri towards Pothia, as soon as you see the sign for Elies turn right at the roundabout; you will see the petrol station on the right-hand side. There are plenty more on the road to and from Pothia.
• ATM/cash machine: There is one in the center of Masouri, opposite the Oasis hotel and next to ‘Michalis and Cleo’ jewelry store. If this one doesn’t work, the next closest one is in Elies village (5-7 min drive): as you drive from Masouri towards Pothia, the ATM is just opposite the sign for ‘Elies’, up some stairs on the left-hand side, across from ‘Marinos’ restaurant.
• Drinking water: Since 2012 the municipality installed a number of water dispensers throughout the island. They look like large vending machines and they are marked with the word TEMAK. There are no instructions on the machines, but they basically work like this: bring your own bottles / insert any combination of coins / water starts to dispense immediately (so make sure your bottles are in position before you insert the coins. As soon as the water starts coming, the machine counts down the time you have left. It is much cheaper to buy water here vs. buying bottled water (50 cents = about 10 liters of water), though the origins of the water are unknown. For more info you can always visit the site of TEMAK. There are also two springs in Masouri for drinking/cooking water, but often the pressure is scant. One is just before the driveway of the Oasis hotel, in the center of Masouri, and the other is next to a mini-market (a bit further, in the direction to Armeos), opposite ‘Aspro Studios’.
• Mini-markets/supermarkets: A variety of mini-markets in Masouri and Armeos will cater to your basic needs. The nearest large supermarket is in Elies village, about 7-10 min drive on the road to Pothia. As you pass the ‘Elies’ sign continue straight ahead on the main road. The supermarket is a large yellow building with an obvious parking lot to your right. You can’t miss it.
• Bakery: There is a small bakery which opens at 07.00 am in Armeos, next to the ‘Climber’s Nest’ shop, offering a variety of breads, pies, croissants and coffees. Mini-markets in the area also carry some bread.
• Climbing shops: There are two, both in Masouri / Armeos. ‘Wild Sports’ is on the ground level of Plaza Hotel, near the center of Masouri. ‘Climber’s Nest’ is in Armeos, just a bit further north, near ‘Mike’s Bikes’ and the bakery.
• Wi-Fi: It’s catching on fast and many hotels and rental studios now offer it. Other popular places where you can bring your laptop are ‘Fatolitis’ café and ‘Glaros Bar’, both in Masouri. We are confident that Wi-Fi will soon be widely available throughout the area.
• Scooter rental: There are several scooter rental shops in Masouri. At the moment scooter rentals cost €13-15 on average per day and it’s not usually necessary to book a scooter in advance (unless you plan to visit in super-busy April or October and don’t want to take any chances!). Most people look for a scooter after they arrive.
• Laundry: A coin-operated laundromat has just opened (May 2011) in Masouri. It’s located on the left-hand side as you go from Masouri toward Myrties, not far past the big sponge shop (opposite ‘Wild Sport’ climbing shop). Also, most hotels and rentals will offer laundry services for a small fee, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.
• Climbing info: At the moment there is a seasonal climbing info desk on the road from Masouri to Kasteli, beneath sector Odyssey, but you won’t often find it open. We are hoping a better-staffed info point will be relocated somewhere more convenient in the near future; until then, if you have internet access while on the island you can always check our site for info and route updates and e-mail us with your questions.
There are plenty of things to do in Kalymnos on your rest day. Nearly all of our suggestions apply equally to non-climbing members of the family and children.
The castles of Kalymnos present considerable archaeological interest. The Castle of Hora dates back to the 11th century, although it acquired its present form in the 15th century. The walls of the castle housed up to 1000 people and the settlement was inhabited through the early 18th century; ruins of homes, water tanks, chapels and an olive press have survived. The Castle of Chrysocheria was built by the Order of the Knights of St. John in a prominent position between Hora and Pothia; in the area of the castle there is evidence of continuous human presence since the Neolithic era. Three stone-built windmills are nearby. Other important archaeological sites are scattered throughout the island, such as the foundations of the ancient acropolis of Pothia; the 4th-century temple of Apollo, over which Christian worship sites were built at a later date; ancient and Paleochristian ruins in Vathy; and ruins of a fortified Byzantine settlement and a Paleochristian necropolis on the island of Telendos, opposite.
• The Archaeological Museum in Pothia is new (2009), stylish and definitely worth a visit. It features prehistoric, classical and private collections as well as the preserved interior of a 19th-century Kalymnian mansion.
• The Museum of Marine Finds in Vlychadia features assorted items found underwater or salvaged from sunken ships. On an island relying on diving and the sea for so many centuries, you can imagine how fascinating this is!
• The Sponge Diving Museum in Pothia is the perfect (and poignant) introduction to the island’s centuries-old marine history and culture.
• The Kalymnian Home in Vothyni is a private folk art museum replicating a traditional local home. You will feel like you walked straight into a previous century, and talking with the friendly owner will give you a different perspective on what daily life on Kalymnos was like.
The main beach at Masouri is long and sandy; in the summer it is rather packed with sunbeds, but there is still plenty of room and shade on the sand. There are two beach bars on opposite ends of the beach. There are large sandy beaches at Myrties and Melitsahas, as well, while several other small beaches dot the coast. A bit further south, nice beaches can be found at Platys Gialos, Linaria, Vlychadia (in the direction towards Pothia) and Arginonta, Kalamies and Emporios are in the opposite direction, to the north. The beaches of Telendos are quite beautiful as well; besides the main beach along the front, the coastline is adorned with tiny emerald coves accessible by path on either side of the village.
The rocky coastlines of both Kalymnos and Telendos are excellent for snorkeling, as rock formations and fish abound. Basic, inexpensive masks, snorkels and fins are sold at all tourist shops on the island. Explore them, but remember to watch out for passing boats. It is best not to stray too far from the coast. Watch out too for sea urchins and, occasionally, moray eels.
Kalymnos is one of the better-known scuba diving venues in Greece. For professional instruction and certification information you can contact the island’s two diving schools listed in the rear section of the guidebook.
Kalymnos is embroidered with hiking trails, short and long; walking through its wilderness landscape, while listening to the silence, is better than psychotherapy. Make sure you bring your hat and remember to stay hydrated. Full descriptions of the hiking trails of Kalymnos alongside a large-scale map (1:25.000) can be found in the Kalymnos Hiking Map by Terrain, which is readily available in Masouri.
The best areas for a bike ride are northwest of Masouri. The coastal road from Masouri to Emporios (where the tarmac road ends) snakes through approximately 15 km of stunning wild landscape. If you have a mountain bike, you can continue on the dirt road from Emporios to the northwestern headland. Bikes are available for rent at scooter rental shops for about €5 per day. The direction from Masouri towards Pothia is not recommended, as parts of it are very steep and two-way traffic on this narrow road can be risky.
There are several caves with exceptional stalactite and stalagmite decorations in Kalymnos; prehistoric findings suggest that many of these caves were ancient ritual sites. Some of the caves worth special mention include Kefàla Cave near Pothia; Daskalio Cave at Vathy; Skalia Cave at the village of Skalia; and the Cave of the Seven Virgins, in which according to local lore seven maidens disappeared trying to flee from the pirates.
Day trips to other islands or to Bodrum (Turkey)
There is, of course, lovelyTelendos, but it hardly qualifies as a ‘day trip’. It is so close that you can cross over at a moment’s notice; boats to Telendos leave every half hour from the jetty at Myrties. Other islands you can visit for a day are Leros, Kos, and Pserimos. Finally, excursion boats make daily trips to Bodrum in Turkey. Alternatively, you can hire a sailing boat in Pothia with or without crew and set sail to all nearby islands and the beautiful – but otherwise inaccessible – inlets along the NE coast of Kalymnos.
Area code +30 22430 (unless noted otherwise)
• OTHER KALYMNOS WEBSITES
• PHONE NUMBERS
Kalymnos area code: +30 22430
Kos area code: +30 22420
Police Station Kalymnos: +30 22430 22100
Hospital Kalymnos: +30 22430 23025
Port Authority of Kalymnos: +30 22430 29304 / 24444
Port Authority of Kos: +30 22420 26594
Taxi Station of Kalymnos: +30 22430 50300
Airport of Kalymnos: +30 22430 59370
Tourist information: +30 22430 59056
Tourist info point at Kalymnos port: +30 22430 50879
Climbing info desk: +30 22430 59445
Aris Theodoropoulos: +30 694 450 5279
Captain Arvithis (Kos – Kalymnos transport): +30 697 747 0993
Captain Yiannis Galouzis (Telendos crags and Kos – Kalymnos transport): +30 694 481 9073
• TRAVEL AGENCIES
Kos-Kalymnos Slow Ferries (ANEM Ferries): +30 22420 59124 / 59027
Kos-Kalymnos Fast Ferries (ANEK Ferries): +30 22430 29612
Kalderis Travel: +30 22430 28186 / 29031
Kalymna Yachting (Kalymnos Star speedboat): +30 22430 29430 / 29125
Kouremeti Travel: +30 22430 28651
Magos Tours: +30 22430 28777 / 28652
Mahias Travel: +30 22430 22640 / 22909
Karelas Travel (Olympic Airways): +30 22430 29265