Pothis town is a great day out - you can get the local bus there. There's a sponge factory (see my things to do tip) and loads and loads of shops. It's a very busy little town with lots of locals shopping and lots of traffic. It's also got a lovely harbour.
- Family Travel
Visit the little sponge shop on the harbour front in Pothia and you will be informed of how sponges are gathered - treated and the different kinds of sponges - the bleached and unbleached - elephants ears, which types of sponges are longer lasting. Of course you can also buy sponges there. Great fun.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Just 1km from Mryties is the village of Massouri - also a popular place to stay, judging by the holiday villas and hotels here. According to the villagers the place got that name because of the wind that blows incessantly - 'Masourizo' means 'blow' in the Greek language
There is a small sandy beach but its a bit of a step down from the village above.
We just enjoyed a stroll around here and enjoyed a delicious tuna sandwich in a taverna overlooking the sea.
Telendos is a small, quiet island about 750 metres from opposite the north-western shores of Kalymnos and is easily reached by a 5 minute boat journey from the jetty of Myrties. Telendros is basically a big rock with a few shops and tavernas and a traditional coffee shop. It was originally joined to kalymnos until a big earthquake in 554 AD. We didn't actually get to go over in our day visit - we though Myrties was quiet enough! The website link below gives a good overview.
Vathis is some 12 km from Pothia and is known as the fjord of Kalymnos, a deep inlet of the Aegean leading into a lush valley with a number of beautiful traditional villages. The location for the village is beautiful, and being hidden from the sea a real surprise. We stopped in Vathi for about hour on one of those 3 island boat trips from Kos so it was lovely to sail up this inlet. In Vathi are two basilicas on the hills above and either side of the inlet. There several cafes and sponge shops - a most delightful village.The village has been liveable from neolithic age and has ruins of Hellenic, Byzantine and Roman times and beyondin its fertile green valley lots of interesting things like caves and old churches from these eras can be visited - although not on our time schedule.
Myrties is a small town, considered to be the most developed area of Kalymnos but to be honest was a bit of a ghost town when we visited in October. Many shops and hotels were closed for the season, but if you like it really quiet then guess this is a good time to go. The beach was nothing special a bit narrow and shingly being near the small jetty where the boats make the short trip across to the island of Telendros.
Pothia is the main town and port - our point of arrival on the ferry from Mastichari. Its a colourful lively working town port and marina. The promenade road is lined with cafes and tavernas with colourful houses in the hills above and above the rock. It doesn't feel over - touristic, just a great place to stroll and admire the Italianate buildings and have a coffee. The best views over the harbour are from climbing the street up above the large church to the left of the marina.
Pothia - Town Hall
Pothia is the capital of Kalymnos. -nearly 90% of all inhabitants of Kalymnos live there. The town hall is probably the most distinctive building in Pothia. Take time to stroll around the buildings and see the paved courtyard,arcades and clock tower.
Telendos...Highly recommended for total peace and quiet
Catch the tiny boat over to Telendos from Myrties its not expensive and they are regular.
Telendos used to be joined to Kalymos before the centre of the Island sunk
if you gaze at Telendos across the sea from Kalymnos during the sunset you can clearly see The Sleeping Princess
See all 5 of the museums
The Seaworld Museum (formerly had the catchy name of 'The Valsimedes Brothers Museum of Sea Findings') in VLIHADIA is open every day during the summer and well worth the small admission fee.
The Sponge Museum (actually 'The Nautical and Folklore Museum') is hidden and barely signposted in central POTHIA, with free admission and an amazing insight into the local history of sponge diving. Closes at 12.30 and does not reopen. Closed Sunday. It is up the stairs opposite the bus ticket kiosk outside the Town Hall.
The Vouvalis House (100m walk from Taxi Square, POTHIA, signposted in the corner near the fish shop) has free admission and is opulent in it's decor and was donated by Mr Nikolas Vouvalis and has been maintained untouched since the early 1900s. Free admission and guided tour only. MR Vouvalis was the most successful Kalymnian to export sponges and also donated the Hospital to the island.
**NEW FOR 2008** The Museum of Kalymnos Antiquities will be filled with some of the amazing finds from the island - which has a documented history of over 6000 years of human occupation. It will be in a building in the grounds of the Vouvalis House, POTHIA, as above. The 'Kalymnos Municiple Tourist Organisation' tell me it is scheduled to open in June 2008.
Lastly - 'Traditioanl Kalymnian House' is an insight to how life used to be - a well preserved and maintained house on the road to Vlihadia around 2km outside Pothia, on the corner where the turning to the church Ayyas Savvas is. Small entry fee, closes around 1400, not Sundays.
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
Buy a KALYMNIAN Sponge
There are only around 5 Kalymnian boats that now harvest this sustainable crop. Sadly many of the sponges on sale are now imported from the far east.
Buy a KALYMNIAN sponge - and buy a BROWN one - the yellow sponges are bleached for cosmetic purposes, but this degrades them and they have a limited lifespan. The Brown ones are more eco-friendly AND will last 5 times as long.
There are around 4 small 'Factories' processing sponges in Pothia - ASK when you buy one - you will get an honest answer. You may pay a little more - but still a fraction of the price in the UK: and you are supporting a local tradition of over 2000 years as well as supporting the island. Money spent on mass harvested asian sponges not only damages the environment, but the ££ leaves the island and barely benefits the local economy.
The tiny 'factories' have FREE tours where you can see the sponges being processed - all still done by hand. Open every day in the summer.
Kalymnian sponges became famous worldwide in the 1800's as they are simply the best quality in the world - something to do with the sea in the Meditteranean.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Emporios..... the furthest north you can get on Kalymnos. There's a nice sand and shingle beach,with another beach on the route nearby, which was in shade by the afternoon in October. In 1985 there was one taverna on both beaches. Oh, and a little church. It was a great place, it gave you a feeling of remoteness and definite isolation. The barren mountains closed in all around and you felt like you were at the end of the world. There were signs of the odd building going up.
Buses did make the journey but not very frequently.
Now, I hear there are a number of rooms and a few tavernas.
If we ever returned to Kalymnos, this is where I would choose to stay.
- Road Trip
Vathi is the one real suprise on Kalymnos.It is literally an oasis in a desert. As you approach on the road above,after travelling a fairly nondescript route, you look down onto the barren landscape and tucked into a crevice is this green valley, like an oasis. This volcanicvalley falls from the mountain down to the fjord-like bay, enclosures of citrus orchards making a bright splash against the dry, grey landscape. it is an incredible sight.
The little port appears to be enclosed in a fjord and is a popular spot with the boating brigade. here, we met some Swiss people who had disembarked from a magnificent Greek boat anchored here. It truly was enormous and a sight for sore eyes. They told us they were "doing" 15 islands in 15 days, mooring at one harbour and walking over the islands to be collected at another port. Sounded amazing.
There is no beach here but steps lead into the deep water where we had a pleasant swim.
- Road Trip
- Sailing and Boating
Best Way to See The Island....
There is a bus service from Pothia to the west coast resorts and as far north as Emporios but to save yourselves being tied to a timetable, hire a motorbike.
We hired a fairly new Suzuki 50 which carried the two of us ok and enjoyed exploring in our own time. Mind you, Nick used to ride a motorbike so couldn't wait to ride one again. In those days, it makes me shudder to think we didn't bother with helmets. They were certainly never offered and we never gave it a second thought. The innocence of youth.
- Road Trip
When things get a bit too hectic on Kalymnos, try a trip to Telendos, the island just across the water from Myrties.
It is reckoned to have been attached to Kalymnos until an earthquake tore it apart. Remains of a sunken village are visible in the straights and the island is supposed to resemble a royal lady forever on the lookout to sea for her long departed lover. Oh, how the Greeks love a good tale!!!!
I'm afraid nowadays tourism has reached here and it's even packaged. Being so close to civilization, it was bound to happen. Still, it's a lot quieter than the costa'd strip opposite. I don't know whether Telendos is still car-free, I can imagine some bright spark has managed to transport a vehicle of some sort across by now.
There are tavernas and rooms and a few beaches you can walk to.
Caiques leave Myrties every half hour and the crossing is about 15 mins. Price somewhere around 2 euros.
- Hiking and Walking
- Sailing and Boating