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.more
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 languageThere is a small sandy beach but its a bit of a step down from the village...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Telendos...Highly recommended for total peace and quietCatch 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 sunkif you gaze at Telendos across the sea from Kalymnos during the sunset you can clearly see The Sleeping Princessmore
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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,...more
Kalymnos has a great local bus service so we didn't feel the need to hire a car whilst there. The bus runs between the main tourist beach villages of Elies, Massouri and Mryties and you get a chance to see the local people going about there every day business. You can also get all the way to the top of the island and visit the peaceful and...more
There is a bus service on the island so that you can reach the main villages several times a day.The bus leaves near the town hall in Pothia - you must get ticket before you get on board, there are little kiosks nearby with timetables and several shops will sell bus tickets too. We caught a midday bus to Myrties and then walked from there to...more
You can treat a sponge from Kalymnos as a piece of local craft or as a gift. Two things are for sure:
1. the sponge will come from Kalymnos,
2. the sponge will be most expensive.
Actually the Kalymnos sponges mostly come from South America so don't believe that they've been brought by the divers two days earlier. You'll be able to purchase the same sponges on other islands - but those won't be sponges from Kalymnos.
I don't say this is a local custom specific to Kalymnos, but we were amused when we saw it happen. Having not been long in Myrties, we had a look at the beach and were witness to a Greek lady wading into the water up to her neck, dressed in full black widow's garb. Was this bath time or was she just cooling off?
We have seen builders doing this when they were covered in plaster and dust, but never a middle aged, or older, woman.
During 2007 there were less than 600 'tourists' a week staying on Kalymnos - the rest of the visitors are Australian/ American Kalymnians with family ties there. The BUSIEST night of the year is 15th August. You will always find a room - even in August - expect to pay MAX 40 euros a night per room (for 2 people) and as cheap as 20 euros a night.
Come at the end of May for peace, quiet, good weather and spectactular flora - it only lasts a few weeks.
There are only around 15 restaurants in Masouri - the main 'tourist' destination - mostly serving local greek cuisine. The biggest problems are the litter and the noisy bikes.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you visit the facing islet of Telendos - Telendos makes Kalymnos.
Also, buy a copy of 'The Slow Guide to Kalymnos' if you can find 1 - it is cheap and PACKED with everything you will possibly need to know when visiting Kalymnos.
Fun Alternatives: Take a short trip with the boats 'Scooby Doo' or 'Carpe Diem' - who will transport you for less than 15 euros to a secluded remote beach - where you may well be alone! They will collect you too :-) They leave from Myrties Jetty - same place as the small boats to Telendos.
Luggage and bags:
AUTAN sold locally seams to work the best - and I have tried them all. Also, use plug-ins in rooms BEFORE you go out and keep windows closed. The mosquitos walk through gaps but stay out if the plug-ins are working :-) If you are REALLY organised, a mosquito net would help.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: from June to September it is HOT and peaks around the last week of July/ 1st week of August - and regularly touches 40 degrees in the shade at 2pm. Take shorts, sit in the sea, drink a cool drink :-) Always wear a hat.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take an amonia based spray to apply to mosquito bites - or in an emergency you can pee on the bite!
Photo Equipment: Essential to capture the stunning sunsets over telendos - Take photos from the 'Top Road' above Myrties.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping on the beach is forbidden, as is building any kind of fire.
On the hill over Ellies there is an old monastry - it's now uninhabited since the last monk left - I bet he had fun climbing back up the hill form his evening taverna visits. You climb up the old goat path - you can let yourself in and have a look around. There is a visitors book for you to autograph. It's a little hairy walking back down the trackmore
Although Kalymnos is quiet, Talendhos is even quieter - there is only one village, a lovely beach and a handful of restaurants - and some old relics. Talendhos is very pretty indeed and not to be missed.From a distance Telandhos reminds me of planet of the apes. There are no cars there - there are also no roads.more
It's great to see the houses and hills become larger and larger as the boat approaches the island. More details are visible as you enter the harbour and you suddenly realize that what you thought was just another piece of land in the middle of the Aegean Sea is actually a place where the life is busy and there are so many interesting things that...more