The area is 111.14 square kilometres and is the fourth largest island in the Dodecanese prefecture.
The name of the island used to be Kalynda then changed to Kalymna and finally Kalymnos. Also known as the island of the Sponge Divers due to its residents’ sponge fishery avocation.
Leros, Patmos, Pserimos, Astipalea, Telendos, Agathonisi and Lipsi also belong to Kalymnos. The capital of Kalymnos is Pothia where most of the inhabitants live. Chora is the second largest residential area and the former capital of the island. Other areas of Kalymnos include Argos, Myrties, Masouri, Skala, Vathis, Panormos, Emporios, Vlihada, Lafasi, Vothini and the islet Telendos.
The inhabitants’ occupation with sponge fishing led to economic growth and the island flourished, the effects of which are evident in the numerous neoclassic stately homes built in every corner of the island. Even today there are still sponge divers who go underwater to collect the sponges in their own traditional method.
Traditions are still maintained and celebrated on this beautiful island, reminiscing the sponge-fishing boat departures, the moments of separation and then the celebration of their successful return. Nowadays tourism has become a second resource of economic growth for all residents, who every summer see their island full of visitors mainly those who appreciate the island’s tranquility and lovely beaches.
Even higher in numbers are the visitors from daily, organized excursions of nearby islands. The small boats from Kos take almost 2 hours to reach the island. Upon reaching Pothia, the picturesque capital you will be welcomed by a mermaid statue on rocks, cute houses with multi coloured windows, giving the visitor a pleasant first impression.
Following the beach road you can visit the Church Of Christ (or Saviour). Its temple is the work of a well know sculptor of Tinos Island, Giannouli Chalepa and its mural paintings were carried out by local painters. The beautiful buildings and green background complete the island’s image. At the dock the small touristic shops filled with sponges highlight Kalymnos character.
The processing sponge workshops are worth visiting. If you have time to spare then the Archaeological – Folklore Museum is also worth visiting. Close to town lies the Castle of “Chrysoherias” built by the Knights of Rhodes on ancient byzantine ruins, in the centre of which you will find the Church of “Chrysoherias”.The “Chorio” (Village) is the island’s older capital. Traces of the Knights can also be found here enhancing the byzantine Pera Castle (Away Castle).
Traditions still play a strong role on this beautiful island of the Dodecanese complex.
Tourism has now become another form of income for the Kalimnians as tourists flock to their island every summer to enjoy the serenity and beauty Kalymnos has to offer. Take a little time to wander around the hospitable town. Following the beach road you can visit the Church Of Christ (or Saviour). The notable iconostasis is a work of the well known sculptor from Tinos, Giannouli Chalepa with icons and wall paintings made by local artists.
The beautiful buildings and green background complete the island’s image. At the dock the small touristic shops filled with sponges highlight Kalymnos character. The processing sponge work shops are worth visiting. If you have time to spare then the Archaeological – Folklore Museum is also worth visiting. Close to Pothia town lies the Castle of “Chrysoherias” built by the Knights of Rhodes on ancient byzantine ruins, in the centre of which you will find the Church of “Chrysoherias”.The “Chorio” (Village) is the island’s older capital. Traces of the Knights can also be found here reinforcing the old byzantine Pera Castle (Away Castle).
Cafe / Snack Bars in Kalymnos
Whether you like to relax, chill out, take a break or go out it doesn’t matter how you call it “a coffee break” in Kalymnos has so many enchanting interpretations of the concept, finding a favourite chill out spot is hard to choose. Some Cafés open from early in the morning and others a little later on but they are all awaiting for you for quick coffee or a bite whether you are strolling in town or spending a lazy afternoon taking in the scenery at one of the beaches. As the sun goes down and you’re getting ready for your night out most Cafés turn into Café Bars offering those first few drinks that get the chit chat going before you hit the bars and clubs and let yourself go …just a little.
Make sure to visit Kalymnos when you go for your all inclusive holidays to Greece with the people you love the most. This Greek island is truly an ideal destination for families and couples who want to experience a getaway that is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Aside from its beautiful scenery, this island also boasts of its great restaurants, snack bars and cafes. Read on below to know more about the fantastic dining spots in this island.
Whether you like to relax, chill out, take a break or go out it doesn’t matter how you call it "a coffee break" in Kalymnos has so many enchanting interpretations of the concept, finding a favorite chill out spot is hard to choose. Some Cafe's open from early in the morning and others a little later on but they are all awaiting for you for quick coffee or a bite whether you are strolling in town or spending a lazy afternoon taking in the scenery at one of the beaches. As the sun goes down and you’re getting ready for your night out most Cafe's turn into Cafe' Bars offering those first few drinks that get the chit chat going before you hit the bars and clubs and let yourself go ...just a little.
Dining in Kalymnos Island
There are many taverns and café houses on the island where you can taste local food. The Mirmitzeli and the Mitzithra (Greek skim-milk cheese) are local specialties that are worth trying. In the bakeries of Kalymnos you will find many sweets like baklava, cookies and galaktoboureko. Try the local "rusks" with sesame. You will find fresh fish in all the taverns and the restaurants. Try the grilled octopus and various seafood dishes like sea urchins, pine fish, oysters and fouskes that have been fished by the local divers. All these tasty seafood appetizers are best to accompanied by a glass of ouzo.
Kalymnos Island Nightlife
Night life in Kalymnos is unique and diverse. Beach bars make their presence known everywhere and for the worshippers of night entertainment, Kalymnos caters for all tastes. For those who want to party till the morning, there are streets filled with bars and clubs in Kalymnos Town, bursting with life and energy till sunrise. If you prefer the calmer romantic spots, there's always the beach front cafe bars with their idyllic character and unique decoration. No matter where you find yourself, you can enjoy a night life full of promise and memories.
Shopping in Kalymnos
Kalymnos successfully manages to combine a heritage of traditional products and the latest technology. Visitors will notice that there are many shops on the island where you can buy Kalymnos’ sponges. Also look for the local honey in the beautiful jars, available in most of the shops with traditional products. If you want to spoil your self by buying jewelry you’ll find many at reasonable prices.
Kalymnos which is famous for its marine and sponge fishing tradition offers many organised diving centres through which one can explore the magnificently decorated by shipwrecks deep blue sea. Daily excursions are organized for diving to the bottom of the sea of Kalymnos and nearby islands. The International Diving Festival is held every summer and the island is packed with international diving groups. The only Public Diving School operates in Kalymnos, fitting to an island such as Kalymnos with its living heroic myths of sponge divers who defied the dangers of the deep sea. If you enjoy diving, then Kalymnos is the place to be. Scuba diving is an interesting activity, however it is not allowed in almost the whole of Greece in order to protect archeological treasures. There are however some areas allowed, one of them being in Kalymnos with a 12km coastline length.
Kalymnos, the sponge divers’ island offers an extraordinary natural background for climbing, in an overwhelming and peaceful environment. Its crystal blue seas and hospitable locals will remain unforgettable. The rock formations are morphologically ideal for climbing. Apart from the standard routes available there are cliffs starting from 10 meters up to 200 meters waiting to be explored. Rock climbing is never monotonous since there are routes with many slabs, edges and stalactites. The development opportunities of alternative tourism and tourism in general in its simpler form seem promising for Kalymnos. The authorities and the Municipality of Kalymnos are aware of the potential and support the organisation and development of the rocky areas. There are 24 equipped crags with 200 pitches , from F4c to F8a+ (all bolt protected, sport climbing), mostly facing west, but a few facing south .
Flights to/from Kalymnos Islands
If you want to travel to Kalymnos by airplane there are flights from Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" and through Kos International Airport "Hippocrates" , otherwise from the port of Mastihari there are frequent boat services to Kalymnos, lasting only a 20 minute trip across.
Athens Airport Eleftherios Venizelos Athens Airport: Tel. +30 210 353-0000
Kalymnos Airport: Tel 22430 28331-2
Olympic Airways: Tel. +30 210 9666666
Aegean Airlines: Tel. +30 801 1120000