General Information & Reviews

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Kalymnos island is an attractive island with a population of about 12,000 inhabitants, which are mostly leaving in the capital and main port, Pothia. Kalymnos is famous for its sponge fishing industry and almost all the old men of the island were one diving for fishing sponges. Since this industry has fallen because Mediterranean sponges suffered from a viral disease in 1986 and a lot of them died, as the economy of the island did.

Kalymnos is also a rising holiday destination due to another fact: its landscape and geology are ideal for climbing. This has brought to the island a new kind of active tourism. The rocky mountains and interesting caves of Kalymnos are also continually explored. The most famous is the Cave of the Seven Virgins. The late tourism has helped a bit the island and its inhabitants, even if many beautiful coasts of the island are still uncrowded during high season.

This gives to the island, along with its beautiful landscape and beaches, a particular atmosphere that charms every visitor. Because of the low level of tourism, Kalymnos is still very authentic and its inhabitants are very friendly and hospitable.


21 Reviews
  • 1234ttr 12 Jun 2010
    Truly relaxing vibes
    We stayed at an apartment in Massouri, the main resort on the island. The large sand and shingle beach had plenty of sun beds and a water sport facility. A great place to swim and the beach shelves gently, although the current is a bit strong once you venture far out. We ate some great seafood at the tavernas on the beachfront. There were a few above the beach, and we had to climb several sets of steps to get there, but the food there was well worth the climb. Over the next few days, we rented a scooter and visited many beaches. To the south of the island, we visited Vlichadia, a nice sandy beach for swimming. The next was Platy Yialos. A wonderful sandy beach with a wild sea and a steep shelf. On our last day, we visited Vathi, a charming laidback fishing hamlet on the east coast of the island. The village had a great beach and excellent tavernas. We wandered around the citrus groves, breathing in the fresh air tangy with the flavors of the citrus fruit that were almost ready for harvest. A canal runs through the village and we saw the waters teeming with schools of fish. Was a great photo opportunity for my wife who is a pro.
  • fernandoX 13 Feb 2010
    Apparently popular with climbing
    A tour in the Dodecanese meant that we had only two days to spend in the small islands (Kalymnos, Patmos, Leros, etc), so I can't tell you many details about Kalymnos, only my general impressions. We stayed in Myrties to be close to the beach. There are good buses from the port to Myrties, Massouri and all these tourist resorts. We rented a motorbike for a few hours to see the inland a bit and we saw huge rocks and people climbing on them! Before, I didn't know that people went for climbing in Kalymnos but it seems that this is a very popular sports in this tiny island. And seemed very dangerous, too (thus very challenging!).

    The best beaches are located around Myrties and Massouri, the rest beaches are very isolate and rocky. We saw the capital village when we landed and when we left Kalymnos, but I believe it will take you no more than half an hour to go from one side to the other. Have a coffee at the port and watch the ferries coming and leaving. I always like watching the ferries at the ports in Greece. Gives a sense of adventure, you know, meeting new places and going with the wind!
  • joankam 10 Nov 2009
    More earthen colours
    Kalymnos is a typical Greek island, maybe a bit different in colours. Colours in Kalymnosare not so much blue and white, but earthern colours, like brown and yellow. I think this is because mountains dominate in Kalymnos and this has affected the architecture. Many people I know go to Kalymnos for climbing, but this was the case for us, it was a family holiday, so we prefered more quiet places, like Massouri and Panormos. A nice excursion is to the small island of Telendos where you go by boat. The good thing is that unlike other islands in high season, you will easily find accommodation and dining in really cheap prices and of course not too overcrowded.
  • michelabernabei 01 Sep 2009
    Dreaming about Kalymnos
    Last summer I was in Tinos, met a waiter who told me that Kalymnos is beatiful, so I decided to visit it!
    For one year I have looked many photos, read many articles, I dreamed a lot about Kalymnos..
    I spent 12 days in this beautiful island... beautiful days!
    Wonderful view of Telendos from my balcony, in Melitsachas, very simple and kind people, simple slow life, very good food,rocky mountains, price very cheap!!
    I love Kalymnos, love its parfume of myrto and rosmarine, love Vlichadia beach, Akti, Vathi,colored Pothia, love beatyful pebbles and very clear sea...
  • bike-rental 18 Jul 2009
    Famous among climbers and divers
    Kalymnos is an island in the dodecanessa. Small but big in apearance. For people who are looking for authentic Greece. It is like time stood still here. Still there is a lot to do on this island. It's world famous among the climbers. There are hiking routes all over the island. Also for divers there are many opportunities. The atmosphere on Kalymnos is serene. Altough it is a touristic island, you can find spots where you are completly alone. The locals are friendly and the welcome is warm. Kalymnos has a lot of hidden stars to make your holiday a five star holiday.
  • isabelle_c 08 Apr 2009
    Delicious local recipes
    From all the places I've visited in Greece (more than 20), I had the best meals in Kalymnos. Ingredients were of excellent quality and we found some strange yet delicious recipes, such as squids stuffed with tomatoes and rice and a nice omelette with tomatoes, onions, eggs and green pepper. I think the best restaurants are those close to the beaches, you will find the most fresh fish there.
  • lisert 05 Feb 2009
    Fantastic people and climbing areas
    We had visited Kalymnos 7 years ago and thought to pay a visit again last summer. This time we stayed at Tinas appartments, because the hotel we stayed in the first time didn't reply my request. The island is picturesque with extremely friendy people and fantastic climbing areas. Nightlife was homely and not too much roudy. The quality of the food on Kalymnos was fantastic. Although we found it more expensive sicne the euro, the dishes were definitely value for money. The octapus stifado was to die for. Taverns were very clean, too. In the shops, everyone was welcoming and there was no pressure to buy. Public transport was excellent but there did seem to be a lot of litter on the roads. If you have time, take the trip to Telendos island.
  • saralob 16 Jul 2008
    Not the typical destination
    Kalymnos is not the typical Greek destination with yelling British tourists, as in Zakynthos and Rhodes, or the great beaches. It is a quiet island that gets most of its beauty from the scenery. The mountainous landscape is great for those who love walking in the nature. The small villages also attract the visitor. There isn't much to do as for sighseeing, except for the castle and some churches, but you can certainly relax having a coffee in Emporio or swimming in Massouri. The best tavern to eat is "To limani tou Michali" in Pothia, just next to the gift shop of Mrs Froso (I don't remember the exact address). Also see the lovely statue of Poseidon in Pothia.
  • nenane 28 Mar 2008
    Stay in the vilages
    Kalymnos has most of all nice and easily accessible beaches. In general, it is nice and tranquil. However, if you want to really relax, choose an accomodation in the villages, because Pothia in summer is like staying in a big city. I enjoyed hiking along the countryside and lying on the beaches, under the hot sun. In fact, I got sunburn once but I didn't mind. My favorite villages were Emporios and Myrties, really picturesque. The only bad point was the long trip to go to Kalymnos from Piraeus but at least the island was well-connected.
  • phlizz 17 Dec 2007
    For nature lovers
    Situated between Kos and Leros, Kalymnos is the fourth largest island in the Dodecanese. It is surrounded by quiet islets, some inhabited only by sheep and goats,others-like Telendos and Pserimos-with just a few houses and tarvernas. The Kalymnian landscape is rocky,its majestic mountain slopes fragant with thyme,sage and oregano-essential ingredients in the delicious honey for which the island is famous.Fertile valleys offer pleaseing contrast,especially Vathi with its turquoise fiord and peaceful groves of citrus fruit.
    Kalymnos is best know an home of the world's finest sponge divers. The sea has always been a focal point for island life and its clourful traditions and sense of community remain almost unchanged. Picturesque landscapes for walking,clear blue seas for snorkelling or scuba-diving, rock faces of unique quality for climbing and a warm-hearted hospitality are just some of the pleasures that await the visitor. Kalymnos is also a good base for visiting nearby islands. Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kos and Nisiros are all accessible for day trips.
    My personal result:
    If one is a nature lover & likes a correctly easy vacation without much tourism to have, Kalymnos serves optimally for it.
    As for recommendations, It depends on the personal attitude of the holiday-maker. If you decide for 2 weeks Kalymnos, you must know, which one inquired the island in a few days. If you are to climb there, Kalymnos is naturally optimally, there needs you already somewhat longer, since there are many climbing areas. Me it becomes never boring on this island. One becomes acquainted with always whom, alone already because the Greek people very extrovertedly & is contact joyful. Short result, if you liked relaxation purely, you are correct in Kalymnos.
  • phlizz 22 Nov 2007
    Very beautiful villages in Kalymnos
    There are some very beautiful villages in Kalymnos. Masouri is beautiful the main mark of the tourists and in addition. In addition, the other villages are worth seeing. In Armeos you can live, with sea view relaxing. In Damos however it is loud because of the Bikes in addition, that can for some be relaxing. In Emborios you can photograph beautiful landscapes and bays.
    Pothea, where also the port is, must be seen absolute. Melitsachas is also a beautiful mark and there can one very well swim and on the Tarverne a German very well Greek eat. Pothea is the capital of Kalymnos & you in each bar is welcomed cordially and served.
  • phlizz 22 Nov 2007
    Some beaches are really worth seeing
    Some beaches are really worth seeing. At the beach of Masouri you know very well snorkels & give it also some water haven offers there. In Emborios there are many small beaches. Some are very abandoned, the correct for fallen in love. The beach Kantouni is unfortunately always dirty, although it is beautifully & also quite large however these avoids I so well it goes. At the port into Pothea swimming to go a good idea is, there is very calm the water. Who feels desire on many waves and much young people, should go to the beach into Platis Yalos. This is cleanly, relatively large, it gives a Volleyball field and beach chairs.
  • George_37 18 Oct 2007
    Beautiful picturesque and peaceful island
    Visit Kalymnos!! It's a beautiful, picturesque and peaceful island with wonderful clear water beaches (Massouri, Myrties, Emporios, Kandouni, Platys Gialos, Vlychadia). You MUST visit St Savvas Monastery with amazing view to the port of Pothia and Chorio, and Varsamidis's private collection in Vlychadia. Don't forget to buy sponges. Swimming, eating, making small day trips to Telendos, Pserimos, Kos, Leros, Patmos were our favourite activities on Kalymnos. The food is excellent and the prices very logical (Kalymnos isn't an expencive island any way). Don' t forget to visit STALAS restaurant in Myrties with excellent sea food and Kafenes in Pothia for OUZO and various sea food. We also liked Scorpions and Stavendo bars, both in Massouri. People in Kalymnos are very kind. They try to make your stay there unforgetable!
  • phlizz 06 Aug 2007
    The night life in Kalymnos offers some possibilities. In Pothea you can sit in any case comfortably with your friends in a bar and eat partly also well. It goes off however probably nevertheless so correctly in Masouri. There it gives me a well-known night club named Club Loca. For rock fans participates also something. Wild flags of ACDC decorate me unfortunately unknown the bar.
    Best Bar/Pub/Club: Freddo Cafe (Pothea), Rock Cafe (Masouri), Club Loca (Masouri)
  • phlizz 06 Aug 2007
    Really very tasty
    Restaurants & Tarverns:
    The meal in the restaurants & tarverns is predominantly really very tasty. I am in Kalymnos very gladly into the most diverse restaurants & tarverns eat gone and it to me everywhere very much tasted. An absolute must is fish & sea fruits, as well as lamb chops and completely clearly the fresh Greek salad.
    The restaurants & tarverns are actually all arranged very beautiful, but the chairs are unfortunately uncomfortablly however the meal & the friendly, honest operation excuse everything.
    In bars I have never eaten however to drink can one there very well & it partly give a good clear selection of beverages.
  • nikiplaitis 03 Jul 2006
    The beaches are the most beautiful I have ever set my eyes upon. The waters are extremely clear and clean unlike what you might expect to find anywhere else in the world.

    The waters are so refreshing. I enjoyrd all the beaches I visited and plan on returning next holiday

  • frazzle89 02 Feb 2006
    Love it!
    Absolutely love it! Went there not knowing what to expect, and i could never have imagined how much i liked it. Beautiful place, really friendly and welcoming people, good weather, nice beaches, everything was brilliant! Not much nightlife, but is not a problem at all. Was just a perfect holiday and the perfect place to completely relax and forget about everything (other than remembering to apply and re-apply suncream!). Unspoilt and remote - feels like you're seeing the real Greece. Would definately recommend it to anyone who wants a chill out holiday, a time to unwind and work on the tan (whilst sipping on a Tequilla Sunrise cocktail...)!
  • okapi_sim 25 Jan 2006
    Good value for money
    Nationality: British

    Age: 45

    The trip: We flew to Kos and then we took the ferry which we had to wait 7 hours for. Need more ferry crossing.

    Reasons for going to Kalymnos: We got a late booking from travel agent.

    Idea before arriving: Hadn't heard anything. Didn't know anyone that had been there before.

    Expectations and opinions: Yes, it is a beautiful island. Kalymnos island has lovely people, it is clean, it has excellent food and it is a good value for money. It was our first trip to Greece and we really liked it. My husband and I had a great and relaxing holiday. The nightlife was also fine for us but I think they need about more for young people.

    Favorite thing about Kalymnos: We loved the restaurants of Kalymnos Island. The food is always weel cooked and fresh.

    We also loved the relaxed atmosphere. Even if the island is touristy and many people are there to make their living, you can see that everything goes slower than anywhere else.

    Negative opinion: The journey to go there was too long. Hated sitting and waiting something for 7-8 houts for the ferry to cross from Kos.

    Recommendations: Go for a relaxing, good value, perfect little island.

    Yes, we will go back to Kalymnos Greece. Next year.
  • Roxanee 16 Nov 2005
    Kalymnos: Beautiful but no late ferries
    Nationality: English

    Age: 26

    The trip: Flew by plane to Kos and then took a ferry to Kalymnos Island. It was very long as I waited from 00:00 until 9:00 for the ferry.

    Reasons for going to Kalymnos: Saw it in a brochure about Greece and looked really nice.

    Idea before arriving: Hadn't hear about the island before. All we knew was it was small and quiet.

    Expectations and opinions: It was better than expected. It is beautiful, peaceful, relaxing, hot and the food is amazing!! I was just a little disapointed with the nightlife. Not much to do there.

    Favorite thing about Kalymnos: The people are friendly, the food is excellent, rainfalls is not in their vocabulary and the beaches are beautiful.

    Negative opinion: Very dificult to get there, no late ferries. Also the people on the road are totaly crazy and don't wear helmets.

    Recommendations: Just go to Kalymnos. A pefect place to relax.

    Yes, I would love to return to Kalymnos or maybe an other place in Greece
  • erile 11 Oct 2005
    Quiet and natural surroundings
    Nationality: Dutch

    Age: 33

    The trip: I arrived on the island of Kalymnos by airplane and boat. The trip was ok. No delays.

    Reasons for going to Kalymnos: Love Greece and was looking for quietness and natural surroundings.

    Idea before arriving: As I never been here before I didn't really know what to expect. Saw some pictures of it and looked nice place to visit.

    Expectations and opinions: It met my expectations. It is nice, quiet, the people are friendly and the surroundings really nice.

    Favorite thing about Kalymnos: Really nice views and surroundings.

    Negative opinion: No, nothing negative about the island, perhaps a bit more nightlife would be fine!

    I love Kalymnos Island but I am not sure I will go back again. Greece has much to offer. I would like to see the mainland also.
  • anton_bear 23 Sep 2005
    I love this island
    I have already been to Kalymnos twice because I love this island.

    It is not yet touristy and keeps a low level of tourism which keeps it authentic and peaceful.

    The inhabitants of the island are friendly and hospitable and very happy to help you or talk with you. The island is known for its sponge divers which are now all retired from the industry; but if you can found an ex diver he will be glad to tell you some unbelievable stories.

    There are various things to do on Kalymnos; first of all there are many beaches of great beauty, secondly, you can do walks or small trips to see the wonderful landscape of the island and thirdly you can admire the basilicas, various temples, the imposing Castle of the Knights of Saint John and the coloured houses of the attractive capital of Pothia. Everything will surely charm you as it charmed me.

    I hope to everyone to have the chance to visit this beautiful island and to enjoy a great stay as I did.