Kalymnos, the Island of Sponge Divers

Kalymnos is located south of Leros, separated by the homonymous Kalymnos Strait or "Diapori," with Kos to the northeast and just 14 miles from the Turkish coast of Asia Minor to the east. To the south lies the Cretan Sea, and to the west and north, the Ikarian Sea.

Kalymnos is an island of wild beauty. Most activities on Kalymnos revolve around the sea and rock climbing. Its capital is Pothia, which also serves as the island's main tourist center and port. In Kalymnos, you will also find impressive historical sights and plenty of options for entertainment and dining.

Legendary for its sponge divers, Kalymnos is a contemporary paradise for climbers, an internationally renowned diving resort, and an emerging mecca for caving enthusiasts. Kalymnos is becoming one of the most popular travel destinations for adrenaline junkies and nature explorers.

The rocky, arid beauty of the Dodecanese, with its wild landscape and deep blue seas, has a unique energy that captivates visitors. Combining ancient hiking trails, seabeds filled with ancient shipwrecks, history, and a rich culinary tradition, Kalymnos offers an authentic experience of exploration and adventure. Proud and uncompromising, as those who love it often say, Kalymnos is a distinct maritime state "of height and depth" that you can visit by choosing one of the routes to Kalymnos.

What You Can Do

• Stroll through the alleys of Pothia, the amphitheatrical capital of the island, with its narrow streets and colorful houses built on the slopes of two opposing hills. Take a moment to admire the neoclassical mansions with Italian influences, imposing captain's houses, and the traditional homes of sponge divers.

• Discover an international destination for climbers and one of the top natural rock climbing destinations in Europe. Today, there are over 70 climbing fields on the island and more than 1300 marked routes for athletes of all levels.

• Explore the fascinating history of Greek sponge diving at the Nautical Museum of Kalymnos. The remarkable collection includes items such as sponge diver equipment, tools for processing sponges, maritime instruments, nautical charts, artifacts from shipwrecks, photographs, and more.

• Visit the beautiful Metropolitan Church of the Transfiguration (1861) that dominates the waterfront of Pothia. Its marble iconostasis is crafted by the renowned Tinos sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas.

• Explore the excellent New Archaeological Museum in Pothia, showcasing artifacts from prehistoric to post-Byzantine periods. The most significant exhibit in its collection is the bronze "Lady of Kalymnos," a remarkable example of Hellenistic sculpture recovered from Kalymnos' waters in 1995 by a fisherman's nets.

• Wander through the medieval Castle of Chryssocheria (15th century), built by the Knights Hospitaller, with its three stone windmills on the outskirts.

• Take a day trip to the beautiful Telendos, just 10 minutes away from Kalymnos by sea taxi from Myrties. You'll be enchanted by its stunning beaches and picturesque streets with lovely tavernas. The island is also great for hiking and diving.

• Attend the iconic "International Diving Festival and Scandalo-Petra Races." Every July, for a week, the thrilling depths of Kalymnos reveal their beauty and secrets to professional divers and underwater explorers. The program includes freediving demonstrations, underwater photography competitions, and visits to thematic museums.

• Admire the most beautiful fjord in the Aegean, located in the lush Vathi. As the sea enters a fertile valley with mandarin and orange trees, it forms a narrow inlet (the harbor of Rina) with crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by tall barren cliffs.

• Explore the Sanctuary of Delian Apollo (the island's patron and protector), the most significant place of worship in ancient Kalymnos. You can admire the temples of Apollo and Asclepius, the theater, the council house, and two early Christian churches from the 5th and 6th centuries.


Masouri: The most popular beach in Kalymnos is a paradise with wide sandy shores, crystal-clear blue waters, and endless views of the opposite islet of Telendos. It's a favorite among young people, thanks to the many beach bars with lively music and energetic vibes that continue from morning until the next dawn. Climbing enthusiasts also relax on this beach, as it is surrounded by rocky hills that serve as popular climbing areas.

Kantouni: This sandy beach offers clear azure waters and a magnificent view of the imposing mountain with the Monastery of the Holy Cross. The atmosphere is cosmopolitan and youthful, with numerous beach bars that remain open 24/7.

Platys Gialos: The black sand, crystal-clear deep blue waters, and spectacular sunsets make this beach, near Panormos, one of the most renowned in Kalymnos. It's worth a visit if you choose one of the routes to Kalymnos.

Emporeios: A pebble beach with crystal-clear waters and large plane trees extending to the shore. It is particularly loved by watersports enthusiasts (windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing) due to its exposure to strong winds.

Arginontas: A deep cove surrounded by trees and a beach with round pebbles and intensely turquoise waters create a beautiful exotic landscape. For those who prefer seclusion with the comforts of an organized beach, it's 16.5 kilometers from Pothia.


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