THE VILLAGES OF KALYMNOS
Pothia is the capital and port of Kalymnos. The construction of Pothia began in the early 1850s, as then the pirate raids began to decrease and so the inhabitants slowly began to move their homes outside the Castle of Chora that protected them. The houses are built amphitheatrically, facing the sea, and are separated by narrow alleys. Walking in them you can see the Italian influences but also the strong elements of neoclassical rhythm in the traditional buildings.
In the districts of Ypapantis, Evangelistria, Agios Theologos and Patithries you will find most of the traditional houses.
Today Pothia is the administrative and commercial center of the island, where you will find all municipal services such as police, post office, port authority, hospital etc. There are also many facilities for visitors to the island, such as taverns, restaurants, cafes, patisseries and hotels.
In Pothia you can also visit the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos, which houses various treasures that have been pulled from the bottom of the sea and presents the history of the island for thousands of years, the Maritime Museum, where everything related to the great shipping activity of Kalymnos is presented. and sponges and exhibits items from the wrecks of ancient ships, and of course the Mansion of the Vouvali family, if you want “ to get a taste” of the island urban architecture of Kalymnos.
On the waterfront of Pothia is the church of the Transfiguration of the Savior. There it is worth seeing its magnificent marble iconostasis, which is created by the great sculptor Giannoulis Halepas. Many churches of Pothia and Kalymnos are generally decorated by works of great Kalymnos painters such as S. Magli, M. Alachouzou, G. Oikonomou, T. Kourouni, N. Magou, T. Billiri, E. Chouli and S. Pizania.
Vlychadia is located in the southern part of Kalymnos, just 5 km from the capital Pothia. The beautiful coastal landscape, the wonderful beaches and the abundance of traditional taverns and cafes will ensure you very beautiful moments of relaxation and leisure.
In Vlychadia you can visit the private Museum of Marine Finds Valsamidis, where you will see exhibits related to sponge fishing and various objects from the depths of the Mediterranean.
Also worth seeing is the Cave of Kefalas or the Cave of Zeus, the most beautiful cave of Kalymnos located two kilometers southwest of Vothyni. There are daily sea routes to the cave with boats from the port of Pothia. Alternatively to go to the cave you can follow the path that passes through the monastery of Agia Aikaterini.
Vathis or Vathi is located 11 km northeast of Pothia and has the largest and most fertile valley in all of Kalymnos. The combination of the bay with the verdant and full of citrus valley creates a landscape of stunning beauty that many have likened to a fjord.
In the port of Rina Vathi there is a shipyard, as well as a safe anchorage for the reception and service of tourist yachts.
Next to the port of Rina there is a natural aquarium, which is worth seeing up close. There are also hotels, traditional taverns and cafes, where you can try various traditional dishes, with an emphasis on seafood.
Through road routes and walks you can enjoy unique beauties and important archeological sites, such as the prehistoric Daskalio cave, located at the entrance of the port of Rina.
From there, you can also go by boat to the most remote beaches of the island (Mikres Almyres, Megales Almyres, Pezonta).
Most visited beaches near Vathy:
- Akti Beach
- Port of Rina
Chora or Chorio is located 3 km northwest of Pothia, although now the two villages are practically united and one is an extension of the other.
Chora has been the capital of Kalymnos for many centuries and was deliberately built away from the sea, in order to avoid the pirates who were then looting the Mediterranean.
As expected, around Chora are some of the most important sights of Kalymnos, such as the Castle of Chora and Pera Kastro or Castle of Chrysocheria as it is called alternatively.
In Chora you will also find several temples, built in beautiful and strategically important places. It is worth visiting the first metropolis of Kalymnos, the church of Panagia Charitomeni and admire its famous gilded iconostasis.
Architecturally and historically interesting are the churches of Christ of Jerusalem and Hagia Sophia (or Evangelistria), built with materials from the ruins of the ancient temple of Delius Apollo.
Panormos is located in the western part of the valley of Pothia. Thanks to the green location where it is located, among large arable land, the beautiful beaches that exist near it (Kantouni, Linaria, Platis Gialos), and the steep cliffs suitable for climbing and mountaineering, Panormos attracts many visitors. Finds from ancient pottery workshops that have been found at the area of Tsoukalaria, indicate that Panormos has been inhabited since ancient times.
Myrties is located on the west side of the island, at a distance of 8 km from Pothia. As one can easily conclude, this coastal settlement got its name from the homonymous trees that existed in the area.
Myrties has an impressive pebble beach 250 meters long and relatively shallow waters and so many prefer it for their dives.In Myrties you will find the boats that will take you to the island of Telendos, which is located directly opposite. In the area there are plenty of taverns, cafes, bars and hotels.
A short distance from Myrties is Massouri, one of the most popular tourist resorts of Kalymnos and perhaps the most popular to the young people.
It is considered one of the best beaches on the island as it has crystal clear waters, good organization and unobstructed views of Telendos Island, which is located opposite.
During the summer, Massouri lives in intense rhythms, lasting from one morning until the next. Apart from being a ‘paradise’ for the club fans, Massouri also gathers many climbers, who conquer the rocks that rise around Massouri.
Thanks to all this beehive, in Massouri you will not miss anything, from hotels, taverns and shops to banks and car and bicycle rental offices.
Arginonta beach is located on the northwest side of Kalymnos and is 16.5 km from Pothia. Its crystal clear blue-green waters, rounded pebbles and trees that surround the entire bay create a beautiful landscape.
The beach is equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds while in the wider area there are several taverns, hotels and rooms for rent.
There only 14 residents however during summer period more families prefer Arginonta for their holidays.
Some of the most famous climbing fields on the island are nearby (Arginonnta Valley).
Arginonta valley is a set of 3 cliffs just a few miinutes walk from the parking in Arginonta village With it’s well bolted, mid grade routes, on good rock, that are in the shade when most crags are in the sun, it is perhaps inevitable that the crags are popular, sometimes too popular. Most of the route names are written at the foot of the climbs, making route finding easy.
Skalia is a seaside settlement on the northwest side of the island built amphitheatrically on the mountain slope offering amazing views of Telendos Island and the small island of Calabros.
It is 18 km from the port of Pothia and its few inhabitants are mainly engaged in animal husbandry and fishing. Near the village is one of the most beautiful caves of the island, the cave of Skalia rich in stalactites and stalagmites.
In Skalia is the church of Agios Nikolaos, one of the 23 churches on the island dating from the 5th to the 6th century. Inside, high quality frescoes are preserved, while further west you will find the church of Agios Mama which is built on the site of an ancient building.
The rocky morphology of the Stairs and the internationally recognized climbing slopes that have been opened there, make them an ideal destination for climbing against the backdrop of the Aegean Sea.
A short distance from the settlement is the beautiful secluded beach of Palionissos, a haven of peace and relaxation.
The most remote settlement of Kalymnos, the quiet seaside village of Emporios, is located at the northwestern tip of the island and at a distance of 19.5 km from Pothia.
Its few inhabitants have traditionally been involved in animal husbandry and fishing, while in recent years they have also been involved in tourism. Thus, in Emporios you will find many seaside restaurants, cafes, traditional taverns and rooms for rent.
In the mountain range that extends behind Emporios you will find the ruins of “cyclopean walls “ and the remains of an ancient fortress, called Kastri and dating to the end of the 4th century BC.
Kastri had a main strong wall, two defense towers and a gate, and in this way protected the area of Emporios from attacks and raids of the ancient years.
Inside, a double base of an olive mill is preserved, a finding that confirms the testimonies that Emporios was the first shopping center of Kalymnos.
Argos is one of the oldest settlements in Kalymnos. It took its name from the Argives of the Peloponnese who remained there returning from the Trojan War. It is a small and sparsely populated settlement, built on an extensive plateau at an altitude of 170 meters, which also houses the airport of Kalymnos.
On the plateau of Argos is the most important Byzantine church of Kalymnos, the church of the Twelve Apostles, which was probably built on the site of an earlier, ancient church.
The inhabitants of Argos are traditionally engaged in animal husbandry and agriculture and so there you will find delicious sourdough bread, barley rolls and pure cheese products. Also, every summer the celebration of tsambouna, the traditional Kalymnos version of the bagpipe, is organized.
Palionisos is a very small village with only few residents.
The last years more and more people visit Palionisos during summer period for daily trips in order to escape the routine of the main city.
At Palionisos you can find some of the old Kalymnian recipes served by the local restaurants.
You can easily spot the pebble beach with crystal clear waters on the east coast of Kalymnos.There are some yacks for trying your skills in water sports.You can reach it by sea by boat or by road from the new road of Skalia to Palionisos.