Kalymnos is one of the Northern islands in the Dodecanese sailing area being the fourth largest of the group. Kalymnos is widely known as the Spongefishers’ island, as it used to be the island’s main industry. The island capital, known as either Kalymnos Town, or Pothia, is a lively port situated in a natural amphitheatre with brightly painted houses (in blues and greens) lining the narrow streets. The town offers numerous shops, cafes and tavernas as well as some bars.
On the West coast, you will find the island’s main resort area (the East coast is virtually uninhabited). Each small resort has local tavernas and a few lively music bars.
The best beaches worth visiting in Kalymnos are Kantouni, Linaria, Platys Gialos, Melitsahas, Mirties, Masouri and Vlychadia. There are however many beaches and isolated coves that are worth discovering by sailing boat while on sailing holidays in Kalymnos island/ Dodecanese sailing area!
The picturesque mountainous landscapes, the clear blue seas and the hospitality of the locals make Kalymnos one of the best holiday destinations in Greece.
The climate in Kalymnos island is very much alike the rest of the Dodecanese islands, dry and warm. The average temperature varies between 16 (60.8F) to 29 (84.2F) degrees celsius during the summer months. The prevailing wind in Kalymnos is the Meltemi which blows from North-East mainland at force 4-6.
In Kalymos island you can moor in Pothia, Vathi (about one mile North from Pothia) and Emporios. For anchoring in Kalymnos, you may go to Akti, Telendos and Pserimos.
Keep in mind: The old harbour of Mandraki in Rhodos island, the new Marina Kos in Kos island as well as Pythagorion marina in Samos island are the “Galazio Sailing” charter bases for the Dodecanese islands.
Kalymnos island has rich mythology and history! Its name is said to derive from the Titan, Kalydnos, son of Ouranos (sky) and Gaia (Earth). The myth says that when Ouranos discovered that one of his sons wanted to bethrone him, he threw them all to Tartara, the bottom of the earth. Kalydnos was lucky enough to land on a small island which was later named after him. Supposedly, you can see his legs from above: the two plains by the mountains.
Kalymnos was first inhabited during the Neolithic period and experienced a similar history with the rest of the Dodecanese islands. It was conquered by the Athenians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Knights of Saint John of Rhodes and the Turkish. The Romans gave many privileges to the island at first but then imposed heavy taxation and looted its treasures.
Also worth mentioning is the earthquake in 535AD that divided the island in two, Kalymnos and Tenendos. The Turkish rule lasted for 490 year until 1912 that Italian took over followed by the Germans. Kalymnos was finally united with the newly built Greek State in 1948. Throughout its history, the sponge diving activities of the locals contributed to the islands wealth and fame.
If you have free time for sightseeing in Kalymnos, you may visit the archaeological museum in Pothia. Near the town, you will also find the castle of Chrisocherias, on top of ancient Byzantine ruins with the church of Chrisocherias inside it. Another castle (Kastelli) is located in Chorio, the old capital of the island. Don’t forget to visit the workshops where the sponges are processed. It is truly a unique experience!
While you are sailing Kalymnos, don’t forget to visit the island of Telendos and Pserimos for a swim and some fishing!
Kalymnos has become very popular destination for international rock climbers as it provides limestone cliffs with a multitude of caves and overhanging areas, ideal for sport climbing.
For scuba diving lovers, Kalymnos is the ideal place as it has the largest scuba diving area in Greece. Furthermore, the first underwater park is to be established in Kalymnos especially for scuba diving. All organised beaches on the West coast of the island, offer diving lessons and equipment.