Kalymnos

So authentic, you can’t help but dive right in
From medieval to sponge-diving traditions in Pothia
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Home of the famous sponge divers, this island in the Dodecanese is ideal for modern-day adventurers and aspiring rock climbers

Are you looking for somewhere pure and pristine? Do you crave simplicity and authenticity? Do you like serenity, relaxation and outdoor recreation? Are you mad about rock climbing, scuba diving, or both? Well, if this is what you’re after, Kalymnos is a hidden gem in the Aegean you simply must discover.

 

What to do on Kalymnos

Treasures of the Aegean Sea

On arid and rocky Kalymnos, the sea has always been the only exit for residents. Generously, it provided the locals with its valuable sponges, which they gratefully began harvesting. Exactly when Kalymnians started sponge diving is lost in the mists of time. But today, they have one of the largest fishing fleets in the Aegean and produce about 30,000 sponges annually. You’ll be able to see the numerous species of sponge, as well as witness the various stages they go through before reaching the market.

An international climbing destination

Home to some of the most beautiful rockfaces in Europe, Kalymnos has become world-famous for its 60 striking but safe climbing venues. The rocks on the island have excellent traction and access to climbing areas is a breeze. There are also 1,300 marked hiking routes to be explored. It’s an adventurer’s paradise in the Mediterranean!

Diving in the deep 

The International Diving Festival convenes here every year. Magical worlds – like Nera, Telendos, Platy and the nearby island of Pserimos – will stay carved in your memory as you explore their depths. You can also visit the sunken ancient city in the Myrties-Telendos sea channel.

Esperidon fjord

Perhaps the most beautiful fjord in Greece. A deep, wonderful and centuries-old world captivates visitors. The valley, embroidered with tangerine and orange trees, slopes down to the waiting waters of the Aegean. Inhabitants from the Neolithic period onwards have all left their mark.

 

Hidden gems of Kalymnos

Telendos: Once a peninsula, now an island

An earthquake in 554 AD sliced off a piece of Kalymnos, which sunk into the water at Pothaia, and created the nearby island of Telendos across, with ruins and vestiges of that era. During your holiday here, you can take the boat across, go for a swim and walk the length of the island to feel the spirit of a lost civilisation.

Holidays and Dorian gastronomy

The cuisine of Kalymnos is based on the simplicity and austerity of the Dorians. Mououri is lamb stuffed with rice, mirmizeli is a bread rusk salad with oil, tomato and cheese, fylla are stuffed vine leaves. Delicious!

The Sanctuary of Dalios Apollo

The sanctuary constituted the most important place of worship of the patron saint of the island, but it also functioned as a political and religious centre for ancient Kalymnos. There were places of worship here, such as temples to Apollo and Asklepios, as well as a theatre and a gymnasium. It can be found to the west of the hora, on the road that leads to Panormo. As you explore the area, you’ll find two large Christian churches from the 5th and 6th century.

 

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