Kalymnos is one of the Greek Dodecanese Islands in the Agean Sea, north of Kos and Rhodes, and just off the coast of Turkey. It has a very dry arid landscape, hilly, with many near vertical ridges devoid of vegatation, making it a year round mecca for climbers, with more than a 1,000 climbs, some with very technical with overhangs. Its not really a walker's destination. There are a couple of short walks, and a longer 100 km Kalymnos Trail, but much of it is *very* tough along cliff side paths and former shepherd's trails. Its main commercial city and picturesque natural harbour on the east coast is Portos. Most tourists head to the west coast around the adjoing full on tourist coastal strip of Myrties and Masouri, which has nearly all the tourist hotels and holiday rentals along a series of narrow beaches with gritty grey sand. Just off the coast (regular shuttle ferry) is the car-free "mountain" islet of Telendos. Its very dramatic from the coast, especially at sunset, and makes a great day trip with spectacular views back to the main island. The coast road continues north around a sparsly populated large inlet to Arginonta, and eventually to pretty Emporious at the end of the road. A new side road goes over the ridge to Palinonisos, a spectacular beach in an inlet. There are just 2 other roads from the capital - south to Vlychadia (quiet beach town) and north to Vathys (narrow fjord like harbour). * [Climb Kalymnos](https://climbkalymnos.com/) Their definitive climbing guide is ~ 45 euros (app or book, not on Amazon). Also has the latest ferry info. * [Kalymnos Trail](http://www.topoguide.gr/kalymnos_kalymnostrail_en.php) - Greek topo map of the island and trail GPX # Getting There Daily boats go back and forth from Mastichari in Kos (which has an airport). Upto 4 times a day in summer. 7 Euros. Its 5km to Kos airport, about 15 euros or 2 euros by bus (every 2 hours or so). Hydrofoils go to Kos town on the: Samsos - (islands) - Kalymons - Kos - Rhodes route - 15 euros. Up to twice a day A large car ferry on the Athens - Kalymnos - Kos - Rhodes - Athens route. 1 a day. There is a small airport, with flights from Athens only. # Getting Around The main bus route (up to hourly in summer) : Portos (ferry) - Portos (town) - Chora (inland town) - Kalimnos (mini roundabout) - Kantourni beach - Kalimnos (again!) - Myrties and Masouri beaches (ferry to Telendos islet) - Armeos. A few buses carry on all the way to Emporios. Pretty much everything is on this route. Note that in the tourist beach area, there is a 1-way section. Going the bus takes the one-way high road above the beach (you may have to walk downhill with your bags, or from the far end of the 1-way section). Returning, it takes the lower 1-way beach road. There are 2 other bus routes: Portos - Vathys (north, fjord harbour) and Portos - Vlychadia (south, quieter beach town), 3 or 4 per day. Scooters are popular, it being Greece, and there are local car hire firms (rather than the big international names). They'll let you drop your car off at the ferry terminal if you have an early boat. # Where to stay To explorer the island by public transport, or if staying a few days and leaving by early ferry, stay in Portos. The vast majority (and most of the climbers) stay in the beach area. When booking pay attention to see if your accommodation is on the main drag (or not), and up or over a hill from the beach (or not). Hills can be very hard work to walk up in the midday heat during the summer. The only other options is a small (but pretty) coastal tourist villages north of the main tourist area, or the more Greek second home resorts south of it. Note the island is very hilly, and walking uphill in the heat of the day is very hard work. If you don't have your own transport, choose carefully. # Supermarkets If self catering, there are a couple of small but expensive convenience stores in the tourist beach area. There are larger supermarkets on Portos waterfront, on the bus route just before Kalimnos, and a couple in Chorio not on the bus route. Anything imported (so that's most things) will be more expensive than you're used to. # Siteseeing ## Portos (east coast port and main town) The largest town and the main harbour. Set around a large bay (a natural harbour) backed by steep hills. Few tourists stay here, but it would be convinient for the bus network or an early boat. Lots of picturesque narrow car free streets. Day trips to Turkey in season. ### The Italian Path The Italian path over the mountains to Vathys. Built by the Italians during their occupation in the 1930's. Start early in summer. Return by bus. Walk down to the coast, and catch it by the small "fjord" harbour. ## Chorio (inland) Almost an inland extension of Portos, with no real center, it has 2 ruined castles, and some supermarkets. ### Chora castle Ruins of a massive fortress about 150m (450 feet) climb up a staircase above the town. Go early in summer! Park near the bottom of the staircase, or get off the bus where the road get very narrow! Free. ### Chrysocheria castle Ruins of a much smaller fort on the opposite side of the valley (but with a nice view of Chora castle). Easily accessible by car (you can drive up to it). Free. ## Kalimnos (west coast) Just a mini roundabout with a couple of tavernas popular with locals, and a hotel. A side road leads to 3 beaches. ### Kantouni Beach A small beach about 1km off the main road, but the main island bus stops here. 2 tavernas by the beach, and some small hotels. Just above the beach is a church. There's a great rocky cliff side footpath to a small chapel (about 3km). ### Linaria Beach A beach with a taverna. Walkable from Kantouni, and the Kalimnos bus stop. ### Plays Gialos Beach A slightly wilder beach. Over a steep hill from the Kalimnos bus stop, so you need your own transport. Nice beach bar. ## Main tourist area (west coast) Aside: Telendos Boats every 30 mins, 8am to midnight xxx town xxx town Town beach. Nice walk to the summit of the peninsular (once on the peninsular, go left uphill, then right). Two small beaches at the entrance to the peninsular with just 1 or 2 trees for shade. Unfortunaely, the goats like the shade as well, so they sand under them is full of goat faeces. Just before, a road wind us over the ridge, and down the other side to xxxxx. (carry oin at the end of the road along a track). Great beach in a small bay. 3 tavernas to choose from. Sadly, food didnt leave up to the expectation in such a beautiful place. ## The rest of the island Off the main bus route. ### South of Portos, 2 bays with a couple of tavernas and a museum of undersea finds ### Vathys North of Portos, along a new coast road. A small inlet (fjord-like), full of yachties, with a couple of tavernas. Not much to do. ### xxx A hill town above Chorio. No center. Not even a taverna. Just a small airport!