Kalymnos – Amazing and Spectacular Rock Formations for All Climbers

Kalymnos is a beautiful rocky island, one of the Dodecanese, located not far from the coast of Turkey. The best way to travel to Kalymnos is to fly from Athens. Kalymnos is a top climbing destination due to the amazing rock formations on the island. Climbing is an extremely popular activity in Kalymnos and every year a climbing festival is taking place in the island.

10 best things to do in Kalymnos

Where is Kalymnos?

What is Kalymnos Famous for?

When to Climb in Kalymnos?

Perfect Sport Climbing Routes

Kalymnos – Where to Stay?

Kalymnos – What Things to Do?

Kalymnos Beach Guide

Kalymnos – What to See?

Weather and Climate in Kalymnos

Kalymnos – How to Get There?

Who Flies to Kalymnos?

How Big is Kalymnos Island?

The Kalymnos Landscape

The Sponge of Kalymnos

Pserimos Island

Telendos Islet

Couple on rock high above village in Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece
Couple enjoying the view from a rock high above the sea in Kalymnos

10 best things to do in Kalymnos

  1. Rock climbing some of the 3400 routes on the island of Kalymnos.
  2. Visit neighboring Telendos, an island with picturesque villages, secludes beaches and coves
  3. Visit the Sponge Factory in Pothia, the capital of Kalymnos
  4. Visit the Sea World Museum in Vlychadia village – private collection of items related to the marine world
  5. Climb to the hilltop of Agios Savvas, a beautiful church with amazing view of Pothia port and town
  6. Chryssocheria Castle situated on another hill above Pothia was built by the Knights of Saint John. Visit this Citadel of the Knights and see the little chapel of Panagia Chrysochera inside the castle
  7. Go scuba diving in Kalymnos – in Pothia Town you will find Kalymnos Diving Center
  8. Go on a painting trip: Try a workshop where you can be taught anything from watercolour to portraiture in Pothia, Kalymnos
  9. Go shopping in the souvenir shops in Pothia, Massouri or Panormos. Find local objects like natural sponges, leather goods, craft ceramics, sculptures, woven rugs, and wild herbs and spices
  10. Enjoy the evenings dining in the great taverns of Myrties, Massouri, and Vlychadia or have a drink in a bar or dance the night away in a night club in Pothia
The central port of Pothia in Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
Pothia port with the small fishing boats

Where is Kalymnos Greece?

Map of Eastern Aegean Sea, Greece
Click to enlarge map

Kalymnos Greece lies in a short distance from the Turkish coast in the south eastern Aegean Sea. The island belongs to the Dodecanese. Thanks to its proximity to the other Dodecanese islands it is perfect for island hopping, so on vacation do not miss the opportunity to go island hopping to nearby islands of Kos, Patmos, and Leros.

Side entrance from the city walls to the grand master palace of Rhodes island, Dodecanese Greece

Dodecanese Tours


What is Kalymnos famous for?

A vintage diving suit with helmet placed among natural sponges, Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
A vintage diving suit with helmet placed among natural sponges in Kalymnos

Kalymnos is first famous for its landscape with the strange rock formations. Because of these spectacular rock formations Kalymnos has become famous worldwide as a top climbing destination and hosts many climbing clubs already. Read more about rock climbing in Greece
Kalymnos is also famous for its long sponge fishing tradition. The islanders used to fish sponges for a living, but you will still find many sponge sellers at Pothia beachfront.

When to climb in Kalymnos?

Courses, coaching and guiding in climbing the routes in Kalymnos take place from the start of the summer and in fall through September and October.

Each year Kalymnos Climbing Festival takes place in October. This is an international event attracting climbers from all over the world.

Perfect sport climbing routes

Around the world Kalymnos is considered a must-see climbing destination for every sport climber. On the island you will be surrounded by some of the finest limestone crags in the world with more than 3400 routes suitable for any level and style. It also has a great reputation according to safety with bolts. It is one of the best spots in the world to learn outdoor climbing, lead climbing or to improve your climbing technique!

Rock climber on overhanging cliff in Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
Rock climber in Kalymnos
Read more

Kalymnos – Where to stay?

Overview of Pothia, the capital town of Kalymnos, Dodecanese Greece
Pothia, the capital town of Kalymnos

Kalymnos is perfect for you who love relaxing at the beach. Moving away from Pothia you will find the best seaside villages on the western coast of Kalymnos. Both Kantouni, Myrties and Emporios have good hotels, apartments and studios and stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters.

Kalymnos – What things to do?

View of Telendos from Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
Telendos seen from Kalymnos

On your visit to Kalymnos do not miss the chance to visit the neighbouring island of Telendos. Originally the two islands were one, but a major earthquake around 500 A.D. separated Telendos from Kalymnos. Telendos boasts an amazing natural landscape with naturist beaches, secluded coves, and traditional villages – really THE place for relaxing in tranquillity.
The beaches on Kalymnos are spectacular. There are many of them and they promise to cover all preferences and desires. They all have the deep blue crystal-clear waters. Many of them combine natural beauty and amenities that provide you with all the necessities for you to enjoy your favourite water sports.
Kalymnos is famous for its great and most spectacular rock-climbing routes, but it also has the most crystal-clear waters, perfect for diving in rocky underwater surroundings. Of course, in this kind of rocky environment hiking is an obvious choice as well, offering you the most breath-taking views.

Kalymnos Beach Guide

Kalymnos beach, Dodecanese, Greece
Stairs from beach at amazing bay in Kalymnos

Partly organized

Arginontas beach, Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
Arginontas beach

Arginonta Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 15 km north of Pothia
Myrties Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 8 km northwest of Pothia
Kantouni Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 5 km northwest of Pothia
Emporio Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 24 km northwest of Pothia
Massouri Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 9 km northwest of Pothia
Linaria Beach – Pebbled, located 6 km northwest of Pothia
Town Beach – Pebbled, harbour, in walking distance from Pothia
Kalamies Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 23 km northwest of Pothia
Lagouna Beach Vlychadia Beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 6 km southwest of Pothia

Unorganized beaches

Therma beach in Kalymnos island, Dodecanese Greece
Therma beach

Platis Yialos Beach – Pebbled, located 7 km northwest of Pothia
Melitsahas Beach – Pebbled, located 7 km northwest of Pothia
Agios Nikolaos Beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 1 km east of Pothia
Akti Beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 7 km east of Pothia
Agios Soulas Beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 2 km east of Pothia
Ton Toicho Beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 23 km northwest of Pothia

Kalymnos – What to see?

Monastery Agios Savvas in Kalymnos island, Dodecanes Greece
Monastery of Agios Savvas in Pothia

Monastery of Saint Savva, Pothia
An attractive monastery perched high on the hill above Pothia. The church has typically beautiful decoration, and the view is particularly good. Open 10AM to 2PM, 5PM to 7PM. Either take a bus from Pothia towards Vilhadia; take a taxi; or take the short but hilly walk from Pothia.

Sea World Museum, Vlychadia
This is a private museum, a work of the Valsamidi brothers born and living on Kalymnos. With their love of the sea and a willingness to share the joys and wealth with the world, they built this museum with a great deal of effort and zeal. They worked as architects, builders, collectors, decorators without ever stopping their favourite activity, diving.

Read more
Ancient ruins at Agios Stefanos in Kefalos Bay in Kos, Islet of Kastri in the background, Kos, Dodecanese Greece

Kos Tours


Weather and climate in Kalymnos

Traditional fishing boats in Kalymnos harbour Pothia, Dodecanese Greece
Traditional fishing boats in the port of Pothia
Average air and sea temperatures in Kalymnos in °C

Just like in the rest of the Dodecanese the climate in Kalymnos is Mediterranean characterized by warm and dry summers with sunshine. The winters are mild, and during autumn and winter months heavy rains can occur. During the months of July and August the refreshing winds make the otherwise high temperatures bearable. Being an island humidity of course is quite high.

Kalymnos – How to get there?

Port of Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece
Port of Kalymnos, Dodecanese

Kalymnos is connected by ferry to Piraeus port in Athens, with approximately 3 routes per week. Beware though of the long trip which lasts about 10 hours. You can reach Kalymnos by ferry from some of the other Dodecanese islands, including Rhodes, Patmos, Kos, and Leros. From Mastihari port in Kos you will find very frequent departures for Kalymnos, about 2, 3 per day.

Who flies to Kalymnos?

Kalymnos Island National Airport receives only domestic flights from Athens where the flight duration is approx. 1 hour. From the airport in Kalymnos you need to arrange for transfer. The airport is seated almost 6 km from Pothia Town.

How big is Kalymnos island?

Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece - islets in moonshine
Pserimos and Plati islets seen from Kalymnos

In 2011 the island had a population of 16,235, making it the third most populous island of the Dodecanese, after Kos and Rhodes.

Read more

Pserimos island

Pserimos island, Dodecanese - Photo by S. Lambadaridis
Beach and port of Pserimos island

Pserimos is a small Greek island in the Dodecanese chain, lying between Kalymnos and Kos in front of the coast of Turkey.

Read more

Telendos islet – blessed with tranquility

The islet of Telendos near Myrties port in Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece
The islet of Telendos near Myrties port in Kalymnos

Telendos is a tiny island, at a short distance from Kalymnos. Up to 535 AD it was part of Kalymnos, but an earthquake separated the two. It is a lovely island without cars, blessed with tranquility.

Read more