If you are going to be in Greece this summer and want to visit a beautiful island that is authentic and untouched, Kalymnos is the place for you! Located in the Dodecanese, between the islands of Kos and Leros, it’s most famous for sponge diving.
By Drossoulla Mavromatis
Thanks to its unique geomorphology, Kalymnos is a tourist destination known worldwide for offering alternative vacations and activities such as climbing, scuba diving, mountain biking, making it ideal for daredevils!
With over 15 beaches to choose from, a plethora of shops, delicious restaurants, and of course the beautiful monastery of Agios Savvas where the Patron Saint’s relics are located.
Of course, the island has many beautiful beaches to choose from, such as Myrtees, Arginonta, and Massouri to name a few, but Platys Gialo is one of our top picks.
This is the most popular beach on the island and is a local favorite. This spot has everything from deep blue waters, to intense waves, and even rock diving. If you’re feeling hungry, there are two snack bars and a restaurant on the beach where you can get a bite. The most popular go-to spot is “Kuanoun Snack Bar”, where you can grab toasted sandwiches, fresh seafood, and even one of Kalymnos’ staple dishes “Mermizelli.”
When you have finished your day at the beach, make sure you get back to the hotel to wash up and head over to Plateia.
This is located at the center of the island and is the meeting spot for all locals. Here is where you will find all of the shops, restaurants, bars, and even the church of Christo. This is the place where everybody meets at night to eat, drink, and simply feel the authentic atmosphere.
Of course, there are many delicious restaurants, but our top pick has to be Mamouzellos. A tavern right on the water, with the best seafood you will eat on the entire island! Here you will enjoy octopus, calamari, fried Barbounia, and much more. If you want a guaranteed table, a reservation is highly recommended as this place fills up quick.
If you are in the mood for some nightlife after dinner, one place you can head over to is Domus, which is right on the water! This is the top spot where all the locals go for a drink, and listen to music. It is a very relaxed environment and is an open door to enjoy the beautiful waves.
If you would like to discover Kalymnos’ rich history, the Archaeological Museum, whose major artefact is the copper statue known as the “Lady of Kalymnos”; also make time for the Maritime Museum, dedicated to the life and customs of the sponge harvesters and “Kalymniko Spiti,” a small folk art museum and make sure to stop off at the castle of Chrysocheria, built in the 15th century by the Knights Hospitaller, is essential; on its foot lies the trademark of the island: three stone-built windmills!
Finally, a trip to Kalymnos is not complete until you visit the monastery of Agios Savvas. It’s a bit of a steep hike up the hill, but it is indeed worth it! What makes this monastery so special is not only are his relics found here, but also the fact that this is where he actually lived! Here you are able to go into his home, which is on the property of the monastery, and see absolutely everything! From the Saint’s bed to stamped passports; all of Agios Savvas’ personal items are here on display. There is even a little area where you can place personal objects of loved ones for prayers. The opportunity is a blessing and an honour; you sure do not want to miss it!