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WorldMediterraneanAegean SeaGreeceDodecaneseKalymnos
There are Port(s) of Entry here
36°59.16′N, 26°58.26′E Chart icon.png
lat=36_59.16_N | lon=26_58.26_E | zoom=11 | y
Greece Kalymnos S.jpg
Satellite View of Kalymnos

Kálymnos (Κάλυμνος) with an area of 109 km2 is the home of the best known sponge divers in Greece. In years past, they had a large fleet of boats which left the island every year after Easter and went to the shore of N. Africa for several months. The hard life of the sponge divers is well described in the wonderful stories of the Modern Greek writer Yannis Maglis. As the sponge trade diminished, taken over by plastic sponges, the island went into a decline and many of its inhabitants migrated to Tarpon Springs in Florida, USA and later to Australia. There are still several sponge boats based in Kalymnos and the Kalymniots are not only terrific divers but all-round superb seamen of great daring. Not too long ago, a visitor to the island could not fail but notice the large number of crippled men. They were victims of the bends, the embolism caused by un-dissolved nitrogen bubbles in the blood, that is caused by inadequate decompression after a long dive.

In addition to the main harbour of Kalymnos, Pothia, there are smaller anchorages at Vathís, Emborios, Myrtia, Vlichádia and Arginontas. (See below)


2682 Kolpos Patalion to Nisos Nisiros
G34 Southern Cyclades
54407 Nisos Kalymnos to Kadriga Burnu
451 Leros to Rhodos


See Aegean Sea.





Island icon Telendos [[Kalymnos#Telendos|Telendos]] (Τέλενδος) 36°59.9′N, 26°55.4′E

The E side of Telendos island has reasonable shelter from the meltemi. It is a pleasant enough place and picturesque, with many tavernas. However, the holding is not good. The bottom is sand and rock with extensive patches of weed. Also, there are several disused mooring blocks off the village, mostly in depths of 6-7 metres, and if you drag your anchor under one of these you will need a diver to remove it. However, Telendos is a delightful lunch stop in settled weather, if you can find a clear spot of sand in which to anchor.

Caution: There are two places where underwater cables are run. Anchor a safe distance from these. Also, anchor close to the shore. At least one sailboat was damaged in 2003 by the passing ferry.


  • Coast Guard - VHF channel 12 and tel. +30 2430 28 137
  • Olympia Radio - No signal

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The approaches to Kalymnos are straightforward, although there are gusts with the meltemi.

Warning: There are strong gusts off the island and in the S. bay while approaching the main harbour of Pothia.



Chart of Póthia

Pothia (Port Kalymnos)

Pothia (Port Kalymnos)/wiki/Kalymnos#Pothia_.28Port_Kalymnos.29
Harbour icon Pothia (Port Kalymnos) [[Kalymnos#Pothia (Port Kalymnos)|Pothia (Port Kalymnos)]] (Πóθια) 36°56.9′N, 26°59.6′E
Port of Entry

Port Kalymnos or Kalimnos or, as it is locally known, Póthia is the main harbour of the island. It affords good shelter from the meltemi, although there are strong NW gusts across the harbour. A heavy swell enters the harbour when southerly winds are blowing. There are two main mooring options for yachts, both of which involve anchor mooring to the quay. There is space for some 12-15 yachts stern-to the quay at the SW end of the harbour, along the section painted in blue. Drop your anchor in 7.0 – 8.0 metres; the bottom is mud and weed and good holding once your anchor is in. Test the holding before leaving your boat, since the meltemi gusts across here on your port bow if you are stern-to. Water and electricity can be connected on the quay (confusingly, the water points carry two stickers, one of which proclaims the water as potable, the other as non-potable. We have had no problems with the water here, although we do use a charcoal filter for drinking water - --Athene of Lymington 19:13, 9 September 2010 (UTC)). The second option is the new quay (also painted blue) which has been constructed at the NW end of the harbour, north of the fishing quay. Here, there is room for almost 50 yachts. Depths 2 metres from the quay are around 3.0 – 3.5 metres but beware of some concrete blocks beside the wall if your rudder draws >2m. Drop your anchor in 6.0 – 7.0 metres; the bottom is mud and weed and good holding. The meltemi gusts down onto your stern here (assuming you moor stern-to), so it is a more secure mooring option if the meltemi is blowing at full strength. However, there is a constant swell from ferry and other traffic entering and leaving the harbour. As with the SW quay, water and electricity can be connected.

Both mooring options suffer from traffic noise and also the din from restaurants and bars, but perhaps that is to be expected in the island capital.

Note: As in other islands of Dodecanese (Lispi, but especially in Symi where this issue has become really serious), there are unformal "mooring helpers" with a fixed or variable tariff: these people must not be confused with personnel delegate from the town to collect port feed. In Kalymnos there is a man with a yellow emergency jacket with "mooring assistance" written on it, which very often people think is the town delegate: I encourage all sailors to be formal and always be sure you are paying the fee to the right person: ask your neighbour when you arrive and they will explain: this man is collecting money to help you mooring (!) --Francescor

Pothia Bay
The inner harbour of Póthia
The new north quay at Póthia
Yacht moorings on the south quay at Póthia
Satellite view of Vathis


Harbour icon Vathis [[Kalymnos#Vathis|Vathis]] 36°58.44′N, 27°01.76′E

Vathís (Βαθύϛ - Deep) or Vathí is a deep fjord on the E side of the island. It is possible to go stern-to the short mole (on the E side, the W side is too shallow), although there is not much to tie your lines on to. The bottom is sand and weed and not always good holding. Make sure your anchor has penetrated the weed and it is not caught at the roots giving you a false sense of security.

The shelter from the meltemi is excellent but there can be very strong gusts down the steep hills. The place is very attractive. Good food at Popis.

Drop your anchor as close as you dare to the cliffs opposite - the depths rise quickly.

A sponge seller will often direct you where and how to anchor. He can be very helpful, but does make the process more complex than it needs to be. It is shallow on the edges of the Mole and there are rocks in places. You may need to run longer shore lines and use your dingy or swim platform to go a shore. Make sure you leave plenty of space as the swell from passing traffic can push you against the concrete. If you arrive late, it is ok to go stern to on the main wall providing you leave early before the day trippers arrive (normally around 10AM).
Yachts in Vathís
Vathís inlet
Chart of Myrtia


Harbour icon Myrtia [[Kalymnos#Myrtia|Myrtia]] (Μυρτιά) 36°59.33′N, 26°55.78′E

Myrtia is a small harbor across from Telendos. There is room for two yachts to tie side-to inside the mole.

Reasonable protection. Pleasant place, several tavernas.
View of Myrtia

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Plans have been abandoned for constructing a new marina in the harbour of Pothia. The area designated is now filled with local boat moorings.


Satellite view of Vlichadia


Anchorage icon Vlichadia [[Kalymnos#Vlichadia|Vlichadia]] 36°55.8′N, 26°57.9′E

Vlichádia cove, on the S side of the island and a couple of miles W of Póthia is a very attractive and quiet anchorage. It provides good shelter from the meltemi but it is gusty and the wind changes at night from the northerly meltemi to southerly. The bottom is loose mud and does not always provide good holding. Anchor at 4-5 m in the middle of the cove and avoid the small landing used by day-trip boats.

There is a bus to town at 0800 (tickets at the town). There are three small and attractive tavernas and an interesting "Sea World Museum" run by the colorful Vaslamidis brothers. The people here are very friendly.

Six or seven moorings have been laid by two of the tavernas. They are somewhat close together and the buoy parted from the riser on one during our visit, so care is needed before trusting them.

Port Akti

Port Akti/wiki/Kalymnos#Port_Akti
Anchorage icon Port Akti [[Kalymnos#Port Akti|Port Akti]] 36°57.5′N, 27°02.3′E

This cove is just S of Vathís. With strong meltemi there are swell in the cove. The cove has a large fish farm that dirties the water.

Anchor at the head of the bay.
Satellite view of Palionissos


Anchorage icon Palionissos [[Kalymnos#Palionissos|Palionissos]] 37°02.1′N, 26°58.9′E
This cove, also referred to as Baia Isolavecchia, is on the NE side of the island. It is not as good an anchorage as it appears because of the bad holding. But now (2012) there are 2 tavernas that provide several moorings. These appear secure in reasonable weather but consist of either cement filled half barrels, engine blocks, or cement filled refrigerators.
Chart of Emborios


Buoy icon Emborios [[Kalymnos#Emborios|Emborios]] (Εμποριός) 37°02.7′N, 26°55.7′E

Emboriós is a bay on the NW side of the island protected by the small island of Kalavros. While the village is attractive, the water is murky due to several fish-farms. The cove is well protected from the meltemi but the bottom is mud and sand with thick weed and provides uncertain holding. Use one of the ten orange buoys belonging to the restaurants. Obviously, if availing yourself of a buoy, you should favour the taverna to which it belongs with your custom. The tavernas serve good fish.

Alternatively, anchor in the small cove to the SW of the village, where there is room for 3/4 yachts to swing to their anchors. Anchor in 6-7 metres off the beach, where the holding is good in sand. Shelter here is good from all directions except east.
Emboriós fom the W
Barba Nicolas in Emboriós
Rain Clouds moving in


Anchorage icon Arginontas [[Kalymnos#Arginontas|Arginontas]] (Αγρινόντας) 37°01′N, 26°57.9′E

Arginontas is a very attractive cove about 2 nM E of Emborió. Just a few houses. It is well protected from the meltemi but there is some swell.

Anchor on sand 5-4 m, look for a clear sand patch otherwise holding not so good.


Water Póthia: the water is now potable
Electricity Póthia: there is a 5€ fee
Toilets N/A (Not Available).
Showers N/A
Laundry ?
Garbage There are bins around the harbors and in several anchorages
Fuel Póthia: there is a fuel jetty outside the harbour on the north side of the bay
Bottled gas Póthia: there is a filling station for Camping Gaz
Chandlers Póthia: there are several chandlers near the waterfront
Repairs Póthia: there are many machine and Diesel engine shops
Internet In Internet cafés
Mobile connectivity Strong 4G sigmal in most of the island
Vehicle rentals Póthia: there are several car & motorbike agencies in the town


Póthia/wiki/Kalymnos#.5B.5B.23Pothia_.28Port_Kalymnos.29.7CP.C3.B3thia.5D.5DProvisions icon Póthia [[Kalymnos#Póthia|Póthia]] There are many grocery stores in the town.

Eating out

Navredns/wiki/Kalymnos#NavrednsEatingout icon Navredns [[Kalymnos#Navredns|Navredns]] behind the Olympic Hotel is excellent.
Barba-Petros/wiki/Kalymnos#Barba-PetrosEatingout icon Barba-Petros [[Kalymnos#Barba-Petros|Barba-Petros]] recomended.
Minore/wiki/Kalymnos#MinoreEatingout icon Minore [[Kalymnos#Minore|Minore]] recomended.
Lefteris/wiki/Kalymnos#LefterisEatingout icon Lefteris [[Kalymnos#Lefteris|Lefteris]] near the Metropolis is also recomended.
Argos/wiki/Kalymnos#ArgosEatingout icon Argos [[Kalymnos#Argos|Argos]] in the waterfront is also recomended.
Paradisos (Paradise)/wiki/Kalymnos#Paradisos_.28Paradise.29Eatingout icon Paradisos (Paradise) [[Kalymnos#Paradisos (Paradise)|Paradisos (Paradise)]] serves good food.
Popis)/wiki/Kalymnos#Popis.29Eatingout icon Popis) [[Kalymnos#Popis)|Popis)]] has good food.
Good fresh fish.
Barba Nicolas/wiki/Kalymnos#Barba_NicolasEatingout icon Barba Nicolas [[Kalymnos#Barba Nicolas|Barba Nicolas]] good fish also, , operated by his son Pavlos.
Captain Kostas/wiki/Kalymnos#Captain_KostasEatingout icon Captain Kostas [[Kalymnos#Captain Kostas|Captain Kostas]] good fresh fish and other island specialties.


There are in the summer daily ferries to Athens. Also in the summer, there is fast catamaran service to Kos, Rhodes, Sými, Niseros, Leros, Lipsi, Patmos, and Samos.


Greece Kalymnos DivingMuseum.jpg
In the Nautical Museum
Greece Kalymnos PlYialos.jpg
Platys Yialos
Pera Kastro fortified village
Kalymnos Cave1.jpg
The Kolonóstilo Cave


According to the mythology, Kalymnos was a son of Ouranos (Sky) and Gaia (Earth). His father flung into the sea but he landed on his mother bosom and rose from sea to become a group of islands named Kalydnai. Kalydnai are mentioned by Homer as a participant to the Trojan War but it was not until the 4th century BC that the largest of the group became known as Kalymnos. A Neolithic settlement has been found near Vothíni and a Neolithic shrine to Zeus in the Kefalos Cave on the S. side of the island. The island was colonized first by Mycenaeans from Argos who were followed by the Dorians. During the Persian Wars it was conquered by the Persian ally Artemisia, the queen of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum). Following the Persian defeat, Kalymnos joined the Delian League and allied with Athens.

During the Middle ages Kalymnos was part of the Byzantine Empire until the 11th century AD when it was invaded by the Seljuk Turks who killed almost all of its inhabitants. The few survivors retreated inland to the Pera Kástro (Far Castle) which became the island's medieval capital. After the Fourth Crusade, the Vinioli of Genoa took over the island but the sold it to the Knights of St. John who further fortified the old castle. They lasted until 1522 when the knights left to help their brothers in Rhodes who were under siege. After Rhodes fell, the knights moved to Malta and the Ottomans took over both Kalymnos and Rhodes. In 1912 the Italians took Kalymnos along with the rest of the Dodecanese form the Turks. During the fascist period, before the World War II, the Italian fascists tried to convert the islanders to Catholicism and closed down the Greek schools. They were met with fierce opposition. After the war, in 1947, Kalymnos was united with Greece.

Places to Visit


Póthia is the third largest city in the Dodecanese. It has many old mansions and churches. Along the waterfront there 43 bronze statues by Michael and Irene Kokkinos. The Archeological Museum (open daily except Mondays 10:00-14:00) is housed in an old neoclassical mansion, the Vouvalis mansion. This was the family house of the wealthiest sponge merchant of Kalymnos. It houses the family furniture and personal effects and some archeological artifacts.

The Nautical Museum has a very interesting exhibit on the history of sponge diving. It is an amazing story of wealth, daring, and human misery. Sponge diving was the major occupation in Kalymnos (as well as Symi and Chalki) until recently when natural sponges were replaced by plastic ones. The men will leave the island on small caïques in the Spring and will return in late Autumn. They ranged all along the African coast of the Mediterranean. Many of the divers did not return or returned as cripples. Thousands over the years. Knowledge of the bends did not exist and the treatment was primitive at best. The victim was buried up to his neck in the hot sand. After a few days some survived, others died. The Sponge Diving School is also worth seeing.

Next to the Nautical Museum is the Folklore Museum operated by the local Greek Ladies Club (Lykio Ellinidon). It shows several local costumes and embroideries. They also sell some contemporary stuff.


Inland from Pothiá is the old capita Chorió build around the castle, Pera Kástro. Pera Kástro is a mediaeval walled village, occupied from the 14th century until the decline in piracy in the 18th century. The village is constructed on a massive crag with wonderful views all around. The steep climb up to the village, which contains the ruins of numerous houses as well as six small churches, is well worth the effort. Not far from Chorio is the Cave of The Seven Virgins where there are holes where libations were poured to the nymphs. On my visit I could not see anything. Legend has it that seven maidens took refuge here from the pirates and disappeared in the cave. In the area there some Mycenaean tombs.

Kolonóstilo Cave

This cave also, known as the Cyclops Cave, is near Emboriós. It has stalactites. Nearby are the remains of a Venetian castle and a tower believed to be a Neolithic temple.

Kéfalas Cave

It is near Vlichádia. The cave which was a sanctuary to Zeus, was discovered in 1961 and has six chambers of colorful stalactites and stalagmites.

Near Vathís

The area of Vathís is very beautiful with the fjord and its mandarin and lemon groves. The inland village of Platanos has the remains of Cyclopean Walls. In the Daskaleío Cave , which can only be reached by boat, was found a trove of Neolithic and Bronze Age artifacts.

In Vlichádia

The Sea World Museum in Vlichádia is open 10-14. It is operated by its owners the Vaslamidis brothers. It has every attractive and extensive shell collection along with other odds and ends from the sea.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Greece.


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