Kalimnos is best known as the island of some of the world's finest sponge divers. Although Kalimnos is a developing tourist centre, you can still see the sponge fishermen at work even today and you can still experience the islanders' traditional way of life.
On this beautiful island of Kalimnos in the Dodecanese, you can take nice walks, swim in beautiful caves, and discover lovely beaches and unspoiled scenery, an example of which is the authentic village of Vathi hidden in a beautiful green valley. Due to its mountainous landscape, Kalymnos is also one of the best places to practice mountain climbing!
Also, most of the beaches of Kalymnos are equipped with water sport facilities. The wonderful sunsets over the tiny island Telendos are not to be missed - they are on par with those of Santorini!
INFORMATION ABOUT KALYMNOS ISLAND
Kalymnos is part of the Dodecanese (group of island located along the coast of western Turkey) and is lying between the islands of Kos and Leros. It is an attractive island with a population of about 12000 inhabitants, which are mostly leaving in the capital and main port, Pothia. Kalymnos is famous for its sponge fishing industry and almost all the old men of the island were one diving for fishing sponges. Since this industry has fallen because Mediterranean sponges suffered from a viral disease in 1986 and a lot of them died, as the economy of the island did. The late tourism has helped a bit the island and its inhabitants, even if it is only at its beginning and the beautiful coasts of the island are still uncrowded during high season. Because of the low level of tourism, Kalymnos is still very authentic and its inhabitants are very friendly and hospitable. This gives to the island, along with its beautiful landscape and beaches, a particular atmosphere that charms every visitor.
HISTORY OF KALYMNOS ISLAND
The island of Kalymnos experienced a similar history with the rest of the island that form the group called Dodecanese.
Kalymnos has been inhabited since pre-Minoan times. After the death of Alexander the Great, one of its successor, Ptolemy I of Egypt, took control of all the islands of the Dodecanese. The inhabitants of the group were the first Greeks to convert to Christianity because Saint Paul and Saint John passed there to preach their religion. During the Early Byzantine times Kalymnos was prosper like all the other islands of the group but by the 7th century AD, invaders started to be attracted by the strategic and vulnerable position of those islands. In the 14th century, the crusaders called the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem ruled the Dodecanese, along with Kalymnos. Turkish rule followed in 1522 and ended in 1912, to let the Italians take there place. When the Italians did surrender, the Germans and British fought to take control over the islands of the Dodecanese. Kalymnos, with the rest of the Dodecanese, was united to the newly built Greek State in 1947.
Some of the most important sites of Kalimnos worth visiting are the following:
- The Archaeological Museum of Kalimnos (Vouvalis Mansion)
- The Nautical Museum
- The Sea World Museum
- The traditional house (on the road leading to Agios Savas, a museum is housed in an old traditional Kalymnian house. The beautiful building has been restored and exhibits traditional costumes and household objects. Opening hours: 8. 30 am to 2 pm.)