If you choose Kalymnos as the island to spend your vacations, you will be accompanied by the splendor of its traditional colors. You will be impressed by its mountains and scent of oregano and thyme together with of a lot of other scented herbs which will stay engraved in your memory for a long time. You will walk between its homogenous houses and you will be impressed by the vast color variations of their windowpanes. The sponges are the trademarks of Kalymnos. They are the main occupation of most of is residents and they are the pride and joy of Greece. They are well known all over the world and the only way you can realize this, in not only by seeing them but by trying them, while enjoying your daily bath. The fishing of the sponges is done with the help of small boats in waters that reach 10- 12 meters deep. They are collected and transported to the place that they are processed until they reach the form that you see available at the stores. Kalymnos offers its hospitality without hesitation and it urges you to discover its beauties. So, take the first boat that leaves from Piraeus and reach Kalymnos after approx. 12 hours or an enjoyable sea voyage. If this might seem a bit too long for you, you might prefer the fast transportation that the airplane provides you. Take the first flight to Kos and from there with local boat you will reach your destination, as fast as possible. The residents of Kalymnos love their island and make sure that they maintain its liveliness and its unique beauty, which everyone talks about. Pothia is the capital of the island. Built amphitheatrically, it is spread out quiet a large area and is the first glimpse the visitor takes when the boat sets port. The port spacious and with many facilities it invites many small and large vessels in at its calm waters. As soon as you set foot on the island and let your glance roam, you will see buildings that accommodate administrative units, that first made their appearance around the 1930 and 1935. Strolling through the little alleys, there at the center of the island you will find everything you desire at the small stores that are available. You can also expand your folklore, archeological and shipping knowledge by visiting the various museums that exist here. Distinct sample of civilizations of previous years is the infamous Tower of Kalymnos. Creation of the Knights of Saint John stands imposingly just a few kilometers from the city center. A little further out, history continues to show its samples, at the temple of KALIDNAIOS - Apollo. In broad lines, Kalymnos climate is characterised by hot summers and mild winters. There is a significant seasonal difference between mid-summer and mid-winter temperatures that ranges from 13
Places near Kalymnos
The archaeological Museum of Kalymnos is housed in the 19th c. mansion of the Vouvalis family, who were sponge fishers. It was built in the mid 19th c. and inaugurated in 1894. The dining room has been reconstructed with the dinner service, the living-room, the office with the commercial correspondence, the service rooms, the storerooms and the photographic archives, complete with all the furniture and family household objects.
Because of the lack of space, the archaeological collection will be moved to a specially organized building. The future display will include figurines, pottery and coins of the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods (7th-1st c. BC) from the necropolis in the Damos district and the depository of the naiskos of Apollo Dalios.
The Museum contains the following collections:
Prehistoric collection, comprising pottery, figurines and tools from the Neolithic, Minoan and Mycenaean periods.
Classical collection, comprising pottery, inscriptions, figurines and sculptures, chiefly of the Hellenistic period.
Reconstruction of the interior of a 19th c. mansion, including the dining room, living-room, storerooms, service rooms and photographic archives of the Vouvalis family.
Private Vouvalis archaeological collection, comprising pottery, lamps and small objects, chiefly of the Hellenistic period.
2ο ΕΝΙΑΙΟ ΛΥΚΕΙΟ ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ
1ο ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ "ΒΟΥΒΑΛΕΙΟ"
5ο ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ
Α.Τ. ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ ΔΩΔΕΚΑΝΗΣΟΥ
2ο ΓΥΜΝΑΣΙΟ ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ
3ο ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΚΑΛΥΜΝΟΥ
Pothia is the capital and also the port of Kalymnos. The construction of Pothia began in early 1850, when pirate raids started to occur less and less often. As a result, the people who lived by then in the Castle of Chora, seeking for protection against the pirates, began progressively to build their homes out of the Castle.
The houses are built in amphitheatrical formation, facing the sea, and are separated from each other by narrow alleys. As you walk in them, you can witness the Italian influence and also the clearly visible details of neoclassical architecture on the traditional buildings. Most traditional houses are encountered in the districts Ypapandi, Hevangelistria, Agios Theologos and Patithries.
Today, Pothia is the administrative and commercial center of the island, where you will find all the public services such as the police, the post office, the port authority, the hospital etc. There are also many facilities for visitors, such as taverns, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and hotels.
In Pothia, you can visit the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos, which presents the history of the island and hosts various treasures that have been occassionally retrieved from the bottom of the sea, and the Nautical Museum, which presents everything related to the great Kalymnian maritime activity and the sponge catching, with exhibits from ancient shipwrecks ships.
Another interesting venue in Pothia is the Vouvalis' family Mansion, where you will get a taste of the Kalymnian urban architecture.
In Pothia's waterfront, it is placed the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. Over there, it is worth seeing the magnificent marble temple, which was crafted by the great Greek sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas. Many churches in Pothia and Kalymnos in general, are adorned with works of great Kalymnianpainters such as S. Magglis, M. Alahouzos, G. Economou, T. Kourounis, N. Maggos, T. Billiris, E. Choulis. and S. Pizanias.
Several beaches are found close to Pothia, one of them being Therma, an area of hot springs that have healing properties.
The beach Kasonia is the closest one to Pothia and is located on the road towards the beach Therma, behind the harbor.
It is a long sandy beach, with a few trees on its coast that provide natural shade to bathers.
It is preferred by families with children and also by the inhabitants of Pothia, due to its easy access from the city.
There are sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, changing rooms, beach bars and some restaurants.
The Maritime Museum of Kalymnos was founded in 1994. It presents the naval tradition, history and methods of the sponge catching, along with many artifacts from ancient shipwrecks. In its four rooms you will see objects related to the profession of sponge catching and sponge processing.
In the Maritime Museum you will learn the diving techniques applied and you will see the equipment used by the sponge catchers, from the beginning of the 19th century until today. You will also find exposed "skandalopetres", which are stones that facilitate the sinking of the divers, tools for sponge processing, maritime instruments (e.g. sextant, compass, barometer), diving suits and air pumps.
A rich collection of photographs from the beginning of the 20th century depict the city and the events that took place during the departure of sponge catchers, demonstrating thus how inextricably connected was the Kalymnian social life with sponge catching.
The exposed items include also anchors made of stone, lead and iron, nautical charts from the 16th-17th century, various findings from shipwrecks, stone cannonballs, ship rigging, nautical lanterns and boat miniatures.
Finally, you can see traditional costumes, dishes, scarves, musical instruments, antique furniture, linens, pillows, textiles, weaving accessories, items for the kneading of bread and jugs that were used in the Kalymnian households in the past.
The beach Gefira is next to Therma and is one of the main beaches of Pothia.
It is a small but beautiful beach with pebbles, rocks and vegetation. The sea water is turquoise and very clean.