The island of Kalymnos is partly mountainous and barren with fertile inner valleys. It has an elongated shape and a very rocky, jagged coastline with islets, the main ones being Telendos and Pserimos. The mountains that go down to the sea give the island an almost lunar landscape and it attracts hikers and free climbers. Each October there is an important festival called 'The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival' that draws climbers from all around the world.


According to Greek mythology, the name of the island derives from Titan who called Kalydnos son of Gea and Uranus. Historical testimonies tell of repeated invasions from the Carers, Achaeans, Macedonians and Romans. In 535 BC. a strong earthquake occurred which separated the island from Telendos.

Later the island was invaded by Byzantines, Venetians and the Knights of Rhodes. After this, it was given to the Turks and to the Italians who governed it from 1912 to 1943. Evidence of these invasions can be seen in the Archaeological Museum, which has interesting prehistoric and Byzantine artefacts along with the remains of the Castle of the Knights of Rhodes who lived here for a long time. The sponge trade has flourished on Kalymnos for over 500 years. Today, unfortunately, the sponge that was formerly harvested by fishermen no longer comes from the island but from North Africa however, you can still visit the factories where the sponge is treated before being sold.


Kalymnos offers tourists all kinds of attractions and yet it is still fairly unknown to international tourists. There is trekking, diving and beautiful pebble beaches to explore. You can also do excursions to the nearby islands such as Telendos, called 'the sleeping beauty', and Kythnos, where there are hot springs.

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