Discover our complete travel guide to Kimolos Island, renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning Cycladic architecture and unspoiled atmosphere.
In the shadow of famous Milos, Kimolos, or Argentiera (as the Venetians called this volcanic island) offers natural beauty combined with raw minimalism – leading to a forgotten tranquillity that’s priceless nowadays.
Perfect place for…
Kimolos is ideal for a relaxing, laid-back vacation, away from the fuss and the crowds you tend to get on other popular islands.
Where to stay
Either around Chorio (the main town) or Psathi port.
Where to sleep
Aria Hotels (2287051677) with a total of eleven different hotels throughout the island, 4 of which (Bonatsa, Thalassa, Psathi, Elephant) are situated right on the beach.
The amphitheatrically built Kimolis (2287051612) between Chorio and Psathi features suites and deluxe rooms with a nice courtyard.
At Kimolia Gi (2287051192), a complex with 6 studios and 2 independent residences on Prasa beach. They also organise activities such as fishing, beach grilling, and donkey rides among others.
Must See + Do
At the foot of Xaplovouni mountain lies Chorio, the picturesque settlement of Kimolos, here The Inner and Outer Castle are connected by four passages. The so-called “Portares”, blend in beautifully with the cubic Cycladic houses, the medieval walls, charming little shops and makeshift libraries.
In the centre of the Village (Chorio) – without stairs to go up and down – lies the Castle. Built in the Middle Ages, the locals call this “a village within a village”. Many houses are found among the old walls here and traditional domes and arches characterise the buildings.
Make sure to check out the caves carved into the rocks, which local fishermen created to protect their boats during the winter (you can find them on Milos as well), this is on the seaside settlement of Goupa-Kara, about 1 kilometre from both Chorio and Psathi. Coloured wooden doors in front of hollow caves on volcanic rocks, boats moored on the coves, spread nets, whitewashed rocks and playfully meowing kittens form the stunning scenery.
In Goupa search for a rock that looks like an elephant – it’s a creation of nature. The calm sea will tempt you to dive off the rocks and straight into the turquoise waters.
Check out the Kimolos Experience Festival, which offers open-air cinema events under the starry sky at unique locations around the island.
Late afternoon, when the sun goes down, head towards Skiadi and check out the rock mushroom, a rare geological creation that formed its shape by nature.
Opposite the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Odegetria, you will find the small Archaeological Museum (2287051719, open daily except Thursdays 8:30-3:30) which is housed in a traditional two-story home (one of the oldest on the island). Here you can learn all about the history of Kimolos.
Eat + Drink
Head to the bakery O Paradosiakos (2287051257), where Katerina and Chrysanthi bake ladenia, tyrenia, kolokythenia, elenia and honey pies daily.
Make a stop at Kali Kardia (2287051495), either for coffee in the morning or for traditional stews throughout the day. This shop has been open since 1920 and resembles a traditional kafenion.
Prasonisi (6948620224) close to Prassa Beach, for fresh seafood. In Aliki Beach there is the “Sardis Tavern” for fine fish (which you can pre-order) as well as other homecooked dishes, while in the Kalamitsi Tavern (697460 6086), right on the beach you can order seafood and fish caught straight off the family’s boat.
In the square of Kampos, you will find the Avli tou Samplou (2287051666), with characteristic red windows, it’s located in front of Agios Spyridon church. Check out the blackboard with the dishes of the day that are made with organic vegetables from the family’s farm.
Head to Meltemi View & Taste (2287051360) on the west side, which oversees the Village. The owner and chef Augustis Galanos, after studying and working in Athens, returned to his hometown and took over the family restaurant. His menu consists of local flavours with a particularly creative twist.
Coffee + Sweets
A few steps from the largest church of the Village, there is the traditional cafe The Meeting (2287051801) which has been in business since 1940. Sit at the front raised courtyard or in its picturesque alleys for coffee or tsipouro, and Flora’s delicious mezedes.
In an alley below Kampos Square, you will find Stavento (2287051699) where you can indulge in delicious ice creams such as fig, pomegranate, sour apple, or goat’s milk.
At the port, savor the sokolatopita (chocolate pie) at Raventi (2287051212).
At Agora (6942466937) you can enjoy sophisticated cocktails such as prickly pear, and at Stavento (2287051800), opposite the church of Panagia Odegetria, you can get your morning coffee and your evening drink as well. Tell Stavros your palate preferences and he will serve you a drink to suit your taste. Make a stop at Frangouli (2287051791) for organic pomegranate liqueur from the large pomegranate tree that dominates the cool courtyard. A cocktail from Lostromos at the port is also a must (2287051240).
Certainly try the ladenia, a traditional pie with cherry tomato, onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
The protagonist of Kimolos is Prassa Beach. Found in the east, it’s also known as “white chalk” because of its sand, which owes its special status to the chalk rocks. The combination of white sand with clear turquoise waters creates a dreamlike setting, where mobiles are –fortunately- pretty useless. If you visit the beach in June as I did, you will encounter it in its pristine aspect, while in high season, you will find sunbeds and a beach bar (which may play music at a higher level than what’s suitable for this tranquil beach).
To the southeast, you will find Aliki with fine pebbles and sand, Bonatsa is sandy and shallow, and immediately after Kalamitsi some beaches aren’t so windy (rare for the Cyclades). In Bonatsa above the dirt road, there is the Bonatsa Beach House Hotel, where you can quench your thirst in style at the beach bar.
You cannot miss the sunset at Mavrospilia, it comes highly recommended by locals. The road seems to lead you to nowhere until you approach Aspragremna – perfectly positioned to overlook the sun that sets into the sea.
Grab a refreshing ice cream and head up to the school square where you can enjoy a full view of the Aegean.
The boat trip to the largest uninhabited island of the Aegean, just one mile from Kimolos, is an experience worth living and seeing with your own eyes. Clear turquoise waters like a swimming pool even in the deep, volcanic hills and white rocks form this ideal setting! In addition to being a paradise on earth, Polyaigos is an important habitat, since there, among other animals, the Mediterranean seal monachus monachus finds refuge to give birth. The Cyclades Polynesia, as many call Polyaigo, has been included in the Natura 2000 program and is designated as a Special Protection Zone, since it hosts a large number of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. “Bay Cruises” (6956333107) organises tours around Kimolos or Polyaigos either with groups or privé – with the chef of Meltemi restaurant Augustis Galanos, cooking on board.
Best shopping experience
At the small grocery store, I farma tou Samplou (2287051224) you can get goodies from Kimolos including fresh manoura local sour cheese (which locals use instead of Feta), mountain capers, sweet xylangouros and kritamo pickles, among other delicacies.
Getting there: The ferry route from the port of Piraeus to Kimolos is around 7-8 hours and there are only a few routes. Alternatively, you can go to Milos, as there are more ferries and faster routes, and then take the small local ferry across to Kimolos, which is also connected with some other islands of the Cyclades including Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos and many more.
Best time to go: June, July, August, and early September to get the most out of your trip to the island.
Ideal time to stay: You can easily spend 3 days or a whole week here!
Getting around: Kimolos is a small island, however, you should consider renting a car or motorcycle if you wish to explore the whole island. There is also only one taxi service available on the island (Aneza Logotheti, tel. 6945464093, 2287051552).
What to pack: Swimmers, hat, and sunscreen, also a jacket as it gets breezy at night, and comfy walking shoes if you plan on exploring the island on foot.
All Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©