Rhodes, Symi, Kos and Leros are some of the Dodecanese islands that are included in a new 42 million euro project for the protection and preservation of their archaeological sites and historical monuments that date back to Medieval, Byzantine, and Ottoman times.
The Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni announced the new project, that will be financed by the Recover Fund, during a recent visit to Rhodes’ Medieval Town.
“Care for our smaller islands is of utter importance. Apart from the 16,800,000 euros that we secured for the restoration and reopening of the National Theatre of Rhodes, there are now many other projects that we have secured for the Medieval City, which will be of huge benefit not only for Rhodes and the Dodecanese,” said Minister Mendoni.
Works will be completed in Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Symi, Halki and Agathonisi.
“The cultural project that’s being launched today on all our islands is unprecedented. In the first phase, works will be completed in Rhodes, Kos, Agathonisi, Leros, Kalymnos and all the other islands will follow after that with prioritisation and above all abundance of interest and care,” said Regional Governor of the South Aegean, George Chatzimarkos added.
Projects include the creation of an integrated historic centre in the Medieval settlement of Rhodes, as well as the development of an open-air museum at the Medieval port, and the maintenance and restoration of the Rejep Pasha mosque.
Kos will see a restoration of the Neratzia Castle and the early Christian baptistery of Agios Ioannis; as well as works on the Defterdar mosque and the Purification Fountain, plus reconstruction of an Italian arcade and the creation of an open-air sculpture gallery at Nerantzia Castle.
In addition, Kalymnos’ Venetian windmills will be restored; Leros will see a former hotel in Lakki restored; Symi will have its bell tower at the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos restored; whereas the Panagia Horiani Church and Archaeological Museum in Halki will have works done.Lastly, works will also take place at Agathonisi’s Thematic Archaeological Museum.
If you are lucky enough to make it to Greece during summer, be sure to add Kalymnos on your list of islands to visit. Although it may be small compared to other isles of the Dodecanese, it’s a beautiful and authentic destination with plenty of things to see and do. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss out on!
By Drossoulla Mavromatis
Relax & Stay in Style
Of course, you can’t plan a trip without finding a nice place to stay. If you are looking for a chic, luxurious, spa experience- look no further! The Carian hotel is the perfect place to base yourself in Kalymnos. This four-star hotel is located in Masouri (a very popular location) with a perfect elevated view of Telendos island. You can start off your day at the balcony pool with spectacular views while enjoying a full breakfast and lunch menu filled with modern flavours and classic Kalymnian staple dishes. The Carian also offers rent a car service, so there is no need to call for a taxi during your stay. After all day in the hot sun being at the pool and beach, there is no better way to wind down than by having some spa relaxation, with a number of facials, body treatments, massages, and even nail and pedicure services to choose from.
One activity Kalymnos is most famous for is rock climbing. If you want to try something adventurous this year, this is the perfect activity! The climbing location is at Masouri, with many varieties of climbs to choose from; beginner to pro! You will be able to climb to thrilling heights with jaw-dropping views of the unique limestone rocks. Give it a shot!
Indulge in Freshly Caught Fish
It is not a trip to Kalymnos without trying local seafood and one of our favourite fish tavernas is Mamouzelos. Located in Pothia, they serve a large variety of freshly caught seafood. The selection ranges from Barbounia, octopus, calamari, and much more. And the best part is, you have the opportunity to be welcomed into the kitchen to select which fish you want!
Get Your Sweet Fix
When you’ve finished at Mamouzelos’, make sure you head over to Vouros Pastries for dessert. There are two locations (Vasilika and New Marina). This family-owned bakery specialises in fresh homemade: Galaktobouriko, Baklava, Koulourakia, gelato, and so much more! The gelato is made fresh every day, with new flavours to choose from every week. If you’re staying somewhere with a freezer-make room! You can also take home mini ice cream cones and bars.
Dive into the Deep Blue Sea
There are many beautiful beaches in Kalymnos to choose from, but the local favourite is Platis Gialos, located seven km from Pothia. Experience deep blue cold waters, intense waves, unique crystal-like rocks, and plenty of cliffs to dive off. If you get hungry, there is no need to leave this beautiful beach to get a hold of some delicious food. If you’re in the mood for some club sandwiches, salads, fries, cold coffees, and other beach foods- Kuanon is your go-to. The best part is you can order and have the food brought right to you so you don’t have to waste any time enjoying the beach! If you are more in the mood for souvlakia, Mermizeli (Kalymnian salad, a must-try delicacy), and seafood- Waves is the place to head to. You can take a break from the beach and have a seat or take it to-go!
HaveSome Spiritual Time Out
One thing you cannot leave Kalymnos without doing is paying a visit to the island’s Patron Saint and Protector, Agios Savvas. The monastery is located on top of a hill in Pothia. What makes this monastery so special is the fact that this was a place where the Holy Saint lived. You have the chance to tour his room, see his old documents (such as passports), and view the relics of Agios Savvas. It’s a beautiful spiritual experience you do not want to miss, and will never forget (even if you aren’t religious).
Stroll the Port by Night
No Greek summer night is complete without a trip to the main town square. Start your night with a stroll gazing past the illuminated limani (port). Grab yourself a quick bite at Serafino’s (the best Gyro and souvlakia in town), and prepare for the nightlife. Here you will find the main cafes, tavernas, outdoor bars, shops, and much more.
Visit Seaside Villages for Sea Sponges
Kalymnos is renowned for its sponge-making tradition. Even though the islanders don’t fish sponges for a living anymore, you’ll find many sponge sellers at Pothia, but it’s quite busy here. We recommend visiting one of the many seaside/fishing villages where you can learn more about this famous local tradition and buy natural Mediterranean sea sponges of all shapes and sizes.