Rugged Kalymnos is characterised by its dramatic mountains that draw hardy climbers from all over the world. Its western flank is particularly spectacular with skeletal crags towering above dazzling blue waters. The island is also greener than most of its neighbours, cradling fertile valleys dotted with beehives and bursting with oleander. Add to this the enticing, car-free islet of Telendos, immediately offshore, and you begin to see why the island is fast becoming a must-visit destination.
While its sponge-fishing heyday is long past, Kalymnos remains inextricably entwined with the sea, particularly in its capital and main ferry port, Pothia, where you’ll still find stalls piled high with unearthly looking sponges, and a statue of Poseidon surveying the harbour. As Pothia is a working town, it’s more restful to stay in the smaller west-coast settlements such as Emborios and Myrties, or over on Telendos.