Kalymnos is almost certainly one of the best places on the planet to sport climb. On a recent visit we met people from: Australia, USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and that was only the ones we spoke to. Climbers are voting with their feet and Kalymnos is the chosen destination.
Things you need to know
The simplest way of getting to Kalymnos is a flight to Kos, taxi from the airport to Mastihari (current rate 15 euros so share the cost ), ferry from Mastihari to Pothia and then either a taxi to Masouri or the bus. There is a bus stop at the landward side of the harbour where the ferry disembarks.
There is a wide range and quality of accommodation available on the Island, from hotels to apartments. Generally speaking Armeos is quieter than Masouri.
Most climber choose to stay in either Masouri or Armeos which are the nearest places to the majority of climbing sectors. The quality of accommodation is varied so expect to get what you pay for. If you want somewhere as cheap as chips expect to stay in something resembling a dog kennel. For a few euros more you can find quiet locations with air conditioning. You will find places on the internet but it is a good idea to speak to people who have stayed before. Some people don’t mind noisy taverna, adjacent to your room, playing music all night others do.
Don’t stay on the landward side at the Hotel Plaza unless you like the endless music that pours forth from the Scorpion Bar. If, on the other hand, you like Bon Jovi, Guns n Roses etc. this could be the place for you. The volume increases exponentially on Friday nights.
Car or Scooter Hire
You can hire scooters and cars in Masouri or Myrties but where is the sense in that? On returning the vehicle you will still have to get to Pothia for
your return trip. So why not Hire something at the port? On the other side of the road from the bus stop you will find Susuki Kalymnos. They hire a range of scooters and cars at competitive prices and it can all be pre-booked before you travel. If you pre book a vehicle you will be met at the ferry by Noufris. He speaks good English and is very helpful, a useful contact to have if you are on a first visit.
You must start checking the weather forecast a few days before your return trip. If it is too windy the ferries cannot run because the Harbour Master / Coast Guard close the port. You hear differing advice but you should get reliable information from the ferry booking office in Massouri and if you are still unsure call Noufris. If it looks as though the port is going to be closed consider cutting your visit short and make the trip across to Kos. It is the cheapest and least expensive solution. TOP TIP! Pre book you ferry ticket at the office in Masouri, don’t arrive at the harbour five minutes before the ferry is due to leave and expect to buy a ticket and secure a place, if it is one of the smaller ferries eg: Kalymnos Dolphin / Star you may well be left on the harbour side.
Why listen to our recommendation? Well two ‘climbingfools’ frequently patronise Michelin Star restaurants and spend a great deal of effort looking for good quality places to eat. They are also good cooks. If you want superb food go to Tuscany, it really is that simple but if you want a great climbing trip Kalymnos is the place to go, the food will have to take second place. There are plenty of Tavernas to choose from in Masouri. It is still possible to get a two course meal and a bottle of beer for 10 Euros. They all offer similar fare and on the whole the quality is fine wherever you eat. There are however three places that stand out from the crowd.
The Kokkonidis, Aegean and the Archipelagos. We have been eating out in Masouri for fourteen years so we think we can spot the better places. There is truly not much to choose between any of these three, where one will serve larger portions another may offer slightly tastier variations. However, for consistency over a long period of time, friendly family atmosphere and best value for money we think you cannot beat the Archipelagos. So that wins our vote for best place to eat in Masouri. It is a good idea to avoid the places that have extensive menus covering all styles of food.If you want ta Pizza, go to Italy. The phrase ‘Jack of all trades master of none’ springs to mind.
Fingers and Skin
Although there are plenty of Tuffa and Flow stone climbs, Kalymnos is the home of super sharp Limestone. Occasionally it can feel as though you are climbing on razor blades. You will lose skin from your finger tips and it will be painful, if it isn’t you are not trying hard enough, so take some balm / cream to care for your digits.
If you ignore them they will, in turn, ignore you.
TOP TIP! Do not put your rucksack over a nest entrance, if you do they will not ignore you. If they are congregating near the bottom of your route pour a little water into a nearby depression in the rock and they will go there seeking the water.