Kalymnos Island: A Climber’s Paradise and Much More!


Located in the Aegean Sea, Kalymnos is a small Greek island that has gained popularity in recent years among the climbing community. With its rugged landscape and over 3,500 routes bolted throughout the island, it has become known as an international climbing destination. However, there is more to this picturesque island than just its limestone cliffs. In this guide, we will delve deeper into the history, culture, and natural beauty of Kalymnos, revealing why it is truly a climber’s paradise.

A Brief History of Kalymnos

Kalymnos has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It was first inhabited by the Carians in 1000 BC and later became part of the Byzantine Empire. In the 14th century, it was conquered by the Knights of Saint John and remained under their rule until the Ottoman conquest in 1522. During this time, Kalymnos thrived as a trading center due to its strategic location between Asia Minor and Europe.

In the early 19th century, Kalymnos became known for its sponge diving industry, which brought wealth and prosperity to the island. However, with the invention of synthetic sponges in the 20th century, this industry declined, and Kalymnos turned to agriculture as its main source of income.

Despite its small size, Kalymnos has managed to preserve many of its traditions and customs. One such tradition is the annual Sponge Festival, held in July to celebrate the island’s rich sponge diving history. During this festival, locals dress up in traditional costumes and reenact the sponge divers’ journey into the deep sea.

The Island’s Traditions

Another important tradition is the celebration of Easter, which is still widely observed on the island. The week leading up to Easter is filled with processions, church services, and feasts, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors.

The Natural Beauty of Kalymnos

Apart from its climbing opportunities, Kalymnos also boasts stunning natural beauty. The island is home to several beaches and coves with crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. One of the most popular beaches is Myrties, which offers breathtaking views of Telendos Island.
For those seeking a more tranquil setting, the island’s interior is dotted with quaint villages and lush green valleys. The Vathis Potamos Valley, in particular, is a must-visit for its picturesque landscapes and traditional windmills.

Climbing in Kalymnos

Now, back to what makes Kalymnos a climber’s paradise – the climbing itself. The island has a wide range of routes suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced climbers. The most famous crags include Grande Grotta, Odyssey, and Spartacus.
One of the main draws for climbers is the high-quality limestone rock found on Kalymnos. The majority of routes are bolted and well-maintained, making it a safe and enjoyable climbing experience. Additionally, the island’s mild climate allows for year-round climbing, with peak season being from October to May.


Explore the diverse allure of Kalymnos beyond climbing – rich history, traditions, and beauty. From fresh seafood to hiking trails with stunning views, this Aegean gem has something for everyone. Stay in traditional boutique accommodations for a unique experience!

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