Walking- and climbing-tours
Kalymnos is an amazing island for hikers that likes to experience nature off mounted beaten tracks best and that also wants to meet a sportive challenge. There are non-finite routes to discover the island and his mysteries. But there are no official marked trails on the island. The absence of tagged routes benefits individual hikers. At most routes you won't meet any other people.
I've walked around Vathys and marked the most beautiful routes in and around Vathys for you and have marked them with red dots, arrows and partly with an “M” to relieve orientation for you. Various trails you can combine down to your whim and condition.
Please ask me to get last changes of the described route. Always there can be some changes because of impassable trails, new fences or eliminated marks.
Enjoy the tranquillity, the vastness and the intensity of the pristine nature at your hikes.
For ALL recommended walking-tours it is essential to wear sturdy shoes (hiking boots) and a headdress, to pack enough water and for evening or night-hiking a flash light is a MUST. Please visit caves only with two flashlights. If one gives out, you can find the way out anyhow!
Kalymnos is one of the top 5 european climbing hotspots. Most routes are well organized and well prepared. They are mainly between Massouri and Arginondas at the west coast of Kalynmnos. But Vathys is much more relaxed than touristic areas like Massouri. Because of the new road between Vathys and Arginondas the area is only 20 minutes away by car or scooter. But there are some very interesting climbing spots at the bay of Vathys too that are only reachable by boat. High hangovers over the deep blue sea are perfect for freeclimbing training. I'll help you to go over there. Further information about climbing at Kalymnos see www.climbkalymnos.com.
(up approx. 2,5 h/down ca. 2 h only Kyra Psili)
(all in all approx. 6,5 h and 2500 ft total altitude)
Panagia Kyra Psili is a lonesome monastery, build into the rocks at the foot of a 130 feet (40m) high scarp at the highest mountain of the east coast, only accessible by a narrow stair way. It was built in 1720 AD. On your way up, you will have a phenomenal view over Vathys and the Sea. At the evening before the Assumption of Mary (Aug.14th) there is a big church anniversary at the monastery. The whole valley is afoot and hundreds of islanders who are expatriated are coming too. Start you walk at 7 pm. On your way you will meet a lot of peoples who are haul everything that is needed for such a big festivity. Barbeque grills, bread, unbelievable lots of meat, bread, salad, beverage cans and ice. At 11 pm the celebration starts. The whole night the people are praying, dancing, singing, making music, eating and drinking and break the news to everybody.
You'll walk from my house to Metochi via Platanos through the snarl of streets (30 min). Ahead the playground you turn right into a small asphalt road with a sign to Kyra Psili, that brings you up to the mountain ridge through thyme and maccia fields (depends on your condition 1 to 1,5 hours).
Trip to Taxiarchis:
Approx. ¼ miles behind the last houses you will see a blue-white coloured pump-station and a wooden power pole. Right of the power pole is a small passage at a small wall (see photo). Follow the path to the ruins of taxiarchis.
If you don't want to trip to Taxiarchis, you can abridge at the lower area by walking across country on goat-pathes in direct line up to the chapel, (approx. 1 h). At festive days sometimes small trucks or cars will pick you up and bring you to the ridge for a small charge.
The road ends at the chapel. On your right you'll see the secured path, trimmed into the rock face, to Kyra Psili. After maybe 5000 ft the path furcate. Follow the right way on numerous steps alongside a rock face up to the monastery (approx. 30 min.)
Please ask me for current opening hours of the uninhabiated monastery, sometimes it changes. But the scenerie is also impressing, when the monastery is closed. The construction of the monastery at the giant rock face at the beginning of the 18th century is an unbelievable performance.
Follow the foothpath back to the ridge with the chapel where to road down starts. From here you can walk down very steeply path down to the valley. Because this path is very difficult to descent, I have marked an easier path with red dots and arrows. You will find it a short way up the path to Kyrá Psilí. The desent takes about 1,5 hours, but it's worth to trouble, because of the amazing bay.
The view from the path and the monastery to the sea is breathtaking and you can have it only here, because it is the only way, that goes up to the ridge.
Alternative way back:
Follow the desiccated beck-bed up to the point were it will be narrow and forms an obstacle. Sidestep to right up. After about 45 min. climbing, at the point were the beck deviates to the right, you'll reach a kind of goat-alp.
Now you change the side of the slope: Walk up to the telephone pole at the anticline at the horizon (another 45 min). Here you will meet the way from Arginonda to Metochi (tour 7). From the anticline you'll follow a serpentine path at the right slope down to the valley of Vathys to Metochi. Turn right at the first road you'll reach and you'll come out at the sports field of Metochi (45 min).
From here you walk down the alleys of Vathys to my house (30-45 min).
( approx. 4,5 h)
For a start you have to follow the description of tour 1 up to the ridge with the chapel and than the footpath to Kyrá Psilí. At the furcation up to Kyrá Psilí you have to follow the marks straight on across the peninsula. Down to the wonderful lonesome bay of Drassonda you can descent directly (very steeply, not advisable), or you follow the marked path, that will bring you down to the bay from the north side.
If you don't like to walk back the same way, we can arrange a boat-pick-up for you.
Alternative way back tour 1 - 3
At the west side of the ridge with the chapel (next to the parking area) you will find marks at the southern side of the mountain. It's a little bit difficult to find the first marks, because it doesn't looks like a path. Follow the path until it meets the path from Arginonda to Metochi (tour 7). From here walk up to the telephone pole at the anticline at the horizon (another 45 min) From the anticline you'll follow a serpentine path at the right slope down to the valley of Vathys to Metochi. Turn right at the first road you'll reach and you'll come out at the sports field of Metochi (45 min). From here you walk down the alleys of Vathys to my house (30-45 min).
( approx. 3 h)
The path follows the shortest line between both places. You will be surprised about the close range ! The long meandering street along the seaside is illusory.
To the rampant rise at the mountain side of Vathys follows a march over a plateau with a fantastic view to pothia and the south coast. Here you walk on remains of the very old cobbled path. The descent to Pothia is in better condition than the ascent.
Walk down the southern road towards the road to Potha but pass of the junction. Go straight on until the road ends. There you will find an official sigh to Agía Ánna and my first marks to the ascent at the wall. Follow the marks along the dirt road to ascent. At the slope, the plateau and the descent are further marks, but their colour changes.
(approx. 5 h and 2000 ft total altitude)
Chora – Profitis Ilias - Rina:
To start at Hora is the best way. You step into the narrow rift to the west of the fort-rock. When the broad dirt-path ends, you have to climb up at the right mountain side until you find a marked path. Follow the path through a glen indentation up to a kind of meadow-pleateau. Now the chapel at the mountain top is a few steps from here (2 hours).
Alternative, if you are fit as a fiddle, you can walk down to the pass (without a path) directly from the mountain top in north-west direction (approx. 1,25 hours).
From Stymenia to Platanos you can use a comfortable path at the south side of the valley as far as possible. (1,5 hours). From here you walk down the alleys of Vathys to my house (30-45 min).
Rina – Profitis Ilias - Chora:
Walk up the valley to Agí Theodóros church. Shortly behind the church to road furcates to west and southwest. (See picture) Here you will find my first mark. Take the left road up to another road. Than turn right to a little chapel. From here walk westward beneath a stone-wall. Follow the marks above the cleavage and further around the mountain. Behind a blue gate you can walk up left to the peak, or straight on down to the castle of Chora .
(The ascent is exhausting, because it is steeply, stony and without any path. For the whole tour you need a good sense of orientation and have to be sure-footed an wear excellent footwear! An alternative tour, but without the terrific view from the mountain top, is tour 7 from Arginonda to Vathys.
Go to Skalia by bus via Pothia or scooter. Looking up to the mountains at Skalia you will see this profile:
You climb up without any path and have to find a passage between the two upright rock faces, than you walk up to the top rock face. At the upper area you will find outlines of a path and some markers. Keep right at the top rock face - there you find a channel.
Now you see at the flat top left up a concrete pillar and a chapel in its south. The View is breathtaking: The coast mountains slopes down steeply to the sea. At the west side you can see Telendos island, the mountain range between Arginonda and Vathys and at the background Profitis Ilias mountain. At first, walk down from chapel towards Arginonda, approx. 500 ft turn hard left (outlines of a path), walk alongside the foot of the rock with the chapel. Cross the next round mountain and walk down to a dip with a big stone-walled square. Walk right along the wall to the next hill, cross the right mountain side and you will find a path that bands together with the parallel path from Arginonda.
Henceforth you walk uphill on a rolling good path until reaching the anticline with the telephone pole at the ridge (further 45 min). From the anticline you'll follow a serpentine path at the right slope down to the valley of Vathys to Metochi. Turn right at the first road you'll reach and you'll come out at the sports field of Metochi (45 min).
From here you walk down the alleys of Vathys to my house (30-45 min).
(all in all approx. 1300 ft total altitude and 3,5 h)
Perambulate the island completely from north till south!
Arginonda – Vathys:
Go to Arginonda via Pothia (From Pothia to Arginonda approx. 1 h) by bus or scooter, or let me bring you there. Let someone show you the path to Vathys. Even though Kalymnians react with amazement, while you do not use the new road between Arginonda and Vathys, they will be glad to help you.
Than follow the path to the telephone pole at the ridge. (further 45 min). From the anticline you'll follow a serpentine path at the right slope down to the valley of Vathys to Metochi. Turn right at the first road you'll reach and you'll come out at the sports field of Metochi (45 min). From here you walk down the alleys of Vathys to my house (30-45 min).
Vathys – Arginonda:
You will find the beginning of the path in that way: Walk up the valley to Metochi. Follow the road to Kyra Psili. At the right roadside, approx. 150ft in front of a remarkable house built in traditional style with stones, you will see a little blue painted power distributor. Between power distributor and house, at the left roadside is a narrow footpath with a few steps. Follow the path and orientate yourself at the little chapel Agíos Dimítrios and the telephone poles at the ridge of the mountain. The path first turns right-hand of the ridge.
(Insgesamt 1 Std.)
(all in all 1 h)
Walk up the stairs behind the dockyard to Agía Irene chapel. Climb up the slope straight on to a stone wall. Cross 3 gates (do not forget to close it after crossing!), until you are left hand of a wall, that runs parallel to the coast. At the mountain side of this wall you will find a path that ends at a slope after approx. 1 mile. Now you can see the bay at your right.
Either you take the steeply descent (very difficult) or the comfortable and flat, but longer way alongside the left mountain side until you reach a rift with a desiccated beck. Follow the beck down to the bay.
(approx. 1 h, do not forget a flashlight)
Leave pension through the main gate and turn left after 5 m to the small alley. You will cross the yard of a house (do not worry, it is in official path) and than follow the most beautiful small promenade of the valley to the Byzantine Kyrá Chosté church. Behind the church the path turns right, back to the main road. Diagonally opposite of the promenade, is a junction to a farm track that leads to northwest, diagonally between both main roads. En route you will cross an asphalt road that connects both main roads in north-south direction.Either you turn right here, at the and of the connection road right again and than back on the northern main road to Rina, or you cross the connection road, keep straight on at the farm track further on until it ends next to Agíi Triáda and turn right back to the northern main road than.
Follow the main road from Vathys to Pothia. Above the village, shortly behind the official signpost to Stavros Agios Kirykos (only signposted if you came down the road down), a farm road turns right to the hermitage Voutsani. There is no signpost only some red marks, made by me.
At Voutsani a path to Kastraki is marked at the right sight. It leads around the southern mountain side to a cistern at the valley farther side. Afterwards it turns to a descent that will bring you back to Vathys next to a rift parallel to the path from Pothia to Vathys and than along Agía Anna back to Platanos. Follow the alleys back to Rina.
Tour 11: Agia Ekaterini - Pythari - Argos - Chora
(all in all 4 h an 450 bis 1600 ft total altitude)
Take the bus to Vlichárdia via Pothia. Ask the driver to drop you at the junction to Agia Ekaterini. From nunnery Agia Ekaterini, that is occupied und can be visited with correct clothes (Women are only allowed to visit with long skirts, no trousers!), you follow the wide lane southwestward. After approx. half a mile the lane met a path that goes down towards the coast. Shortly after the path turns right up to another monastery. A signpost should keep you of climb up - and actually a gate obstruct a passage. Therefore possibly walk around the "monastery mountain" when you reach the sign or climb around the rocks at the top and than down to the sea (without a path) to a church called Agios Andreas with outbuildings down.The whole way down you will have a lovely view to the coast and the little islands in front of the island.
From Agios Andreas a steeply path goes upward but ends shortly after. You will reach a anticline and see the monastery of Pythari at the next bay northwestern. The way to Pythari is not describable: There is no way. Walk carefully across county between rocks, stones, boulder and bushes quite simply !
At the time of the last visit approx. 20 nuns have lived at this monastery. They are very hospitable, whether you can find the entrance and have to call for attention. Especially the "salle de painture", a kind of studio is very interesting. A bright nun paints finest icons.
From Pythari an extreme steepy path goes upwards in and and between the rocks. The scenery is terrific, because a huge red rock face with numerous grottos towers the monastery and plunge down upright to the sea at west. Therefore the continuation of the walk to Kantouni is impossible.
The path goes across an anticline with a blue chapel down to the plateau of Argos and there to the road to Hora. Directly behind Argos you can see the church Panaghia i Kera with beautiful old frescos.
If you have not had enough action for one day, you can start to tour 5 from Chora to Vathys across Profitis Ilias subsequently and safe the money for the bus ticket.