The principal port on Kalymnos, Pothia is by far the island’s largest town. As well as curving for 2km around its south-facing bay, it also stretches back up and over a low hill towards the west coast. Framed by a backdrop of brooding mountains, it’s a functional harbour rather than a resort, but the waterfront is garlanded with tavernas and kafeneia, where nut-brown fishermen nurse retsinas, while the intricate labyrinth of whitewashed alleyways behind holds some splendid old mansions and an excellent museum.
The wild and wonderful island of Kalymnos is characterised above all by its dramatic mountains, which draw hardy climbers from all over the world.
Kalymnos is also greener than most of its neighbours, cradling fertile valleys and verdant enclaves. Add the enticing, car-free islet of Telendos, immediately offshore, and you have a compelling destination. To do it justice, you’ll need to allow at least three days, and ideally rent your own transport.