Trekking in the Dodecanese
Kalymnos trail – Greece
28 October – 4 November 2023
Once known as the “Sponge-divers’ island” in the Dodecanese, Kalymnos is a small jewel that quickly became a major attraction among climbers. Not too crowded on its trekking trails, it offers old pathways that once connected the villages to the pastures, as well as more modern mule tracks as the “Italian path”, which takes its name from the Italian soldiers who built it during the Tripolitanian War (1912). Discovering Kalymnos by sailboat and by foot is way more than an adventure, it is the most complete way to appreciate the nature and the beauty of the island.
– discover a little-known island with scenic views and beautiful environments.
– Live the adventure outdoors, and combine sailing and trekking to slow down our fast-paced lives.
– Taste the delicacies of local cuisine, and feel the warmth of the people
– Learn the basics of sailing
• The arrival airport is Kos (KGS). Depending on the departure airport, it will be possible to meet the guide before boarding the flight, then transfer to the Port.
• Italian and EU citizens can travel to Kos with their ID cards. A valid passport is advised but not required for members of the Schengen area.
• If you are coming from a country outside the Schengen area, visit mfa.gr to learn more about visas.
• Treks will be will be up to 5h 30 long, it will be possible to skip a trek and stay on the boat with the skipper, for those who wish to rest and relax.
• The entire trekking experience does not present any technical difficulties, although it is advised to be trained in walking long distances and be willing to adapt.
• Depending on the sea and weather conditions, the Skipper and the Alpine Guide will decide whether to apply changes to the daily programs.
Recommended clothing and equipment
Complete trekking apparel, GoreTex shell, rainproof and windproof cape, fleece sweatshirt, sturdy footwear, backpack and backpack cover, headlamp. Sleeping bag, personal towels and effects are needed for the accommodation on the boat. Bring a duffel bag, no luggage nor trolleys.
Room and Board
The sailboat will be the accommodation in which we will sleep, eat generous breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners after each day we will spend out exploring. There might be evenings in which we will want to eat out, the decision will be taken as a group. Please inform us in advance of any food allergies or specific dietary needs.
Meet the guide and the other participants at Kos airport, then transfer to the port to board the sailboat. Once aboard, the skipper will brief us all on on-board safety. We begin our navigation to Kalymnos and reach Pothia, the main town of the island. During the navigation we learn the rudiments of sailing, hopefully with the help of some wind by our side. Dinner in town and overnight stay on board.
First short warm-up trek. From the port we head south and, after 1 km on a municipal road, we venture on the gravel path that runs along the coast and brings us to Aghios Georgios church. We continue and reach the bay of Vlychadia. The homonymous village faces the crystal clear waters of the bay, where we can dive for a swim. In the afternoon, we continue to practice our sailing techniques with the help of our skipper and then return to Vlichadya where we have dinner in a local restaurant and get back on board for the night.
This day is more challenging than the previous one, as we cover an itinerary of 8 km and reach 150-200 meters above sea level. Once we leave Vlichadia, we reach the churches of Aghia Ekaterini, and Aghios Andreas and continue to the climbing wall of Pytari and the church of Aghios Costantinos. From here, the path becomes less trodden and we continue to the cliff of Saint Photis, where the trail becomes easier. We meet the skipper and get back on board in Linaria Bay and sail to Telendos, a small island that will be the setting our next trek. Let’s enjoy the local cuisine in a typical restaurant, then head back to our sailboat for the night.
The plan of the day involves crossing the island by reaching its top. After a generous breakfast on board, we reach land and start walking along the beautiful cliffs, which attract climbers from all over the world. The first part of the trek is on a walked path, and it becomes more challenging as we venture on. We reach the top, 405 meters above sea level, and then descend to Aghios Kostantinos church and return to the sea level and close the Telendos loop itinerary in around 4 hours 30. We rest for some time and enjoy some snacks aboard before sailing to the small village of Emborios, on Kalymnos island again. We treat ourselves with a tasty dinner in one of the best restaurants of the island.
From Emborios we follow the way that leads us to the climbing cliffs and joins the old pathways that once connected the villages to the pastures. We discover sheepfolds in natural caves and stairs carved into stone and reach 441 meters above sea level on the small peninsula called Patela, which is also the highest point of the trek. We then get back down to the wonderful Sikati Cave, an ancient natural cavity whose vault collapsed and which we can access through a passageway with fixed ropes. By continuing to Sycati Bay we rejoin our skipper and the sailboat. We sail to Palionisos Bay, a small and protected inlet where we will have dinner on the terrace of a typical tavern.
From Palionisos Bay we navigate to Pezonda, where we start our trek to Vathi village, a picturesque natural port among sheer walls and green valleys rich in citrus orchards. The place looks like an oasis in the middle of the rocky island. Part of the trek runs along the coast, and part reaches the heights of the island. Any point of the trek gifts us with beautiful views on the wild surroundings. It will be extremely satisfying to reach the old village and fishing port where we will have dinner after the long day out.
Last short trek on the Italian Path, the beautiful mule track built by Italian soldiers during the Tripolitanian War in 1912. We leave the port behind and walk along the old roads of the village until we encounter the paved mule track that rises 400 meters above sea level, just under Agati cape, to then descend to Pothia. We walk across the town and board the sailboat. Our navigation brings us again to Kos, where we will enjoy some dinner to celebrate the end of our Greek week.
Last breakfast together, then we will pack and transfer to the airport. Depending on the time of the return flights, we might have some more time to visit Kos before heading to the airport.
THE RATE INCLUDES: Organization and support by our Alpine Guide UIAGM for the duration of the trip; accommodation aboard the sailboat, skipper service, galley supply, breakfasts, post-trek snacks, dinners on board. Fuel, dinghy, port charges, boat cleaning fees at the end of the trip.
THE RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE: round-trip flight, any dinners at restaurants, anything that is not included in the “The rate includes” section.