Kalymnos is one of the gems of the Dodecanese, situated just next to Leros. It is the island of sponge trade, known internationally for that. It is ideal for alternative tourism, as it has a great seabed, high rocks for climbing, lots of shipwrecks to explore, and a genuine, non-touristic character. You can reach Kalymnos by ferry (about 12 hours and 183 nautical miles) from Athens or fly there directly from ATH International Airport.
Kalymnos has Pothia as its capital, a picturesque town built around the port with many things to explore. The island has wonderful beaches of extreme beauty, thanks to its raw landscapes, high cliffs, and wild nature. It is also considered one of the best climbing destinations in Greece, with villages such as Panormos, Myrties, Skalia, and Masouri, ideal for adventure lovers. It is a mountainous island with very little vegetation and almost no trees, which makes it stand out from other Dodecanese islands.
Here’s a guide to the best beaches in Kalymnos and all the info you’ll need to get there:
13 Beautiful Kalymnos Beaches to Visit
Vlychadia beach is a beautiful beach in Kalymnos, situated 6 km from Pothia, the island’s capital. It is a sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, popular for snorkeling fans. You will not find many tourist facilities there. However, you can find a restaurant to eat and a snack bar to grab something while spending the day at the lovely beach. There are a few trees here and there that provide shade, but they are not many.
You can get to the beach by crossing some mountains, following a small road from the village of Vothini. There are a lot of turns, but the scenery is amazing and worth the route.
Just outside of Pothia is another of the best beaches in Kalymnos. Gefyra beach is a small paradise with the most amazing surroundings.
Nestled among some cliffs, the small bay is pebbly and has emerald waters that resemble a pool. It is ideal for snorkeling and swimming, and there is even a diving center. You will find some sunbeds and umbrellas here from the small beach bar, where you can get refreshments or some snacks to eat. You can reach Gefyra beach by car as there is road access.
Tip: If you drive further from Gefyra beach, you will find Thermes, the hot springs. It is also a lovely walk from Pothia.
Therma beach is found close to the harbor, very close to Pothia village. It is a popular stop for most travelers. This beach is in front of the hot springs, whose waters are at 38 Celsius and full of minerals such as potassium, sodium, and others.
Most visitors like to go to the thermal springs and then enjoy the lovely beach as well. You will find a platform with sunbeds and umbrellas to lounge and enjoy the magnificent view. The beach is mostly pebbly with some rocks, and the waters are deep, ideal for diving. You can easily access Therma beach by car via the road from Pothia.
Unfortunately, the hot springs are now abandoned.
Akti beach is a quiet beach in Kalymnos, located about 7 km from the capital. It’s a small cove of fine sand with mesmerizing waters of turquoise and emerald. There are very few trees that provide some shade.
You can access it by taking the road towards the valley of Vathy. There is no bus connection there.
Emporio beach is the lovely beach of Emporio village, located 24 km from the capital, in the northwestern part.
The pebbly beach has amazing waters, inviting you to swim. There are some umbrellas and sunbeds in the center of the bay, and the rest is unorganized, with some trees to provide natural shade on hot days.
You can get to Emporio village by following the main road by car, or take the bus there, as there are frequent connections. There is also access by sea by taking a small boat from Myrties village.
Palionisos beach is on the eastern side of Kalymnos, near the valley of Vathy. It’s a small pebbly bay with deep blue waters. It’s usually quiet, as it’s not organized. You can find shade from the tamarisk trees and spend the day there. You can, however, eat there at the two traditional taverns by the seaside.
You can reach the beach by following the road from Saklia to Palionisos. There is also boat access from Rina.
Arginonta is also among the best beaches in Kalymnos, located 15 km from Pothia. It is a wonderful, long, pebbly, partly sandy beach with crystalline seawater of amazing green and blue hues.
The beach is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds and many taverns nearby. There are also accommodation options for rent.
You can reach Arginonta beach by car via the road or find frequent bus schedules from Pothia to the beach. The bus stop is within walking distance from the shore.
Masouri beach is located 9 km from Pothia village, the most popular resort for travelers on the island of Kalymnos. It is a long sandy beach, well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, a beach bar, and other amenities for water sports. You will find countless facilities here, as well as accommodation options.
You can visit the beach by car or take the bus from Pothia and disembark right on the beach.
Tip: Head there early, as it gets quite crowded during the high summer season.
Melitsahas is a wonderful beach in Kalymnos, just 7 km west of the capital. It is very close to Myrties village.
It’s long and sandy, with raw natural beauty and amazing surroundings of rocky cliffs. It is unorganized on the shore, but it has taverns nearby that offer great traditional cuisine. You will also find some accommodation options and a quaint café. It tends to be busy during the high season.
You can get the by car via the road from Pothia.
Myrties is a perfect little village 8 km from Pothia. It has a stunning beach by the same name. Myrties beach is pebbled, and the waters are mirror-like. It’s ideal for swimming and sunbathing in a lovely location.
You will find some accommodation options here, as well as fish taverns and cafes to grab refreshments. You can access the beach by car via the main road.
Tip: don’t miss the opportunity to cross to Telendos islet, right opposite, by taking the boats.
Platys Gialos is another popular beach in Kalymnos, situated 6 km from Pothia. It’s a lovely bay with azure waters, always crystal-clear and usually not so calm waters thanks to the winds.
The shore has dark thick sand, contrasting with the bright waters. Its waters are quite deep and interesting for snorkeling. You won’t find any umbrellas and sunbeds there, only a tavern that can offer great food.
You can always get there by car via the main road easily, or take the bus. If you take public transport, you will have to walk a little to get to shore.
Tip: In Platys Gialos, you can enjoy one of the best sunsets in Kalymnos.
One of the most stunning beaches in Kalymnos is Linaria beach. It is located 6 km northwest of Pothia, the capital. The beach is sandy and has amazing turquoise waters.
You won’t find any umbrellas or sunbeds here, so come prepared with your own stuff. There are a few trees that can provide much-needed shade. It’s a very quiet beach overall. There are cafes and fish taverns with a panoramic view of the bay and many hotels and resorts for accommodation.
There is both road access to the beach with your private vehicle and public transportation from Pothia.
Last but not least on the list of best beaches in Kalymnos is Kantouni beach. You can find it 5 km northwest of Pothia. It’s also very near Panormos.
It’s a long beach with thick sand, popular amongst locals and travelers. The golden sand is ideal for families, and the waters are clean. The beach is unorganized in terms of parasols and sunbeds, but there are cafes, taverns, and hotels near the shore.
This area is also relatively forested compared to other barren landscapes of Kalymnos.
You can access it by road or take the bus from Pothia village to Kantouni village.