Thomson Holidays

Beaches of Telendos

Beaches on Telendos are small and accessible only along rough tracks. The nearest is at the northern end of the harbour but it's a rather dull, flat stretch of dark, gritty sand backed by a row of tamarisk trees.

There are fine views across the Telendos straits to the main island and the impressive remains of an early Christian basilica being excavated behind the beach that's worth a look. The small path that runs behind the beach leads to better coves beyond

The path along the Telendos coast here peter out after a while into what is little more than a goat track. A further scramble along a rough and rocky track reveals a couple of small coves dotted with sunbeds.

The furthest cove, known as Paradise Beach, is the best with a bank of shingle dipping into shallow seas beneath a large rock outcrop that provides shelter.

This is also a naturist beach and helps to keep it quietly exclusive as, no matter where you sit, you are likely to be thigh to thigh as it were with a naturist.

Other beaches can be found on the western coast of Telendos by following the alley off the main harbour past the Barba Stathis taverna and up a paved and tiled track which peters out at the top of the hill.

To the right down a precipitous cliff path is the small cove ofHoklakas with a few sunbeds set on shingle beneath the sheer cliffs. This is a great place for snorkeling and enjoying the sunset to the west.

The rough hilltop track leads to a fork where the right hand track takes you to similar cliffside beach at Trivalia.

The left hand track wends its way through a large pine wood to open scrubland where a couple of early Christian ruins are set among some scrub and trees.

The track continues right to the end of Telendos island but there is little here of note other than scrub and good views across to the main island.

A track opposite leads to a small featureless bay of coarse sand. Its a peaceful spot but has no facilities and no shade and tends to gather some rubbish.

Talking of rubbish, don't bother following the wide track that winds around the headland it only leads to the island rubbish dump - a pile of old burning blue plastic bags belching out fumes when I visited.

 

Climbing on Kalymnos

Kalymnos is a favourite with climbers thanks to challenging climbs in the most picturesque locations. Rock formations are excellent quality.

Climbing took off on Kalymnos in 1997 and new crags and routes are being tested every year. The best of the climbing is concentrated around Massouri with some high quality routes with some spectacular climbs.

As well as around 200 single-pitch routes (5/2000), there are many cliffs of 10 to 200 metres offering new routes. The climbing is always varied with overhangs and roofs with holes and demanding stalagmites.

You can generally climb on Kalymnos all year round and you get pleasant sea breezes to keep cool in summer. Most pitches are west or southwest and get morning shade.

All tourist facilities - hotels, restaurants - are open until mid-October. Approaches to the various sectors climbs average 20 to 30 minutes. For more details on rock climbing on Kalymnos see www.rockfax.com

Maritime Museum

This free museum is in the coastal resort of Vychladia west of Pothia and one of the richest private collections in the whole of Greece.

There are showcases packed with sponges, shells and corals. You can also see the wreck of an ancient ship, amphorae, stuffed fish and various of finds from the sea bottom

Virtually all the exhibits were collected by former sponge diver Kostas Valsimades who is often on hand to show visitors around the museum.

Archaeological Museum

Considered by some visitors as one of the best museums in the Greek islands you will be fortunate to find it open. The Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos has been operating for years with only a single member of staff and so opening times are few and varied.

The museum, which covers an area of 1,000 square metres , is found in the Agia Oriada district of Pothia, and is housed in a two-storied mansion house donated by the Vouvalis family. It has a good collection of significant artefacts and archaeological finds all beautifully displayed.

The interior is a reconstruction of a typical 19th century mansion house with dining room, living-room, storerooms, service rooms and the Vouvalis family photographic archives on account of they are the ones who donated the building.

The courtyard outside has some marble pillars and various statues while the ground floor has many artefacts, some dating from as early a 5,000 BC. The first floor has any amount pottery and china, some very good paintings and statues and busts galore. Among the best exhibits are a statue of Isis, and marble heads of Aphrodite and Ygeia.

Pserimos Islet

Pserimos is a small island about half way between Kos and Kalymnos. It would be an idyllic place but for the day trippers that descend in droves throughout the season. A few lucky visitors can find rooms to stay but not many as there are a mere 30 or so houses.

The main beach on the island is at Avlakia, a lovely stretch of golden sand, quickly covered in sunbedded bodies. Day trippers arrive like locusts and snap up all available sunbeds.

They also pack the tavernas and generally make a noisy addition to what would otherwise be a peaceful islet. Even the ferries have been known to queue to tie up to the small quay.

Those boats that can't find a berth head off to neighbouring Platys which has a similar, but smaller, sandy beach and far fewer trippers.

There are a couple of other beaches, not as attractive but much quieter. One is at Vathy in the north, reached with a 30min walk along a well marked path to a cove of sand and pebbles. Another is at Marathounda to the west, a 45min walk to a small pebble cove. Indeed, the island is so small that nowhere can be more than an hour's walk in any direction.

Day trippers make up almost all the visitors as there is so little accommodation on the islet. There are rooms to be had above the tavernas and one small store which gets stocked up by the daily boat that leaves Pothia on Kalymnos around 9am each day.

Nearly all the other boats that pull in are taking trippers on daily cruises between Kos and Kalymnos with a short stop both here and at Platys.