Everywhere you encounter silence, beautiful views and your only company is goats. Sometimes you are even happy to find an empty plastic water bottle because this is means "someone was here before and I am on the correct path". Everywhere there are mountains, crests, ridges, antique monasteries and small deserted bays were you can swim alone. Sometime you visit villages where the friendly inhabitants are happy to ask "How are you?" because this is the these only phrase they know in English language. Hiking through the Island is for me a personal great satisfaction. Only in Patagonia or in the Jungle of Thailand I fell similar sensations: here is totally different than the most touristy and busy Islands in Greece. For the fans of jungle: please do not come here for your walking holidays: here are only small bushes and the air is fragrant of sage and mint.
Sometimes it is helpful to know the author of a book, a walking guide because you can better consider whether the routes are suitable for your capacity and physical condition. For this reason I wrote something about myself. I am an internationally licensed mountain guide (UAGM) and I have been working as a rock climbing school director in our Alpine School of Arco - Lake Garda Italy for 20 years. In the year 2003 I was invited to visit the Island, the new rock climbing paradise and I quickly fell in love with this small territory. I "produced" my website www.kalymnosclimbing.eu, up to date we have about 1.200 visitors per day on this domain and I believe to have contributed a lot to the development of climbing tourism on the Island. Year by year I have visited Kalymnos with my "old" customers or young participants of our rock climbing courses and often it happened that we spent a lot of time "walking" on the paths to reach our programmed climbing spots. Every time I was fascinated by the views, wildness and solitude of this territory.
The inhabitants told us that every time of year was
suitable for walking and climbing holidays. In wintertime it is cold here and
raining. There are reliable statistics: between April to October there are an average of 10 rainy days and this is the best time
to enjoy your walking trips. I think is better to avoid the months of July and August because of
the heat and strong winds and in order to avoid the masses of daily-excursion-tourists who coming from closeby
and touristy Kos Island.
I have described the paths on the Island which require a little mountaineering experience, sense to find the right direction, capacity to read a may and to use the GPS. In Phothia there is a small and nice hospital but I do know about their experience in handily serious injuries. Short and clear: in your walking excursions you should avoid all risks, do not trek alone, and take along in your rucksack a first-aid-kit !!!
Another problem regarding equipment: the boots need not to be too heavy and the climbers often even walk around in flip flops but in case of doubt take with you your normal mountain boots. What to wear? Here it happens that you are sweating on a steep path in the hot sun and then a few minutes later you are freezing on a pass in the with strong wind coming from North. This means you should take with you a windcheater (necessary also for driving the scooter, fleece (better wind stopper), cap, sun cream, etc.
You will find the it very handy to use the telescopic pouls on the paths.
Up to the year 2000 the hotels on Kalymnos have been open only
from June through September. The first rock climbers which came here found their first roof over their
head in the so-called "studios": small apartments with kitchen, bedroom, balcony or terrace. The cleanliness
and furniture however was not very much acceptable, some of them are still in the same condition.
Either you try to experience on your own or you trust our recommendations
because we know exactly which accommodation on the Island you should avoid.
Good studios generally in Greece cost from
40 to 50 Euros per night, the same price you have to pay for a hotel room BB.
How do you get to Greece? Please forget a "romantic cruise" from Athens by ferry (10-12 hrs.). On Kalymnos there is a new airport and why not fly directly on the Island? Forget this option too because the scarce connections from Athens make you spend a night in the airport and you have to spend more money. The best way to came here is to book a flight in internet (or with your travel agency) to KOS with a low cost company such as AEGEAN AIRLINES - OLYMPIC AIRLINES - RYANAIR. From Kos you take a boat ca. 30 minuts. How to get around on the island: by scooter with automatic gear suitable for 2 persons (please bring along your drivers license and wind-proof jacket) or by rent-a-car. Cost for a scooter per day: ca. EUR 15 - 20; rent-a-car per day: ca. EUR 40 - 50. In case you are scared to drive a motorbike or scooter, in our guided walking holidays in Greece, we offer the possibility share a rent-a-car (for 4 persons) among the participants and divide the costs.
Every year after my arrival I bought my a new map of the island but every time was disappointed as the maps were only suitable for a "car tourist' s holidays". On the island there is the so-called "Municipal Athletic Organization" whose young member have taken the praiseworthy and useful task of tracing and maintaining the rock climbing routes, building of new climbing spots, etc. Many years ago they gave me a handwritten "Trekking routes guide" with some descriptions of old walking routes between the small villages of the Island and the monasteries on the mountains. These paths have been called "donkey' s paths" in the past. On the paths which are leading to the appx. 50 climbing spots on the Island we found many multi-colored signs. Once you are beyond the climbing crags, the situation turns out to be much different: all of a sudden there are no more marks, no signs, sometime only "Steinmann' s" but NOTHING else.. From each of Kalymnos' s paths you have a fantastic view and sense of "lonely planet" but sometimes it needs a lot of spirit of adventure spirit to find the right way within a in a NET of "goats' paths". The 15.000 inhabitant do not walk because is too hard for them and they prefer to move by car or motorbike: why walk or hike in the mountains? The 50.000 goats on the Island have an different opinion and they are running up and down everywhere. For this reason there are so many paths.
Another business affair? Indeed many of our initiatives of our mountaineering and rock climbing school in Arco have been very successful: starting with the first rock climbing courses at Lake Garda in 1989 up to the last offer "rock climbing courses on Kalymnos" This time it is different: it is all about Delio' s strong will because he insists in making this pearl of nature known to all hikers in the world Welt and to offer his clients an unforgettable holiday. It is very costly for our mountaineering school to send a mountain guide here. On our secure paths at Lake Garda or in the Dolomites, a mountain guide can accompany up to 15 hikers whereas on Kalymnos the situation is different and one mountain guide should be available for every 7-9 participants. We prefer treks which have the same starting and ending point because in this way we can avoid taxis or long waiting times for public transport to get us back to our car or scooter. Among the routes there a 7 different ones (see below) according to physical condition, experience and requirements of the participants, the max. elevation difference is ca. 600 m., max. duration ca. 5 hrs. The mountain guide reserves the right to change the itinerary with respect to safety reasons and the physical condition of the participants. During our holiday we are offering a novelty such as one resting day or a rock-climbing day for beginners (easy routes). In this case you should also bring along a harness and rock climbing shoes (these are also for rent on the island).
2 trekking days
1 resting day or rock-climbing day
3 trekking days
Number of participants: min. 5 - max. 7 (for treks with
more participants with DEFINITE mountain experience, please ask for an offer)
PRICE: EURO 767,00 per person - supplement for rock-climbing day: EUR 75,00
6-day holiday with internationally licensed mountain guide (UIAGM); English, German and Italian
Included: 6 nights rent of a small apartment (studios suitable for 2-3 persons) or hotel room (B & B) in double room. Not included: food/drinks; cost for rent-a-car, cost for scooter rent. Upon request we can rent a small car for 4 persons (ca. 40-50 EUR per day) and share the cost. Supplement for single room EUR 75,00
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