travel zone

Chalki

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It was about seven years ago when I decided I'd visit Chalki. It was a random choice, really: I made a list of the islands I hadn't visited, looked at them and chose Chalki, without research, without anything.

Of course, when I met with my friend Hope and told her we'd go to Chalki the following week, she looked at me and asked: "why Chalki?" Surprisingly, for the first time, I wasn't prepared for that question. I just stuttered and said, "well, because. it's one of the few Greek islands I haven't visited yet." Of course, she demanded I do better than that, so I started thinking and finally came up with a totally irrational explanation which, surprisingly, made her laugh and convinced her. See, Chalki can be roughly translated as "bronze". In one of our favorite shows, the main characters used to visit a club called "The Bronze". So, I just told her "Come on, let's go to the Bronze!" and explained what I meant.

Later on, I researched and brought to her some information about the island, thus finally totally convincing her to come with me and Leela (who I'd had no trouble convincing).

chalki greece - chalki island map
Cruzeiro greica

What does Chalki look like?

chalki - chalki island



Chalki was once a fertile island, but now it's barren, with fresh water shipped in by tanker. Sheep and goats roam the rocky h illside. Nimporio is Chalki's harbor and only settlement, a quiet and picturesque village with a Neo-classical flavor. A row of ruined windmills stands above the harbor. Chalki is a traffic-free island.








Which places should I not miss in Chalki?


chalki - crusader castle

The main sight of Chalki is Agios Nikolaos Church. The church is known for its magnificent black and white choklakia pebble mosaic courtyard depicting birds and the tre e of life, as well as its elegant tower, the highest of the Dodecanese.

The Byzantine Church below the Crusader Castle is a very interesting place to visit as well, with its beautiful frescoes. It's also the centre of the 15th-of-August festival.

Finally, there's Monastery Agiou Ioannou Prodromou (Saint John the Baptist Monastery) that has an attractive shaded courtyard. If you arrive early in the morning, you can stay overnight; the caretakers will offer you a cell.





Are there any historical or archaeological sites in Chalki?


First of all, there's the Crusader Castle. Perched up high on a crag, it's worth a visit for the coat of arms and Byzantine frescoes in the ruined chapel. The Knights of Saint John built it on an ancient acropolis, using much of the earlier stone.


chalki - chalki wappen

Also, there are the old captains' mansions that festoon the harbor. Many have been restored to their former glory or are being currently restored, while others are in a complete state of disrepair. Either way they give Chalki a picturesque look.


Are there any beaches in Chalki?

chalki greece - chalki beach

Chalki doesn't have that many beaches, but I can think of one or two I can recommend to you.

First there's Pondamos Beach, the beach closest to Hora and the best beach of the island. If I'm not mistaken, it's the only sandy beach of the island. The water is rather shallow, ideal for families with kids but not the best for snorkeling.

Also, there's Ftenagia Beach. It doesn't have much sand, but there is excellent rock swimming and the snorkeling is far better. It also has a lovely taverna nearby.




Where should I eat in Chalki?

chalki - greek food

There are a couple of places where you can have a quite decent meal. One of them is Mavri Thalassa (Black Sea), at the end of the harbor. It's a local favorite, serving delicious seafood dishes. The kalamaria (calamari), when available fresh, are simply delicious.

Giannis is a rather good place as well; a Georgian-run taverna with great service and a limited, but genuinely good menu selection. Try the Symi shrimps, they're amazing.

O Houvardas is one of your best bets, a pretty good eatery popular with yacht people. Omonia is the place for fresh fish, seafood and grills. As for Remezzo, it's a pretty good pizzeria that also serves some tasty pasta dishes.




What about Chalki's nightlife?


chalki - chalki commonplace

Nightlife on Chalki was described to us by locals as "spontaneous". What does that mean, exactly? I'm not pretty sure. There are a couple of bars you can visit, like Nikola's To Steki, Areti's (a beautiful caf-bar), Kostas and Vocolia.


How do I get to Chalki?


You can reach Chalki by sea; it's connected 3-4 times per week with Rhodes, twice per week with Piraeus (a rather exhausting trip, 30 hours!), Karpathos and Kassos and once per week with Kos, Kalymnos, Milos, Sitia (Crete) and Agios Nikolaos (Crete as well).



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