/ Kalymnos, best date and way to travel
im lookin at organising a trip to Kalymnos with some friends and I have started hitting a few technical hitches,
•first of all what is the best way to get to the island, I know they have an airport but all my efforts to find flights end in me landing in Kos (we need to be leaving airports from the North West ideally)?
just wondering what the norm is?
•secondly I wanted to know what the best time of year is to travel, I hear September is ideal but wouldnt mind some advice, also looking at renting a car out there if at all possible as I can imagine not doing so proves to be a nightmare?
•thirdly (and less crucially) is there a better area to stay within the island?
Cheers for taking the time to read this guys, im abit flumaxed as to the best way of doing this and I know some people go every year so will be well oiled i this routine. Thanks again, any advice welcome.
Flying to Kos is normal, most people get a bus or taxi straight from the airport to Mastichari Harbour where 2 ferries run across to Kaly. A taxi ride the other side will get you to Massouri, the centre of the climbing on the island.
Most businesses open at April and stay open until oct/Nov, it's possible to go outside of this time but not much will be open. You can climb for this whole 'open' season although you'll need to keep go the shade in the high summer.
If you stay in Massouri you can walk to 15 or more crags, and you can hire a scooter/quad/car in town on a daily basis if you want to go further afield.
Hope this helps.
Yeah, just to echo what has been said above...
Fly to Kos.
10min. taxi ride to the small harbour harbour where the boats leaves. Taxis are always waiting outside the airport. Cost 15eur
The small fast ferry takes about 30min. (7eur), the big ferry 45min. What one you get, depends on when your flight lands. The restruants near the port are fine for diner if you need to wait for the ferry.
Just occasionally it might be too windy for the boats to sail. This happened to us last time. We quickly found rooms at 10eur a head for the night and got a ferry in the morning and were climbing by lunchtime.
Again, there will be taxis waiting when the ferry docks. 20min. to Massouri where you would want to be based for walking to the crags.
I'd not hire a car for the full time. Just as and when required. Transport (car/scooter) is useful if it's very hot and you need to seek the shady crags which are generally a bit further away than the sunny crags around the village.
What you save on car hire, spend in the excellent restruants.
Getting home you'll not want to miss your flight. Keep an eye in the forecast for wind and the potential for the boats not sailing. This isn't usually a problem but it is a thing and does happen. There used to be "pirate" boats that would sail in choppy seas but the authorities seem to have cracked down on these recently so I'd not bank on finding one.
In April you might still find some seepage on the crag so 10% of the routes might still be wet. May-September might be too hot. October generally best but wind at the crags and for the ferries could be a thing.
Thanks guys thats really helpful, just out of interest is the ferry something we need to prebook or do you just turn up and pay?
Just turn up and pay.
With regard to where stay - Massouri is within walking distance of enough crags that you wouldn't *need* to go anywhere else. Although renting a scooter to get a bit further afield a few times would definitely be worthwhile. We stayed a bit further south in Platy Gialos (sp?) - rented a very nice house, but no crags within easy walking distance and having to drive every day was bit of a pita, which I would avoid next time.
> May-September might be too hot.
In my experience this isn't true, we've been in August twice now, and as long as you are sensible about your crag choice then it's absolutely fine. For example if you want to climb the crags above Massouri, make sure you are up early and you can climb in the shade until at least 2pm, then spend the afternoon on the beach!
It seems Brits are the only ones that think Kaly is off limits in summer, there are loads of other Europeans at the crags in the hot months.
ParaDan you can pay for the ferry on the day, there is a small ticket office on the dock.
I will offer a different opinion to those already expressed.
Kalymnos in late October/early November was perfect - not too many people about, no queuing for routes, climb all day, pleasant 20C temps and only a couple of evening thunderstorms. Climb in t-shirt; belay in fleece weather - perfect for the average brit?
Going earlier in the year (April-May) i've heard that lots of the tufas seep, meaning that you can't experience the best type of climbing that Kaly offers.
Transport wise, we flew to Athens with Ryanair, crashed in the airport overnight (Maccy D stayed open 24/7) then took a small turbo-prop flight with Olympus to Kalymnos direct - no need for the Kos ferry. Flights home connected better and so no need for the airport bivvy.
The best dates to fly to Kos depend on where you live in the UK. Charter flights from most nothern airports start in may and finish in late October which is why most Brits get go in either may or October. Direct flights from London start about month earlier. Try Easyjet or Jet2 for usually the cheapest options.
You can fly outside those periods, but via Athens and then on either to kos or direct to Kalymnos by aegean airlines or a longer ferry trip.
It all seems a little daunting first time but is relatively easy in practice.
As others have said base yourself in Massouri and then walk to lots of crags above the village and get the regular ferry across to Telendos a couple of times. You certainly won't need personal transport to enjoy your first visit.
I went for the first time last year with some friends who are regular but realised you could pretty quickly sort yourself out even if you didn't have a clue - the taxi drivers ask if it's the port you want to go to as they generally seem to recognise climbers, everyone ends up at the same harbour and moves to the boat together (pay at the little hut) having had some food/beer in one of the restaurants, and the taxis at the other side take you to wherever you want to go (Masouri generally) if you give them your hotel name. Two warnings; if you're a nervous passenger just shut your eyes, they take no prisoners (although they do seem to have perfected the one hand on the wheel, one hand on the cigarette, one hand on the shifter approach while negotiating the streets at a speed Gigi Galli would be proud of). The other is to be on the boat last so you're first off. The wait for taxis if you're at the back of the queue can be quite lengthy.
Basically, don't stress. Fly to Kos, get the taxi, the ferry and the taxi (minimal walking between any of these), and enjoy the climbing.
I have been to Kalymnos, from Liverpool and Manchester. As others have said, mostly fly to Kos and take taxi to Masticahri - ferry to Pothia taxi to accommodation - simples.
As for time, twice in August and three times in September. Again to echo others, just get up and about early climb till the sun hits the crags, then chill, swim, snorkel etc. Two holidays for the price of one. Whats not to like.
For a change this year Im off in mid May.
Regarding time of year: spring slightly less attractive in my opinion due to the sea which is still too cold for swimming. How much seepage is an issue depends a bit on the grades at which you operate. There's plenty of easier terrain where you do not need to worry. On the other hand, I personally travel to Kaly for tufa fun. Additionally, it will be too hot for climbing in the sun even in April, so this limits any serious climbing action to crags which are in the shade (which, as mentioned, is not an issue if you get up early enough).
In summer and autumn, I've visited in the second half of August, in September and October. Through to the last days in October it is still to hot for any serious climbing in the sun. We always found good climbing conditions if getting up early and climbing in the shade, even in August - not sport climbing prime conditions, but good enough for serious action. For enjoying the beach life, it's better to go earlier (Aug/Sep). Also, the crags can feel crowded in the main season (i.e. second half of Sep until around Oct 20). After around Oct 20, the island gets much more lonely. Reason is that charter flights from central Europe to Kos mostly stop. While you can still access via Athens, this takes more time - in my opinion too much for a 1 week trip, while if going via Kos this is still reasonable.
Cheers guys, Im quite looking forward to this now, get the impression that its wise to hit the crags early haha.
we are going late September so im expecting it to be busy but thats cool. Not the hardest climber, happy trundling up the range of 6’s to be honest .
The accomodation we are looking at is a mile or so out of Massouri but its early days yet .
looking at a pretty fair priced villa with a gas BBQ so il be hitting the shops more than the restaurants, none the less any suggestions welcome re places to shop or eat.
cheers, really appreciate the help. Is there anything I should really make sure not to miss? Climbing related or not?
There's plenty of mini-markets in Massouri for self-catering, and larger supermarkets in Pothia. Eating out is relatively inexpensive - we tend to eat out most nights. I would recommend going to the Aegean Tavern at some point as the food there is a cut above the rest of the (generally very good) places in Massouri. Book an early table, otherwise you either won't get in, or you'll be waiting for hours.
I would suggest getting some transport, at least for a couple of days. You definitely don't need to, but scooters are cheap to hire, and there's so much more to the island than just the bit above Massouri.
Don't go to Poets on day one, it's not a bad sector, especially for 6's, but it will shred your skin and you'll spend the next few days regretting it!
I've yet to have a bad meal in Massouri, personal recommendations are:
Manifesto for the 10 euro meal deal
Archipelago just around the corner past the Aegean tavern, probably the best meal we had last year
Zorba's down some steps towards the beach, dont be put off by the dodgy looking guy touting you in from the road, it's really excellent with a sea view and very quiet.
Azul at the north end of town, if you can get on the terrace it's beautiful, its the closest you can find to a hipster bar in Kaly!
And of course you have to go to and see Rita at Kokkinidis, just because she's super nice.
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