There are several ways of getting to Kalymnos, with the most popular being the following:
Fly to Kos, which is a popular holiday destination and hence there are many charter flights to the island that are relatively cheap. This is followed by a 10 minute taxi ride to Mastichari port, and then a short ferry ride to Kalymnos (25 to 30 minutes). Before the airport was built this was the way the majority of climbers visited the island and it is still one of the most popular.
The airport on Kalymnos was opened in 2006 with regular flights to Athens. There are many scheduled flights to Athens from across Europe, and then change for a direct flight to Kalymnos or alternatively to Kos and then get the ferry as above. It is also possible to get a ferry from Athens to Kalymnos. These run all year with around 3 ferries per week and they take between 9 to 14 hours.
Fly to Rhodes, which is another popular holiday destination, with again many charter flights to the island that are relatively cheap. Then make your way to Mandraki port, where there are ferries to Kalymnos that take from 3 to 5 hours.
The majority of rock climbers who visit Kalymnos choose to stay either in the villages of Masouri, Armeos or Myrties, which are situated below many of the popular crags. These villages offer a wide range of accommodation from expensive hotels, budget hotels, self-catering apartments and villas, to Bed & Breakfast (B&B) style accommodation. Note there is no unregulated "wild" camping allowed on the island. For more information see our Kalymnos accommodation page to book accommodation that is suitable for rock climbers.
It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance especially if you are visiting Kalymnos in either May or October. Masouri is the centre for rock climbing in Kalymnos including such places as Glaros bar, where it is not unheard of to go to Kalymnos on your own and hook up with other rock climbers there.
Kalymnos has a very dry climate and it is possible to climb all year round, though the best two times to visit Kalymnos are in the spring (April and May) and the autumn (September and October). However, with many of the crags facing west and south, rock climbing throughout the winter is very pleasant and warm. There is frequently good weather in the winter, making climbing on Christmas day in a t-shirt a very real possibility. During the summer the island does get hot though there is often a refreshing summer breeze. By choosing your crags and climbing time carefully (most of the crags are in shade in the morning) it is possible to find the shade and then relax on the beach in the afternoon.
The definitive and comprehensive guidebook for Kalymnos is the 8th edition of the Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook published in 2018. This Kalymnos guidebook is produced and published by local climbers with some of the profits contributing to the island’s bolt fund. The guidebook includes a unique scratch code that allows you to download an app of the guidebook for both iOS and Android devices. A Rockfax Kalymnos rock climbing guidebook has also been produced. Buy both of these rock climbing guidebook for Kalymnos from our shop.
At least a 70m rope is essential for rock climbing in Kalymnos, though there are routes 35 to 40m long, so ideally an 80m rope is required. All of the routes on Kalymnos are well bolted, which means around 12 to 20 quickdraws will be required for each route.
Click on the images above to view a larger photograph, showing the excellent rock climbing to be found on the island of Kalymnos.
Published by local climbers, a large part of the profit from this guidebook goes back into the Kalymnos bolt fund for the maintenance of existing routes and creating new routes.