Passengers who travel by ferry to Chalki, arrive in one of the best destinations off the beaten tourist trail of the Dodecanese island complex in Greece!
Chalki (or Halki) looks like a part of Rhodes without the big tourist flow. Being a mountainous island, it is ideal for those who want a peaceful holiday. Historical references to Chalki are rare. The island has spent centuries of history in the shadow of Rhodes and its history can be inferred primarily only by reference to the history of Rhodes and the general area of the south-eastern Aegean. The island of Chalki is located 35 nautical miles west of the city of Rhodes and just 5 miles from the cape of Monolithos in Rhodes.
There is only one settlement on the island called Chalki or Ipporeios, which is both the port and the capital of the island. It was founded in the 19th century, when the steamships of the maritime police completely eliminated piracy in the area and allowed the creation of coastal settlements.
The village of Chorio, west of Chalki, once the only settlement on the island, is built around the hill on which the fortress is built and has old-style stone houses. The village of Chorio was gradually abandoned and is now deserted. The town of Chalki, built during periods of prosperity, is architecturally aristocratic, with traditional two and three-storey houses arranged amphitheatrical around the harbor.
Behind the town tower are the bare and steep mountains of the island. Although these mountains are not particularly high, the highest peak of Maistru, which is just east of the center of the island is only 593 meters high, they appear extremely tall because of their somber and majestic appearance.
Theophrastus refers to the extremely fertile valleys of Chalki as being capable of being cultivated twice a year, thanks to the exceptional temperate climate. The large delicious figs and honey of Chalki were famous, as were the numerous flocks of partridge, which even today bring many hunters to the island every year. Today, as in all the Dodecanese, tourism tends to become the only activity. In recent times, a significant hotel and tourist infrastructure has been developed on the island. Chalki was declared in 1983 by the Ministry of Youth as a World Youth Friendship Island by the Ministry of Youth. The projects completed at that time by the government agency helped significantly in the development of Chalki's tourism industry.
Getting to Chalki by ferry
Access to the island of Chalki is by ferry from Piraeus in Athens, as there are available routes about 3 times a week. However, the journey takes 20 hours. It may be more convenient for you to travel to Chalki by ferry from Rhodes, as the journey takes only 2 hours. Rhodes is connected to Athens by direct flights, the duration of which is estimated at around 50 minutes.
Apart from Rhodes and Athens, Chalki is also connected by ferry from Crete. There are routes from the ports of Heraklion and Sitia about 3 times a week. From the port of Halki there are seasonal services to Kalymnos, Kos, Nisyros, Rhodes and Tilos.
Chalki ferry port
Chalki ferry port is situated on the southeast coast of the island in the settlement of Emborio, the island's only other settlement after Horio. Chalki, is the smallest inhabited island of the Dodecanese in Greece, with a population of about 300 inhabitants. Chalki ferry services are available to the surrounding islands, as well as to several islands that are further away.
Transportation in Chalki
On such a small island, there is no need for public transport. Moreover, only a few private vehicles are spotted in the whole region and after a certain hour using a car in Nimporio is prohibited. The most usual way to explore Chalki is on foot. Also, there is a small boat that carries out short trips to nearby, isolated coasts.
Holidays in Chalki
Chalki is a lovely, tranquil place, much preferred by people who need some peace and quiet during their holidays.
Chalki, this place "the small, the great" hides true treasures. You will realize it as soon as you see the beautiful harbor and the unique settlement of the island, Nimborio. The absence of vehicles, the tranquility that this small island exudes, the romantic atmosphere submits the visitor.
Everything moves at a relaxed human pace. You will enjoy strolls along the cobbled streets between mansions and restored houses with colors as if taken from a painter's palette, dives in the clear waters, moments of relaxation with ouzo and festivals with a traditional flavor. And the locals, people distinguished for their friendliness and innate kindness, respected their land and resisted the anarchic tourism.
Sightseeing & Activities in Chalki
- Nimborio: Bathed in light, the two- and three-storey houses of the picturesque settlement with their coloured walls and tiled roofs look like little boats as they are hooked to the yalos. Wander the alleyways and enjoy the smells of the ovens each house has for baking bread and the famous Chalcis macaroons laid out in the sun to dry. Ask a local to give you a taste of prickly pears, the unique tasting fruits that are everywhere
- See the Church of Agios Nikolaos: The island's patron saint, with its majestic bell tower and carved wooden iconostasis, and take a breather in its ornately paved courtyard with the traditional "hochlakia" of the sea. Stop for a while at the Town Hall, an old mansion, with its exceptionally architectural clock tower. With your walk in Nimborio you will feel your heart overwhelmed by peace and an unspeakable joy
- Monastery of St. John Alarga: Located in Stafia, far (as its name suggests) from the Old Village, but also from the sea. You can reach it after an hour and a half hike through a bare landscape of dry stone walls, waves, fig trees, prickly pears and herbs. On August 29, the monastery is overrun with pilgrims who are hosted in its cells for the biggest festival on the island. Under the big cypress tree they eat, sing and dance sous vide until the morning
- The Village - The Knights' Castle: Perched on a hill 2.5 km away from the port is Horio, the old capital of the island. In the ruins of the ruined houses lies the glory of Chalki. From the arched church of Panagia Choriani you can follow the path that leads to the Castle of the Knights. The interior is full of ruins, but the church of St. Nicholas with frescoes from the 15th and 17th centuries is preserved. From the Fortress you will admire the magnificent view of the Carpathian Sea
- Alimia Island: With your own boat or by boat from Niborio it is worth going on a day trip to Alimia, an island in the sea between Chalki and Rhodes. On the long beach you will enjoy swimming and diving in deep blue waters, while in the background of the bay you will see the ruins of the old settlement and a short distance from the shore the saltwater lake
- Monastery of Taxiarch Michael of Palarniotis: In contrast to the mountainous landscape of the island, the monastery is surrounded by trees and offers a panoramic view. If you like hiking you can reach the monastery from the path that starts from Niborio and passes through Chorio. From Palarniotis, a path starts for Agios Georgios Ryskios that passes by ruins of medieval churches, dry stone walls and ruined windmills
Beaches in Chalki
Some of the island's beaches can be reached on foot, others can be reached by boat from Niborio. Pontamos is the busiest beach on the island with a white sandy beach. Kania is a picturesque pebble beach, as are Yali, Ftenaya and Areta, famous for their turquoise waters. Trachia, the beach bordered by two seas, is accessible only by boat.
Accommodation in Chalki
There are enough hotels, airbnb, rooms and accommodation in the town. A wide range of Chalki apartments, hotels, all over the island welcome you to enjoy your stay by the sea offering all the requested facilities.
Here are some suggestions in order to choose your ideal hotel in Chalki:
- Villa Chrysodimi
- Amalia Harbor
- Atlantis Houses
- Dolphins Apartments
Day trips from Chalki
The boat connections that regularly connect Chalki island makes island-hopping simple.
Hereunder, you will find some of our suggestions for a day trip from Chalki island:
- Ferry from Chalki to Nisyros
- Ferry from Chalki to Symi
- Ferry from Chalki to Kos
- Ferry from Chalki to Rodos
- Ferry from Chalki to Kalymnos
- Ferry from Chalki to Karpathos
- Ferry from Chalki to Kamiros Skala