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Chalki in Greece

Chalki in Swedish.
Chalki in Greece.

Chalki (also spelled Halki), just west of Rhodes, belongs to the Dodecanese islands. It is a small island, both to the surface and the number of residents, here lives about 480 people, the surface is 28 km2 and the highest mountain - Maistro - measuring 518 meters above sea level.

Chalki is situated between Rhodes and Tilos. It is one of the most barren islands I have ever been on. Water shortages are evident; all fresh water comes from Rhodes by ship once a week. During high season, it is not uncommon that the water runs out.

Luckily the water surrounding the island will never run out. Like the sponge has done. Chalki was once one of Greece's five most important islands for sponge fishing, the other was Kalymnos, Lipsi, Symi and Hydra. When the sponge fishing ceased, a large part of the island's population moved to Florida. As most there lived around 3,000 people on Chalki, now there are living slightly less than 500.

I like Chalki for the peace and quiet, for the lovely village of Emborio and the crystal clear turquoise waters. I also like the evenings very much. There are many good restaurants to choose from, and the food is generally very good. The only negative with Chalki is the nature, it is not especially beautiful.

Chalki port.

Emborio is a very beautiful and cozy village.

Take the plane to Rhodes and then continue by ferry from Rhodes Town or from Kamiros Skala which is located 50 kilometres south of Rhodes Town. Boat connections are also available from Karpathos, Crete and Piraeus.

Book ferry tickets online here »

A minibus runs between Emborio and the monastery of Agio Ioannis. The bus stops along the way, including at the beach of Pondamos and below the uninhabited village of Chorio. There are no car or moped rental services.

Have you been in Gialos on Symi, you will smile in recognition when you see the picturesque Emborio which is the only village on Chalki. Like Gialos, Emborio lies at a horseshoe-like bay surrounded by pastel-coloured beautiful old rich man's houses, some are renovated, and others are in need of restoration.

See pictures from Emborio at the top and the bottom of the page.

Sunrise in Chalki.

The sunrise is magically beautiful in Emborio.

Pondamos beach. Chalki.

Pondamos beach.

The seafront promenade (closed to traffic except when the ferries arrive) is the heart of the village; here are most of the tavernas, cafes and shops. Evenings can be magical, in the sea you see reflected images of the beautiful houses and the many cosy tavernas are to say the least inviting.

In the far end of the promenade, is a bell tower donated by islanders who emigrated to Tarpon Springs in Florida. The road leading from Emborio to Chorio, however is named Tarpon Springs Boulevard.

The beaches are few and not very good. Pondamos, 10 minutes walk from Emborio, is the island's only sandy beach. There is a taverna and sun beds with umbrellas for rent.

Ftenagia is a tiny pebble beach just south of Emborio. The beach is not much to write home about, but the crystal clear turquoise waters are tremendously inviting. Also here there is a taverna.

The beach Kania, north of Emborio is another pebble beach, which takes about 25 minutes to go to. No taverna.

Ftenagia beach. Chalki.

Ftenagia beach.

About 35 minutes walk from Emborio is the former capital Chorio. The village is uninhabited since the beginning of the 19th century, most houses are in ruins, and only a few have been renovated.

Above Chorio there are remnants of an impressive medieval castle (Kastro) from where one has a splendid view. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk up to the Kastro.

Chorio is quite similar to the uninhabited village Mikro Chorio on Tilos.

Another attraction is the monastery of Agio Ioannis which stands on a plateau on the western part of Chalki. You get here by bus or on foot, the hike takes about two hours.

Chorio and Kastro. Chalki.

The uninhabited village of Chorio.

Nearly all rooms are booked by tour operators; therefore it can be hard to find a place to stay if you are travelling independent. To be sure to find a place to stay, the best option is to book ahead. If you arrive without any reservation you can ask at one of the travel agency.

Here are three suggestions for accommodation in Emborio.

Villa Amalia »

Villa Kalypso »

Bright Sun Villas »

Book hotel, studios and apartments in Chalki here »

Villa Amalia. Chalki.

Book Villa Amalia here »

Emborio on Chalki

Emborio on Chalki.

Ferry timetable »

Book ferry tickets »

Accommodation on Chalki »

Rhodes - nearest island »

© 2007-2018 | Janni Eklund | Kalispera and Kalimera.