Kalispera Greece Kalymnos.


Pothia and Chora in Kalymnos

Pothia is with its more than 12,000 inhabitants the third largest town in the island group of Dodecanese, after Rhodes town and Kos town. Unlike the latter two towns, which are extremely adapted to tourists, Pothia is a town dominated by Greek everyday life. One may resemble Pothia with Athens in miniature, or Ermopoulis in Syros. But unlike Ermopoulis, which is a very smart town, Pothia is not particularly beautiful, rather noisy and intense, Pothia is as it is "for real".


View over Pothia from Agios Savvas Monastery in Kalymnos.

View of Pothia from Agios Savvas Monastery.


Chora is merged with Pothia and it is impossible to see where one village begins and where the other ends. You can say that Chora is the farthest from the port.


The village of Chora on Kalymnos in Greece.

Chora on the left is completely merged with Pothia.


The village of Pothia on Kalymnos in Greece.

Pothia seen from a ferry.

The Greek daily life is always present, around the clock, year round. Indeed, there are some knick knack shops and sponge hawkers along the waterfront, but otherwise it is the Greek everyday life that dominates. As a tourist, one disappear in the crowd, especially at night when all dressed up villagers stroll from the alleys to go on their volta, or to have a good time at one of the nice ouzeries.


The port of Pothia on Kalymnos.

Fishing boats in the small marina in Pothia.


The first time I came to Pothia, I was frightened about all this Greek, for example I disliked that the signs were in Greek, today I think it contributes to the feeling of actually being in Greece. The most Greek part of Pothia is in the area behind the Town Hall and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. The cathedral has a very long name in Greek: Metropolitikos Naos Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros Christo.


The grand town hall in Pothia on Kalymnos.

The grand town hall in Pothia.


Cathedral of Christ Metropolitikos Naos Metamorfoseos tou Sotiros Christou in Pothia on Kalymnos.

The beautiful cathedral of Pothia.


Feel free to go to the old districts in the evening just before the sun sets and absorb the Greek everyday life: old women and old men on the terraces, cackling hens, suspicious cats, family dinners in small gardens, houses in ruins with magnificent ornaments and doors and windows in all sorts of colours.


The old town of Pothia on Kalymnos.

This is where the old districts of Pothia begin.

The waterfront can be extremely touristy in villages that stands on the coast, like in Naxos town and Pythagorion in Samos. The waterfront in Pothia is one exception: tavernas, bars and ouzeries are first and foremost adapted to the Greeks. Sit down at one of the ouzeries and enjoy the Greek evening life, the time flies and every minute is a story.


The port promenade in Pothia on Kalymnos.

Part of the port promenade in Pothia.


Excursion boats in the port of Pothia.

Another part of the port promenade in Pothia.


All the places I've eaten at have been good. However, I have a favourite, and it is Manias Fish Taverna next to the yellow Town Hall (which in turn lies next to the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ). There are also a number of ouzerias, and other tavernas, which serve incredibly good food. Normally ouzeries only have a few dishes on the menu, but here they have full-scale menus.


Manias Fish Taverna is one of the best restaurants in Pothia on Kalymnos.

Manias Fish Taverna in Pothia is very good.


Statue of the famous professor Skevos Zervos from Kalymnos.

Statue of the famous professor Skevos Zervos from Kalymnos, and a good ouzeria.

Good restaurants, tavernas, bars, cafes and ouzerias in Pothia.

Pretty much all restaurants, tavernas and ouzerias are good in Pothia.


Good gyros and souvlaki at Kalymnos.

If, like me, you love gyros, you will love Pothia.


Pothia offers all sorts of amenities, such as banks, travel agencies, record stores, supermarkets, bus station, taxi rank, tavernas, bars, ouzeries, kafenións and gyros places. There are also two interesting museums: the Nautical Museum on the waterfront shows objects from Kalymnos interesting maritime history, and the Archaeological Museum which lies a little out of the way and is difficult to find. The Archaeological Museum is newly renovated and well worth a visit. To get there, walk or drive the main shopping street out of Pothia, towards Chora (which is built togheter with Pothia). The sidewalks along the shopping street must be the island world's highest.


Archaeological Museum of Pothia on Kalymnos.

Archaeological Museum of Pothia.


When you almost have reached the taxi square, you will see a sign pointing to the right. Inside the maze of alleys lies the Archaeological Museum. Close to Chora are two sights well worth visiting: Chrysocheria Castle and Castle of Chora. And do not miss the Agios Savvas Monastery above Pothia.

If you like Greek statues and monuments, you will find several of them in Pothia. Partly the statue of Professor Skevos Zervos a bit up on this page, partly the statue of the sea god Poseidon, partly the statue of the diving sponge fisherman, partly the very special monument which is a memory of a helicopter crash on the island of Imia outside Kalymnos, and the statue of the winged goddess Nike.


The statue of the goddess Nike in Pothia on Kalymnos was made by the local sculptor Michalis Kokkinos.

The statue of the goddess Nike is made by the local sculptor Michalis Kokkinos.


The statue of the sea god Poseidon at Kalymnos in Greece.

The statue of the sea god Poseidon.


The statue of the diving sponge fisherman.

The statue of the diving sponge fisherman.


The very special monument you see below consists of busts of the three officers, Christodoulos Karathanasis, Panagiotis Vlahakos and Hector Gialopsos, as well as two life-size citizens paying homage to the three heroes. The officers were members of a helicopter crew that crashed on Imia Island on January 31, 1966. Turkey claimed that Imia Island belonged to Turkey, and still does today. The helicopter accident almost led to war between Greece and Turkey.


Monument to the helicopter crew that crashed on the island of Imia off Kalymnos on 31 January 1966.

The monument to the fallen Officers.

If you choose to stay overnight in Pothia, you have quit a long way to the nearest beach. There is a small beach at the outer breakwater that is good enough for a cooling dip, but nowhere to spend a whole day. A few kilometres south of Pothia lies a better beach called Gefyra.


Pothia beach on the island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese.

The beach in Pothia.


The marina in Pothia on Kalymnos is full of sailboats.

As you can see, Pothia is a very colourful city.


Sail to Kalymnos. Pothia is a popular overnight port for sailors.

Pothia is also a popular overnight port for sailors.



If you want to stay in a vibrant town in the middle of the Greek everyday life, and be close to many good restaurants, tavernas and ouzeries, then Pothia is a perfect choice. I can highly recommend Villa Melina housed in one of the oldest buildings in Pothia, it is said to have been the first hospital on Kalymnos. Villa Melina is surrounded by a lush garden, a swimming pool, an oasis in the otherwise bustling town. Another very good hotel is Spongia Apartments Kalymnos, and Casa Bianca is suitable for those who want to have the whole house to themselves.


Book Villa Melina here »

Book Spongia Apartments Kalymnos here »

Book Casa Bianca here »



Don't miss Gefyra beach when you travel to Pothia on Kalymnos in Greece.

Don't miss Gefyra beach, which you can read about here »


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