Kimolos in Greece
Kimolos is located in the western Cyclades just northeast of Milos. Kimolos has about 910 inhabitants, and the island's surface is 36 km2. The largest village is Chora with 840 inhabitants; in addition there are some smaller hamnlets, like port village Psathi, and the small fishing village Goupa. The highest mountain is Paleokastro, measuring 364 meters above sea level.
The port of Psathi in Kimolos.
Kimolos is just a stone's throw away from Milos. It is an almost forgotten island, just waiting to be discovered. Almost 800 people lives here; most of them are working in agriculture and fisheries. Tourism is still in its infancy; foreign tourists who stays overnight is rare, the few who visit Kimolos will be day-trippers from Milos. Greek tourists are rare in low-and mid-season.
The island is characterized by a pleasantly quiet. The inhabitants are fantastically friendly and helpful; many are very curious and want to know who you are and where you come from.
It is to enjoy the peace and quiet you go to Kimolos; into the bargain you get a big dose of real Greece. There are no discos, no nightclubs, no trendy restaurants. The nearest you can come a nightlife is a music bar in Chora where the young islanders gather in the evenings. Otherwise, entertainment is limited to simple tavernas that are authentic Greek and adjusted to the islanders' needs instead of the tourists needs.
On Kimolos dominate the Greek everyday life.
TRAVEL TO KIMOLOS
No package tours - of course, Kimolos would otherwise be an attractive package holiday destination for those who love the real Greece. Although there is no airport, the connections with the outside world are very good, mainly with Milos, but also with the islands in the western Cyclades, like Serifos, Sifnos and Folegandros, and the Athenian port of Piraeus.
The quickest, and easiest, way to get to Kimolos is to go by air to Athens and then continue by ferry or catamaran from Piraeus. Another option is to fly to Santorini, from which there is decent boat connections to Kimolos during high season.
GETTING AROUND KIMOLOS
The only public transportation on Kimolos is a small bus that runs between the port and Chora, and to some beaches. Fortunately, there are not many roads, the distances are short and you will cope fairly well under your own steam.
Car and scooter are available for rent, but there is no taxi.
VILLAGES IN KIMOLOS
Kimolos port village Psathi (see photo on top) is quite a pleasant acquaintance. Here's one bakery, a few small shops, a few cafes and tavernas with tables strategically placed along the beach - very nice and cosy in the evening. At lunchtime the tavernas are piled up with day trippers from Milos. The beach in the port is nothing to write home about; it is just about to be good enough to take a swim while waiting for the ferry.
Chora lies a few kilometres north of Psathi. It is a beautiful and charming village, nothing is adjusted for tourists; here you have the opportunity to study how everyday life appears in a Greek village.
One of the many alleys in Chora.
It is difficult to get a clear view of the village because there is no central square. In order to orient yourselves in the labyrinthine alleys, you have to take sight on the main street. In some places the alleys are so narrow that it is almost impossible to go there by car, which does not prevent the Greeks to try.
In Chora there are surprisingly many tavernas and a couple of shops. There are also travel agents and an ATM. In the middle of Chora lies the old district Kastro which is listed as one of the Cyclades finest. Something that is unusual for a Kastro is that there still are people living there. Most Kastro in Greece are uninhabited. Kastro on Kimolos, Folegandros and Antiparos are three exceptions.
Part of Kastro in Chora.
Goupa is a small fishing village with beautiful surroundings about 10 minutes walk from Chora. The village is known for its colourful boat houses which are carved out of the rocks. Together with the small, and equally colourful, fishing boats, they form a beautiful backdrop to the turquoise waters.
The cozy little fishing village Goupa.
Outside the boathouses, the fishermen work with their fishing nets. You can stroll along the water on handmade bridges of stone. The small beach is not the best in the Greek archipelago, but it's good enough for a cooling dip after the walk from Chora.
BEACHES IN KIMOLOS
It is not for the beaches that you in the first place go to Kimolos. It is rather to experience the genuine Greece, enjoy good food, visit the beautiful Chora and to walk in the strange landscape. However, there are several of beaches if you would be tempted to swim and sunbathe.
At the small village of Goupa there is a small beach that is good enough for a dip or two. A little further away is Klima beach which is covered with large pebbles. Not far away we find Loutro beach, and if we continue a little further we'll come to Prassa beach, which for me is the best beach on Kimolos. The water is fantastic. Unfortunately no taverna.
Prassa beach is Kimolos best beach.
To the west lies Alyki beach which is the island's most famous and most visited beach. The beach consists of pebbles mixed with sand. There are both taverna and pensions. After Alyki you find Bonatsa and Kalamitsi. The latter is really good. Mavrospilia is also a very nice beach.
Alyki beach on the west Kimolos.
SIGHTS IN KIMOLOS
The biggest attraction on Kimolos is undoubtedly the old Kastro in Chora. Other attractions include the volcanic landscape, the uninhabited neighbouring island of Polyaigos - where it is said to live monk seals - and the strange rock formation of Skiadi.
Skia means shade in Greek, and that's where the rock got its name from. In the area there is almost no shadow, except just below Skiadi. The rock is also known as The mushroom due to the mushroom-like shape (see picture on the mushroom via the link below).
The strange rock Skiadi.
On the western island it is said to be a sunken city, but I have not seen any photographic proof. Ellinika, which the city was called, was destroyed by an earthquake and sank to the bottom of the sea. It is said that you can see relics of Ellinika when there is no wind and the water is clear.
ACCOMMODATION IN KIMOLOS
On Kimolos there is no difficulty in choosing accommodation; it is tricky to find anything at all. The selection is scant to say the least.
Kimolos is one of the few islands where I have been forced to sleep outdoors because I have not found a place to stay. Most options are in the port, and about 600 meters from the port on the way to Chora. In Chora there are a few pensions. Unfortunately they are poorly signposted. Kimolis and Milaki Kimolos are two very good hotels.
View of Chora on Kimolos.
Here you can see how close to Chora lies from the port of Psathi, which appears at the bottom left. The island to the right is Milos.