Chalki island in Greece.


Chalki in Greece

Chalki in Swedish.

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 (also spelled Halki) is a barren little island located between Rhodes and Tilos.

Beautiful Emborio on Chalki.


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.


Chalki is one of the most barren islands I have been to in Greece.

Chalki is one of the most barren islands I have been to in Greece.


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.


Emborio on Calki is a very beautiful and cozy village.

Emborio is a very beautiful and cozy village.


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.


Take a 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, Tilos, Nisyros and Symi.


The port of Emborio on Chalki in the Dodecanese.

The port in Emborio.


Ferry timetable »

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 beaches Pondamos, Kania and Ftenagia and to the uninhabited village of Chorio. There are no car or moped rental services. Most people walk because the distances are so short.


On Chalki you cannot rent a car or moped, but there is a bus.

Most people get around on foot because the distances are so short.



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.


The pastel colored neoclassical houses in Emborio. Compare with the houses on Symi.


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.

The bell tower in Emborio on the island of Chalki in Greece.

The bell tower in Emborio.


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 village of Emborio on Chalki is one of the Dodecanese's finest villages.

Emborio seen from the other side.


Good restaurants and tavernas on Chalki in the Dodecanese.

The evenings at the restaurants along the port promenade are magical.


It is not long sandy beaches with golden yellow sand that attract tourists to Chalki. If that's what you're looking for, you'll have to go to another island. But the water is absolutely wonderful, and the few beaches that exist are more than enough for most people. The most popular beaches are Pondamos and Ftenagia. Both are within walking distance from Emborio.


Pondamos beach is the best beach on Chalki in Greece.

Pondamos beach.


Pondamos is about a 10-minute walk from Emborio. Pondamos - which is the island's only sandy beach - is shallow and child-friendly. It is said that the sand disappears into the sea some winters, but then new sand is brought from Rhodes for the next season. Here there is a tavern and sunbeds and parasols for rent.


The sandy beach of Pondamos is about a 10-minute walk from the village of Emborio on Chalki.

Pondamos is about a 10-minute walk from Emborio.


The taverna at Pondamos beach.

The taverna at Pondamos beach.

Ftenagia beach is a tiny beach just south of Emborio. The beach consists of pebbles mixed with a little sand. As a beach, Ftenagia is not much to write home about, but the crystal clear turquoise water is wonderful, not least if you like to snorkel. There is also a tavern here.


Ftenagia beach on Chalki is the island's coziest beach.

Ftenagia beach.


At Ftenagia beach on Chalki is a fantastic restaurant with very good Greek food.

Ftenagia beach. The good taverna on the right.


Kania beach north of Emborio is small but very good. Other beaches are Yiali, Duo Yiali and Areta. The three latter beaches lack facilities and are difficult to access.


The beaches of Kania, Yiali, Duo Yiali and Areta on the island of Chalki near Rhodes.

Kania beach north of Emborio


There is not much to see outside of Emborio. But if you like uninhabited villages and old fortresses, you can take a look at the old capital Chorio. It takes about 40 minutes to walk there. Chorio was abandoned in the 19th century when the villagers moved to Emborio. Most houses are in ruins, only a few are renovated. Chorio is quite similar to the uninhabited village of Mikro Chorio on Tilos.


The uninhabited village of Chorio and Kastro on Chalki.

The uninhabited village of Chorio and Kastro on the top.


Above Chorio are the remains of an impressive medieval fortress (Kastro) built by the Knights of St. John as early as the 15th century. From the castle you have a lovely view of the sea. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk up to the fortress.


Read more about of Chorio and Kastro here »


The sunrise is magically beautiful in Emborio on Chalki.

The sunrise is magically beautiful in Emborio.


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.


Villa Amalia is one of the best hotels on Chalki.

This is how fantastic it is to live in Chalki. The place is called Villa Amalia.



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. Below we have hand-picked some very good hotels in Emborio.


Book Villa Amalia here »

Book Aretanassa Hotel here »

Book Marina Castellana Studios here »

Book Villa Klytia here »

Book Rosalia Apartments here »


Book other hotels on Chalki here »







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