AND GREEK ISLANDS
Chalki is one of the islands of the Dodecanese.
Chalki is just perfect for those who want to
spend a vacation away from the stress
living. The setting is delightful; pretty houses
scattered around a picturesque harbourside,
fishing boats at anchor, and a backdrop of
rugged mountains. With its great climate and its
kind people, a trip to Chalki can be considered
as a vacation haven for the "body and soul"
both. Chalki's only settlement, Nimborios, lies
around a beautiful, natural harbor of crystal
clear water. Its tall 2 and 3-story renovated
mansions make it unrivalled in beauty amongst
other island towns. The town of Halki has a
noble air about it that reflects its past glory
and prosperity. it is well worth your while to
walk through its narrow and picturesque streets.
While visiting the island, take long walks and
discover some of the more than 360 country
chapels, the remnants of a medieval castle and
Chorio, the island's ancient capital, which lies
at the foot of the castle. Life on the island of
Halki is simple and unhurried and you can spend
happy hours just lazing under the sun and
swimming just wherever you fancy. Finally, if
you wish a few hours' escape from the absolute
quietness of the island, the bustling island of
Rhodes is nearby. Bear in mind that there are no
cars or buses on the island and your only means
of transport will be on foot!
About Chalki island!
Chalki is a small mountainous island, of about
400 inhabitants, that covers a surface area of
28km. Its name most probably reflects the copper
(chalkos in greek) once mined there. It has ony
one settlement. Emborio or Nimborio, a little
harbour town consisting of 2 and 3-story
Venetian style renovated mansions, overshadowed
by a Byzantine bell tower and a dramatic
backdrop of rugged mountains guarded by 3 ruined
windmills (Vassilakio, Aggelakio and Andrikakio).
On the main road leading to and from the harbour
you can see the bust of Alexandros Diakos, the
first officer to fall defending the ideals of
democracy and freedom in the Dodecanese islands
during WWII. Do not miss the church of St.
Nicholas, built in 1861, with its magnificent
bell tower whose base leans over an arch made of
ancient marbles taken from a temple dedicated to
Apollo, as well as the ecclesiastical museum
that exists there. Furthermore, in Emborio you
can see the clock tower - a donation of the
expatriate Chalkian community - that stands
before the Town Hall, and the building of Hiona
Vouvali, once used for storing sponge supplies.
Ten minutes away from Emborio is Pondamos beach,
a sandy length of coastline framing crystal
clear waters. But there is more undiscovered
shoreline, as Chalki is surrounded by a string
of pure white beaches (some within walking
distance and other best reached by boat). Hire a
little motor boat to take you to the beaches of
Yiali, Trachia, Kania or Areta and to the islet
of Alimia. (St. Deeper into the mainland, a
ruined crusade castle, perched on a hill, guards
of the old capital, Chorio, now
deserted. The walk to the castle is wonderful
and the ruins are untouched. The Chalkian castle
has a history of more than two thousand years.
St. John's Knights constructed the main building
on the remains of an ancient acropolis in the
14th or the 15th century. Walking up the path to
the castle's entrance visitors come across
ancient marbles, foundations of temples, but
also the remains of walls of the
Hellenistic/classical period, Byzantine churches
and bigger or smaller ancient Greek and
Byzantine cisterns. It is a path of history. The
views from the unguarde ramparts, over the town
towards Rhodes, or out towards distant Karpathos,
are sensational. At the NE of the castle, admire
the church of St. Nicholas and its magnificent
frescoes. Chalki is an ideal island for walkers.
Take long walks to discover the approximately
360 country chapels, most of them very old and
now ruined. The hospitable Chalkians will be
happy to suggest you paths and trails to
discover the island's unrevealed beauty. You
will enjoy Chalki's hospitality at its best,
however, if you are lucky enough to be there
during its festivities. The whole island
celebrates with a memorable passion, and
everyone is more than welcome to join in. Every
29th of August, the island's biggest feast, held
at the monastery of Ai Giannis, is honored by
Chalkians living throughout the world coming
back this particular day to celebrate. Lying
just a few miles off the island of Rhodes, this
tiny island has completely escaped the busyness
of its larger neighbor. Once a self-sufficient
island made rich by sponge diving, Chalki is now
a quiet island promising relaxing, though
And for those feeling energetic, even bustling
Rhodes is reachable in a day, if you're up to
that early start and all that hustle and bustle!
Chalki possibly got its name from the copper (in
Greek chalkos) workshops that were there in
ancient times. The Titans were according to
Greek mythology the first inhabitants of all the
surrounding islands. The Pelasgians lived here
for a long time, leaving several constructions
behind, before they were succeeded by the
Carians, the Dorians and later the Phoenicians.
Aretanassa, the illustrious queen of Halki lived
here once, before being exiled in Karpathos
where she committed suicide after her husband's
death. Remains of three temples of the god
Apollo are preseved at the location of Pefkia,
today's Nimborio (along the coastline). The god
was worshipped here with exceptional honours.
During the flourishing period of the Athenian
state, Chalki regularly paid the alliance taxes.
In the 7th century it is concered by the Arabs,
until 825 when it is liberated. Venetians and
Genovians arrived on the island in 1204 and
repaired the ancient acropolis, building at the
same time a fortress on the island of Alimia. In
1523 Chalki was conquered by the Turks. It takes
part in the 1821 revolution, it is conquered by
the Italians in 1912 and finally is annexed to
Greece along with the rest of the Dodecanese.
Pondamos Beach, Kania, Trachia, Areta. The
clarity of the water in Chalki is such, that you
can also slip into the waters of the harbor for
Chalki island useful information
Area code: +30 22460
Chalki Sailing/Yachting information
Chalki is a very small island that does not
offer boat owners the possibility of either
refuelling or taking on water locally. The
nearest refuelling station is on the island of
Transportation on Chalki island
Your main means of transportation will be on
foot, as car and motorcycle traffic is not
permitted on the island.
Some of the most important sites of Chalki worth
visiting are the following:
Ancient crusader castle
Church of St. Nicholas
Monastery of Stavros
Old monastery of Taxiarchis Michail Panormitis
Small chapel of Ai Giannis
Phoeniki withthe half ruined monastery of St.
Pefkia with Apollo's temple
The islets of Alimia and Krevati
Every 29th of August, the island's feast is held
at the monastery of Ai Giannis Alargas (St.
John) and is honored by Chalkians living
throughout the world.
Assumption of Virgin Mary- August 15th.
detailed information about Chalkidiki, its
sightseeing, Chalkidiki map, facilities and
Chalkidiki tours, please click on the link