Kimolos

1. Welcome to Kimolos island

Kimolos island guide, Cyclades Greece
Kimolos island guide, Cyclades Greece

Kimolos is located on the southwestern side of the complex of beautiful islands known as the Cyclades. It is at a distance of 87 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus, with which is connected with conventional ships and speedboats. The distance is covered from 4.5 to 7.5 hours, depending on the ship, since it also stops at the islands KythnosSerifosSifnos and probably Milos.

Kimolos has a Citizens’ Service Centre (KEP), an infirmary with two doctors and an ambulance, pharmacy, heliport, one of the safest in the Cyclades, biological cleaning of wastes, landfill waste area, police station, Post Office and Hellenic Post Bank, two ATMs, bus, taxi, sea taxi, gas station, hotels, apartments-rooms to let and stores.

Getting off the ferry, on the right side of the peer, there is an information point, where you can get some printed material.

There are no car or motobike rental in Kimolos. So, it is necessary to book one in Milos, as you arrive either by plane or by boat. Normally they deliver them there. From the port or airport of Milos to Pollonia there are about 14 km. The ferry to Kimolos takes both cars and moto. Make sure you arrive in Pollonia 1/2 an hour before departure. We are trying to convince the ferry owner to allow reservations via internet.

There is a local bus going to the Chora.

In Chora there are a few cash points (bancomat or ATM). Very few use credit cards.

First Aid: Infirmary and drugstore call +30 22870 51222

Taxi : +30 6973 700033

2. Activities on Kimolos

swimming on Kimolos in Greece
swimming on Kimolos in Greece

Kimolos is a peaceful, quiet island that is very suitable for hiking. There are some very good hikes on the island, with different sights and natural attractions. A word of caution, however, there are some snakes on the island, so sticking to the trails and avoiding thick bushes would be wise. One snake – a type of viper – will require antivenin immediately. Nonetheless, prudent trekking can be very enjoyable on Kimolos. Adventurers have hiked from Psathi over Chorio to the bay of Monastiria and back, covering the island on foot. A couple of suggestions are:

  • Horio – Ayioi Anargyri – Skiadi – Paleokastro – Horio
  • Horio – Dekas – Ellenika and back
  • Horio – Goupa – Klima
  • Chora – Aliki beach – hill of Hellenika

While Kimolos is not reputed for its beaches, the long, deserted beach of Mavrospilia is worth a visit, so is the beach at Aliki. The area of Goupa offers cliffs that give you access to the water as well. For those seeking a more spectacular beach experience, take a taxi-boat to the little island Polyaegos.

 

3. Best beaches on Kimolos

Kimolos beaches, Cyclades Greece
Kimolos beaches, Cyclades Greece

Kimolos beaches are mostly on the South coast, covered from the Northern winds, and show their sandy reddish or white colors, according to their location. They can easily be reached by car/motorbike, not distant from Psathi.

The beaches of Aliki, Bonatsa and Kalamitsi are large beaches with golden sand and are the ideal place in any weather, facing South. The beach of Prassa, just under the Perlite’s mine, recalls a Carebbean beach. The beaches of Ayios Georgios,  also with white sand, and those of Livadaki, Klima, Rema and Psathi, the port area, complete the Southern side of the island.

There are also some beaches in the North and West sides of the island as Soufi, Monastiria in the north and Ormos of Athinia, and Kastro in the west and the island.

Kimolos offers the opportunity to visit the nearby islands of Ayios Giorgos and Poliegos,opposite Psathi, reachable by a taxi boat.

The Southern beaches have restaurants nearby (Bonatsa, Aliki, Psathi, Prassa).

4. Sightseeing on Kimolos

Kimolos sightseeing Cyclades Greece
Kimolos sightseeing Cyclades Greece

The castle of Kimolos:  Chorio, built on the foothills of Xaplovouni, covers a lot of area and is distinguished in two sections: the older residential part is the medieval castle, of the 14th or the 16th century, square shaped, which consists of two house complexes (one including the other) and a small series of houses in the center, next to which a small square is formed and there is the Church of the Birth of Christ. The houses are built with the hard rock of the area (sideropetra), while there are decorative details of limestone. There were 123 two-story houses and they hosted one family on the first floor (anogarides) and another on the ground floor (katogarides).

The Upper Gate of the Castle  is nowadays in ruins. The Outer Castle consists of a series of houses, whose external walls was also part of the walls of the defensive castle. In a lot of houses there were lintels with coats of arms and dates. Among the two series of houses there was a perimetric road, so narrow that only small carts could pass through.

The Outer Castle has two gates: the Lower Gate on the south, on the road of the market, and the Upper Gaye on the eastern side, next to which stands the Folklore and Maritime Museum .

The Upper Gate of the Castle he gates bear dates which have to do with their restoration (1650 and 1646 respectively), following a pirate attack in 1638, when the Castle was set on fire. Then, the Castle was strengthened with more towers. Today there are doors and windows to the houses of the external row facing outwards. There are two entrances to the Inner Castle.

Kimolos travel, Cyclades Greece
Kimolos travel, Cyclades Greece

The Archaeological Museum of Kimolos: is located at Chorio, opposite the Metropolitan Church of Panayia Odigitria. It is housed at a traditional two-story building, one of the oldest of Chorio. It started its operation on July 11th 2006, while the official inauguration took place on October 4th 2008.

On the first floor of the building, at three halls of total area of about 65 m2, the history of Kimolos is presented briefly. The tour starts with exhibits from the oldest known settlement (that we know so far) and reached modern times with the continuous showing of a film, with images from the present day, of the archaeological sites of Kimolos.

The exhibits, most of them placed on showcases on the walls or on the floor, are presented divided in units and historical periods.

Impressive and worthy of mention is the crystal, transparent floor on which you can walk and underneath it see a reconstruction of an ancient burial, as it was found in the excavations.

Among the exhibits there are: a gravestone of a headless woman, carved on local rock, from the oldest in Greece (8th century BC), a headless female statue, 1.30 meters high (2nd century BC) and two copies of decrees (the original are kept in other museums). One is the decision about the owner of Polyaigos (4th century BC) and the second, among others, presents the structure and prosperity of the Demos of that time (3rd century BC).

There is also abundant visual material, perfectly matched to the area, with photographs of the sites where the exhibits were found, with drawings and explanatory signs, with maps and texts, both informative and with extracts from what the travelers said when they visited the island in the 17th and 18th century.

The exhibits of the Museum prove that Kimolos has a past of thousands of years and testify the fact that human presence and activity on the island started from Prehistoric times, in the Late Neolithic Period (findings in the area “Provarma”).

The area of “Ellinika”, with the sunk ancient city, the present day small island Agios Andreas, the acropolis of the ancient city and the wide necropolis at the beach and the wider area, are the sites where most of the findings exhibited at the Museum were found. Findings from the Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods indicate that people lived at “Ellinika” for hundreds of years.

After we point out that the buildings were a donation of the family Vafea to the Municipality of Kimolos, we should note that the Ministry of Culture was responsible for the implementation of the project, and more specifically the 21st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Cultural Antiquities. The funding was done by the European Regional Development Fund by 75% and by the Greek State funds by 25%.

Archaeological Museum of Kimolos – Chorio of Kimolos

Tel.  +30 22870 51291

Fax. +30 22870 51719

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 – 15:00 — Monday Closed

Perhaps from the 17th century the settlement has spread outside the Castle but the great development took place after the liberation of Greece from the Turks. As a rule, the closer a house stands to the Castle the older it is.

Kimolos island, Greece
Kimolos island, Greece

Folk and Maritime Museum of Kimolos:  Founder: Dr Manolis A. Christoulakis

The museum is located in the traditional Castle of Kimolos (Kastro), in a two-story private house, the dowry of his mother Maria, wife of the lieutenant Aristidis and daughter of the captain Michalis Sardis and his wife Anna. The aim of the Museum is to save and preserve whatever has been left of the old heritage and popular culture of Kimolos and to deliver it to the coming generations. It was fully restored and reestablished, keeping its primitive arrangement.

In the ground floor, there are a big hall and a small room. In the big hall several items are classified to their use and the professions the served. In metallic showcases ornate embroideries, weaving textile etc. are on display and well protected. All the above items have been hand-made by house-wives of Kimolos during past centuries.

In special “corners” have been arranged tools of different professions such as farmer’s carpenters, shoe-makers, tailors etc. Various items as balance stater glass jars, pottery and other small things, have been displayed. In other showcases we can admire old dishes, pottery and china ware.

In the small room there are two hand-looms “in working condition” and other relevant tools.

On the first floor several objects (offered by compatriots) and the authentic pieces of furniture of founder’s mother, give a proper idea of a typical house in Kimolos in the past centuries. In the corridor of the upper floor we can admire “the nautical corner” with the “memorial column” of Kimolian skippers of the past and paintings’ photocopies of small sailing boats as well several nautical instruments.

There is also a historical drawing, presenting the victorious sea-battles of the Greek fleet against the Turkish fleet (Sea-battles of “ELLIS” Dec.3rd 1912 and of “LIMNOS” Jan.1st 1913).

The “popular culture and Nautical Museum” of Kimolos was completed in a year’s time with expenses and personal labor of the founder as well as the cooperation of some patriots, without sponsors and any granting of the State. It was very moving the willingness of our co-patriots to offer many objects and help to the Museum.

In spite of its small size, Kimolos has a lot of attractions:

Kimolos island, Cyclades Greece
Kimolos island, Cyclades Greece

At Chorio you can visit the Medieval Castle and the Museums (Archaeological and Folklore), and the post Byzantine churches, many of which are protected by the Ministry of Culture. You can admire excellent view to the surrounding area and the nearby islands from the square of Chorio and the courtyard of Pantokratoras at Xaplovouni. The whole village is beautiful with characteristic Cycladic touches that you can discover at the winding alleys.

There are 7 windmills on the island but no one is operational. Follow the road that starts from the area of Tsoukalas and climb to Xaplovouni to see the windmills. You can continue until Pantokratoras and descend through the path to the entrance of Chorio (Mizithrou).

There are mills at the area of Karkani as well.

Near the north exit of Chorio, just after the church of Agios Efstathios, there is stone, old bridge at Panoklima, with interesting view to steep ravines and terraces in the interior of the island.

See the cistern at Xemvri, on the road to Skiadi, before the church of Agioi Anargiroi.

On the southern exit of Chorio, visit the picturesque fishing settlement of Goupa with the “sirmata” (caves carved in the smooth rock, where they keep the boats).

If you visit Kimolos in the spring, at the beach of Aliki, the “lake” will host numerous feathery immigrants  and nature will astound you in your every step with colors and scents. At the beach, Carved figure on the rock next to the promontory of Ayios Georgios in Kalamitsi, you can see the carved figure on the rock, work of an anonymous artist.

In the areas Ellinikah at Ellinika, Mavrospilia you will have an appointment with history, since there in the shallow waters lies sunk the ancient city of the island, while on the beach you will see a lot of tombs from the Mycenaean to the Hellenistic period.

At the same area, the Aspragremna provide a spectacular sunset, Sunset at Mavrospilia while the more observing among you will discover fossils of sea organisms.

Kimolos island guide Greece
Kimolos island guide Greece

If you have a craft at your disposal, you can see the Carved Cave (Pelekiti) at Kakopotamos, revitalize yourselves at the hot spring flowing at the Ayioklima beach or explore the cave at the Promontory of Gerakia and dive into the fabulous turquoise waters.

Finally, impressive are “Tou Geronikola t’ Apsila” with thin layers of grey-white volcanic rock.

Leaving Chorio through the southern exit and following the asphalt road to Prasa, just after the fork towards Goupa, you will see the picturesque fishing little harbor of Ayios Nikolas, the impressive waste from the processing of “poria” and Ayios Minas the leeward mooring of Ayios Minas with the old stairs, used to load ferromanganese.

At the entrance of the settlement of Prasa, you will find the facilities of the bathes, while you can admire the view from the promontory of Ayios Georgios, with the caves of the Mediterranean seal (Monachus-monachus).

A few hundred meters from there, lies the area where bentonite was mined. You can also visit the half-sunken cave at Vromolimno (a catacomb or a mine tunnel?).

In the interior of the island you can visit the ruined citadel at Paliokastro and, the “trademark” of the island, the geological monument, Skiadi.

5. Villages and settlements on Kimolos

Kimolos activities Cyclades Greece
Kimolos activities Cyclades Greece

Kimolos from the ancient times had only one city. So, even today it has only one: Chorio (and not Chora as some insist on calling it, influenced by the other islands).

The Settlement of Psathi: Smaller settlements that are inhabited mainly in the summer, while in the winter few of them have residents: Psathi (port), Goupa, Kara, Prasa, Aliki, Bonatsa and Dekas. Several of the permanent residents who after their retirement returned to their island, free from obligations, to get a new lease of life in their little paradise, spending their time with farming, stock breeding or fishing.

Young men are mainly involved with the mines of Kimolos and Milos, they are craftsmen, merchants, fishermen, seamen and almost all of them farmers.

For the children there is a kindergarten, elementary and high school.

At Chorio there is no great central square but several smaller ones like:

Theoskepasti, Giorgila (with a well), Kambos (where the Children’s Playground is), while, the largest one, of the School, has beautiful view and is ideal for someone to watch the full moon of August rising.

Opposite the church of Odigitria there is the new Archaeological Museum and in the Castle the Folklore Museum .

The Settlements of Aliki and Bonatsa: On the road from Psathi to Chorio stands the dominating building of the Nursery Home of George Oikonomou Afentakis, Great Benefactor of the island.

6. The history and mythology of Kimolos

Kimolos churches Cyclades Greece
Kimolos churches Cyclades Greece

According to the archaeological findings Kimolos was continuously inhabited at least from the Late Neolithic Age.

The wild Greek imagination wanted to accredit its name to the first inhabitant Kimolos, husband of daughter of Taurus, Side. They attributed to her the epithets Echinousa (island of the sea urchins) and Echidnousa (island of the vipers).

Findings from the Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods have been found at the sunken city and the necropolis in the area Ellinika. It seems that this city was inhabited by the people of the island until the early Christian years.

Ancient tomb in the area Ellinika – InternalIn the 5th century BC it was part of the Athenian Alliance and its regime was organized according to the model of the Athenian democracy. There was a Boule and Demos and the authority was exercised by three archons and three cashiers. The patron saint was Athena, while Artemis, Hermes and Poseidon were also worshiped.

In the 3rd century BC Kimolos minted coins, an opportunity provided by the great amount of exports of the “land of Kimolos” and the excellent figs.

The island possesses “mineral refrigerators” where the people chilled the water to such a degree that it was “… similar to snow”.

Ancient tomb in the area EllinikaThe conflict of Kimolos with Milos for the possession of Polyaigos and the nearby small islands started in 416 BC and came to an end sometime after 338 BC with a decision of the court of the Argives and with victory on the side of Kimolos and it continuous to possess this right until the present day.

The very few information available regarding the Roman and Byzantine periods have to do mainly with the commerce of chalk.

On the top of the hill Paliokastro there are ruins of a castle and a tower of unknown age.

Kimolos passed from Byzantine to Frankish hands in 1207 when the castle was occupied by Marco Sanudo.

Franks, Venetians and pirates of every nationality and Turks caused a serious reduction of population and the financial decline of the island. The danger that all the above represented to the local population left a visible trace: the medieval castle that constituted the only settlement of the island.

During the first Russia-Turkey war, Orlov made detailed maps of the island wither seeking the legendary silver mines or, according to other sources, due to the strategic importance of the island.

After the liberation from the Turks, Chorio expanded to the relatively smooth area around the Castle.

7. Rent a car on Kimolos

Kimolos accommodation Cyclades Greece
Kimolos accommodation Cyclades Greece

There are no car or moto rental in Kimolos. So, it is necessary to book one in Milos, as you arrive either by plane or by boat. Normally they deliver them there. From the port or airport of Milos to Pollonia there are about 14 km. The ferry to Kimolos takes both cars and moto. Make sure you arrive in Pollonia 1/2 an hour before departure. We are trying to convince the ferry owner to allow reservations via internet.

There is a local bus going to the Chora.

In Chora there are a few cash points (bancomat or ATM). Very few use credit cards.

First Aid: Infirmary and drugstore call +30 22870 51222

Taxi +30 6973 700033

8. Useful information about Kimolos island

map of Kimolos Cyclades Greece
map of Kimolos island, Cyclades, Greece

Accommodation on Kimolos: There are  hotels, rooms to let and apartments at Chorio, Psathi, Aliki, Kalamitsi, Bonatsa and Prasa.

Stores on Kimolos:  At Chorio there is a post office and a branch of the Hellenic Post Bank, an ATM for money retrievals, pharmacy, bakeries , cafes, taverns, restaurants, general stores, mini markets, greengrocers, butcher’s shops, steakhouses, bars, gift shops and News Agency.

For food, drink or coffee you can also choose Prasa, Psathi, Steda, Aliki or Kalamitsi.

You can find a gas station at Ayios Nikolas.

At Psathi there are gift shops and an ATM.

There are canteens at the beaches of Bonatsa and Prasa.

How to move around the island of Kimolos: There is asphalt road from Fikiada to Ayios Minas, while the rest of the road network consists of country roads, others easily accessible and others suitable only for 4Χ4.

There is a bus covering the route from Chorio, the port and the beaches. There is also a taxi.

You can take a trip around the island with the speed boat taxi or the traditional trawlers and enjoy the secluded, magnificent northern beaches of Kimolos or visit Polyaigos .

Kimolos is ideal for walking since there are dozens of rural paths leading you to any point of the island and the altitude differences are very small.