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Kalymnos
(183 n.m. from Piraeus)

Kalimnos
Barren rock, golden beaches and tiny green valleys. Words not enough to describe the island unless you add "sponge-fishers". This is the main profession of men on the island, and the theme for many local dances and folk songs. Sponge-fishing means a yearly sailing which starts early in the spring to the seas of the North African coast. Religious ceremonies accompanies their departure. After about five months of hard work they will return and the whole island will be dressed with festive dresses and will celebrate the arrival of the sea-beaten sponge-fishers.

Interesting places to visit

  • The amphitheatrically built capital Kalymnos or Portia with its scrupulously clean roads full of orleanders.
  • The church of Jesus Our Saviour, decorated with murals and old icons painted by local artists, and its unique temple which is constructed by the world-known sculptor Giannoulis Halepas.
  • The cave of Kefala or Trypa full of stalactites and stalagmites.
  • The caves of the Seven Virgins or Cavern of the Nymphs, the cave of Scalia and the radio-active Therma recommended for many illnesses therefore equipped with modern bathing facilities, specialised personnel and rooms for visitors.
  • Chorio, the old capital of the island built at the foot of the medieval castle.
  • The churche of Jesus of Jerusalem, and the monasteries of Evangelist and St. Catherine, both equipped with hostels for visitors.
  • The full of beauty villages Linaria, Myrties and Masouri.
  • The nearby tiny islands of Telendos and Pserimos, which offer idyllic sites for both swimming and fishing.

Underwater fishing is an art for all Kalymnians, so do not hesitate to learn their secrets. You will also have the chance to taste local dishes, such as "lei", "mirmizeli" and "psises". Kalymnos has a yacht refuelling station.

Leros
(171 n.m. from Piraeus)

Leros
Mountainous, with deep bays often full of greenery, picturesque valleys and dented coasts, friendly and hospitable.

Interesting places to visit

  • Agia Marina, the capital, is overlooked by the Franco-Byzantine castle.
  • Lakki, one of the biggest natural ports in Mediterranean, which can accommodate large ships and yachts.
  • Xirokambos, Koukouli, Kithoni, Panagies, Blefouti, Gourna, Lepida, Temenia.
  • The mount Kastelli and the ruins of the Byzantine castle.

Favourable events you'll enjoy

  • The Carnival in Leros, every year on the last Sunday in Lent; complete with chariot parade, fancy ball and wine festival.
  • Alinia, a cultural, sports and art event taking place on the beach of the same name in the first half of August.
  • The Agia Kioura feast takes places in Partheni on the 19th of October.
  • Madonna's of the Castle feast on the 14th of August.