Elevation: 33 ft
GPS: 36.953, 26.979 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 200,391 total · 1,475/month
Shared By: Erik Olson on Jan 21, 2008
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, Jason Halladay


[Updated 2015]
Kalymnos may be one of the greatest sport climbing areas in the world. With about 2500 routes in the 2015 guide being mostly accessible with a short hike and/or scooter and great amenities you'll wonder why you've ever climbed anywhere else. Many of the routes feature tufas and are steep, but there is also an array of pockets, thin vertical climbing and LOTS of moderates on the lower angle grey limestone. There is something for everybody with grades from 5a to 9a (5.7 to 5.14d). Many of the popular areas/routes have a steel lowering biner for quick and easy cleaning. With some exceptions, the bolting is generally close together and safe, with particular attention paid to the first three to avoid deck potential. The atmosphere is quite different here than other locales, the climbers tend to be a little older and tend to travel as couples as opposed to a place like Thailand.
For all the information you need to get to Kalymnos and have a great time, see the ClimbKalymnos.com FAQ.

Grades: Kalymnos had a reputation for 'vacation grades' for the most part although the recent guides did a nearly wholesale downgrade. Because of this, many of the grades painted on the rock will be higher than that of the guide. You will note a substantial increase in difficulty on humid days or when the rock seeps a little, so be weary of your desire to downgrade any further, you may have just had good weather.

Getting There

[Updated Nov 2012]
During the summer months up to about Nov 1st, Europeans have the option to fly diretly to Kos island from many major cities. After Nov. 1 many of these flights are discontinued until spring and they will have to route through Athens for a higher cost.

Folks making a longer journey in will likely find it most convenient to fly to Athens then grab one of the many flights to Kos on Olympic or Aegean.

Once in Kos go to the town of Mastahari and grab the ferry to the Kalymnos port town of Pothia. Take the bus from there to Massouri or wherever you are staying for a couple Euro, or 15 Euro cab (2012).

There is usually one late ferry to accommodate the last flight into Kos from Athens. If for whatever reason you miss it, there are plenty of hotels to grab in Mastahari walking distance from the ferry.

Creative options:
Take ferries between islands all the way from Athens. This will be more expensive and take a long time but you may enjoy several of the islands on the way in. Santorini or Crete would be well worth a stay.

You can also fly to Istanbul for some tourism then fly to Bodrum Turkey and take the ferry over to Kos (Kalymnos is much closer to Turkey than to mainland Greece).

Ryan Air flies from many European cities directly to Kos (before Nov 1st)

Traveling after Nov 1st?
Many of the island-island ferries and flights start to disappear but connections to Athens are still frequent. Tourism is basically over for all the islands except Kalymnos...

Food Beta

[Updated 2012]
There are many places to eat in Massouri, some better than others but all are worth trying. The climber hangout seems to be Fats mostly due to the location at the end of town, closest to climbing, and can fill up quickly.

Water can be obtained at spring inside a small stone hut right on the main street, down from Fats.

There's a supermarket in Panormos (on the way to Pothia) with much better prices.

The Pirate Bar in Emporios is awesome.

Coffee and espresso is mostly instant. The exception is at the climbers nest and Glaros.

The proprietor at Glaros is a suckubus. Go there to try and make him smile as a challenge. Climber: "Can I get cheese on the omelet?" Glaros "Do you want me to fuck up my kitchen just so you can have cheese?" If you're having too much fun and want to hate your life, go here.

Fani Market has great bread but it sells out quick.


[Updated 2012]
Kalymnos can be climbed all year around but the dominant season is spring/fall with most climbers going in October so crags will get a little full during this time.

The dominant reason that people do not climb as much in the winter is simply because the tourism season has died and many of the amenities in Massouri have shut down about Nov 1st and less direct flights are available from the rest of Europe. That said, there will still be a few restaraunts and at least one market open. Since most Kalymnians live and work at the same place, their studios usually remain available all winter so lodging should not be an issue. In addition there is more rain in Dec/Jan. During Oct/Nov rain usually doesn't last long or affect your climbing day much (hint: when the forcast shows rain, go climbing to avoid crowds since it probably won't rain anyway).

Guidebook (Mo' Beta)

[Updated 2015]
The Kalymnos Rock Climbing Guidebook by Aris Theodoropoulos is THE book to have for Kalymnos beta. The 2015 update includes over 2,700 routes and the Android or iOS app (see below).

The Kalymnos Rock Climbing Topo app is a great app with loads of beta and route information. All proceeds from the sale of the app go to the Glaros Bolt Fund to fund replacement and new hardware for Kalymnos routes.

Gear Beta

60m rope: This will give you access to many routes but you will be limited.
70m rope: This is highly recommended and gains you access to most routes. Still - tie a knot in the end as there are many rope stretchers even for a 70.
80-100m rope: Talendos is now boasting routes requiring ropes of this length, and some on Kalymnos. Many big extensions will be easier with this.
You do not need to bring a stick clip.
14 draws would be a minimum for one person (or 18 for a pair if you plan to climb the same routes). Bring a few slings and longer draws to get around tufa features and depressions that cause rope drag on these long routes. 28 draws for a couple worked.

18 to 20 quickdraws will have you covered. Many of the steeper routes have perma-draws in-situ.

Leaver biners
Do not leave quick-links and try not to leave biners. The environment permanently freezes quick links shut, and perhaps biners as well on less popular routes. You can rap or lower directly on a single cold shut if that was used.

Kneebar pads
This place is kneebar heaven. You may want one or two of these if you're going to push your grade or be climbing above 5.11. Durable pants will be sufficient on many routes. The grades often assume you're taking the rests into account. On the stalactite routes you'll also want a shirt on as you'll get creative back rests, headlocks, chicken wings, threadthroughs, laydowns, rodeos etc.

676 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Kalymnos

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Monahiki Elia
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Joy in the Garden
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Wild Sex
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Carpe Diem
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Remember Wadi Rum
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Monahiki Elia Grande Grotta
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Joy in the Garden Ghost Kitchen > Left Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Thetis Arhi
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Wild Sex Arginonta > Infrared Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Carpe Diem Panorama
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Remember Wadi Rum Ghost Kitchen > Main Wall
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Taz Grande Grotta
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Frapagalo Secret Garden
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Dafni Ghost Kitchen > Main Wall
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Kastor Arhi
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Trela Grande Grotta
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Ricounet Secret Garden
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
DNA Grande Grotta
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Ivi Grande Grotta
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Priapos Grande Grotta
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Kalymnos »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Keegan Dimmick
Winchester, VA
Keegan Dimmick   Winchester, VA
Any Americans on here that can give me travel and lodging info for Kalymnos. I want to hear from people that have actually been there, not what you might have read on the net.

thanks Apr 3, 2008
yevquest   Southeast,US
I spent a month there in fall 2005. It's a great place, nice rock, chill scene, and (at least then) fairly cheap. We stayed at the Fatolitis Studios in Massouri. Has a pool, it's own little private beach, and is nice. We paid 25 euros a night. From Massouri you can walk to many of the crags (Grande Grotto, Jurassic Park, Spartacus, Odyssey) and is a 10 minute scooter ride from Arhi. You can walk or take a short scooter trip to the grocery in Massouri; it's a 20 minute scooter ride to Pothia. We flew from Athens to Kos and then took the ferry from Kos Town to Pothia. This was before the airport on Kalymnos opened.

Hope this helps. Apr 5, 2008

My wife and I went there in September of 07 for our 1 year anniversary. We took a ferry from Pothia (the main port for Athens) and stayed at the Melinda's Apartments. They were great and cheap even though Kalymnos is becoming more and more touristy. We toured some of the other Greek islands and overall we just loved Kalymnos the most. The climbing is all really accessible and most climbs have their name painted on the bottom of the climb. There is a great guide book that is sold everywhere and was the most expensive thing we bought while we were on the island. I highly recommend renting a scooter even if you have never driven one. It is cheap and allows you access to many places to climb that most people don't get to. Feel free to email me with any more questions. May 20, 2008
Chris Winter
Portland, OR
Chris Winter   Portland, OR
there's some information up on my blog. May 30, 2008
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
Brian in SLC   Sandy, Utah
Note that Kalymnos is NORTH of the island of Kos. Feb 13, 2010
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
Kalymnos has the best sport climbing I have ever experienced in my life! The Grande Grotta is spectacular!

We stayed at Melina's melinas-apartments.gr/ which is very cheap for the amenities you get and George is one of the most energetic people I have ever met. Rent a scooter for sure, they are cheap and the best way to get around the island. Plus if you decide to visit other islands while your there you can just take your scooter on the ferry so you'll have a ride wherever you go.

We also took an overnight ferry from Athina to Pothia and just got a sleeper cabin. This is a good option since its cheaper than an airplane and saves you money by not having to pay for an extra night somewhere.

Have fun. Jun 23, 2010
Amy V  
My husband and I spent the past month here in Kalymnos, from about 4/10 to 5/6. Weather was perfect (cool) in the beginning, shade or sun. The past week or so, shade has been mandatory in the afternoons. Ambiance Cafe is a great local resource for climbers. The owners are both Kalymnian locals but have lived in the US and so they speak perfect English. They know everything about the island and are super friendly. They're even learning to climb! The coffee and breakfast is awesome and they have the only pool table in Masouri. Just wanted to pass along that little bit of info but I'm happy to answer any other specific questions about our stay here too. It's an effort to get to Kalymnos, but so worth it! May 6, 2011
Ron Grat
Georgetown, Co.
Ron Grat   Georgetown, Co.
Does anyone know of any camp grounds on Kalymnos? I've read a lot about the lodging, but nothing on (legal) camping. Just trying to go as low budget as possible. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Jun 23, 2011
Top Rope Hero
Was Estes Park, now homeless
Top Rope Hero   Was Estes Park, now homeless
There's no camping at Kaly. Anywhere. Period. It's just not done on this part of the planet. And? The locals (including and especially the poe-lice) are pretty dead set against others doing it.

Don't try it unless you wanna get kicked outta Kalymnos.

Still, there WAS evidence that SOMEBODY was sleeping in the hills above Odyssey...

Your best bet is simply to find the cheapest studio and stuff it with dirtbags.

Good luck. Aug 20, 2011
I just returned from 2 weeks in Kalymnos. Incredible!

We stayed at: vasilisstudios.gr/

This is a great choice for studios! It is about a 5-7 minute scooter ride from the Massouri "strip" and well priced (30 Euro per night during our Sept 2011 stay).

Importantly, they picked us up at the port and dropped us off when we left. More importantly, Poppy (the owner) was extremely nice and keeps the place immaculately clean! The rooms are well equipped. My wife and I did a lot of looking at other studios and were really happy with our selection of Vasilas. There are much cheaper options out there (as low as 10 Euro) for the really budget conscious...but we would have been very unhappy with the conditions at these very budget places.

Another place that caught our eye was Elenahotels.com. These looked great and are in the heart of Massouri.

As far as food, Fatolis (spelling?) and Sunrise were great quick meal (omelets, gyros, etc) places. Both have nice owners with great service. For dinner...Kokkiniahe Tavern (Upstairs just past Fatolis but on the left) and Panos O Miltilinios were our favorites.

We did not have one bad meal the whole time we were there. The seafood is all good! Definitely try the stuffed Calamari (grilled full calamari with feta). Fatolis' greek omelet is not too be missed...and Sunrise's Chicken and Bacon Gyro is sinfully good. Zorbas is also a good choice for dinner. Sep 19, 2011
Looking to travel early November. What should we expect for crowds? Water temperature? Lodging availability? Apr 9, 2012
Chris Perkins
Buena Vista, Colorado
Chris Perkins   Buena Vista, Colorado
Bring a 70 or 80 meter rope!! 60 works, but I felt I missed out on a lot of stellar routes.
Love this place! Jun 3, 2012
LoganJamison Jamison
Salt Lake City, UT
LoganJamison Jamison   Salt Lake City, UT
Ryan Air flies to Kos from several cities in Europe. My ticket from Milan to Kos cost 6 Euro. Nuff said... Nov 19, 2012
Headed there in early to mid June- is this a bad idea with weather? Also, going with my wife and looking for some easier climbing sprinkled in. Will we be in for a disappointing time or will it be all good? Thanks! Dec 1, 2012
Here's our write up on Kalymnos... It's an amazing place!


Borden: It might be warm in June, but climbing in the shade should be fine. There is definitely easier climbing on the island. You and your wife will not be disappointed! May 15, 2013
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Some quick food beta:
  • The "honey balls" for dessert at the Aegean restaurant (south end of the main drag in Masouri) are not to be missed!
  • Barbra Yiannis restaurant (northern end of the main drag in Masouri) is fantastic for lunch or dinner. Super friendly staff with great, outdoor, covered seating right along the road.
Jul 10, 2014
My Fiance and I are thinking about going to Kalymnos August 10-20 (ish) for our honeymoon. I've read in the guidebook and various websites, that climbing in the AM and chasing shade is still enjoyable - does anyone know how true this is? Any ideas on temps in the AM to get a good idea? Jan 6, 2015
I'm wondering if the Greek economy and the flood of refugees in recent months is affecting typical climber experience including food/lodging, safety, and transportation to/from the island. Has anyone gone this fall (2015) and able to comment? Oct 5, 2015
Nick Brennan
Concord, NH
Nick Brennan   Concord, NH
Jason, I was in Kalymnos Oct, Nov, Dec 2015 and had no problems with refugees or security. Likely the fallout of the economic crisis will have a greater impact on your stay. Its probably just chatter but some locals were worried that some commodities would skyrocket due to levies imposed along with the much talked about austerity cuts. If my experience is instructive, I'd say that there is no better time to go to Kalymnos. Mar 22, 2016
Colin Brochard   Austin
Anybody in Kalymnos currently? Want to make a quick 50 Euro on a rest day by taking some photos? PM me :D Apr 27, 2017
bheller   SL UT
Many visitors will fly into Kos and then hire a taxi to take them to Mastichari where they will catch a ferry to Kalymnos. Often there is some down time waiting for the ferry departure. Here's a recommend that worked great for our group - Nostos (Traditional family owned Taverna & Seafood) has a great patio at the pier entrance where you can chill with food and drinks (and luggage!) and actually see the ferry departure area. It was nice to burn some time and not to worry about missing the ferry while eating great food and nursing the jetlag through sipping wine! We found the taverna owner Anthony to be kind, accommodating and wise:) I'm sure he would help a traveller with any issues aside from the need for food and drink. Ask him if he has any of the new Kalymnos guidebooks in stock! Dec 3, 2017
Idaho Bob
McCall, ID
Idaho Bob   McCall, ID
Steve McDonnell at Glaros does smile. See picture. Stop by there for guide book updates and access beta on new climbing sectors. Coffee is good too. Apr 25, 2018
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Round about Easter time you may hear some loud bangs. Don't worry, the locals are just demonstrating their good intentions to their neighbor, Turkey. vice.com/en_us/article/wd4j… Sep 3, 2018