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Kalymnos Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 33'
Location: 36.9526, 26.979 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 104,766
Administrators: Luke Bertelsen, Jason Halladay, WAGbag, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Erik Olson on Jan 21, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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[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 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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 12.6 miles from here

547 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',89],['3 Stars',260],['2 Stars',141],['1 Star',48],['Bomb',5]

Classic Climbing Routes in Kalymnos

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Kalymnos:
Pornokini   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   Arginonta : Infrared Wall
Monahiki Elia   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Grande Grotta
Thetis   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Arhi
Carpe Diem   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Panorama
Wild Sex   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Arginonta : Infrared Wall
Feta   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Odyssey
Remember Wadi Rum   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 82'   Ghost Kitchen : Main Wall
Frapagalo   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 100'   Secret Garden
Les Amazones   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 98'   Spartacus
Dafni   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 100'   Ghost Kitchen : Main Wall
Kastor    5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Arhi
Trela   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Grande Grotta
Ricounet   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 100'   Secret Garden
DNA   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Grande Grotta
Ivi   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Grande Grotta
Mort aux Chèvres   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 90'   Sikati Cave
Zorba le Gros   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Iliada : Iliada Right
Spartacus   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Spartacus
Aegialis   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Grande Grotta
Priapos   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   Grande Grotta
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Kalymnos

Featured Route For Kalymnos
Rock Climbing Photo: Below the overhang in the middle of the route.

Monolith 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  Europe : Greece : ... : Arhi
A diverse route of slab, face, edging, and overhanging climbing....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Kalymnos Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kalymnos is a fantastic place to be a climber. Kal...
Kalymnos is a fantastic place to be a climber. Kal...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bring. Cameras.   Even graduates of the Ray Charle...
Bring. Cameras. Even graduates of the Ray Charle...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lots of steep walls on Kalymnos!
Lots of steep walls on Kalymnos!
Rock Climbing Photo: Grande Grotta
Grande Grotta
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Massouri from Telendos.  Most climbers sta...
View of Massouri from Telendos. Most climbers sta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Local sea food prepared by a local.
Local sea food prepared by a local.
Rock Climbing Photo: You WILL come to Kalymnos.  You WILL push your gra...
You WILL come to Kalymnos. You WILL push your gra...
Rock Climbing Photo: climb Kaly... climb Kaly...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pothia, the main port town on Kalymnos.
Pothia, the main port town on Kalymnos.
Rock Climbing Photo: Thrashed climbing shoe tree at the climbers bar.
Thrashed climbing shoe tree at the climbers bar.
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama Wall, 6b
Panorama Wall, 6b
Rock Climbing Photo: Goats everywhere!  There might be more goats on th...
Goats everywhere! There might be more goats on th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Picture Perfect, Kalymnos.
Picture Perfect, Kalymnos.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pimpin' on the porch, Kaly, 2011
Pimpin' on the porch, Kaly, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking toward Sectors Arhi and Sea breeze from se...
Looking toward Sectors Arhi and Sea breeze from se...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Kalymnos (Pothia).
View of Kalymnos (Pothia).
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers Nest:  Located in Armeos, just under Gran...
BETA PHOTO: Climbers Nest: Located in Armeos, just under Gran...
Rock Climbing Photo: Arhi
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama of many of the popular walls above Masour...
BETA PHOTO: Panorama of many of the popular walls above Masour...
Rock Climbing Photo: Port town of Pothia
BETA PHOTO: Port town of Pothia

Comments on Kalymnos Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 27, 2017
By Keegan Dimmick
From: Winchester, VA
Apr 3, 2008
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.

By yevquest
From: Southeast,US
Apr 5, 2008
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.
By Erik Olson
May 20, 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.
By Chris Winter
From: Portland, OR
May 30, 2008
there's some information up on my blog.
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Feb 13, 2010
Note that Kalymnos is NORTH of the island of Kos.
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Jun 23, 2010
Kalymnos has the best sport climbing I have ever experienced in my life! The Grande Grotta is spectacular!

We stayed at Melina's 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.
By Amy V
May 6, 2011
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!
By Ron Grat
From: Georgetown, Co.
Jun 23, 2011
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!
By Top Rope Hero
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Aug 20, 2011
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.
By dnoB ekiM
Sep 19, 2011
I just returned from 2 weeks in Kalymnos. Incredible!

We stayed at:

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 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.
By Nathan Hollingsworth
From: colorado springs
Oct 16, 2011
I’m going to Kalymnos in a couple of weeks and had some questions. On my first trip to Kalymnos, a couple of years ago, the hotel we stayed at only had salt water in the faucets. Is this normal and if so where can we get clean drinking water for free? Has anyone eaten at Imia or Prego's restaurants? Or does anyone have any specific recommendation for cheap food? Is the Kefalas Cave tour any good?

Anything would be great,
Nathan Hollingsworth
By Ken Kisiel
Apr 9, 2012
Looking to travel early November. What should we expect for crowds? Water temperature? Lodging availability?
By Chris Perkins
From: Buena Vista, Colorado
Jun 3, 2012
Bring a 70 or 80 meter rope!! 60 works, but I felt I missed out on a lot of stellar routes.
Love this place!
By LoganJamison
Nov 19, 2012
Ryan Air flies to Kos from several cities in Europe. My ticket from Milan to Kos cost 6 Euro. Nuff said...
By Borden
Dec 1, 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!
By Crux Crush
May 15, 2013
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!
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jul 10, 2014
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.
By Harrison Goldwyn 1
From: Santa Barbara, California
Aug 26, 2014
Partner needed!

I am in kalymnos until 31/8 and need to find a partner. Anyone in kaly want to climb with a friendly, competent, cafilornia climber? I am willing to try and lead anything up to 7a and belay anything.

By Sean Patton
Jan 6, 2015
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?
By Nhan Joe Nguyen
From: Denver, CO
Mar 24, 2015
Hey if anyone found a red OR rain jacket up on Jurassic park can you email me at thanks!
By Jason_80203
Oct 5, 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?
By Nick Brennan
From: Concord, NH
Mar 22, 2016
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.
By Colin Brochard
From: San Francisco
Apr 27, 2017
Anybody in Kalymnos currently? Want to make a quick 50 Euro on a rest day by taking some photos? PM me :D

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