In Antiquity Kalymnos and Leros were known as "Kalydnae Nissi" (Kalydnae islands). Kalymnos was conquered at times by Isavri, Persians, Saracenes, Genoans, St. John Knights, Italians. On 31 March 1947 was liberated and integrated to Greece in 1948 with the other Dodecanese.
It is the fourth in extent island of Dodecanese with mountainous ground and surface 111 sq.m., located in a distance of 183 n.m. (12 hours approximately) from Piraeus.
Kalymnos is well-known as the island of the sponge-fishers, since a great number of its inhabitants are occupied with sponge-fishing. The natural beauty combining with the archaeological findings make Kalymnos a small paradise for vacations.
It is surrounded by other smaller islands as Pserimos and Telendos with their settlements.
Capital and harbour of the island is Kalymnos or Pothia amphitheatrically built with the characteritstic white houses with the coloured doors and windows. There are also very beautiful buildings as the Eparchy Building, the Town Hall and the Library.
The impressive temple of St.Savvas dominates above the city.
Of particular interest is the castle of Chryssoheria, built on byzantine ruins, with three windmills at the hillside as well as the church of Panaghia Chryssohera.
Worthwhile it is the church of Sotiras with temple made by Halepas as well as the monastery of the Analipsi (Christ Ascension). In the big, well sheltered harbour there is the church of St.Nicolas.
Other sightseeings of the city is the mansion of Aekaterini Vouvali, the Girl’s school, the Hospital and the Naval Museum, all donations of the family Nicolas Vouvali. Behind the hospital there is the Cavern of Seven Virgins, where according to the tradition seven girls had found shelter there to hide themselves from the pirates but they did not manage to get out.
The Archaeological Museum is housed in a mansion belonged to Katerina Vouvali, of the 19th century, with exhibits of objects belonged to the landlady herself, as well as archaeological and historical findings.
In the Naval Museum there are mainly exhibits from the sponge-fishers life.
In the private Popular Museum you will see the traditional house of Kalymnos.
Of interest it is also a visit to the sponge-workshops where it will be explained the way of their collection and further processing of them. It is also worthwhile to visit the shipyard.
Former capital of the island, Horio, is an extent of Pothia. Here you can visit the byzantine castle with the nine chapels, the church of Panaghia Keharitomeni that was the cathedral, the church of Christ of Jerusalem and traces of ruins of the ancient city in the location "Damos".
Near Vathy, 13 km. from the capital it is the monastery of Panaghia of Kyra Psili and the cavern Daskalio where prehistoric findings were localized. In the by the sea village Emporios that in the Antiquity there was a significant commercial centre, you can visit Kastri where some parts of Cyclopean walls are saved and the caverns in the hillsides behind the settlement.
A fascinating beach is to be found at Massouri that leads to the picturesque bay Arginonda and the chapel of Panaghia Galatiani.
Also you can visit Panormos in a green landscape with enchanting beaches, Kantouni and Linaria and more to the west side the settlements Platys Ghialos and Melitsahas with marvellous seasides.