This last month, I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Kalymnos, Greece. Kalymnos is an easy place to be with fantastic climbing, good food and wonderful people. There is almost no petty crime or theft, which is a nice change from some of the other climbing areas I’ve visited. It is also still fairly affordable, if you cook and choose basic accommodations. Each time I travel I get more savvy, so I thought I would share what I have learned.
- Pack sturdy approach shoes. Although most of the approaches are short I didn’t think they were trivial, and after a few days my legs, feet and hips were worked. I brought light running shoes a but my Asolo approach shoes would have been a much better choice for the steep and loose terrain. If you have knee problems, I would bring hiking poles as well.
- Bring a warm jacket. I threw my Outdoor Research down sweater in at the last minute and was happy to have it. My trip took place the last part of April through the first part of May and I wore it nearly every day, both at the crag and in the room. The weather reminded me of the mountains as it changed frequently through out the day.
- Use the public transportation. We thought we would rent a scooter for a few days, but found the local bus to meet our needs for both getting to the crag and into Pothia. You can buy tickets from the local mini marts. I also hitch hiked quite a bit and felt very safe.
- If you head to Pothia, remember they have siesta from 1:00-5:00 and many business’s are closed.
- Bring comfortable climbing shoes. Although you want performance from your climbing, the routes are long and often times you are climbing in the sun. I would opt for a comfortable pair of shoes over a super tight pair. I absolutely loved my Evolv Talons. The worked great over there and were super comfy.
- Bring tape and chalk. A role of tape was about $9 US dollars. I would much rather spend that on a good meal and tape and chalk are light!
- Bring 70 meter rope bi-color rope. I brought the Sterling Nano bi color and loved it. Because many of the routes wander, you can get off a 40 meter route with a 70 meter rope, but it’s nice to have the middle marked as many of the routes are 30 plus meters.
- If your a coffee lover, bring your own! I was happy to have my stove top espresso maker and some good coffee, as it’s hard to find both over here.
- Book a room for a few days before hand, then once you get there shop around to find a room that has the things you need such as internet, location close to the cliff, kitchenette. Most of the hotels/studios get a large percentage of their bookings on a walk- in basis. Even on Easter, one of the busiest weeks of the year, there were a still few places with available rooms. You are also in a better position to negotiate the price once you are there.
- Bring a signal booster if you need internet. Many places advertise Wi-fi, but most do not have it available in the rooms. I stayed at Galouizes, which had Wi-fi in the rooms, but it wasn’t a great signal. If you plan on working, this would be money well spent.
Things I loved in Greece are:
The cheese and yogurt, the greek combo plates, the oranges, the pastries and bread, the vegetable truck that came through town every few days, the people and of courseÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.the climbing!