Belonging to the Cycladic group of islands, Kimolos floats nearby Milos. As a matter of fact, it is at just 30 minutes by ferry from Pollonia port of Milos. It is also connected to Piraeus several days per week and to other more or less neighbouring islands. Given that most of the tourists stop at Milos, Kimolos is like a hidden gem in the Cyclades.
Unlike cosmopolitan Milos, Kimolos is pretty much different as to its tourism culture. Here the concept is that tourism is not for the masses: at its few apartments and accommodation facilities (a local told me it’s about 70 rooms in total) it attracts that different kind of travellers who are willing to walk around, relax, meet the locals, communicate, and even make friends with each other.
Along with its differences from Milos, Kimolos also has a lot of things in common with it: both owe their existence to a volcano eruption, which endows them both with stunning rocky scenery and breathtaking beaches.
The port of Kimolos is called Psathi. A few apartments, a couple of tavernas and cafes are the only buildings there.
The main village of Kimolos is not called Chora, like in most of the Cyclades, but Chorio, which in Greek means “village”. It is quite small, but that is its winning card; one would be literal calling it “a beauty”: Old white houses, paintings on the roads, the medieval Castle and its remnants, significant churches, and some squares make up an unforgettable scenery. What is more, you will feel very welcome in it: even since your first day, the locals will start talking to you, and will probably invite you to their places for a “glass of fresh water”, which is the grandmothers’ line for an invitation over, just like nowadays we invite people over “for a cup of coffee”. In Chorio there are most of Kimolos’ tavernas, restaurants and some bars. During summer, one can find many children playing around in squares too.
On Kimolos you can go around on foot, by car and by bike (bring your own or rent a car in Milos), by bus (only to some beaches) and by taxi (useful to visit Prassa beach).
When in the mood for touring, there are a lot of attractions worth visiting. First of all, the famous Skiadi (its name comes from the Greek word for “shadow”). It’s a unique monument of nature consisting of a piece of rock carved by the wind. It is in the middle of the island, up on the mountain, and it looks like a gigantic mushroom. A 20 minutes walk will take you to it, so you’d better start off early, when the sun is not yet burning hot. Ask the locals about the best path.
At the south end of Kimolos there is the beach of Ellinika. At the end of the beach the visitor can see the remains of the sunken ancient acropolis of Kimolos, called Ellinika. Close to that, you will see the unique rocky formation of Aspragremna, a favourite spot for watching the sunset.
In the same area, there is also Mavrospilia beach. It is accessible by car or on foot – about 20’walk from the last bus stop.
Kalamitsi, Bonatsa and Aliki are three beaches in a row that are easily accessible. There is also a taverna and a beach bar there, which makes them suitable for everybody, including families. Besides, shadow is available too, provided by tamarisk trees, those characteristic and thoughtful friends of the Greek beaches.
Close to Chorio there are some really nice small beaches, Goupa and Karras. There you can see the famous Syrmata – holes in the stone used as shelters for fishing boats from the wrath of the sea. There is also the Elephant – a formation of rocks looking like an elephant. Water is crystal clear and tempting, so gear up for long swims!
The most famous and beautiful beach of Kimolos is Prassa, also known as the White Beach, thanks to the white sand that accounts for the amazing colours of it. Kimolos has been famous since the ancient times for its supplies in white rock that provides chalk. Actually, the Greek word for chalk is “kimolía”, and that is what the island is named after. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. There is a quite beach bar, so you don’t need to carry a lot of staff with you. But don’t forget your camera: The turquoise colour of the sea succeeding the white colour of the sand creates the ideal backdrop for great pictures.
For day trips, you can visit the uninhabited island of Polyaigos (meaning “island of many goats”). It is accessible by boat from Psathi. Those who have visited it are still under the spell of the colour of its waters. Some speak of it as a small piece of heaven! Negotiate the price with the boat renter, as larger groups get better prices. The only thing you need to take into consideration is the winds, especially meltemia (north-north east winds that blow over the Aegean Sea in August). You can also rent small boats for other beaches that are not accessible by car in the western part of the island.
Most of Kimolos tavernas are in Chorio and Psathi. Try the local specialties like salty cheese, pitarakia (pies with cheese), fresh seafood and delicious seasonal salads. In the island grows a special kind of pumpkin, called ksylagouro. They make a fantastic jam from it. Don’t miss out on trying it.
For tourists opting for island hopping around the Greek islands, Kimolos should definitely be part of their itinerary.
Text by Christos Loukas (aka KitsosMitsos)
world traveller and blogger