Kimolos island in the Cyclades has a rare beauty defined by simplicity, elegance, wilderness, and unique volcanic-shaped rocky landscapes. Kimolos has been named after the white chalk rocks (chalk = kimolia in Greek) that are found everywhere on the island. The abundance of this rock makes it one of the whitest islands in the Aegean!
For such a small island, there are surprisingly a lot of great things to do on Kimolos. From fantastic turquoise and wild beaches, whitewashed tiny settlements, underwater ancient towns, impressive rock formations, and a shelter to Mediterranean monk seal, Kimolos will definitely amaze you.
This guide to Kimolos island includes information about:
- How to Reach Kimolos: if you are traveling from Athens or Milos or elsewhere
- Tips for Visiting Kimolos: when to go, how long to stay, and what to wear
- Where Best to Stay on Kimolos island: I recommend a great hotel and apartment on Kimolos for efficient traveling
- An Interactive Google Map
- Best Things to Do on Kimolos island: All my favorite sites, local foods, hiking, and of course the Kimolos beaches, which I highly recommend you try for yourself!
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Athens Quick Reference (If you are visiting Athens first)
- Where to stay in Athens: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens (Doubles from €629 Β&Β) & Ancient Agora Apartments (Doubles from €95 Β&Β), Attalos Hotel (Doubles from €62 Β&Β)
- Heading to the Greek Islands from Athens? Book your ferry tickets in advance with no-hidden-fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper
- Essential Things to Have for Athens Metro: An anti-theft design Backpack, a World Travel Adapter Kit & Microfiber Quick Drying Beach Towel that looks like the Greek Flag!
- Private transfer with English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries. Check availability and prices on Viator here
- Map of Athens Metro
- COVID INFO FOR GREECE: Ministry of Tourism Official Website
How to Get to Kimolos Island
Kimolos has no airport, and you can only reach it by ferry arriving at Psathi, the main port of Kimolos. The island is located literally 900 meters far from Milos island in the Cyclades and is connected daily with many ships, especially during summer. If you prefer a private full-day tour, I highly recommend Milos Experience Daily Kimolos Road Trip.
If you wish to visit Kimolos from Athens, there are ferries going from Pireaus (operating throughout the year), 6 times per week. The ferry takes 4 to 8 hours, depending on the type of vessel. There is also once a week a ferry from Lavrio, Athens’ smaller port of Lavrio but it takes 14 hours to reach Kimolos! (I would totally avoid taking this ferry).
Kimolos is also great for island-hopping as it is directly connected with many Cycladic islands such as Syros, Milos, Sifnos, Andros, Ios, Kythnos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Tinos, Folegandros.
Tips for Visiting Kimolos
Where to Stay in Kimolos
Kimolos Houses (Booking review 10, from €200, for up to 4 people). Kimolos houses, a beautiful self-catering accommodation, are in Chorio, 550 m from the beach, and have a lovely terrace with sea views. Kimolia Gi (Booking review 9.5, from €154 with breakfast) is a gorgeous small hotel close to Prassa beach.
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Interactive Kimolos Map
Find here your interactive Kimolos map to drive to any of the places listed on our things to do in Kimolos.
Top Things to Do on Kimolos Island
1. Explore Chorio, Kimolos Main Town
If you are looking for a peaceful, traditional village with whitewashed houses, blue windows, and limestone alleys, then Chorio will be your favorite Cycladic settlement. Especially its many small squares feel like the time has stopped and everything is simply beautiful. Chorio is located at the foothills of Xaplovouni Mt, just 1 km from the port.
Although there are some touristic shops around, Chorio mostly feels like it belongs to its residents with kafenia making Greek coffee and having an old charm. One hour or so is probably enough to wander around and take in the beautiful pots with flowers and the characteristic Cycladic houses.
One of the best things to do on Kimolos island is to buy from the bakeries their local pies: ladenia, kolokythenia, tyrenia, and their own ice cream.
Some interesting sites that you can visit in Chorio are:
The Archaeological Museum, right across from the impressive Panagia Odigitria church, has important findings from the 7th and 8th centuries BC. Open daily Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 – 15:00. Mondays closed.
The small Folk and Maritime Museum in Kastro with traditional objects that Kimolos residents used during the 19th and 20th centuries. Open between 11.00 am-13.00 pm & 19.00 – 21.00. Museum number: +30 693 629 7143
2. Discover Kastro
The Venetian Castle(Kastro) in Chorio was built sometime between the 14th and the 16th century. There was the inner Castle which is today in ruins and the outer, where there are still houses standing today.
The two parts of the castle were separated by a small alley. In Kastro, you can also see the oldest church of Kimolos, devoted to the Birth of Jesus, dating from 1592.
3. Watch an Outdoor Movie
I don’t know if you have heard of the open-air movie theaters all over Greece but it is one of the best things Greeks do during summer. In Kimolos, the open-air movable summer Cine Kalisperitis was awarded by the European Union with the 1st prize in the category “Sustainable Cultural Tourism” in 2021. It organizes screenings at the Medieval Castle of the Village, and at the most beautiful beaches of Kimolos, with lanterns and torches under the starry sky.
This is a unique experience and I suggest watching a movie if you are visiting Kimolos, you are going to love it! You can easily find info about screenings from posters in Chorio.
4. Enjoy the Best Beaches on Kimolos Island
I find that one of the best things to do on Kimolos island was to check out a different beach every day – sometimes two beaches!
Tips about Kimolos Beaches:
- Psathi, the port, has a small sandy beach that you can swim as well as taverns and cafes
- Ennias beach in the south has too big pebbles for my liking so I wouldn’t go to this one
- All beaches are connected with the public bus except Soufi and Monastiria beaches (you will need a Jeep), long, sandy, quiet Dekas & Mavrospilia (you need a private car or motorbike), Athinias and Gampa, which are accessible only by boat
- The northwest beaches of Makrypounta, Vroulidi, Therma & Kastro will need both transportation and hiking to reach them
- Most of the beaches are near the Chorio with the longest one being at 8.5 km far
- You will need water shoes for the rocky surfaces
Rema, and the Elephant Rock
Rema is near Chorio, a very small sheltered beach, next to the village of Goupa. It has pebbles, some shade from trees and a wonderful view of Syrmata.
In Goupa you will also find the elephant, a large rock formation that reminds you of an elephant! Right next is the Karras, a rocky beach with white soft rocks ideal for snorkeling.
It is about 4.3 km from Chorio, with a tavern and Milos island views which is right across. Actually, on the side of Kalamitsi beach, there is a small port that serves the connection of boats to Milos. If you love snorkeling, this is a great beach that offers beautiful views of the seabed.
For most visitors, Prasa, in the northeast, 6 km from Chorio, is the most beautiful beach on the island with white, thick sand and turquoise waters. At the entrance of the settlement, there are thermal baths. It has a canteen and umbrellas, but also small trees that offer shade. The route to get to Prasa is partially through a dirt road, not difficult to drive and you will be compensated by the stunning sea views.
When it gets very windy because of the meltemia, a lot of visitors go to Bonatsa for a peaceful swim. Bonatsa is 3.3km from Chorio a large sandy beach with shallow waters, and therefore popular with families. You will find some cedar trees for shade, a very nice tavern, and a beach bar.
Therma beach can only be reached by boat. It is a beautiful beach with turquoise waters and high yellow rocks that “melt”. The rocks at Therma beach are literally melting because of the thermal waters that come out of a small crevice in the rock. As you explore, you will find the rock on your left, where the water gushes out, but don’t make the mistake of putting your hand in, as the water can get up to 50 C.
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Ellinika beach, the sunken city & Mavrospilia
In Mavrospilia if you snorkel, you will see the sunken ancient city of the island, while on the beach you will see a lot of tombs from the Mycenaean to the Hellenistic period.
5. Go to ‘Syrmata’
Syrmata are the seaside areas with colorful doors where the inhabitants tow and store their boats in winter. Goupas and Karras are just a couple of the most colorful coves that make up the island’s most distinctive postcards. You can also find Syrmata in Klima village on Milos island.
TIP: You have an excellent view of the surrounding area and the nearby islands from the square of the school and the courtyard of Pantokrator in Xaplovouni.
6. Read a Book from the Outdoor Library
The Open Lending Library of Kimolos lends books without procedures to the residents and visitors of the island. The library is outdoors and is located in unusual locations in four parts of the Village. In the square of Sotiras, in the Karkani area and opposite the church of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos, while in the Agora, under the Kamara, books await readers in a traditional dish rack.
There are also 4 new showcases, already waiting for the bibliophiles at the port of the island, Psathi and the beaches of Aliki, Bonatsa, and Prasa. You can find more about the library and the wonderful volunteer work of Kimolistes here.
Just pick a book you like, and perhaps leave one behind when you are leaving as a contribution to this cause 🙂
7. Hike to Skiadi
Skiadi is the trademark of Kimolos in the shape of a huge mushroom-shaped rock. This rare natural monument, which has been included in the Atlas of Geological Monuments of the Aegean, is located to the west of the hill of Sklavos, in the northwestern part of Kimolos.
You can make the full hike in 1,5 hours each way (path 2) walking from Chorio to Skiadi which is a loop trail starting. You will enjoy the wonderful rugged landscape, the Aegean Sea, and views of the neighboring Milos.
If you don’t want to hike the whole trail, drive to the distance between the 2 churches of Profitis Ilias and find the sign (trail 2) to Skiadi (walk for 30 – 35 minutes each way). However, there is no shade so you better wear good hiking boots, organic sunscreen, a white linen shirt, lots of water, and a UPF sun hat.
There are 7 signposted and easy trails on Kimolos based on the ancient donkey paths that were always used by locals.
8. Explore the Caves of Kimolos
Go to the Pelekiti Cave at Kakopotamos. You can dive from the boat to wonderful turquoise waters and you can explore, walking through the shallow waters, the cave.
Another cave with some history behind it is the cave of Konsolinas in Paleokastro, which is basically one cave room. It is located 365 meters high on Paleokastro peak, near the remains of an ancient castle and you have to hike there. This is a great route, and you will enjoy the hike. Just go as earlier in the morning as possible.
9. Take the small boat to Polyaigos
Just 2 km southeast of Kimolos and with only 2 permanent residents, Polyaigos will blow your senses with its wild and virgin beauty.
Blue, clear waters invite you to dive, volcanic hills, strange rock formations in the sea, and caves to explore. What to do on stunning Polyaigos:
- Swim in Ammoura , a white sand beach with strange rock formations
- Dive to see the various colorful corals and shells
- Visit the Lighthouse set in a prominent position
- Discover Fanara, a cave with large holes in its roof
- Kayak to the Kalogeri, the famous rocks of the island, located in the middle of the sea
- Visit the Monastery of Panagia and admire a magnificent vista from its top
- If you are lucky, you may glimpse some of the rear and protected species such as seal Monachus – Monachus, viper Microvipera(poisonous), and blue lizard Podarcis
- And of course the many goats of the spectacular island (Polyaigos means Many Goats in Greek)
Would you like to enjoy a Luxury Boat Tour to Kimolos & Poliaigos? Book a private tour to the islands with a badge of excellence review from Viator.
10. Go to Kimolos Windmills
Mykonos may be famous for its windmills but actually, most Greek islands have windmills, usually scattered all around the island. Kimolos is no exception to the rule and has 7 windmills. Follow the road that starts from the area of Tsoukalas and climb to Xaplovouni Mt(where Chorio is) to see the windmills.
Where is your dream summer destination? Would you come to Kimolos in Summer?
I’d love to hear where you’re spending your vacation this year, especially if you have any exciting travel plans! Till next time, Evgenia❤️
Some of my Favorite Travel Resources for Greece
- Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and tickets info)
- Map of Athens Metro
- Trains (OSE)
- Public Buses KTEL
- Air flights: Cheap/Fast/Best Worldwide Flights from KAYAK or SkyScanner search engine sit
- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
- Best car rental prices – Guaranteed. RentalCars.com
- Get Your Guide: For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
- Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100– EMERGENCY NUMBER 112