Kimolos may be likened to a shining precious gem glittering under the blazing Cycladic sun and rich in mineral wealth. This is why the Venetian conquerors named the island Argentierra, meaning silver. Kimolos is authentic, pint-sized, reserved but hospitable. Once the time has come to depart, visitors tend to leave this little paradise feeling nostalgic courtesy of its quiet beaches, the authentic local food and rugged trails.
1. The towns and streets
The main town, referred to as the Horio by locals, is the island’s only settlement of any considerable size. It sits at the foot of Xaplovouni hill, above Psathi port, and looks out to Polyaigos, an islet inhabited by two people. Visiting it constitutes an integral part of the overall Kimolos experience. Definitely explore the town’s alleys, the abandoned castle, the Archaeological Museum, located opposite the Panagia Odigitria church, enjoy the blossomed gardens in the yards of the traditional blue-and-white houses, and don’t hesitate to exchange greetings with locals.
“Once the time has come to depart, visitors tend to leave this little paradise feeling nostalgic courtesy of its quiet beaches, the authentic local food and rugged trails.”
2. The enthusiastic locals
The island’s population comes to around 400 people, and they’re very enthusiastic about their island. The locals adore their homeland and invest in raising its profile. One local group, going by the name Kimolistes (Tel. +30 6937.747946) envisioned and founded an impressive open library. This team of volunteers goes around the town’s small roads and alleys to promote upcoming events organized by the group, using a megaphone, like in the past, to spread the news. Events include open-air film screenings at locations of unimaginable beauty. The locals will make sure that you soon settle into the relaxed rhythms of island life. Two days are enough to beginning feeling at home and sharing tables with locals for a drink.
3. Hidden beaches
Take a ride on the Delphini sea taxi operated by Vaggelis Vamvakaris (Tel. +30 6972.272111) to reach the beaches not accessible by car which are along the northwestern coast. Goupa features houses carved out of rocks. Expect to see multi-colored volcanic rocks and impressive formations on the island’s northern part and Polyaigos, the nearby virtually uninhabited islet. Enjoy swimming at the superb turquoise waters of Polyaigos, the Gerakia cave, the Pelekiti cave at Kakopotamos, at Soufi, and the Agioklimato hot springs. Prasa, Dekas and Kalamitsi are outstanding spots for some relaxation and swimming.
“The locals will make sure that you soon settle into the relaxed rhythms of island life.”
4. The natural beauty
If you’re into walking and exploring nature, you’ll be right at home. Throw on a pair of comfortable shoes and head out on the relatively easy routes, beginning from the town and usually ending up at pristine beaches.
Skiadi, a location featuring a gigantic wind-sculpted rock, offers shade along a trail leading to the extremely impressive Mavrospilia beach. The waters are frequented by monachus monachus seals. As for the skies over the island, look out for mavropetritis hawks, threatened by extinction, as well as the rare spizaetos eagles.
For diving enthusiasts, the island’s underwater beauty and aspects of a sunken ancient city, just meters away from Ellinikon beach, offer plenty to explore. Diving gear is available for rent on the neighboring island of Milos, at Appollonia, just opposite Kimolos.
5. The local cuisine
There’s lots of flavor packed into this tiny island. Start off your day with a piece of ladenia, a pizza-like local specialty, the scent of which radiates from the two bakeries operating in the town. Depending on the season, two bakeries – Paradosiako (Tel. +30 22870.51257), run by Pavlos Paleologos and Hrysanthi Mouratou, and the Nikos Ventouris-run bakery (Tel. + 30 22870.51440) in the main market – also make cheese pies (tyrenies) filled with local manoura cheese, kolokythenies (zucchini pies) and other delights. Kimolos’ delicious local produce finds the perfect home in the islanders’ taverna and restaurant recipes. Specialities include domatokeftedes, tomato balls made with sun-dried tomatoes and mountain caper, locally raised goat with koulouridi, a tagliatelle-type pasta, saganaki fried cheese with manoura cheese, and melopita, a cake made with honey and local myzithra cheese. The island also offers fantastic ice cream.
Kimolos can be reached from Piraeus port by ferry boat (8½ hours/€72 return) or by flying dolphin (5 hours/€118 return). The island may also be reached via neighboring Milos island on a ferryboat linking the two islands (4-5 routes per day, 15 minute trip, information: Maganiotis Travel, [Tel. (+30) 22870.51000, (+30) 22870.51214].