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Halki Island (Chalki) - Rhodes island

The small island of Halki is located close to the west coast of Rhodes and takes about one hour to reach. The picturesque harbour town of Chalki (Nimporio) with its beautiful promenade and walks through the surrounding wildlife is a common destination for visitors.

Rhodos, Halki Island (Chalki) on the map Google maps

The Greek island of Halki (Chalki)

The Greek island of Halki (Chalki) is the smallest inhabited island of the Dodecanese and lies about 9 km off the west coast of Rhodes. The islet stands out for its beautiful, traditional architecture and peaceful atmosphere. There are about 300 inhabitants through the year (more in the summer season), but they all live in the only inhabited town on the island - the capital city of Chalki (Nimporio / Emporio). In the interior of the island, there is an abandoned village of Chorio with a medieval castle.

The town's income comes primarily from tourism, but fishing also has a long tradition among the locals. However, the main problem of Chalki is the lack of drinking water, as there is no natural source. Drinking water is therefore imported from Rhodes and the inhabitants of Chalki also collect rainwater in large reservoirs.

The capital city and port of Nimporio (Chalki / Emporio)

The main town of Nimporio is a picturesque village that spreads around the harbour on the eastern side of Halki Island. Visitors arriving here are attracted at first sight by its very pleasant architecture, especially the traditional neoclassical houses in pastel colours and the church with its interesting bell tower. The waterfront is lined with caf├ęs, restaurants and shops.

The local church is dedicated to St Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos), who is the saint patron of the island of Chalki. It was built in the 60´s of the 19th century and if you have time, take a look at its interior, which is decorated with interesting frescoes. The town hall of Nimporio or the three windmills are also worth seeing.

The old village of Chorio

Originally, the main settlement on the island was the village of Chorio (about 3 km west of Nimporio), but its inhabitants began to leave it in the 19th century and moved to the port village of Nimporio (Chalki). Above the village of Chorio, on top of a steep and rocky hill, the remains of a medieval castle with strong, high walls are standing. The castle was built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John to protect the island and its inhabitants from pirate raids. The castle can be reached by a paved path and there are three small chapels just in front of the castle.

Beaches of Halki island

Similarly, as Chalki is very mountainous and rocky, its beaches are mostly pebbly to rocky. However, the beaches of Chalki Island are distinguished by their clean and crystal clear sea. Most of the organised beaches are located near the capital of Nimporio and are accessible on foot or by bus. Further away from Nimporio, the beaches are unorganised and empty, ideal for relaxing in complete solitude and being in tune with nature.

One of the most popular beaches on Chalki is Pondamos, which is located in a closed bay close to the main town (in its western part). Pondamos is a sandy beach with fine pebbles, equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas. One of the most beautiful beaches on Chalki is Ftenagia, also located close to the capital (in its southern part). Ftenagia beach is rocky, but the clear clarity of the sea is all the more remarkable. Sun loungers, parasols and a tavern are available to the visitors.

Other places of interest include Trachia beach, which is a narrow strip of land connecting the island of Chalki with a small peninsula to the south. Anyone looking for unusual natural beauties will surely be delighted.

More tourist tips

The island is also crisscrossed with many old walking trails that lead you to various small chapels, ruins of old settlements, secluded beaches or hilltops with breathtaking views of the sea. If you want to spend a few days here, then hiking is an ideal activity. The best time for it is in spring and autumn, when the strong Greek sun isn't burning so much.

There are daily ferries from the small port of Kamiros Skala going here and it takes between 45 and 75 minutes to reach the island (depending on the type of boat you choose).

The harbour town of Nimporio is reminiscent in appearance of the much better known port town of Symi on the island of the same name. A visit to Symi is one of the favourite excursions of tourists staying on Rhodes and besides the main town of Symi, the other port of Panormitis with its monastery dedicated to the Archangel Michael is also a frequent destination.

More touristic destinations of Rhodes

Tips for trips on Crete: Lindos White Town, Rhodes Capital, Kalithea Spa, Symi Island and Panormitis Monastery, Seven Springs (Ept├í Pig├ęs), Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes), Faliraki Water Park

Resorts, beaches, sights or trips - clearly listed on the map of Rhodes.

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