Chalki is the epitome of peace and tranquillity, with almost no cars or motorbikes, locals get around by foot and donkeys are used to transport goods. Known as ‘the island of peace and friendship’, it is easy to see why this gentle little place is one of Greece’s best kept secrets. The smallest of the inhabited Dodecanese.....
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Chalki is the epitome of peace and tranquillity, with almost no cars or motorbikes, locals get around by foot and donkeys are used to transport goods. Known as ‘the island of peace and friendship’, it is easy to see why this gentle little place is one of Greece’s best kept secrets. The smallest of the inhabited Dodecanese, Chalki is a dry and rugged island with a population of just 330 people and 6000 goats! Although there is a small scattering of churches and monasteries across the island, the only settlement is in the port town of Emborio where a postcard-perfect horseshoe shaped harbour gives home to an appealing strip of tavernas along the waterfront. The byzantine church of Agios Nikolas with its tall tower and mosaic courtyard, the three quaint windmills perched upon a hill behind the town, and the medieval castle looming beyond all add to the character of this pretty town. Two beaches are within a 15 minute walk: pebbly Ftengia to the south and sandy Pondamos to the west. Both have a taverna and sunbeds. For a more deserted beach, one can head by boat to pebbly Kania on the east coast or Areta in the north. Continuing on the road past Pondamos brings you to the deserted former capital of Chorio. A castle built by the Knights of St John during the crusades, which used to guard the town from pirates, sits high up above Chorio and affords amazing views of the port and beyond. The monastery of St John in the west of the island is worth a visit for its peace and tranquillity as well as its wonderful views. For those wishing to venture slightly further afield, days trips to the nearby unpopulated island of Alimia will delight the visitor with some lovely beaches and crystal clear seas. Chalki is one hour by ferry from Rhodes and can also be reached from other neighbouring islands.
*Credit and thanks to Barfbagger, Homo Soveticus, Paraskevik84 and L.1951 for the photos featured on this page.
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