Greece // The Dodecanese //


The towering pyramid-shaped islet of TÉLENDHOS, silhouetted at sunset a few hundred metres west of Myrtiés, was severed from Kálymnos by a cataclysmic earthquake in 554 AD. Car-free, home to a mere handful of year-round inhabitants, and blissfully tranquil, it’s the single most compelling destination for Kálymnos visitors, and the short row of hotels and restaurants on its east-facing shore makes it a great place to spend a few nights. Regular little boat-buses shuttle across the narrow straits between Myrtiés and Télendhos (every 30min 8am–midnight; €2); it’s said that somewhere far below, an ancient town lies submerged.

It only takes a few minutes to explore the little built-up strip that stretches in both directions from the boat landing. A narrow beach of reasonable sand runs along the straight seafront, and the calm shallow water is ideal for kids. Kayaks and beach toys are available for rent, while tousled tamarisks provide shade.

To find a more secluded beach, simply keep walking. A few hundred metres north – head right from the boat landing, and keep going after the paved coastal roadway peters out to become a dirt path – nudist Paradise beach is peaceful and sheltered, but at its best in the morning, before the sun disappears for good behind the mountain. A ten-minute walk southwest of the village, following a footpath over the ridge, will bring you to the pebble beach at Hokhlakás, a scenic but more exposed spot where the sea tends to be much rougher.

While all the shoreline buildings are of modern construction, abundant ruins are scattered slightly further afield. Closest to the village, north of the boat landing, a seafront field holds the ruined outline of the thirteenth-century monastery of Áyios Vassílios. On the hillside immediately above Hokhlakás, Ayía Triádha was originally an enormous basilica, though now just a few stones survive. Further up the slopes, wherever you look, giant Cyclopean caves burrow deep into the foot of the central massif.

Setting out to hike right round Télendhos would be a mistake; it’s a long and exposed walk with little reward. Devote an hour or two, however, to investigating the islet’s southwest corner, a little low-lying afterthought. Follow the footpaths through the woods, signed to “Early Christian Necropolis”, and in addition to some intact arched sixth-century tombs you’ll come to a perfectly sheltered sandy cove that’s ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

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