Coin of Calymna (Kalymnos). Warrior, a seven string Chelys Lyra c. 520 BC
Kalymnos is unique as being a purely seafaring island with a long tradition of diving, boat building and trading. Being a fairly barren island it has little agriculture, consequently there are few established villages (Vathi being an exception). The main population lives in town during the winter, and during the summer months migrates to the various holiday resorts around the island.
The town features Italian architecture, a silver-domed cathedral dedicated to Jesus (Christos), and the Monastery of St. Savas, perched on a hilltop overlooking the town.
Sponge diving is a traditional occupation in Kalymnos, with related exhibitons, along with other local folklore, at three local museums.
Kalymnos is neighboured by the small island of Telendos, which was part of Kalymnos, but after a major earthquake c.1500 was split and separated from Kalymnos by a strip of water (about 800m wide) Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence around Kalymnos. There is also a dormant volcano in the centre of the island near the town of Kadoumni.
Kalymnos is one of the Dodecanese islands located in the Aegean Sea. It is very close to Kos and five hours away by boat from Rhodes, the largest of the twelve islands. Kalymnos also is very close to Leros from the north part.
Limestone cliffs with a multitude of caves and overhanging areas have made Kalymnos a world class destination for rock climbers; and more specifically for sport climbing. The huge yellow cave full of stalactites above the town of Masouri (The "Grande Grotta") and the long and tall walls that surround it are most popular. The other small hamlets of Kalymnos are Vathy, Myrties, Emporios (or Emporeios) and the small village of Agios Petros at the north end of the island.
Ormos Empori, Kalymnos
Division of the municipality, population 16.411 (2001):