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the moment one of their cats brushes your leg and invites you to follow it down wood-panelled corridors ornamented with gilt-framed nautical oils and Persian rugs.
The antique-accented rooms are achingly pretty, featuring stucco ceilings, lilac walls, mahogany armoires and huge beds.
And we haven’t even got to the sparkling pool, the garden dripping with flowers or Antonios, the fabulous owner.
Greek House PENSION $ ( 6972747494, 22430 23752; s/d/apt 20/30/40) Hidden up a side street running from the left-hand corner of the harbour, this excellent budget option has four wood- panelled, split-level rooms with kitchen facilities and plenty of beds (some with as many as eight!).
There’s also a communal balcony.
Follow the yellow signs to Paorama Hotel and you’ll find it en route.
Arhodeko Hotel PENSION $ ( 22430 24051; s/d 30/35; year-round; ) Located on the harbour, this neoclassical gem has pleasant rooms with harbour views, tiled floors, Persian rugs, TV, fridge and balconies.
There’s bags of atmosphere, from the moment you step through its elegant facade and under the original stone archways.
Great value.
Hotel Panorama HOTEL $ ( 22430 23138; www.panorama-kalymnos.
gr; s/d incl breakfast 30/40; year-round; ) Panorama earns its moniker with breathtaking rooftop views from a hilltop eyrie.
The 13 rooms are fresh with TVs, private balconies, contemporary furniture and a communal sun terrace.
Book ahead for this bijou belle, and ask for free pick-up from the ferry.
Evanik Hotel HOTEL $ ( 22430 22037, 22430 23125; s/d/tr incl breakfast 35/50/65; ) This imposing yet intimate hotel, a few blocks up from the harbour, has plush rooms of varying sizes, with tiled floors, Ikea-style furniture, reading lamps, fridge, TV and immaculate en suite.
Downstairs there’s a pleasant breakfast area.
Ask for a quieter room at the back.
Olympic Hotel HOTEL $ ( 22430 51710; Martiou, Pothia; s/d/tr 35/45/55; ) The 42-room Olympic sits on the harbour and has a smart lobby but forgettable rooms; with desks, private balconies, en suite, TV and fridge.
Eating Rebetiko Taverna GREEK $ (mains 7; 10am-midnight; ) Eat on the alfresco terrace close to the harbour (more romantic), or inside at this appealingly fresh taverna with cream tables and chairs.
Choose from a menu rich in carbonara, bolognese, swordfish, shrimps and souvlakia.
Barba Yiannis GREEK $ (Harbour, Pothia; mains 8; 9am-midnight) Yiannis is smart, mercifully breezy and has fine harbour views.
It’s a great spot to head to for traditional Greek fare like stifadho, lobster, fresh fish and souvlakia, and has a pretty decked terrace.
Mania’s SEAFOOD $ (mains 9; 8am-midnight; ) Commanding views of the harbour, this taverna is run by the grandson of a famous free-diver and boasts a catch of shrimps, octopus, cod, whitebait, sea urchin salad and calamari.
Most of the seafood is netted by their own boat.
Traditional instruments are played some evenings.
Pandelis Restaurant GREEK $ ( 22430 51508; mains 9; 9am-midnight; ) The specialities at this homey eatery are goat in red-wine sauce and homemade dolmadhes.
Worth a mention too are the prawns in pasta and charcoal-grilled meat cuts.
Good wine selection.
If you’re self-catering, head for Vidhalis Market, a well-stocked supermarket (great for fresh fruit) on the waterfront or Anash’s Bakery at the back of town for baked goods like olive bread, cookies, pies, croissants and sponge cake.
Drinking & Nightlife Sirroco Bar BAR (Harbour, next to Automarket; 7pm-1.
30am) This traditional nautical bar feels like stepping into yesteryear with its old brass clocks, portholes, cosy wood booths and ships’ wheels stuck on the wall.
Hang out with the seadogs and swap maritime yarns.
Look for the boat outside to find it.
Information Pothia’s quay is at the southern side of the port.
Most activity, however, is centred on the waterfront square, Plateia Eleftherias.
The main commercial centre is on Venizelou.
Stay constantly alert while walking around Pothia; traffic hurtles up and down its narrow footpath-less roads.
The Commercial, National and Ionian banks, all with ATMs, are close to the waterfront.
Alter Holidays ( 6946596030, 22430 47398; www.alterholiday.
gr) Tailor-made holidays for diving, walking and climbing, Alter also arranges accommodation, with a focus on alternative, authentic destinations.
The one-month pass entitles you to dramatic discounts on diving, hotels, and tours at wholesale prices.
Look out for their apps, soon to cover all the best of the Dodecanese.
Kapellas Travel ( 22430 29265; kapellastravel@gallileo.
gr; Patriarhou Maximou 12) For air tickets.
Magos Travel ( 22430 28777; www.magostours.
gr) Hydrofoil and catamaran tickets, including a day’s excursion to Bodrum (25), as well as flights and bus excursions.
There’s a 24-hour ticket machine outside.
Main Post Office A 10-minute walk northwest of Plateia Eleftherias.
There is a more convenient agency south of Plateia Ethinikis Andistasis.
Municipal Tourist Information ( 22430 29299; george@kalymnos.
gr; 25 Martiou; 7.
30am-3pm Mon-Fri) By the edge of the harbour and run by George, this is an excellent, well- organised source of info for buses, climbing, diving and ferries.
Neon Internet C@fe ( 22430 48318; internet per hr 3; 9.
30am-midnight) Teen haunt with internet, gaming, free wi-fi and bowling! Police ( 22430 22100; Venizelou) Port Police ( 22430 24444; 25 Martiou) www.kalymnos-isl.
gr Informative site hosted by the municipality of Kalymnos.
TOP OF CHAPTER Around Pothia South of Pothia, the road to Moni Agiou Savra takes you past Kalymnian House Museum (admission 3; 9am-2pm & 4-8pm May-Sep), a small traditional home where you’ll learn about local customs through guided tours in English.
Running northwards from the port is a busy valley with a series of settlements.
The ruined Castle of the Knights of St John (Kastro Hrysoherias) looms to the left of the Pothia– Horio road with a small church inside its battlements.
On the east side of the valley, Pera Kastro was a pirate-proof village inhabited until the 18th century.
Within the crumbling walls are the ruins of stone houses and six tiny 15th-century churches.
Check out the few remaining frescoes in the Church of Transfiguration.
Steps lead up to Pera Kastro from the end of the main road in Horio; it’s an unshaded climb with incredible views.
A tree-lined road continues from Horio to Panormos, a pretty village 5km from Pothia.
The beaches of Kandouni and Linaria are a stone’s throw from one another and within walking distance of Panormos.
Kandouni is a particularly pretty cove surrounded by mountains, with cafes, bars and hotels overlooking the water and a small sandy beach.
You can also rock climb from here and there is an annual cliff-diving competition.
For dining and sleeping, Linaria is slightly quieter.
Giorgio’s Family Restaurant (mains 6-12), at the northern end of Linaria beach, has creative salads, fresh fish and seafood.
Try the chilli feta, saganaki shrimp.
Nearby Kafes Alati (mains 8-15; noon-midnight; ) has a cream interior, fine sea views and delicious grilled aromas drifting from its open range.
Eat in or
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