You have probably felt the draw to the beaches of Greece that you have seen in countless lifestyle and travel magazines. Romantic vacations are typically the most memorable. For my husband and I, we wanted to make our romantic daydreams come true. We decided that we wanted to spend our honeymoon in Kalymnos, Greece- watching the sunset from white buildings with blue roofs on the Greek island.
As avid rock climbers, thrill-seekers and adventurers, we set our sights on getting to Greece. Focusing on amending our finances in the year up to our wedding, we had a low-key wedding celebration, in order to save money for our honeymoon in Kalymnos. Celebrating our union and soaking in each other’s company was our main goal of the trip. A small wedding and big honeymoon were the best choices we have made as a couple to this date. After bidding our friends and family farewell after the wedding, we began our first journey overseas as a married couple.
Taking Advantage of Layovers
Traveling to Greece from the United States is a trip that literally takes days to do. There was no need to rush to get to our destination. Planning to spend the next two weeks in Kalymnos, we intended to take advantage of our travels through Europe. We spaced out our layovers so that our connecting flights were two days out on the way there. Two days were spent in Paris and two days in Athens before flying to Koas and catching a boat to the island of Kalymnos.
Paris was a romantic kickoff to the trip and Athens gave us the perfect introduction to Greece. Delightfully, we were able to see the Eiffel Tower and the famous Acropolis, all while making the journey to our honeymoon in Kalymnos, Greece. Consequently, these two major stops allowed for time to recover from jet lag and to move at a relaxing pace. We had over-scheduled sightseeing and activities in the past. This time we committed ourselves to a more leisurely (although adventurous) honeymoon vacation.
Kalymnos is historically known for sponge diving. It was a valuable source of income for the locals of the area in the recent past. It was surprising to learn that traditional Greek sponges are found on the floor of the sea. Although this natural resource is now rare in the surrounding area, the locals still know where to find it.
Thankfully, the sun and weather was perfect on the day that we went out but I found myself getting cold when in deeper water. Depending on the time of year, you may need a thicker wetsuit. Check the weather and water temps of the area to make sure that you will be warm enough. Our local guides were very friendly and eager to share their art of diving with us. They did it with little to no gear, which my husband and I found very impressive. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will find a sponge on your dive. However, if you don’t happen to find your own, you can purchase one at a local market in the town of Pothia.
Rock Climbing Honeymoon in Kalymnos
The island of Kalymnos is well known in the rock climbing community as a “must visit” destination. With over 2,500 sport climbing routes, it has something to offer to beginners to the most advanced climber. Every September, the International Climbing Festival takes place on this small Greek island. The event draws climbers from all over the world. The festival is actually what initially drew our attention to the island.
My husband and I are avid climbers and were able to find the routes quite easily. Additionally, numerous guidebooks and resources are available. Resources that are full of accurate information enabling us to tour the island and climb without hiring a guide. Consider trying it out for your first time. There are helpful guides and schools that can offer you information and classes to start you off safely. From the top of numerous routes, the expansive views of the island were spectacular and gave us a unique perspective not available from the ground.
Kalymnos Museum and History
In addition to everything that Greece has to offer, Greek history is rich and fascinating. The Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos is the home of many pieces of pottery, figurines, and coins from the 7th-1st BC era. Located in the Vouvalis family’s 19th-century mansion, the museum tells the story of the Kalymnos. Additionally, displays of sponge fisherman and how Kalymnos came to be what it is today fill the museum. The museum was appealing after three intense days of rock climbing and enjoyed spending the day inside with air conditioning. Additionally, learning about this beautiful island’s rich culture and history was great way to spend a relaxing day indoors.
Thankfully, so many islands means so many beaches! One of the favorite activities on our honeymoon in Kaylmnos, Greece is enjoyed by the pleasant elderly men in the area is combing the beach for long-forgotten treasure with metal detectors. The nearby island of Telendos offers some beautiful beaches, including one nude sunbathing beach. This was our favorite part of our entire honeymoon. Rock climbing and diving for sponges was a thrill. However, having one-on-one time while sprawled on a Mediterranean beach truly felt like a vacation.
To our benefit, locals always know the best spots to sit and have a bite to eat. Happily, my husband and I were never disappointed by the locals recommendations on the various islands we visited during our explorations. Unprovoked, local old men would give us pointers on where to find buried treasure while we snacked on dolmas and sipped wine.
Blissfully, sitting on the balcony of a whitewashed building overlooking the blue roof tops of Greece at sunset on our last night on the island. We took the same route back home. Intentionally noting the cafes that we wanted to visit on our initial pass through, we made the rounds on the way back home. Purposefully doing so, to avoid fighting the crowds to see historic landmarks during our last days abroad. As we departed suntanned and full of olives, we look forward to returning to Greece for our 10 year anniversary.