Palymnos: a hidden gem


You can’t see it.

It had been a rocky ride and we were ready to be tucked in for the night after the long motor from Lipsi to Palymnos on the island of Kalymnos. We were on track, and as we approached where we were certain the entrance to the protected harbor should be, it simply wasn’t there. No opening, no boat masts, no buildings. Nothing.

“It isn’t here,” I said (possibly shouted?) My husband replied that it had to be, I took another look, and stood by my original observation.

We did a slow drive by of where we thought we should go. Still, nothing. And we really didn’t want to have to execute on a Plan B at that late hour. The winds were getting stronger, and the advice of our new friend and seasoned Mediterranean sailor Hans was “get there before 2 pm.” It was after 1.

Charles exclaimed again, “it has to be here, you can see it on the map”. My trust in maps was now shot. But we headed again to where the inlet to Palymnos was supposed to be, and just like the wardrobe entrance to Narnia, as we approached closer, the path forward unfolded.

But I am telling you, it is tucked away. When looking at the map, it makes no logical sense because the entrance to the sheltered inlet basically forms the shape of a giant piece of pizza. It should have been clearly visible.

I don’t know if it is magic that obscured the way forward or the way the land is situated, but you’re going to just have to trust that it is there. I mean, don’t run aground or anything, but slowly move toward the opening where you believe it to be on the map, and it is there.

What you’ll find at the end of this protected inlet is a series of mooring balls. The orange ones belong to the restaurant to the right and the white ones belong to the restaurant to the left. You won’t pay a fee for the mooring, but you are encouraged to enjoy dinner at the restaurant. Between the two hillside restaurants is a small beach and the swimming here is just lovely!

As with Pandeli, when you arrive, a person in a small boat will come out to assist with the process of catching the mooring ball. Of course this didn’t stop people from driving like they were on fire in a mine field giving the person at the bow zero chance of catching the mooring ball even with assistance, but that’s for another blog.

For now, just know that Palymnos is a terrific, laid-back option for sailing in the Dodecanese, and it makes a great first or last night’s stay for any charter trip from the Kos Marina.

And it IS there. Trust us.

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