Sunrise on Halki
Panorama of Halki village
View from the castle
View to the Windmills
The tiny island of Halki lies
off the west coast of Rhodes. It has no airport, and access is by
ferry alone. This means it has preserved much of its traditional
peace and tranquillity, and the hour and a quarter ferry ride from
Kamiros Skala (the small harbour on Rhodes which has daily
connections with Halki) is almost like a trip back in time. If you
are looking for nightlife and water sports this is not the place for
you. If you want a relaxing, friendly and very Greek atmosphere then
you will have found heaven.
In recent history there were two main settlements on Halki, the old
village (Chorio) and the harbour area (Emborio). The Chorio, located
beneath St Maryís Church and the Crusader Castle, is now largely
deserted, with Emborio being the centre of island life. Since the
village is so small, the amphitheatre of the harbour is where most
of life is lived, and all of the shops and most of the bars and
tavernas are located there.
During the season Halki has a local population of approximately 300
people. This means that during your stay you will become very
familiar with various village characters as well as with the
proprietors of your favourite bars, tavernas and shops. You will
find a warm welcome from everyone. The setting is authentically
Greek and the greeting you receive is genuine.
Tavernas and Bars
There are eight tavernas located around the harbour area (called
ĎPiazzaí by the locals), and one at each of the two main beaches.
The food served is mostly traditional home-cooked Greek food with a
variety of meat and fish dishes. The tavernas always offer
vegetarian options, and some of them also do wonderful take away
food. There are also 6 cafe/bars which as well as all kinds of
drinks offer Greek sweets and cakes, ice-creams and other snacks.
Shops and Amenities
Emborio has a quite a wide variety of shops for such a small island.
There are 4 mini markets, 1 excellent bakery, 3 very different
souvenir shops and a small traditional Greek Kiosk. Together the
shops provide for almost everything you might need during your stay,
and if they donít have something to hand they will always be happy
to order it for you from Rhodes.
There is also a Post Office, open every weekday morning, and an ATM, both
located on the harbour front. Money Exchange is also possible at the
travel agency on the harbour front
The village church is dedicated to Saint Nikolas and is well worth
seeing inside. It is beautifully decorated and rich in the
atmosphere of the Greek orthodox faith. There are also several other
small monasteries nearby which merit a visit.
Halki now has its own minibus, operating a useful service to 3
beaches (Pondamos, Ftenayia, and Kania), the hotel, up to the old
village and Crusader Castle, and further on to the Monastery of
Saint John. In addition to the minibus the island has both a regular taxi
and a water taxi. Another new addition is Kiristanis Cruises, a
large speed boat which will take individuals and groups to the
further afield beaches and to other islands such as Alimnia.
There are two popular beaches within easy walking distance of
Villa Yorgos and the village centre: Pondamos and Ftenayia. Both
have sunbeds and a taverna. The beach at Kania, about 40
minutes walk away (or 10 minutes on the minibus)
small, pebbly and brilliant for snorkelling. It has a snack bar for
drinks and refreshments.
Spring and autumn are particularly popular times for walking on
Halki. The old village beneath the crusader castle and the Monastery
of St John are two of the most well-trodden paths, though they both
The crusader castle is an impressive sight from below and repays the
effort of the climb up with fantastic views of Halki and the islands
over to Rhodes.
The Monastery of St John is one of Halkiís most special places. It
lies at the farthest point from Emborio harbour along Halkiís only
road into the mountains. The church is small but has beautiful icons
inside, and the courtyard with its ancient pine tree and surrounding
cells is a wonderful place to experience the serene atmosphere of
the monastic setting.
For the adventurous the Temple of Apollo above Kania repays the
effort of the clamber up and provides a sense of Halkiís
For the truly serious walker Bob Fordham of Wild Thyme Walks
organizes group walks to various places on Halki, and is always
ready to give advice and information.