The Ultimate Explorer's Guide to Halki, Greece
Discovering the Dodecanese with Arkadaslik Yachting
Updated: March 16, 2020
A few years ago, we had an extended stay at the Greek island of Halki due to extreme winds. The unscheduled stop-over provided us with the perfect opportunity to start exploring the smallest inhabited island in the Dodecanese. We've been back several times since, and will continue our regular visits because there's so much to see and do!
Some random facts and trivia about Halki:
- The main town on the island of Halki is named Emborio, and is home to about 300 people year round. The population grows considerably during the summer as tourists flock to the island for a peaceful holiday break.
- The rugged and hilly island was once a prosperous copper mining community (10th century to 5th century BC) and was home to more than 3000 people.
- There is no natural source of fresh water on Halki – and water shortages are not uncommon, especially during the heat of summer. Islanders rely on rainwater (collected in cisterns), a local desalination plant, and frequent tanker deliveries from Rhodes for potable water.
- Nowadays, the island's primary industry is tourism, followed closely by fishing.
- There's no airport on Halki, so the island can only be accessed by boat.
- The clock tower on the Halki town hall is the tallest free-standing clock tower in the Dodecanese. Ironically, the clock was disconnected because it chimed every 15 minutes, disturbing the residents.
- Ruins of a medieval Kastro castle built by the Knights of St. John overlooks the the main town site. The original settlement of Chorio lies just down the hill from the castle. And, just beyond the castle ruins, there's a small monastery called Panormitis, which is undergoing renovation.
- At 28 KM2 and 34 KM in circumfrence, the island is relatively small but is home to over 35 churches and religious shrines.
- Halki is frequently referred to as "the island of peace and friendship", with statements identifying that it is a UNESCO bestowed moniker. But I can find no evidence on the UNESCO site to support this. It's a pretty and fitting endearment though, so we'll stick to the tradition. :-)
Halki in Pictures
Map of the Halki (also called Chalki), Greece
Our map of Halki does not list bars, restaurants, and hotels on the island. (They surround the main harbour and you don't need a map to find them.) Instead, it focuses on sites of cultural and historic interest.
(Please accept our apologies for the size of the font on the map image. Rest assured that the PDF version is quite legible when printed over 2 sheets of A-4 paper.)Download as PDF
Have you had the chance to visit the Greek island of Halki? We'd love to hear about your experience and see your photos.