Halki

Dodecanese Islands

Once you've discovered Halki it's easy to fall in love with it, and many visitors return year after year. It has an easy-going charm, just one town, a beautiful harbour surrounded by old mansions, low-key tourism that hasn't spoiled the island at all, and there's very little to do other than relax and enjoy being there.

Note that Halki can also be spelled Chalki or Khalki. We've opted for the simplest version but you will see all three variations used.

Reflections in Halki Harbour

Getting to Halki

Flights to Halki

Halki doesn't have an airport and the best option is to fly to Rhodes and then take one of the daily ferries.

Ferries to Halki

Halki is off the west coast of Rhodes and there are daily ferries from the port of Skala Kamirou on Rhodes, with a journey time of just over an hour. There's a bus that links Skala Kamirou with Rhodes Town when ferries are due. There are also several ferries a week from Rhodes Town with a journey time of 1-2 hours depending on the service.

From Halki you can also get to Tilos in 40 minutes on one of the high-speed services which operate twice a week, starting from Rhodes. Rhodes is the only daily ferry connection to Halki, but there are also 2-3 ferries a week connecting Halki with Kalymnos (3-4 hours), Karpathos (4 hours), Kos (2.5 hours) and Nisyros (1.5 hours). There's also a weekly ferry to Santorini (12 hours) and two a week from Piraeus, but the journey takes 24 hours. 

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Emborios

The island's population is under 500, and most live in Emborios, the only town. It's a delightful place, the main focal point being the harbour. This is lined by mansions, many of them once owned by the sponge fishers who made the island wealthy. The town has an ATM but no bank, a post office, travel agencies, a clinic, supermarkets and a good choice of accommodation and eating places.

One landmark on the harbour is the tall clock tower. When the population of Halki started to dwindle as the sponge fishing industry wound down, many of the people moved to Tarpon Springs in Florida. There's still a small sponge fishing industry there, and a strong ex-pat community. There's also a Dodecanese Boulevard, as people from other islands also moved there. The Halki contingent provided the clock tower as a gift to the town, and Halki also has a Tarpon Springs Boulevard!

The town's main attraction is the Traditional House of Halki, which is a museum in an old mansion and dedicated to preserving and showing the history and traditions of the island.

What to Do on Halki

The main things to do on Halki are enjoying its beaches and its many hiking trails. It's only a small island - in fact it is the smallest inhabited island in the Dodecanese - but it has an excellent network of walking paths. It's also quite hilly, with an elevation rising to 1972 feet (601m).

You can also walk to the deserted village of Horio, an atmospheric place as you speculate on its old history and the people who once lived there before it was finally abandoned in the 1950s. It's worth taking the path from Horio up to the ruins of an old castle, which has a chapel inside it and great views.

Halki's Beaches

Many of the trails will take you to the island's beaches. There's also a bus service in summer that links some of the beaches, and it's possible to get boats to take you there and back if you don't want to hike. The most popular beach is naturally the one closest to Emborios, Pondamos Beach, which has a taverna open in the summer months.

Where to Stay on Halki

Halki is small and popular, and if you plan on visiting in the summer you should definitely book ahead. Many tour operators run holidays here and a lot of the available rooms get reserved by them.

You might like these other Dodecanese pages...

  • Wild Abandon

    Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.

  • Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is noted for its traditions, its music, and mountain villages like Olympos.

  • Patmos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Patmos in the Dodecanese islands is famous for the monasteries of St John and the Apocalypse and on this page you can also read about flights and ferries

  • Tilos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Tilos is a small island in the Dodecanese between Rhodes and Kos with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas and ancient remains.

  • Rhodes

    Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

  • Leros in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Leros is a sizeable island in the Dodecanese with flights from Athens, ferries from Rhodes and Piraeus, good beaches, restaurants and hotels.

  • Kos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece has good beaches and night-life, and archaeological remains.

  • Kasos

    Travel information on Kasos in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Kalymnos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kalymnos in Greece in the Dodecanese islands is most famous for its history of sponge fishing, and see here information about flights and ferries.

  • Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Astypalaia in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is a largely unspoilt island with good beaches.

  • Symi in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Symi (or Simi) is a small island in the Dodecanese near Rhodes with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas.

  • Nisyros

    Nisyros is a unique volcanic island in the Dodecanese and easily reached on day trips from Kos Town and Kardamena.

  • Lipsi

    Travel information on Lipsi in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Kastellorizo

    Travel information on Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Arki

    Arki is a small island in the Dodecanese close to Lipsi, with beaches and tavernas with rooms to rent and ferry connections with Patmos, Samos and Marathi.

  • Agathonisi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece

    Agathonisi is a small island in the Dodecanese with quiet beaches, a few hotels, pensions and rooms to rent.

  • A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Dodecanese

    Travel and vacation information about the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Patmos, Halki, Tilos, Karpathos, Leros, Lipsi, Astipalea.

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