Halki or Chalki is a bare and rocky island just west of the larger island of Rhodes. There are almost no tourists in Halki, so if you like it quiet then you came to the right place. On this page you may find where is Halki island, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Halki, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.
Halki is a bit of an “up market” island, not cheap, just as for instance Folegandros or Symi. Halki or Chalki has a surface area of 28 km2 and is home to only 300 people. Chalki or Halki means “copper” (like the metal) and the island is named after the mines that were here. It is a dry island that has no own water supply.
Halki is a tiny island of Dodecanese, located very close to Rhodes. Not much developed in tourism, this is a perfect destination for peace and privacy. The island distinguishes for its traditional architecture and the relaxing beaches. Nimporio is the only village and main port of the island. In the centre of Halki island, there is an abandoned village with a Medieval Castle on top. This village was abandoned when piracy was confronted in the Aegean Sea and people started to move around the port. Few beaches in Halki Greece are organized and can be accessed on foot or by bus. The rest are totally secluded. The island can be visited for holidays or as a day trip from Rhodes.
Halki, small though it may be, is a glorious land, ready to reveal its genuine treasures to you. It is obvious from the moment you cast your eyes on the gorgeous harbour and the only hamlet of the island, Nimporio. The absence of vehicles, the serenity which has settled over the entire island and the romantic atmosphere enthralls the visitor.
Everything moves at a relaxed pace, set by the laid-back attitude of its locals. You will enjoy walks in the stone-paved alleys amongst stately homes and restored houses, coloured with a painter’s full palette; dive into limpid waters; take time out with ouzo and backgammon and savour the traditional culinary fare. And as for the people themselves, they are characterized by their friendliness and innate kindness, respect their island and have resisted the march of modern tourism.
Where is Halki island
Characterized by Unesco as the island of Peace and Friendship, Halki (Chalki, Khalki) is a jewel of an island, small and rocky, situated some 6 km (4 miles) west of the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese Archipelago. With an area of 28 km2 (11 sq miles) and a population of a few hundred people in the summer, it is one of the smallest inhabited islands not only in the Aegean but in all of Greece.
How to get to Halki island
There is no airport on the island of Halki. The closest airport is found in Rhodes, which is connected to Halki by ferry. The airport of Rhodes receives frequent flights from Athens and many international flights from abroad in summer. The ferry from Rhodes to Halki is about 2 hours. There are also ferries from the ports of Heraklion and Lasithi to Halki 3 times per week. The airport of Heraklion is very busy in summer with domestic and international flights.
There are ferries to Halki from Piraeus, the largest port of Athens, 3 times per week. The distance between Athens and Halki is long, which is why the trip takes about 20 hours. Due to the long trip, many visitors choose to arrive by plane in Rhodes and take the ferry to Halki from there. The flight time from Athens to Rhodes is 50 min, while the ferry trip from Rhodes to Halki is 2 hours. There are also ferries from Crete (Heraklion or Sitia) to Halki 3 times per week.
Transportation in Halki
Halki is a lovely, tranquil place, much preferred by people who need some piece and quiet during their holidays. On such a small island, there is no need for public transport. Moreover, only a few private vehicles are spotted in the whole region and after a certain hour using a car in Nimporio is prohibited. The most usual way to explore Halki is on foot. Also, there is a small boat that carries out short trips to nearby, isolated coasts.
However, in case you feel that it will be difficult for you to move around with your luggage upon your arrival, you can contact your hotel in advance and get informed if a pick up service is provided.
Travel guide to Halki island, Greece
A tiny island of Dodecanese, Halki is a relaxing place for a day trip from Rhodes or for short vacations. In fact, there are daily local ferries to Halki from the small port of Ancient Kamiros in Rhodes, allowing to go on the island and return in the same day. Halki is a place to enjoy long walks and secluded beaches.
The only town is Nimporio, a picturesque place that surrounds the main port of the island. The beach promenade of Nimporio is lined up with cafeterias and taverns, while a small bus departs for beaches around the island, mostly for Potamos beach. Holidays in Halki are ideal if you are looking for Greek islands off the beaten track.
Things to do and see in Halki island
As the island is small and quiet, things to do in Halki are limited. There are no organized things to do in Halki. The island is ideal for total relaxation at the beach or in the countryside. Swimming in the wonderfully secluded beaches of Halki is a delight. Enjoy a day under the hot sun and in the afternoon have lunch in the seaside taverns. In the evenings, have a drink in a lounge cafe-bar under the stars.
Another enjoyable activity in Halki island is hiking. Many old footpaths cross the island and lead to tiny chapels, small settlements, secluded beaches and hilltops with breathtaking view to the sea. Hiking is best in autumn and spring when the weather is not so hot. In summer, long hiking can be quietly uncomfortable.
Wander around the alleyways of Nimporio
The sun-drenched two and three-storey houses of the picturesque hamlet with the colourful walls and tiled roofs look like little boats anchored in the bay.
Wander around the alleyways and enjoy delicious smells from the ovens that every house is equipped with in order to bake bread and the famous “makarounia” of Halki, handmade pasta, laid out in the sun to dry. Ask a local to give you some prickly pears, fruit of unique taste found everywhere on the island.
See the church of Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of the island, with the majestic steeple and the carved wooden icon screen, and take a deep breath in its ornately paved courtyard with the traditional “hohlakia”, beach pebbles. Pause for a while at the Townhall, an old stately home with its splendid clock tower. A walk around Nimporio will leave your heart brimming with peaceful thoughts and ineffable joy.
The dreamlike beaches of Halki
Some of the island’s beaches are accessible on foot, others by caique from Nimporio. Pontamos is the most popular beach on the island with its sparkling white sand. Kania is a picturesque pebbly beach, as are Giali, Ftenagia and Areta, renowned for their azure waters. Trahia, a beach between two channels of water, can only be accessed by caique.
Monastery of Agios Ioannis Alargas
“Alarga” means “far” and this monastery in Stafia is indeed some distance from both Palio Horio and the sea. You can get there after an hour and a half’s hike crossing bare land with dry stone walls and huts, fragrant herbs clinging to the rocky ground and a scattering of fig and prickly pear trees. On August 29th the monastery is thronging with pilgrims who come to take part in the biggest celebration on the island and are generously accommodated in the monks’ cells. Under the high cypress tree, they eat, sing and dance “sousta” until the morning.
Horio – The Castle of the Knights
Perched on a hill 2.5 km from the harbor is Horio, the old capital of the island. In the ruins of the abandoned houses is concealed the Glory of Halki.
From the church of Panagia Horiani with its exquisite curved masonry, you can follow the path that leads to the Castle of the Knights. Its interior is full of fascinating ruins and the Temple of Agios Nikolaos still stands with frescos from the 15th and 17th centuries. From the fortress you can admire the wonderful view to the Karpathian sea.
What to do in Halki island
Either by private boat or by caique from Nimporio, a day trip to Alimia, an islet in the sea between Halki and Rhodes, is well worth it. At the large beach you will have your fill of swimming and diving in the blue waters, while further inland you can make out the ruins of the old hamlet and at a short distance from the shore you can see the salt water lake.
Monastery of Taxiarhis Mihael Palarniotis
In contrast to the stark mountainous landscape of the island, the Monastery is surrounded by trees and affords a panoramic view. If you enjoy hiking, you can get to the Monastery on the footpath starting from Nimporio and crossing Horio.
From Palarniotis starts a trail towards Agios Georgios Riskiou passing through the ruins of medieval churches, dry stone walls and abandoned windmills.
Nightlife in Halki
Halki is a serene island in the Dodecanese where life flows calmly. Here, you will not find any clubs to spend the night as things are quieter. There are only a few cozy cafe-bars along with the port of Nimporio, the capital of the island, that stay open till around midnight. If you like the traditional Greek way, then you can enjoy a night at the local taverns on the waterfront with wine and Greek music.
Villages of Halki island
The only settlement on Halki is Nimporio, the capital, and port of the island. The old village of Halki, Chorio, used to be the capital until the middle 19th century when it was abandoned and its inhabitants moved gradually to Nimborio.
- Nimporio, map
Beaches of Halki island
Halki is a lovely island famous for its crystal beaches. There are some organized beaches in Halki, like Potamos and Kania, while there are also other remote places, like Yali. Halki beaches can be reached by foot or bus. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Halki island.
List of all beaches in Halki island, Greece
Where to stay in Halki island
Almost all hotels in Halki are located in Nimporio, the port and only village of the island. These few accommodations in Nimporio have easy access to facilities, like shops and taverns. A small mini-bus from Nimporio also transfers visitors to the beach of Potamos. To go to other beaches around the island, the only option is walking. Halki hotels consist mostly of traditional rooms and apartments with simple facilities.
Halki Hotels: Look and search island of Halki accommodation, rooms, hotels apartments, studios and pensions.
- Villa Kalypso, Booking.com
- Anna’s House, Booking.com
- Amalia Harbor, Booking.com
- Villa Katingo, Booking.com
- Villa Antonis, Booking.com
- House Galini, Booking.com
- Halkis Muses, Booking.com
- Ariadne’s House, Booking.com
- Sailor’s House, Booking.com
- Villa Hiona, Booking.com
Stay in Halki Sea House
Information: Enjoying a seafront location, Halki Sea House is a 19th century mansion with a spacious courtyard and a terrace with views of the Aegean Sea and Halki Town. Free WiFi is available. Divided in 2 floors, the house has 2 bedrooms, one located on the 1st floor and the other on the ground floor, a fully equipped kitchen and 2 private bathrooms with shower. An oven and a flat-screen TV are available. Both bedrooms offer direct access to the terrace. The 2 floors are connected via an external staircase. Detailed Hotel information and prices of Booking.com.