Chalki - North to Pefkia and Kania Bay

As the road crosses the low ridge above Emboreio, the left branch beside a wide turning leads to the ruined church of Aghios Zacharias. (Follow the stone wall on the left running uphill, through a gate and then head right, around the corner of the wall which runs across from left to right. Head further right and uphill towards the trees: the church will come into view below and to the right.) The church appears to have been built on the site of a pagan temple which, in turn, was succeeded by an early Christian place of worship: many elements of these have been incorporated into the construction of the existing church. The present building sits in the north east corner of the foundations of the Early Christian building. Its interior was finely decorated with 14th century wall-paintings which have been removed (1984) to prevent further decay, and are now exhibited in the church of the St Mary of the Castle, or Panaghia tou Kastrou, in Rhodes . Returning to the junction at the brow of the hill once again, the ruins of what is believed to have been a fortified monastery, referred to locally as ‘Kastraki’, are visible on the low summit toward the east. Only the lower courses of the walls are still in situ and are made from large, polygonal stone blocks of a period which clearly predates any Christian use of this site. The wide valley which slopes down to the sea at Kania Bay, though now largely abandoned, was intensively cultivated for grain up until the Second World War. The road ends at the pebble beach of Kania; it is backed by trees and shade, and looks across the water to Rhodes and the islets in between. On the saddle of the mountain behind, just to the west of the summit marked by a triangulation post, are the remains of the Hellenistic Sanctuary of Apollo at Pefkia—possibly the ‘temple’ to which Strabo refers in his description (Geog. X 488). The temple stood in the lea at the base of the western shoulder of the final summit. (It is best approached by circumventing the lower perimeter stone-wall of the valley from behind the stand of pine-trees. The rough path passes a huge standing rock in the middle of the valley, then rises up past a conspicuous cave entrance towards the saddle. The saddle itself has been substantially terraced for cultivation. Well in from the ridge, at the right-hand corner, in the lea of the bot tom of the shoulder of the mountain, are the overgrown ruins of the temple beside a small stone hut.) Some finely turned marble columns, bases, drums and other fragments mark the site of the temple. A carved stone basin and a deep cistern lie just to the northeast. A number of the fragments have the style and proportions of Early Christian cutting, and suggest a possible continuity of cult here in Christian times. From the ridge of the saddle on the north side are uninterrupted views towards Symi, Tilos and the Cnidos peninsula.

Chalki Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.


Chalki Island, Greece.

By boat: Daily service (90 min.) from Kameiros Skala on Rhodes (dep. 14.30) by caïque (Nikos Express or Nisos Chalki), with limited capacity for cars; returning daily at 6am from Chalki. Larger ferries stop at Chalki three times weekly on the route between Rhodes (Main Port) and Karpathos, Kasos and eastern Crete. A local water taxi (Alevandros, T. 22460 45251 or 6944 434.429) connects Alimniá with Chalki, on request.

Chalki Travel Guide


Chalki Island, Greece.

A number of tavernas by the port serve fresh, local ly-caught fish: Omonia tou Nouri on the waterfront has excellent spit-roasts and vegetable dishes in addition.
Chalki Travel Guide


Chalki Island, Greece.

Places to stay are limited, although slowly increasing. The Captain’s House hotel (T. 22460 45201; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . gr), open generally May–late Oct, is a charming and hos pitable home with garden, set back from the harbour a little east of the main church. For longer stays, -Villa Praxithea (T. 22410 70172 or 6972 427.272; www.villapraxithea. com), an elegant house on the waterfront sensitively restored by the owner-architect into furnished apartments, is delightful and much to be recommended.
Chalki Travel Guide

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