KIMOLOS



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Kimolos - east of the island Aghios Nikolaos & Prassa

East of the island Aghios Nikolaos & Prassa

The road to the east of Chorio heads north along the east coast of the island. After 3.5km, it circumvents a steep valley, with the narrow inlet of Aghios Minas below: the whole landscape is suddenly filled with manmade hillocks and screes of honey-coloured stone, especially on the north side of the inlet. There are deep cuts in the ground, and mounds of buff-coloured rocks of a roughly uniform size on all sides. This is a stone which the island exported to the mainland with great success over the last two centuries. The stone is soft to cut and shape, but then hardens on contact with the atmosphere. It was loaded into boats in the harbour here and shipped directly to Piraeus were it was used as building material: a good deal of late 19th century Kifissia and of downtown Athens is constructed with Kimolian stone.
   The road continues, as a track, into a successively drier and whiter landscape as far as Prassa (6km), passing along a shoreline of rocky outcrops in tormented volcanic shapes. On the south side of the bay of Prassa, opposite the islet of Prassonisi, there are hot springs. The waters, which are slightly salty and contain iron and sulphur, are therapeutically radioactive. They rise at 47Β°C beneath a small concrete structure just by the shore, and mix almost immediately with the seawater, creating a pleasant temperature for swimming, even if the immediate setting is not particularly inviting. The waters are indicated for arthritic conditions. The energy derived from them is cur rently being used for the desalination of sea-water for the island.
   Beyond Prassa are cliffs and terraces of pure white which lend an unreal, turquoise colour to the water in the bay below. The headland to north and east has been cut away and exported from the island for well over 2,000 years: it was one of the most important sources in the Mediterranean of fuller’s earth in pre-industrial Europe, and before that of a mineral soap and medicinal agent, known in Antiquity as ‘Kimolian earth’.

Κιμωλία γῆ’, or ‘terra cimolia’ (a hydrous silicate of aluminium, now called ‘cimolite’) is the soft slick white powder created here by the decomposition of granitic rocks: it is a kind of kaolin or ‘china clay’, referred to in its less pure form as ‘fuller’s earth’. Pliny and Dioscorides both mention its medicinal uses for curing blisters, inflammations and skin eruptions, and it is still used widely today in poultices and in dusting powders for preventing irritation. Pliny (Nat. Hist. XXXV, 198) goes on to talk of its (commercially) more important use for finishing textiles, absorbing the oily im purities of new cloth, and giving brilliance to dyed colours. For an island with very little water and limited agricultural potential, the exportation of this ‘clay’, which is unusually abundant on Kimolos, was an economic lifeline. The quarries are still active today.

Immediately beyond the quarries to the north is the inlet of Vromolimnos, below a promontory of contrastingly dark volcanic rock. There is evidence here of the small mine installations created in antiquity for the extraction of a low-grade, silver/lead ore.


Kimolos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.


access

Kimolos Island, Greece.

The easiest access to Kimolos is via Milos, which is amply connected by air and ferry to the mainland and other islands.
The F/B Panaghia Phaneromeni makes 5–6 crossings daily from Pollónia (in northeast Milos) to Kimolos; it accommodates vehicles, and the journey takes 25 mins.
Ventouris Lines runs two morning services (6 hrs 30 mins), and G.A. Ferries one afternoon service (7 hrs), per week from Piraeus to Kimolos.
This is supplemented in the summer season by two weekly services by Aegean Speed Lines (4 hrs 30 mins).
All these services continue to Milos going south and to Siphnos and Seriphos going north.

Kimolos Travel Guide

beaches

Kimolos Island, Greece.

Ellenika Beach
Dekas Beach
Psathi Beach
Aliki Beach
Bonatsa Beach
Kalamitsi Beach
Prassa (hot springs)

Kimolos Travel Guide

eating

Kimolos Island, Greece.

Taverna "Panórama", at the heart of Chorió, is busy and serves a fresh local wine, which is delicious and of a deep golden colour, to accompany its simple home cook.
A couple of the shops in Chora sell the island"s excel lent goats" cheeses, ranging in intensity from a soft fresh "pattie", to a seasoned and pungent, flaky hard cheese. Both the wine and the cheeses are excellent.

Kimolos Travel Guide

lodging

Kimolos Island, Greece.

The island offers only basic lodging. Sardis Rooms at Aliki is pleasantly set near the island’s south-facing beach; the rooms are simple, and there is a taverna run by the owners (T. 22870 51458).
Nearer to habitation, Villa Maria on the road between the harbour and Chorió (T. 22870 51392, fax 51752, www. hellasislands.gr/kimolos/villa maria) is an inexpensive and welcoming alternative.

Kimolos Travel Guide

practical info

Kimolos Island, Greece.

840 04 Kimolos: area 37sq km; perimeter 45km; resident population 838; max. altitude 365m. Port Authority: T. 22870 51219. Information: www. kimolos-island.com.

Kimolos Travel Guide

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