The name Halki (Chalki) was most likely due to the copper mines that existed here in Antiquity time. Halkos means Copper. However, others say that the name originates from “karki”, which is the Phoenician word for a shell.
The Age of Antiquity, also known as the Ancient Era, spanned the beginning of recorded human history, about 3000 BC, to approximately the mid 400’s, the Early Middle Ages.
Halki or Nimborio or Emborio
The capital and port of the island are Halki or Nimborio or Emborio, (today, the only settlement on the Island) located on the southeast side of the island. Often described as a quiet and picturesque village.
The village is built around the picturesque harbour and the lower part on the hillside its full of stone houses and renovated mansions. There are pebble mosaics on many balconies and many houses have a restful courtyard.
The old village Chorio was located high up on the hillside. The medieval castle located on the same hill above the old village. The castle was built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th century. Chorio the old village is along with the castle the most important archaeological site on the island.
Three old, restored windmills can be seen on top of the hill. A stroll around the harbours quayside with tavernas on one side and small fishing boats moored on the seaside it’s a popular entertainment.
Where to sleep
Apartments and villas dominate the bedstock here. Pleasant, friendly and family owned with good service. Many with the seafront location. A nice feature is the steps provided from the property down to the clear blue Mediterranean, for a morning swim, or to refresh during the hot day, (not suitable for the very young and none swimmers).
Check availability and book to good Halki deals with booking.com
Tavernas and cafes
During your stroll here, you will most likely enjoy a taverna lunch or dinner. The pre-dinner mezethes and a glass of ouzo will probably newer taste as good as here.
Local dishes, try koulia and macaroni, handmade pasta with an Italian touch. Fresh fish and seafood delicacies, fish soups, fried calamari and so on. Most of the tavernas-restaurants are located in Nimborio, many with seafront position.
Valantis Restaurant, seafront. Mediterranean and Greek-style menu. Vegetarian choices. BBQ. Many guests eating here like local dishes. Fresh tuna among the favourites.
Remezzo Restaurant. One of the top restaurants. Friendly service, nice atmosphere. Mediterranean, Greek Style menu. Pizzas to die for. Vegetarian dishes. Seafront. Check Remezzo’s facebook page.
There are also a few cafes and bars along the Nimborio seafront
The sandy beach of Pondamos or Potamos is only 10 minutes walk from the harbour.
A good eater is Nick’s Taverna at Pondamos Bay. Menu with a large selection of traditional Greek cuisine and fresh fish and seafood. Check Nick’s taverna facebook page.
Ftenagia beach, easy 15 minutes walk from the harbour. A pebble stone beach with rocky coves.
Ftenagia Restaurant is a good eater here. Their website includes not just the menu but also beach information and Chalki island information. Link here
Kania beach just over 30 minutes walk outside Emborio (east side). Signposted and fairly easy to reach. Surrounded by a notable wild landscape, bare hills, and few trees. Sunbeds and parasols. Beach taverna. Facebook info here. Kania beach not too far from Potamos beach.
Trachia beach west of Emborio, nudism friendly. Can be affected by strong winds. It’s a nonorganised beach.
A nice and popular feature to get to some of the beaches its to rent a small boat (a local caique) with your personal fisherman/captain. There is also a minibus running daily during high season to the road/track accessible beaches as well as the only taxi available.
Chalki Dive center. A great adventure on Halki – diving. More information here.
How to get to Halki (Chalki)
Kamiros Skala east side of Rhodes Island. Approximately 30 minutes drive south from Rhodes International airport, (around 45 minutes south from Rhodes Town). Three boats run the boat service from here and they are Fendon, Nikos Express, and Nissos Halki. The crossing takes around 50 – 75 minutes.
Rhodos Town. Dodecanisos Seaways ferry service to Halki twice weekly. The crossing takes around 1 hour with their Flying Dolphins or Catamaran ferry.
This is my 3rd alternative/choice. Athens/Piraeus to Halki. Well if you have time to spare the journey via several Islands takes between 20-22 hours. Serviced by ANEK Lines. Blue Star Ferries have fast ferry service from Piraeus down to Rhodes which only takes 12 hours. From Rhodes to Halki 2 hours crossing on Blue Star Ferries on their return to Athens.