Skip to main content

Halki | Island of History and Serenity

The smallest inhabited island of Dodecanese, Halki (alternatively Chalki), is very close to Rhodes. The name Chalki originates from the copper mines (copper is “chalkos” in Greek) that used to exist there. The island flourished at the end of the 19th century when Chalkites developed navigation and sponge commerce.

As of the 2011 census, the population numbered less than 500 people.  Halki is the perfect destination for peace, quiet, and privacy, and visitors looking for Greece off the beaten track.

View of a monastary on Halki Greece.
View of a monastery in Halki, Greece.


Halki Island enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild winters. Although July finds temperatures as high as 30°C, there’s always a place to cool off. January is the coldest month, with a low of 14°C. Rainfall averages about 297 mm per year.

Places to see on Halki

  • Exploring Halki’s Abandoned Village and Medieval Castle: In the heart of Halki lies an enchanting abandoned village crowned by a medieval castle. This historic site paints a vivid picture of the island’s past. The castle, perched on a hill, provides historical intrigue and rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Carpathian Sea.
  • Religious and Architectural Marvels: Halki boasts several architectural wonders, including the Church of Agios Nikolaos, dedicated to the island’s patron saint. The church is a testament to the island’s spiritual heritage, with its majestic steeple and intricately carved wooden icon screen.
  • For those who enjoy hiking and wish to explore the island further, a trek across Halki leads to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Alargas. This religious site offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to connect with the island’s spiritual roots.
  • Horio and the Castle of the Knights: Another captivating stop is the village of Horio, home to the Castle of the Knights. Inside the castle, visitors can admire frescoes dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries. Beyond the historical significance, the castle rewards visitors with awe-inspiring vistas of the Carpathian Sea, making it an ideal spot for photographers and history enthusiasts alike.
  • Monastery of Taxiarhis Michael Palarniotis: Halki’s spiritual heritage is further enriched by the Monastery of Taxiarhis Michael Palarniotis. Aside from its religious importance, the monastery offers visitors a fantastic panoramic view that showcases the island’s natural beauty and coastal charm.
  • In the center of Halki island is an abandoned village with a Medieval Castle on top.
  • See The Church of Agios Nikolaos, the island’s patron saint, with its majestic steeple and carved wooden icon screen. You can reach the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Alargas by hiking across the island.
  • Horio, the Castle of the Knights, has an interior that contains frescos from the 15th and 17th centuries. The wonderful view over the Carpathian Sea from the castle is equally impressive.
  • Monastery of Taxiarhis Michael Palarniotis. From here, you get a fantastic panoramic view.

Halki’s population used to be much larger but the following emigration in the mid -20th century it was almost completely abandoned. Many residents moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida to establish a Greek-American community with sponge fishing that still exists today.

Things to do on Halki

  • Beach. While Halki may not have the bustling beach scenes of some larger islands, it offers several beautiful beaches where you can relax and swim. Some popular options include Pondamos Beach and Ftenagia Beach.
  • Hike. Many old footpaths cross the island, leading to tiny chapels, secluded beaches, and hilltops with amazing views. For hiking, spring and autumn are the ideal times of the year.
  • Relax. Enjoy a drink at a tavern or café along the harbor in Nimporio.


While on Halki, taste fresh bread, prickly pears, and the famous makarounia, a handmade pasta. The pasta is served with fried onions and goat’s cheese, while Ofto is served as a main meal. It is a local lamb stuffed with rice and kidneys and baked in the oven.