Guide: The Best Beaches on the Island of Halki

In this beach guide, we will explore the best beaches on the Greek island of Halki in the Dodecanese.

Time for a swim

The small island of Halki – part of the Dodecanese archipelago – has a couple of great beaches which are worthy of a visit. Some of these are easily accessible on foot, while others can only be reached by boat.

In the previous chapters of my Halki destination guide I already explored the beautiful island capital and main port of Emborios and embarked on a hike to the old abandoned capital of Horio to visit its impressive castle ruins.

Walking back from Horio to Emborios on a hot July day, I was in a dire need to cool off. And what better way to do this than taking a swim in the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea!

Pondamos Beach

Located roughly halfway between Emborios and Horio, Pondamos Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island of Halki. It was also the first beach where I made a stop.

Pondamos is a sandy beach which is located on a sheltered bay. As the water is shallow and it only gradually gets deeper, it’s especially well-suited for families with young children.

There are umbrellas and beds which you can rent for 8 euro, although there is also enough space to put down your own beach towel on the sand.

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Pondamos Beach. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Beach was the first of Halki’s beaches which I visited. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Beach is located in a sheltered bay. ©Paliparan
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The water certainly looked inviting for a swim! ©Paliparan
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Cooling off at Pondamos Beach. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Beach is popular with families as its a child-friendly place for a swim thanks to its shallow waters. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Beach. ©Paliparan
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The shallow waters of Pondamos Beach. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Beach is certainly gorgeous, being surrounded by some craggy hills and green trees. ©Paliparan
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Looking back at Pondamos Beach from the sea. ©Paliparan
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It was delightful to float a bit in the sea after my morning hike up the hill which you can see in the background. ©Paliparan

Beach tavern

Pondamos Beach also has a beachside tavern called Nick’s Taverna and it has some fantastic views over the bay from its sheltered terrace.

As I wasn’t hungry yet (but certainly thirsty after my hike and swim) I just stopped here for a cold beer.

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Nick’s Taverna is located right above Pondamos Beach. ©Paliparan
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Nick’s Taverna. ©Paliparan
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The view from Nick’s Taverna over Pondamos Bay. ©Paliparan
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Enjoying a cold Zythos beer at the beachside tavern. ©Paliparan
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Nick’s Taverna as seen from the sea. ©Paliparan

Scenic walk to Ftenagia

From Pondamos Beach, it is a short but highly scenic walk to one of the other popular Halki beaches: Ftenagia Beach.

Although you can also access Ftenagia Beach directly from Emborios (Halki Town) as it’s located just a few hundred metres south of it, you really don’t want to miss the beautiful walk between Pondamos and Ftenagia.

Just south of Pondamos, the road to Ftenagia passes along the small Church of Agia Thekla, from where you have some absolutely wonderful views over Pondamos Bay and the relatively fertile valley behind it.

The contrast between the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, the green terebinth trees in the valley and the grey colours of the craggy hills and rocks behind it is just stunning.

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View over Pondamos Bay from the highly scenic road to Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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The entrance to the Church of Agia Thekla. ©Paliparan
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Church of Agia Thekla. ©Paliparan
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Church of Agia Thekla. ©Paliparan
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Gorgeous view over the Church of Agia Thekla, Pondamos Bay and the island of Halki. ©Paliparan
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Pondamos Bay. ©Paliparan

Halki cemetery

If you walk further south from Pondamos Beach and the Church of Agia Thekla, you will pass by Halki’s main cemetery on your right-hand-side.

The cemetery is wedged in between the road at one side and Pondamos Bay at the other side. Although high walls surround the cemetery on the landside, the walls on the side of the sea are much smaller, which allows for some fine sea views when you walk in between the graves.

Inside the cemetery complex you can also find a beautiful church with a light blue roof and domes.

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Halki cemetery. ©Paliparan
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Halki’s peaceful cemetery. ©Paliparan
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Graves and tombs at the cemetery. ©Paliparan
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Halki cemetery. ©Paliparan
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From the Halki necropolis you have some fine sea views. ©Paliparan
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Halki necropolis. ©Paliparan

Ftenagia Beach

Where Pondamos Beach is located in a sheltered bay, Ftenagia Beach faces a relatively sheltered strait between the island of Halki and the islet of Vrachonisis Nisaki, meaning that this beach is likely to have some calm waters as well.

The main difference between these two beaches is that while Pondamos is a fine sand beach, Ftenagia is a made out of pebbles and rocks.

In the waters just off Ftenagia Beach there are also some reefs, so you must be a bit careful when walking into the water as not to slip or cut open one of your feet on some sharp rock.

Although it makes swimming a bit more difficult, the rocks, reefs and stones at Ftenagia also have their advantages as it makes the waters more clear and turns it into a great place for snorkelling.

The sea at Ftenagia Beach has amazingly beautiful colours, making this the most appealing of all of Halki’s beaches to simply look at. The shades of blue here are mesmerising and were easily some of the best I’ve seen on this trip to Greece.

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Walking to Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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The road to Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Looking towards the islet of Vrachonisis Nisaki. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Although Ftenagia Beach is less suitable for swimming due to the pebbles and sharp rocks in the water, it was in my opinion the most beautiful beach on the island of Halki. ©Paliparan
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I absolutely loved the shades of blue at Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. The large island in the distance is Rhodes. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan

Lunch

At Ftenagia Beach, you can also find a nameless tavern which does some tasty, no-nonsense Greek food for fair prices. It makes for a perfect place for lunch as the view from the tavern is superb.

I ordered the traditional Greek sausages with chips, some tzatziki and a cold beer to wash it away.

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The seaside tavern at Ftenagia Beach. ©Paliparan
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Lunch with a view. ©Paliparan

Back to Emborios

From Ftenagia, it is an easy walk back to Emborios. As you basically follow the eastern shoreline of Halki, you have some wonderful sea views as well from this path.

Closer to Emborios you will also notice a couple of swimming platforms which make for some fine places as well to have a dive into the sea.

When you are staying in Halki’s main port and town and don’t want to walk to one of the island beaches, these make for a solid alternative as well if you fancy a swim.

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Walking back to Emborios. ©Paliparan
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The road from Ftenagia to Emborios is certainly scenic as well. ©Paliparan
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Emborios. ©Paliparan
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A swimming platform in Emborios (Halki Town) with a fine view over the port and island. ©Paliparan
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The Halki Town waterfront has numerous such swimming platforms from where you can dive into the bay. ©Paliparan
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Most of the swimming platforms have stairs into the water, making it easy to get in and out of the sea. ©Paliparan

Other Halki beaches

Halki has a number of other beaches such as Trachia Beach and Areta Beach which can only be accessed by boat.

There are several tour outfits as well as individual boat owners in Emborios offering sailing trips around the island with numerous stops for a swim, so either walk around the quay and see what is on offer or inquire at your hotel or guesthouse.

Another popular beach on Halki is Kania Beach, which can be accessed on foot and is located a short distance to the north from Emborios. This beach features a beach bar and has sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.

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Trachia Beach as seen from the Kastro in Horio. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

For a small island, Halki has some fine beaches which are all inviting for a swim.

Families with children should opt for the warm and shallow waters of Pondamos Beach, which has a nice tavern overlooking the beach and umbrella and sun bed rentals.

If you are a fan of snorkelling or simply seek the most gorgeous of blue colours, then nothing beats Ftenakia Beach. This beach also has a nice tavern which makes for a good spot for lunch.

Although all of these beaches are just a short walk out of the main town of Emborios, you don’t to leave Halki’s main port for a swim, as in this town there are multiple inviting swimming platforms for a quick dive into the sea.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘A Dodecanese Dream: Summer Island Hopping in Greece‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Back in the Skies – My First International Flight in the Age of Corona
2. Review: Kimon Hotel, Athens, Greece
3. Exploring Plaka: Through the Winding Streets of the Old Town of Athens
4. Climbing up the Acropolis: Visiting Athens’ Most Famous Sight
5. Review: Skyserv Melina Merkouri Lounge Athens Airport
6. Review: Sky Express Athens to Naxos (ATR 42)
7. Review: Studios Zafiri, Naxos Town, Greece
8. Naxos Town: The Gorgeous Historic Heart of the Cyclades
9. Review: Blue Star Ferries Naxos to Astypalaia
10. Review: Belvedere Studios, Astypalaia Town, Greece
11. Astypalea Town: The Unknown Crown Jewel of the Aegean Sea
12. Astypalea Island Guide: Exploring the Butterfly of the Aegean
13. On a Night Boat in Greece – Astypalea to Kastellorizo With Blue Star Ferries
14. Review: Traditional Apartments Alexandra, Kastellorizo, Greece
15. Kastellorizo: A Look Around Greece’s Easternmost Island
16. Hiking on Kastellorizo: Two Sunset Hikes Detailed
17. Review: Olympic Air (Dash 8-100) Kastellorizo to Rhodes
18. Guide: How to Travel From Rhodes to Halki by Ferry
19. Review: Dorothea Apartments, Halki, Greece
20. Halki Town: Eating, Swimming & Relaxing in Beautiful Emborios
21. A Hike to Horio: Exploring Halki’s Old Abandoned Capital
22. Guide: The Best Beaches on the Island of Halki (current chapter)

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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