Visit the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos

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The Greek island of Kalymnos is a natural beauty. When seen from a distance, the island appears to be a reddish-brown rock that rises from the blue waters of the sea. Kalymnos is known for its long tradition in sea sponge harvesting, so a visit to the Sponge Factory is a must. Here’s what you should know about the Sponge Factory on the island of Kalymnos.

About the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos

The Sponge Factory is the last one remaining on the island. The Sponge Factory is located at the capital of the island of Kalymnos, Pothia. Sponges are strongly connected to Kalymnos where they are known as “Kalymnian Gold.” The island of Kalymnos is located in the southeastern Aegean Sea where there was no other option for the residents to make their living from.

The villagers began sponge fishing and the job became quite popular on the island. Staying under water was difficult though and the sponge fishers began using a rubberized diving suit called “skafandro.” These suits included a bronze helmet that allowed the sponge hunters to stay underwater for longer periods of time.

Collecting and Selling the Sponges on Kalymnos

Once the sponges were collected, they were stored in warehouses for processing. These warehouses were modified over time and would eventually become sponge factories. In the sponge factories, the sponges could be processed in larger quantities and then sold.

These sponges were sold not only locally, but exported for sale also. Today, the natural sponges have been largely replaced by plastic ones, causing the sponge diving to be relied on less and less. The locals of Kalymnos had to find other ways to generate income. One of the largest sources of income now is in tourism.

Visit the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos

At the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos, you will get a look into this important tradition of the island that helped the residents earn a living for many years. At the factory, you will find people friendly and helpful. They are well-informed and are happy to explain sponge diving to visitors. There are many different types of sponges that serve different purposes. You can learn all about them at the Sponge Factory.

If you take an Aegean Island day cruise, the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos may be included as one of the stops. This is a wonderful way to see important parts of the islands as well as the surrounding landscapes. With this type of cruise you will also be able to explore the lovely village of Kalymnos.

Getting to the Sponge Factory on Kalymnos

Traveling to Kalymnos Island can be done by ferry from Athens. This trip takes about 10 hours, so you might prefer to travel to Kalymnos from the Mastihari Port in Kos, which departs 2 – 3 times daily. You quickest option is to get to the island by plane.

The Kalymnos Island National Airport receives flights from Athens International Airport, which takes one hour. Once on the island of Kalymnos, getting to the Sponge Factory is easy, especially if you fly. The airport is located in Pothia as well. Just grab a taxi or rent a car.

While visiting the Greek island of Kalymnos, consider touring the Sponge Factory. This site showcases an important piece of the history and culture of the island.

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