Telendos was unceremoniously divorced from Kalymnos in AD 554 by a fortnight of earthquakes. The plain lying between them subsided, taking with it a large city, whose remains it is said can still be seen on the sea-bottom from boats crossing the sound - it needs to be calm for this. To reach the island you should go to Myrties (10 km from main town) where there is a site for tourists, and take one of the small boats from the harbour to Telendos (10 min). There are no cars on Telendos, except the once-a-morning rubbish tricycle collecting the daily rubbish, so you are not looking for a high-speed car ferry, probably just a caique!
Walk north from the landing along the eastern coast approx. 1 km in all, past the tavernas and the hotel (set up the hill away from the sea). You go past the first (textile) beach which is quite long, then past a small second beach (usually textile but not always) that requires a steep climb down to reach. After another couple of hundred yards you reach the naturist beach. There is now a sign: "Paradise beach nudist beach". Swimming is wonderful, snorkelling too, beach shoes recommended. You have to buy food and drink at the tavernas. The tavernas on the island are pleasant and the food adequate. Most of my correspondents stay in a taverna on the island as they are cheap and quiet.
The atmosphere is very good, but the beach used to be very stony. It is generally cosmopolitan, although the best-represented nationality (based on a June visit) is British. There are sunbeds and umbrellas (very essential as there is no other shade). It used to be run by an old, fierce, Greek lady known as Die Geldhexe or Money Witch or Money-Money, though not to her face! She kept everyone in order, stopped any inappropriate behaviour and scared away the voyeurs (usually Greek) who sometimes come by boat. Unfortunately I hear that health problems have led to her having to retire or semi-retire. But Robert, the Belgian father of her daughter-in-law, has taken over, taking good care of the beach, cleaning the beds and repairing the umbrellas.
A report from August 2000 says little has changed with the beach. Some of the umbrellas have really seen better days and need replacing [now done]. The path to the beach has certainly deteriorated and in some places much care needs to be taken to avoid accidents. It is something of a trek from the boats to the beach.
By 2001 the beach has become smaller due to erosion and rock falls during the winter months but it has become so popular that the five sets of beds on the two smaller beaches next to Paradise are being used by nudists and it really can be a race in the mornings to get on the beach to grab the beds. The beach still has that very friendly atmosphere which we find to be quite unique with Robert still cleaning and looking after the beach, the old umbrellas are still in use and are in dire need of replacement. Two beds and umbrella are still only 1500 drachmas per day as last year. The approach to the beach is very steep and, because it is loose gravel, tends to be quite slippery.
A report from September 2002 says the family who look after the beach are utterly delightful, and take their duties seriously - the beach was always clean, and beds washed down daily. They are now charging 6 euros a day for two beds and an umbrella.
The only downside is the beach's close proximity to the textile beaches. It's mainly at weekends, and usually Greek youths in motor boats, that come to ogle.
A regular visitor tells the Captain during 2003:
"I have been to this beach each year since 1983, and arriving there this summer I could not believe my eyes: it has turned into a sandy beach!!! The stones and pebbles have been covered by boatloads of coarse, dark-grey sand - ideal, since it will not blow into your eyes, and for making access to the water much easier. (My wife brought bathing shoes for the first time ever, and did not use them…) The sand also reduces the spray from the sea when it's windy. And there was a lot of wind this July!
"Robert - still magnificently in charge - has substituted all the old beds and umbrellas, so everything is in tip-top shape. Also the path leading down to the beach has been improved, as has the "difficult spot" on the path above the long textile beach.
"The atmosphere of Paradise Beach is as good as it always has been - really, a more quiet and relaxed place can hardly be imagined. The beach was much less crowded in July this year … during my three weeks there, there was not a day when all beds were taken. I don't think I have had such quiet days on the beach since the 80's, but then we missed the annual Backgammon tournament …"
It used to be the case that climbing over rocks towards the north, one gets to a quiet beach where one can be nude. This is unfortunately not the case (any more). Barefooters who visited in June 2004 found that erosion seems to have destroyed lots of that area, and there were only tiny places where one could possibly lay down, and it was hard to get into the sea.
Barefoot reporters who visited during 2006 stayed in Panormos. It is evidently very practical to get to Telendos from there. They took a bus or taxi to Telendos nearly every day, the taxi was 2.70 euros and the ferry 1.50 euros each. The walk is lovely, but you do need to take refreshments. The walk takes about 20 mins, or maybe less depending how hot it is; there is no shade en route. The beach is small but lovely, sunbeds very comfortable and they cost 6 euros a day. You do get an umbrella as well, also the lady who takes the money is English and she has a large coolbox on the beach behind a big boulder that you can put your water, etc. in free of charge. There was no hassle from walkers or people wanting a look, as it was at the end of all the beaches, very quiet and great for snorkelling.
Other Telendos beaches
Taking the boat from Myrties on Kalymnos to Telendos, and walking to the left along the coast, taking the path up through the area with trees, and going down to the other side of the island - leads to a small beach with no umbrellas, but two trees providing shade. Barefoot reporters went to this beach in the evenings (after 5) because there would still be sun and it was always deserted. (During the day there were some other people sometimes. Sometimes they were nude, and sometimes not.)
The beach over the hill (Hoklakas - turn left at the jetty, go through the village then walk over the hill) is definitely NOT nude although it is a nice beach. There is a faded sign to say no nudes!
Emborios itself is a lovely end-of-the-road sort of place. Five tavernas, one shop and a few rooms and that's it.
The town beach (sand and shingle) is textile only. Take the road north [?west] past the church and you'll climb up and over the first headland and down into the next bay. According to some the dark volcanic sandy beach here is used by nudists but the new building and a "no nudism" sign would indicate otherwise. Barefoot reporters saw no evidence of nudism while in the area.
Continue along the road - now more of a dirt track - and a stiff climb for a few minutes brings you down to a narrow isthmus with a beach on either side. We used both beaches unclothed and had them to ourselves all day. The beach on the northerly side faces the open sea and has more than its fair share of seaweed [this is probably "Alexi" beach] - the other faces into an almost enclosed bay and has more than its fair share of man-made debris. A few moments clearing the plastic and my intrepid correspondents had a perfectly usable and pleasant patch of beach about 20 minutes walk from the village.
Apart from Sunday. On Sunday every beach in the area was taken over by three (at least) generations of Greek families who moved everything, including the kitchen sink, down for the day. Under the circumstances being naked did not seem a comfortable option.
A report submitted during 2006 recalls a visit 10 years earlier. Poppy (at Poppy's Taverna at the 'top of town') told our Barefooters about two beaches off a rough track starting behind her taverna - the 'Good Well' beach is the best and has a cool spring emerging just offshore - it's very difficult to reach, involving a clamber down a stony ravine with associated insects and aggressive plants - but it's worth it. Most of the time my reporters were the only people there.
The Goat Beach is, surprise surprise, popular with goats, but is almost deserted by people. It was not as nice as 'Good Well' but the sandy beach (in a gentle arc) was OK if a little exposed. There are absolutely no facilities at either beach.
This was in 1996, so the Captain would welcome more recent reports. There may be some duplication of reports in this part of the island, as there are several multiply-named, small but good beaches hereabouts. Some detective work is required to clarify this.
Actually it's not Alexi but between Alexi and Apitiki (NW - Emporios). You can drive to Alexi in car and then walk North towards Apitiki. Alexi was found a bit dirty (lots of rubbish) - but Apitiki looked better. Between the two it is possible to climb down to a little beach [the aerial views show that there are actually three - but accessibility by land is uncertain].
Drive to Ag. Ekaterini (South). When you reach the end of the asphalted road (about 10 abbey churches to the left!) - take the road to the right until you pass a little church to the right (don't go any further!). Then walk down to the coast. There is a path from the beach to Cave spileo Dia (Kephalos Cave) on your right hand - follow it to the beach.
Drive to Vathys (Rina) and rent a boat. It's very cheap - and you can choose between several beaches along the N/E-coast. Just tell the skipper when to pick you up again.
The beach has no name. It can be found after a 10-15 minutes walk from the right far end of Platy Gialos beach (about 6km from the town). It is after a number of beaches that are not suitable for swimming and it takes some "climbing" at the end, but nothing difficult. This makes the beach isolated from both ends and 99% of the time you can be on your own there. No umbrellas, no sunbeds, no shade, but beautiful clean waters and a unique sense of privacy. The beach and the way to get there, are cleaned weekly - in fact the person who does the cleaning sent in the report - thank you!
The same contributor visited again during 2007: the beach is still there and has the same magic.