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Halki Island Areas
Halki is knowed through out the world as “The Center of Peace and Friendship”.
Young people from all over the world organize every summer cultural events and musical events at the island.
Halki it’ s a mountainous island, to the west of Rhodes and it’ s far away from Kamiros Skala (port of Rhodes), about 3,5 nautical miles.
Halki is one of the smallest islands of Dodecanise barely 28 squarely meters and it’ s residences are gathered to one and unique livable village and port of the island, the “Nimporio”.
But the village that by all odds, impress every visitor is the old Village, built to the crown of the mountain, the ancient’s walls throw up, proudly to protect and guard the castle built at the dark ages.
Halki that ought’ s it’ s name to the mines of brass that used to be at the island, although it didn’t’ t remaining anything as evidence to prove that theory. Halki is the perfect place for anyone that loves peace, quiet and total rest, to it’s beautifully and restfully beaches and through the whole island.
Considering that the are no cars and motorbikes moving at the port of the island, at the summer. You will only see business cars the hours that ships and boats come and go, half an hour before the arrival and half an hour after.
The picturesque capital of Halki, it’ s place at the east coast, deep inside a cove, and with the help of a natural breakwater that cleans up the water, and you can unfear swim.
The first impression that you get entering the island, by the boat, it’s a spectacular view, facing the beauty of the houses, built with red tiles, and amphitheatric round the harbor.
The “Nimporio” has about 300 people, living by fishery, cattle breeding and the last years by tourism. The village has been characterized as traditional and honorary as a municipality.
The are no signs the could support that at Halki was inhabited, the period between 10th and 5th century. And of course there is nothing to prove the existence of life at prehistoric years.
At the end long of 13th century, Halki followed the steps of Rhodes and the year 1522 had been taked by the Turkish until the year 1912, when the Italian came.
Its integration with the rest of Greece took place the year of 1948.
Halki is the perfect island to escape from this imperfect world.
Every one that visits Halki at first time it’s dreams came true and constantly dream of their next visit and many more after that.
Unfortunately there are not many archaeological finds from were we could derive information’s about the ancient history period or the dark year.
There is document date from the Middle Ages that inform us for the origin of the name of “Halki”, give us information that the island took it’s name from the brass mines that used to exist there. Another tradition claims that “Halki” took its name from the amount of shells they found on the beaches, and they finikes used to call them “harki”.
According to the Mythology Hercules came as far as Kos, and there he got married the kink’s daughter and recognize the kink’s son Halkona, as the heir of the throne and his inheritance was the islands of Kos, Nisiros and Halki.
The strongest theory is the one that supports, that the name Halki owns to the mines of brass the used to be at Halki, in spite of the fact that nothing ever was found to prove the existence of the mines. There is a report of Halki at Thoukididis history, it’s mention as a base used by Athens war ships against the Peloponisiako fleet.
Above foundation of the ancient acropolis at Horio it built on 14th – 15th century B.C. the castle from the Knight of Saint John.
For the first time Halki appears few and far between from 478-414 B.C. as an ally of Athens, we see that written down at the taxes catalogues on the Dilos Alliance.
Ilaidis a historian, mentions that Halki had it’s own coin, on the one side it had the image of Ekivolou Apollo and the other side a flower and the inscription on the coin written Halkion.
Halki used to be included between Kamiros properties, an inscription on a slad date from 305 B.C. was found and it listed the properties of Kamiros without mentioning Halki, maybe because Halki and Athens that period were allies. Later on Halki appears again as an acquisition of Kamiros. Unfortunately the ancient temples were ruin by the constant raids by the conquerors. The disasters made the sources were we could take in formations for the way of living at the ancient period trivial. For all the bad blood against the Knights, for fear that Turkish will prevail at the Aegean the Greeks rallied and fight beside the Knights but the defeat was ineluctable.
The conquest by the Turkish was completed at the year of 1522. The Knights made their withdrawal and the Turkish started vandalisms, and destroying everything.
The firman allotted some special privileges for the islands, management and economics privileges. The most important privilege was a democratic local self-administration called “Dimogerontia”, elected by the people and with only obligation the collection of the submission taxes the “mactou”.
According a tradition people from Halki struggling against the Enetic fleet to prevent them is landing to Kritinia, of Rhodes. The tradition reports that after the warning of the people of Halki with bright lights, the Enetic wanted to punish them.
The people took refuge in a cave at the mountain called “Klisoura”, in nowadays is called “Burned cave”. The tradition says that they hided into the cave but the Enetics managed to find them, they cut the threes from the area called “Amicla” and they put fire into the cave and burn them.
The civilians recount what they hear from the previous generations that the birds going inside they were coming out holding golden jewel.
The entrance of the cave it’s black from the smoke. The people of Halki curse Morozini and his family, from the year 1800 and after Halki achieved to reach a high point of prosperity. With the Turkish permission churches and schools were built, the buildings followed a west architectural style.
The construction development came along with the economics ascension and the development of cultural and educational level. The decline of the growth came soon when the new generation of Turkish rises to power.
The obligatory service at the army force, the obligation learning the Turkish language, taxes to the sponge- fishing there were some of the steps that brought an end to the development.
All the above had as an unpleasant result the phenomenon of emigration. At 22 of April 1912, the Italian army took Dodecanese. The Dodecanese people fought on the side of the Italian army to deliverance our counties from The Turkish yoke.
The promises for independence and respect towards the Christinian religion, the mores and the traditions were just promises.
Each island vote, so as Halki, it’s residences gathered at the yard of Saint Nicolas at the 3rd of February the age of 1913, protested against the powerful of earth, appealing the human rights. Mentioning their desire to join the free Greece and promising that they will blow up the Italian yoke.
After a lot of efforts the priminister of Greece Eletherios Venizelos, succeeded the capitulation between Greece and Italy the year 1920.
But unfortunately the condition include a term that said the Greek islands will return back to Greece apart from Rhodes, of course that meant apart from Halki also. After defeating of Venizelos to the elections the Italian denounced the condition.
At 1923 was sign the famous condition of Lozanis, the Turkish withdraw their rights over Italy, from the Dodecanese islands. The year 1924 the Italian force came over the islands and replaced the military force with a political management.
The Italian force at Halki was consist of one police inspector called “maresciallo”, two police assistants “carabinieri” and usually one Greek, that he had taken over the interpreter job “aggiuto”, he was dress as an Italian soldier and consider been a member of the police principle.
The schools were close one by another and they Italian government forbid children to talk Greek. Tutorials and priest were prison or send onto exile, until 1937 when all the Greek schools all over the islands were close.
Taxes were imposed by force to all the professions then they constrict every celebration related to any kind of National matters. Of course we must mention that comparing with the Turkish there were many points that made their life easier for Greek people.
In Halki the only Italian buildings is the police “caserima” and the customhouse “finaza», that still exist and they are in very good condition.
There were students that resisted against the Italian orders and forbiddances, one student very known Alexander Diakos, student at high school of Rhodes. Later he was trained at the military school at Athens and fought bravely at the battle of Pindos.
Another valorous man born in Halki was Diogenis Fanourakis, who fought courageous and honored with the war cross. Diogenis died at his beloved island, betrayed by his compatriots outside his family house.
Later on Halki passed, with a bloodless, hopefully arrangement to the Germans. Unfortunately when they got the islands then they started devastating and killing. The German occupation left people to die from starvation, until the first aid came from the International Red Cross.
At the 8th of May the German forces of Dodecanese were surrendered to the ally forces at Simy, the war was definitely finished. After the liberation the fist sighs of misery and suffering were still fresh. The second big stream of migration started, they didn’t forget Halki and they never stopped helping the island. Attempts were made to revival the sponge fishing, and the unfortunately was failure. The farmer was also abandoned. The only incomes were the money that the children who traveled with the merchant ships sent of the Halki union from abroad (Tarpon Springs).
A chance came to Halki when the electricity made it appearance at the and of the year 1950 and the coming back of some out-migrant to the island. Already the next decade the people started visiting Halki every summer, mainly August to attend to the two biggest tradiotitional festivals to the Virgin Mary at 15th and Saint John at 29th of August.
The years after the tourism helped to the development of Halki. Young people born at Halki became capital scientist all over world. The government bonus combine the private enterprises brought growth to the islands. Of course the pass to the 20th century wasn’t easy and there were a lot of problems that should be faced.
When the island proclaimed as the island of “Peace and Friendship” the efforts of dealing the problems seriously became compulsory, but unluckily most of the work then (tank, wharf) were made without studies and unfortunately without use. The positive of this reunion every year, from the young people all over the world, was the direct activity for the renovations of the houses. The publicity of Halki helped the island to become
known all over the world.
The first tourist office was located of Halki, the interest for building, fixing and repairing old house became more intense. Of course that had as result the appearance of lot problems between the populations of Halki, because everyone tried based on a certain law, to take as much houses and land as they could.
The gathering between the young people every year was replaced by meetings between international law experts responsible for those meetings every yeas is the Greek Institute of the Defensive Foreign Politics.
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