Embracing a horseshoe harbour, Chálki is a miniature version of nearby Symi. Although there are excursions from nearby Rhodes, it doesn’t suffer from Symi’s surfeit of daytrippers – there really isn’t that much to do in a few hours, anyway.
The name, often spelled ‘Hálki’ to prevent English-speakers from saying ‘Chalky’, comes from chalkí, ‘copper’, which used to be mined here. Although the 470 islanders (many of whom are fishermen) are outnumbered ten to one by foreigners they are famous for keeping music traditions alive, on special occasions improvising matinádes in 15-syllable verses.
Images by Barfbagger at English Wikipedia, Homo soveticus, Jasmine Halki, Thomas Münter