It is located on the eastern side of Halki and charms visitors with the traditional architecture, the lovely waterfront and the paved paths. The island used to have another village, Chorio, but is was gradually abandoned in the 19th century and its inhabitants moved to Nimporio.
Beaches are clean and beautiful. Most organized beaches are located close to Nimporio and they can be easily accessed on foot or by bus. Some other beaches, away from Nimporio, are totally secluded and unorganized. There visitors can enjoy all the privacy they need. Particularly interesting is also the Medieval Castle, in the centre of the island, but climbing up is quite tricky.
The history of Halki is shadowed by the rest of Dodecanese islands, especially Rhodes. Halki island has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and its name derives from the word "halki", which means purple. It is refered in the historical writings of Thucydides and Strabo. According to the Greek mythology, Titans were the first settlers followed by the Pelasgians who spent many years on this island leaving several constructions. Then there are traces of Caraes and Phoenicians.
In the ancient years, Halki appears as an ally of the Athenians which means that it was completely autonomous at that time. The centuries that follow, Halki shares the prime and decline of Rhodes. In the 7th century, it is conquered by the Arabs until 825. In 1204, the Venetians and Genovese arrive in Halki and restore the ancient acropolis, while building a fortress on top of Alimia islet.
During the 14th century, the Venetians give the island to the Assanti family from Ischia, who built a castleunder the ruins of ancient acropolis. Among the several blazonries, the only one that survives is the one of the Great Master D Aubusson (1476-1530), who renovated the fortress after the catastrophic invasion from the Venetians. The entire population gathered at the castle in case of constant invasions.
In 1523, Halki is conquered by the Turks and in 1821 the island takes part in the Greek Revolution. Finally, in 1912, Halki and the rest of Dodecanese islands are under the Italian rule. Together with Simi, Kalymnos and Kastelorizo, they became important trading centers specializing in sponge fishing.
Museums - Archeological
There are no museums or collections exhibited on the island of Halki Dodecanese. However, if you are interested in history, you can visit the Medieval Castle in Chorio, the abandoned village Halki, situated in the centre of the island.
The Medieval Castle was built in the 14th century by the Knights of Saint John and protected a lot the inhabitants, mostly from the attacks of pirates, who were plundering the Aegean from the ancient times till the middle 19th century. The Castle of Chorio has strong and tall walls and stands on an impressive position, right on a top of a rocky hill and from there you can see the whole island.
Another historical site to see on Halki is the Burnt Cave, on the north eastern side of the island, where you can go with excursions boat. The Burnt Cave stands on the slopes of an abrupt rock and was the site of a terrible act of war in the middle 17th century. In 1658, the Venetian admiral Morozini set the cave on fire to kill all the inhabitants of Halki that had been hidden there. This way, Morozini took his revenge because the inhabitants of Halki had informed the people of Rhodes about his attack and Morozini hadn't managed to conquer Rhodes.
Potamos, Ftenagia, Kania, Trachea, Yali
Religious Monasteries and Churches
Nimborio, the only inhabited settlement of Halki, is dotted with numerous Byzantine churches and chapels which lie hidden in the paved alleys. The church of Agios Nikolaos is the pride of the island with the highest bell tower in the Dodecanese and beautiful frescoes on the inside.
In the deserted village of Chorio, right below Kastro stands proudly the church of Panagia dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is a nice attraction for the visitors.
West of Halki and 7 km from the capital lies the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Alarka, the most famous pilgrimage site of the island. It is located at the center of a fertile valley and it is considered as the saint protector of the sponge divers of the island. Every year, on August 23rd a great festival takes place at the courtyard of the monastery filled with hundreds of pilgrims.