Apr 24, 2014
just left today.
2 pieces of advice.
go with a group. I went solo hoping it would be a social atmosphere and meeting partners would be easy... it isn't. Furthermore, since there isn't much of a social scene you'll want your group around so you can have fun at night. I'm comparing this to my experience in Tonsai(thailand) and Hang dog(new zealand) where most of the climbers are also backpackers so meeting people is almost forced upon you; most of the climbers in Kalymnos are coming as groups or as a couple.
go there a bit before the season starts. some of the good crags get really crowded and you end up waiting for climbs and it gets loud. I spent my last day at Afternoon; an awesome wall with tons of great climbs... unfortunately it's easy to get to so there were a ton of people and a huge group making a ton of noise... made it hard to think while climbing and hear my climber while I was belaying. I think your dates line up with the climbing festival which would be really cool to be there for, but from what I have heard, there are a ton of people that come for that and you wont get as much climbing in(think about coming earlier and ending your trip with the festival maybe). Definitely get a scooter so you can avoid the crowds by going far away if you can't change your dates.
Now that I've outlined the negatives... the climbing is fucking awesome, and there is so much of it. if you're a 6a-6c climber check out Symplegades, I loved that crag and it's two faced so you can pick whether you want to climb in the shade or in the sun.
just realized you have specific questions...
1. skyscanner.com is awesome, just pick your flight and choose the whole month, it'll show you the cheapest fares for that month. I've been backpacking for the last 8 months and haven't used an agency once, the sites are great.
2. You're going to want to fly into Kos(if you can't find an affordable option to fly into Kalymnos itself), then from Kos you take a bus to mastichiari, from mastichiari you take a ferry to Pothia in Kalymnos, from there you take a bus to Massouri(or wherever you're staying)... this sounds complicated but it's really easy and you can ask the locals for help. That whole ordeal will cost you 10 euros(2 for each bus and 6 for the ferry). PS: flights to Kos might not be all that cheap during the time you're going since Kos flights usually only get cheap during tourist seasons which happens to be in spring/summer
3. the guidebook is awesome, great day planner at the front. I found the grades to be pretty on point. Only thing you really need to be aware of is that the book hasn't been updated since 2010 but you can find an updated list of routes and crags here, climbkalymnos.com/wp-content/downloads/CK_2013_Sep_NewRouteL>>>
another edit... You're going to be a days travel away from Olympos, turkey and Geyikbeyiri, Turkey which both have great climbing supposedly. You might be able to line up your trip so that you can join the petzl roctrip at either of those! www.petzl-roctrip.com/en