Halki: Small, quirky, yet totally enchanting
Everyone's first glimpse of Halki is
from the water. At only 10km by 3km, and with a local population of fewer than
300 people, it's not the sort of place where you'd expect to find an airport.
But your arrival becomes part of the whole fairy tale, as the shuttle boat from
Rhodes draws nearer to its destination and the
contours of the island start to emerge through a haze of silvery heat.
Three windmills appear first, high on the hillside overlooking the harbour. Beyond them, higher still and in the hinterland of the island, are the ruins of a Crusader castle. And then the waterfront itself starts to take shape – an amphitheater of colorful Venetian mansions and simpler, traditional island homes, ranked in tiers around a perfect horseshoe harbour.
The harbour town of Emborio, where you land, is the island's only settlement – as sleepy and pretty as a model village. And with only one road and almost no traffic, the pace of life is as gentle as you might imagine.
For the most part of the island is
rocky, but there are some temptingly quite beaches to escape. Keep your eyes
peeled! There are 14 types of butterflies, over 40 kinds of birds, fields of
oregano, countless bee boxes and around 6000 goats!
The best time to visit Halki is in spring to watch the island while it is blanketed in wildflowers.