Kimolos is one of the quietest and in a way most magical islands where local color and tradition have not disappeared. Just a short walk from it’s the island’s little port of Psathi lies one of its most authentic neighborhoods, called Sirmata Goupa. Sirmata is the plural of Sirma, a word used on the island for a cave dug out near the sea to protect fishing boats from the windy days of winter. In an ingenious move, one of Greece’s exclusive hospitality groups that takes pride in preserving heritage and history, Aria Hotels, took over a disused cave and turned it into a gorgeously chic eco-friendly place to stay, literally a few feet away from the beach.
Rare authenticity that welcomes you
The Elephant House has a feel of a sophisticated boutique hotel suite yet is a great example of upcycling unused spaces that protect and showcase the local way of life. You might see fishermen go about their business at this little cove, walk around one of the most well-preserved islands with its handful of restaurants that serve delicious home-cooked fare in true slow-food fashion, tiny alleyways with whitewashed houses and even a couple of small museums. You must go to the archeological museum so you can marvel at how even the most remote of islands has a rich ancient past, while the nearby folklore museum lends insight into the island’s more recent epoch. An old medieval castle, a majestic stone bridge, hidden thermal baths with curative properties and historic churches will also enchant visitors.
Eco-friendly and outdoor experiences
If you like the wilderness of Mediterranean islands, you’ll love exploring all seven hiking paths and numerous beaches, along with strange rock formations and a rich mineral-filled landscape. Make sure you ask your hosts if you need any guide or directions. You can even access the uninhabited nearby island of Polyaigos by boat. For a more comprehensive range of outdoor activities, hope on the short very ride to Pollonia in Milos, right across from Kimolos, and stroll to the offices of tour company Travel Me to Milos to arrange a sailing, catamaran or geotour excursion.
At first glance, the green philosophy of the Elephant House comes through engagingly in its eco-friendly amenities, from flax slippers and bamboo straws to the prized Greek toiletries by Apivita. Behind the scenes, energy-efficient lighting and water-saving principles are working to reduce guests’ carbon footprint, while a ceiling fan offers a welcome alternative to the air-conditioning, even if there is one already installed (these cave-like dwellings tend to stay cool all year round). Electricity from renewable energy sources is also being considered. In addition, three-bin recycling outside the little property is useful not only to guests but also all visitors to this little port and beach (Elephant House works with the Kimolos municipality to ensure refuse is properly recycled).
Even more important green practices have emerged through the engagement of parent company Aria Hotels with the local environmental volunteer group, Kimolistes, in the form of funding and participation in beach cleaning activities among others. The hotel group’s staff are actively involved in environmental actions! Aria also supports the Sea Change initiative that involves oversees coastal and underwater cleanups, environmental education programs and awareness raising activities regarding environmental protection. We commend the Elephant House and its parent company on these initiatives!