Skala Kallonis – Birdwatching, Sardine Festivals and Popular Seaside Resort
Skala Kallonis is a fishing village located 4 kilometers away from the town of Kalloni. Its expanse of beautiful countryside, the wealth of accommodation options available and the relaxed atmosphere pervading the village have transformed Skala Kallonis into a popular seaside resort.
Skala Kallonis benefits from a range of accommodation options. It is ideally-suited to a family holiday or to couples who wish to enjoy a truly relaxing stay.
Skala Kallonis boasts a long beach of volcanic sand and safe, warm waters – its position on the edge of the Bay of Kalloni means the coast is protected and offers ideal swimming conditions. Numerous umbrellas and recliners are available to hire and the shore is lined with numerous reasonably-priced restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a cool drink and seek retreatin the shade.
Seaweed is often present on the beach and the sea bed (so bringing a pair of rubber beach sandals might be advisable), however the sea water is clean and brimming with fish! For lovers of watersports, the Blue Flag beach is popular with windsurfers asthe area may become windy in morning or early evening.
Skala Kallonis is a significant fishing harbor that supplies the local and national markets with a variety of freshly caught fish. While Skala Kallonis is an exporter of scallops to the European market, it is broadly renowned for its sardines, which the locals call ‘papalina’. The fish are caught at a depth of up to 22 meters and the fishing season lasts from early July until October. The sardines caught in the area are fairly small – their size never exceeds 12.5 centimeters – and of high nutritional value. Uniquely flavored due to the high mineral content of the water in which they live, they may be sampled in one of the restaurants and tavernas lining the shore.
The tamarisk-dotted beach is surrounded by a plethora of restaurants and cafes where you might enjoy a cool drink and a meal. The many tavernas along the coast are popular with both permanent Lesvos residents and the many foreign visitors to the region, who come here to enjoy a dish of the freshly-caught sardines for which Skala Kallonis has become famous.
If you rise early enough and visit the harbor, you might chance upon the local fleet of fishing boats unloading the catch of the day – a splendid opportunity to purchase freshly caught fish. While here, keep an eye out for Odysseus, Skala’s one-legged Pelican. A mascot for the area, he can usually be spotted waiting for the fishermen to arrive at the port.
The three-day ‘Sardine Festival’ organized here in the first week of August attracts many visitors eager to enjoy a dish of sardines and a drink of cool ouzo, and revel in the traditional music and dance that accompany the festival.
Skala Kallonis is ideally located in the center of Lesvos, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the entire island. It has long been favored by birdwatchers, photographers and lovers of the natural world, who visit its wetlands, salt pans and woodlands to admire the wonderful natural landscape and catch a glimpse of the many species of birds present in the area.
Skala Kallonis is situated on a bird migratory path and is home to a variety of protected species. If you decide to stay in the village, you will have the opportunity to observe waders, ducks, different kinds of heronsandterns, Stilts, Little Bitterns, Spotted Redshanks and Water Rails, among numerous other species. The Salt Pans of Kalloni are a prime bird-watching spot: Storks, Greater Flamingos, many kinds of terns and gulls, European Bee-eaters, Red-footed Falcons and Tawny Pipits are a few of the birds to be discovered in the area.
A number of small, serene beaches are located just a short drive away from Skala Kallonis. All beaches in the bay are a breeding ground for many species of bird and are protected under the Natura 2000 project.