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Kimolos (Greek: Κίμωλος; Capital town: Chorio Kimolou, Port: Psathi, Area: 36 km², Highest point: Mount Paleokastro, 364 m) is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, belonging to the islands group of Cyclades, located on the SW tip of them, near the bigger island of Milos. It is considered as a middle class, rural island, not included in the tourist hotspots, thus, ferry connection is sometimes of bad quality. Kimolos is the administrative center of the municipality of Kimolos which includes the uninhabited islands of Polyaigos, Agios Efstathios and Agios Georgios (purchased by a local ship owner family). The municipality's land area is 53.251 km², and it reported a population of 769 inhabitants in the 2001 census.


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History

Kimolos is an island with rich history records. Its name comes from Kimolos, the very first resident of the island, according to the tradition. Echinousa is also a recorded name of the island, during the ancient times, probably because of the snake Echidna (viper), being common even today on the island. Since the ancient era, it was a battlefield between Ancient Athens, the ruler of the island, and Sparta, the ruler of Milos. In the Middle Ages it was known as Argentiera (Greek: Αρτζεντιέρα), because of the silver-colored rocky lands of its southern coast. Since those times, these rocky lands was a trade good in the seas (Kimolia Gi-Kimolian Earth), making the island a major trade hub. Along with the rest of Greece, it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, until 1829, when it was annexed by the Greek state along with the rest Cyclades.

3937 : Violin-shaped figurine

Residents

For more than 150 years, similarly with the rest of the Greek rural areas, it was a poor, agricultural island, until the early 1990s, where the first tourist development began, upgrading the living standard of its residents. Nevertheless, according to the last censuses, its population appears decreasing tensions, having left the island with no more than 600 residents (mostly pensioners) during the winter. The underage population is no more than 100, according to the school records. The most of the working population is involved with the elementary tourist industry of the island (hotels, restaurants) in combination with agriculture activities, mainly during winter.

Castle ruins on Kimolos (the island Milos in the backgorund), 2004, © I.M.F.J. Joukes

Local government

After the municipal/prefectural elections held in October 2006, the new mayor of the island for the period 2007-2010 is Theodoros-Gerasimos Maganiotis, who also publishes the only newspaper of the island, Kimoliaka Nea (Kimolian News). Kimolos has a local Police Department to keep the order. The Kimolos Port Authority is a department of Milos Coast Guard. Kimolos is part of the Milos peripheral unit.

Kimolos

Transportation

Internal:

On the island all vehicles are permitted, but during the summer months, the lack of parking space is the most important problem in populated areas, such as Horio Kimolou and Psathi. Common kinds of fuels are available at the local Fuels Station. There are also public means of transport, such as bus (ticket price: around euro 1)and taxi (price from euro 4 to euro 9 dependent on the route), programming routes to popular beaches.

External:

Kimolos belongs to the line of the Western Cyclades and it's connected to nearby islands and Piraeus Port (Athens) via ferry boat all-round year and catamaran ferry during the tourist season. Routes frequency varies with the year's season. During the tourist period, it usually has daily connection to Piraeus and other islands. The ticket price, without special offers, costs about euro 25, by ferry boat (Piraeus-Kimolos: 7h) and euro 36 by catamaran ferry (Piraeus-Kimolos: 4h). Also, transport via Milos is possible, because of the frequent connection of the two islands with local ferry boat. Finally, Kimolos is station for the local connections between Cyclades islands.

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