Overview of Karpathos
Karpathos is the best kept secret of the Dodecanese island complex. Situated at a remote position between Rhodes and Crete, it never surrendered to mass tourist development, managing to preserve its traditions intact, perhaps better than other Greek islands. Karpathos is a wild beauty: it features some of the most fascinating diverse landscapes (mountainous and rugged areas, but also lush pine tree forests and gorgeous beaches with exotic looks).
If you are looking for a peaceful destination that offers discrete touristic infrastructure and a sense of privacy, where you can also indulge yourself in a compelling local culture (the island’s trademark), Karpathos is the place to be. The capital and port of Pigadia (also known as Karpathos) is probably the sole modernized settlement on the island: It features many amenities, nightlife and dining options, as well as residencies and public premises built by numerous US Greek expatriates. As for all the rest, exploring the picturesque villages of Karpathos truly feels like travelling back in time.
The well-known village of Olymbos is maybe the most striking example of that, followed by the inland settlements of Menetes, Aperi, Avlonas and Othos (the highest on the island, with a Folklore Museum). The coastal resorts of Diafani (the island’s second port), Finiki (famous for its fresh fish taverns) and Lefkos, also remain devoted to tradition in every way: From the local architecture and music to the customs, feasts and hospitable people. Karpathos, one of the most unspoiled Greek islands, seems to be frozen in time: It reflects a rare image of yesterday’s Greece, nostalgic and innocent.
Photo gallery of Karpathos
Things to see & do
: One of the most spectacular beaches in the Greek islands and the most famous on Karpathos. White sand, exotic azure waters in a scenic cove surrounded by pine trees – in other words, a slice of paradise. The best way to reach it is by regular boats from Pigadia. 10.0 : This quiet, lovely sandy cove will impress you with its clean, emerald waters. It offers a few sunbathing facilities and a tavern and it is located close to the village of Aperi. 9.0 : The coastal settlement of the same name features three sandy coves with crystalline waters, surrounded by pine trees. You can choose between Giallou Chorafi (fully organized and crowded), Panagias Limani (quiet and small) and Frangolimnionas (long, organized and very scenic). 9.0 : A beach with exotic looks (white sand and aquamarine waters), not organized, set in a wonderful landscape. You have to follow a dirt road in order to reach it. 9.0 : Windsurfers’ favorite, this beautiful sandy beach features the basic amenities and taverns with fresh fish. It is located at the touristic resort of Arkassa. Other beaches ideal for windsurfing on the island include Nikolaki I Pounta, Valias and Makrys Gialos. 8.0 : Successive beautiful coves situated at the touristic resort of the same name. Megali (big) Amoopi or Votsalakia is pebbly and very popular, with shallow waters and many facilities. Mikri (small) Amoopi is sandy with crystalline waters, partly organized. Other swimming options in the area include the beaches of Pera Ammos and Kastelia. 8.0 : Secluded, with a fascinating rocky landscape that resembles caves, this sandy beach is perfect for relaxation. Other secluded, non organized options on the island include the beaches of Psoraris, Damatria and Pouliou Potami. 8.0
: Olymbos, Greek cuisine. 9.0 : Diafani, Greek and Italian cuisine. 9.0 : Amoopi, Greek, Italian, Mediterranean cuisine. 9.0 : Pigadia, Greek cuisine. 8.0 : Lefkos, Greek cuisine. 8.0
: An open folklore museum and one of the top attractions among the Greek islands. Olymbos is a unique, picturesque village that embodies the grandeur of Karpathian traditions, combined with the region’s many natural beauties and great architecture (such as the landmark series of scenic windmills and churches). Many of the village’s inhabitants (mostly women) still wear their traditional costumes and speak a Doric originated dialect. Note also that the feast of the 15th August is a major highlight here. 10.0 : The small, uninhabited satellite island of Karpathos is 100% pristine. It features important archaeological findings, beautiful beaches, while it is also a shelter for numerous rare bird species, as well as the Mediterranean monk seal. Together with the northern part of Karpathos, they are an ecological protected area. 9.0 : The beautiful, mountainous former capital of Karpathos is built among lush vegetation and it’s worth visiting for its architecture (whitewashed houses and traditional elegant mansions, also built by the Karpathian immigrants to the US). In the area you can also do some ancient sightseeing and of course visit the marvelous beaches of Apella, Achata and the famous Kyra Panagia. 9.0 : Karpathos’ neighboring island is going to charm you with its traditional, unspoiled character. 9.0 : Situated at the coastal village of Arkassa, this hill is occupied by the remains of the ancient city of Arkessia, the relics of the 5th c basilica of Agia Anastasia and the ruins of the 14th c BC Mycenaenan acropolis with cyclopean walls. 8.0 : Makarounes (type of handmade pasta), kolokythopoulia (zucchini flowers), skaros fish, kopeles (herb pies), tourtes or mizithropites (pies filled with local cheese sitaka or mizithra) and the Karpathian baklavas (type of sweet). 7.0 : Karpathos is ideal for hiking, 4x4 routes and diving (mostly in the regions of Kastellia, Agios Petros, Achata and Diakoftis, where a well-known Italian shipwreck lays at the sea bottom). Windsurfing is also very popular (the Speed Windsurfing World Championship takes place in the area of Afiarti).
7.0 : At the area of Pigadia you can see the ruins of the ancient city of Posidion, the early Christian basilica of Agia Sofia and the cave of Poseidon (a former ancient religious centre). Near the village of Lefkos, lay the remains of an ancient city, with acropolis, roman cistern and churches. 7.0
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