Karpathos

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The Island of Tradition and Hospitality

Wild Sceneries and Rich Culture and Heritage Blessed from the Olympian Gods
It is believed that the first inhabitants of this island loved it so much that travelled to Mount Olympus in order to kidnap the Olympian Gods, and brought them to live with them to the highest mountain of Karpathos, and named it Olympus after them. Are you wondering what could possibly make them do that? Karpathos has an undeniable personality with dramatic contrasts of indescribable beauty. The impressive purity of Karpathos combined with its mysterious beauty and the diversity of landscapes hides secret beauties that will take your breath away. The crystalline waters of Kyra Panagia, the narrow cobblestone alleys of Olympus, the views of the endless blue from Pyles, the traditions of the faithful local people, the pristine paradise of Saria, the imposing mansions of Valandou, the verdant seashores of the western coastline are just a glimpse of Karpathos! An elegant microcosm is opening in front of your eyes swinging between the past and the future.The breathtaking sceneries of the island, immersed in culture and heritage, will make you find your own promised land and make you bring your own gods to live on the blessed island of Karpathos. The mysteries are waiting for you to be unveiled; will you be tempted?

Discover Karpathos

Best of Karpathos

The Capital of Karpathos

The Town of Pigadia is the capital and harbour of Karpathos is located on the east side of the island. The charming settlement is built with the traditional architecture around the natural harbour. Pigadia is he administrative and commercial center of Karpathos. It is worth visiting the remnants of the ancient acropolis of Karpathos on the left side of the entrance of the harbour. Pigadia can serve as a great base for trips to the southern and central part of the island.

The Acropolis of Vrikouda

The Acropolis of Vrikouda was one of the ancient cities of Karpathos located in the village of Vrikous. The remnants of the ancient city extend into an elongated cape at the end of which lies the cavernous church of Agios Ioannis. The most important monuments of the citadel include the monumental carved tombs decorated with embossed arches and the inner sanctuary of the church. One of the biggest traditional festivals of Karpathos is held here on August 28 and 29.

The Beach of Apella

The Beach of Apella is one of the most beautiful beaches of Karpathos. It is a white sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the east side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity. The easiest way to access the beach is by boat.

The Festivals of Karpathos

The Festivals of Karpathos were always one of the traditional forms of entertainment and religious worship for the inhabitants of the island. Karpathos has managed to maintain its traditions and customs as reflected from the numerous feasts, festivals and celebrations that are held on a monthly basis. The festivals of Serifos are one of the things you should not miss if you visit the island that are accompanied from traditional music, food and wine. If you want to experience the authentic festivities of the island visit the local celebrations of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in the villages of Aperi, Menetes, Olymbos and Pyles on August 15.

The Island of Saria

The Island of Saria is an island of unparalleled beauty located on the northern side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Saria used to be inhabited as seen from the traces of the ancient town of Nisyros and the medieval settlement of Argos. Saria offers spectacular sceneries for lovers of explorations in nature. Saria has been declared as an Important Area for Bird Species from the European Network of Natura 2000. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Pigadia.

The Village of Olymbos

The Village of Olymbos is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. Characterized as one of the most traditional settlements of Greece, the charming village is a unique sample of traditional architecture. Beautiful churches and cobblestone windmills are humbling with the traditional houses and narrow alleys on the ridge of the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias. Olymbos is definitely a place of exceptional beauty that has managed to preserve its authentic character.  As you walk through the picturesque alleys of the village, you will hear music from bagpipes, lyre and lute and people dressed in traditional costumes and you might feel like you stepped back in medieval times. The village is well known for the art of woodcarving.

Windsurfing in Karpathos

Karpathos is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as it is considered one of the windiest islands in the Mediterranean. During the summer months, the island is spoiled from the northern winds while it offers strong wind conditions between Apirl and October. In the area of Afiartis, the Meltemi is extremely accelerated ranging from seven to nine beau forts.

Archaeological Sites

The Acropolis of Ancient Karpathos was one of the ancient cities of Karpathos located on the west side of the harbour of Pigadia. The ancient settlement of Potideo was the first capital of Karpathos that was first inhabited from Minoans during the Bronze Age. However, it was abandoned after 1.200 BC due to pirate invasions. Here, one can admire the traces of the ancient citadel with panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

The Acropolis of Arkasa was one of the ancient cities of Karpathos located in the village of Arkasa. In the area of Paleokastro, a series of archaeological findings are displayed including traces of stone houses, columns, water cisterns, medieval buildings and Mycenaean walls. Findings from the excavations are exhibited in the archaeological museum of Arkasa.

The Acropolis of Vrikouda was one of the ancient cities of Karpathos located in the village of Vrikous. The remnants of the ancient city extend into an elongated cape at the end of which lies the cavernous church of Agios Ioannis. The most important monuments of the citadel include the monumental carved tombs decorated with embossed arches and the inner sanctuary of the church. One of the biggest traditional festivals of Karpathos is held here on August 28 and 29.

The Isle of Sokastro was an ancient settlement of Karpathos located opposite the harbour of Lefkos on the western side of the island. Sokastro used to be a peninsula of Karpathos but a massive earthquake detached it in ancient times. Here, one can admire traces of medieval settlements and relics from byzantine fortifications. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Lefkos to the isle of Sokastro.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agia Kyriaki is a whitewashed church with a beautiful red dome located on the southeast side from the village of Pigadia. The church is built on a rocky promontory offering panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

The Church of Agios Mammas is a whitewashed church located in the village of Menites. It is an impressive church distinguished for its traditional architecture and beautiful frescoes.

The Church of Agios Onoufrios is a beautiful church located on the top of the hill behind the village Olymbos. The church distinguishes for its panoramic views over the surrounding areas.

The Church of Dormition of Virgin Mary is the most important religious monument of Karpathos located in the village of Menetes. The church was built in the 19th century. Due to the spectacular location of the church, one can admire panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15.

The Church of Dormition of Virgin Mary is a beautiful church located in the village of Olymbos. It is an imposing church decorated with gold plated walls with astonishing biblical scenes painted from artists of the island. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15.

The Church of Hypapante is a whitewashed church located in the village of Arkasa. It was built during the 19th century. The church distinguishes for its impressive bell tower with the six bells.

The Church of Kyra Panagia is a whitewashed church with a beautiful red dome located above the homonymous beach in the village of Aperi. It is one of the most photographed churches of Karpathos. Here, one can admire panoramic views over the surrounding areas.

Monuments

The Building of the Province of Karpathos and Kasos and the Building of the Port Authority and Customs are located in the village of Pigadia. The buildings are legacy of the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese Islands.

The Eparcheion is an exceptional sample of traditional architecture located in the village of Pigadia. Inside the building, there is an informational centre for the Mediterranean monk seals Monachus – Monachus.

The Monument of Women is a sculpture of an old woman dressed in traditional clothing located in the village of Olymbos.  The sculpture is a tribute to the migrants of Karpathos and the contribution of the women of Olymbos to the preservation of traditions and culture.

The Windmills of Olymbos are the landmarks of Karpathos located above the village of Olymbos. In the old days, the windmills operated by wind as the islands of Greece are renowned for their gusty winds. Although the windmills are no longer operational, they continue to be a symbol of the long history of the island.

Museums

The Agricultural Museum of Pyles is an open-air museum located in the village of Pyles. The exhibition of the museum consists of stone stables, a windmill, a threshing floor and a winepress along with farm machinery and tools. The Agricultural Museum composes the the presentation of rural life of Karpathos.

The Archaeological Museum of Karpathos is located in the village of Pigadia. The museum exhibits important objects found in the archaeological sites of Karpathos. These include bronze bracelets, stone seals, vases, utensils, burial urns, mosaics and gold coins. The most important exhibit is the tomb from the archaeological site of Arkasa.

The Folklore Museum of Othos is located in the village of Othos. The museum is a representation of the traditional house of Karpathos that exhibits furniture and items of everyday use. There is also a remarkable collection in the folklore museum of the village of Menetes.

Natural Beauties

The Island of Saria is an island of unparalleled beauty located on the northern side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Saria used to be inhabited as seen from the traces of the ancient town of Nisyros and the medieval settlement of Argos. Saria offers spectacular sceneries for lovers of explorations in nature. Saria has been declared as an Important Area for Bird Species from the European Network of Natura 2000. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Pigadia.

The Island of Sokastro is a small islet located on the western side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Sokastro used to be inhabited as seen from the remnants of the medieval settlement and the relics of the byzantine fortifications. Sokastro has spectacular landscapes ideal for those looking for explorations in nature. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Lefkos.

Promenades & Villages

Arkasa is a seaside village located on the southwest side of the island. The charming settlement has managed to preserve its authentic traditional colour with the beautiful houses, the charming churches and the cobblestone alleys. Arkasa distinguishes for the extensive pedestrianization of the center of the settlement.  It is worth visiting the archaeological site of Arkasa with traces of the ancient citadel on the hill of Paleokastro. Hiking and trekking lovers can follow the numerous trails of the surrounding area of the village, blessed from sceneries of virgin beauty.

Aperi is mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Hidden in the mountain slopes of Hamali, the charming settlement is the cultural center of Karpathos. Characterised as one of the finest samples of traditional architecture, Aperi has an authentic character with traditional houses and cobblestone alleys. It is worth visiting the traces of the castle on the hill above the village. Other sights include the beaches of Ahata, Apella and Kyra Panagia. During the summer, numerous traditional festivals are held in Aperi.

Diafani is the charming harbour of the village of Olymbos located on the northwest side of the island. The fishing settlement impresses with its imposing landscapes and well-preserved old mansions. Diafani is an ideal destination for those looking for relaxation and tranquillity. It is worth noting that the village is renowned for its fish taverns! One can also visit the island of Saria through a short boat trip from Diafani.

Finiki is a seaside village located on the southwest side of the island. The charming settlement is renowned for its fish taverns and their local delicacies. The traditional boats of the picturesque harbour adorn the entire settlement. One can also visit the chapel of Agios Nikolaos for the panoramic views of the surrounding areas. It is also recommended to visit the island of Kasos. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Finiki to the island of Kasos.
Lefkos is a seaside village located on the central part of the island. The charming settlement spreads in a verdant location just off the village of Mesohori. Lefkos is renowned for its outstanding wild beauty.

Menetes is a mountainous village located on the south side of the island. The beautiful settlement has a traditional atmosphere with whitewashed houses, flowery courtyards and cobblestone alleys. Hidden between the imposing cliffs and the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias, Menetes is renowned for its medieval architecture. It, actually, has been characterized as one of the most beautiful villages of Karpathos. The church of the Assumption of the Virgin is the main monument of Menetes that stands out at the edge of the settlement. The verdant forests and the imposing cliffs complete the beautiful scenery of Menetes.

Mesohori is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Characterized as one of the most romantic villages of Karpathos, the charming settlement is a fine sample fo the traditional architecture of Karpathos. The square of Skopi is considered to be one of the most charming beautiful of the Dodecanese. Mesohori is renowned for its breathtaking views to the Aegean, especially during the sunset, as well as for the traditional festivals held every summer.  One can also visit the beaches of Frangolimnionas and Perdika.

Olymbos is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. Characterized as one of the most traditional settlements of Greece, the charming village is a unique sample of traditional architecture. Beautiful churches and cobblestone windmills are humbling with the traditional houses and narrow alleys on the ridge of the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias. Olymbos is definitely a place of exceptional beauty that has managed to preserve its authentic character.  As you walk through the picturesque alleys of the village, you will hear music from bagpipes, lyre and lute and people dressed in traditional costumes and you might feel like you stepped back in medieval times. The village is well known for the art of woodcarving.

Othos is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. Lying at an altitude of 500 meters, the highest village of Karpathos offers panoramic views to the Aegean. The village has a beautiful atmosphere with charming sceneries and verdant forests. Othos is renowned for its sweet red wine and its traditional festivals. The most celebrated festival is held in honour of Agios Panteleimonas on the last days of July.

Pigadia is the capital and harbour of Karpathos is located on the east side of the island. The charming settlement is built with the traditional architecture around the natural harbour. Pigadia is he administrative and commercial center of Karpathos. It is worth visiting the remnants of the ancient acropolis of Karpathos on the left side of the entrance of the harbour. Pigadia can serve as a great base for trips to the southern and central part of the island.

Pyles is one of the smallest villages of the island located on the south side of the island. The village is ideal for those looking for tranquillity and seclusion.  The surrounding area of Pyles is verdant from olive trees and wild nature. One should definitely pay a visit to the agricultural museum of Pyles that represents the traditional house of Karpathos. The sunset from Pyles should not be missed, as the view of the surrounding isles in the astonishing colours of the sunset is a great spectacle.

Volada is a mountainous village located on the central part of the island. The charming settlement has a traditional character with whitewashed houses, bougainvillea flowers and labyrinthine alleys. Lovers of hiking and trekking can follow the routes to the surrounding areas. As a starting point of Volada, you can visit Kali Limni (1.215m), the highest mountain of Karpathos passing through the plateau of Lastos.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Acropolis of Arkasa, Southwest Karpathos

Spot: Chapel of Prophet Elias, Northwest Karpathos

Spot: Village of Mesohori, Central Karpathos

Spot: Village of Pyles, South Karpathos

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Sokastro is a small islet located on the western side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Sokastro used to be inhabited as seen from the remnants of the medieval settlement and the relics of the byzantine fortifications. Sokastro has spectacular landscapes ideal for those looking for explorations in nature. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Lefkos.

Boat Trip: The Island of Saria is an island of unparalleled beauty located on the northern side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Saria used to be inhabited as seen from the traces of the ancient town of Nisyros and the medieval settlement of Argos. Saria offers spectacular sceneries for lovers of explorations in nature. Saria has been declared as an Important Area for Bird Species from the European Network of Natura 2000. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Pigadia.

Boat Trip: The Island of Kasos is a tiny island located off the coast of Karpathos. Na s’evro is the key expression in Kasos. If you use it wisely, you can open any door in Kasos. So, dare to open the mysterious door of Kasos and you will be magnetized from the gates of this paradise. Kasos is a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Aegean waiting for you to discover it. Resembling to have emerged from the foams of the sea, Kasos is a true getaway escape. Impressive captain mansions with neoclassical and traditional architectural elements, charming whitewashed chapels with imposing bells combined with wild natural sceneries, rocky landscapes and lacy seashores create the imposing scenery of a beautiful canvas. Whatever Kasos might lack in size, it replenishes in landscapes and colours; besides they say less is more. Meet the Kasians and celebrate with them in their traditional feasts and festivals under the rhymes of lute and lyre, swim in the crystalline waters of the isle of Armathia, enjoy your ouzo and meze at the once pirate harbour of Bouka and admire the sunset from the church of Agia Marina! The authentic lifestyle of Kasos is definitely something that stands out! Will you dare to flirt with this true experience?

Activities

Bird Watching: Karpathos along with the island of Saria constitutes the most important islands from an environmental viewpoint owing to their rich natural habitats and rare animal species. Two areas of the island have been declared as very important regions for migratody bird species under the European Network of Natura 2000.

Diving: The varied coastline of Karpathos offers numerous exciting explorations for diving enthusiasts.  The reef of Kastelia and Fokia, the cave of the pirates in Ahata and the shipwreck in Diakoftis are some of the most interesting diving spots. One will find a diving center at the city of Pigadia.

Driving: The countryside of Karpathos is an ideal place for driving explorations. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the village of Spoa and leads to the city of Pigadia. The route offers panoramic views of the eastern seashore of the island. (2) Another beautiful route is the one that leads to the village of Menetes and Olymbos. The route passes through sceneries of wild beauty.

Hiking: Karpathos hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the one that starts from the city of Pigadia and leads to the village of Aperi. The route is very beautiful evolving to a mountainous terrain with canyons and ravines. (2) Another interesting trail includes the one that starts from the village of Spoa and leads to the village of Olymbos. The wonderful trail involves huge height differences and incredible sceneries surrounded from scattered knoll, sedimentary rocks and pine trees. (3) It is also worth following that starts from the area of Avlona and leads to the archaeological site of Vrikouda. (4) Another beautiful route starts from the village of Olymbos and leads to the chapel of Prophet Elias. There, one will have the opportunity to admire panoramic views over the Karpathian Sea. (5) The cobblestone trail that starts from the church of Agia Sofia and leads to the archaeological site of Arkasa is also quite interesting. (6) However, one of the most intriguing routes starts from the area of Avlona and leads to the area of Tristomo passing through Pano and Kato Itsila. Discover more information from the Association of Friends of Nature of Karpathos.

Off Road: Lovers of off road driving can follow the dirt roads leading to the mountains of Karpathos in order to explore the mysterious beauties of the island. One of the most beautiful routes is the dirt road that starts from the village of Pigadia and leads to the village of Volada. Make sure you always check the maps of the destination before you get into your car!

Windsurfing: Karpathos is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as it is considered one of the windiest islands in the Mediterranean. During the summer months, the island is spoiled from the northern winds while it offers strong wind conditions between Apirl and October. In the area of Afiartis, the Meltemi is extremely accelerated ranging from seven to nine beau forts.

Beaches

Apella is a white sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the east side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity. The easiest way to access the beach is by boat.

Afoti is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located close to the town of Pigadia. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, taverns and beach bars.

Agios Minas is a pebbled beach with turquoise waters and rocky formations located on the northeast side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for total privacy. The easiest way to access the beach is by boat.

Agios Nikolaos is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the northeast side of the island. The beach is ideal for diving and spearfishing. There are fish taverns at the beach.

Arkasa is a long sandy bay with turquoise waters located on the southwest side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas.

Agrilopotamos is a white sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity and seclusion. The beach offers panoramic views to the island of Kasos. Agrilopotamos is also ideal for windsurfing lovers. As for facilities, there is a canteen at the beach.

Ahata is a secluded white sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the east side of the island. It is an idyllic cove with beautiful sceneries. There is a tavern at the beach.
Damatria is a sandy beach with emerald waters and rocky formations located on the southeast side of the island. The beach has exotic sceneries ideal for nature lovers.

Diakoftis is a sandy beach with emerald waters and unique rocky formations located on the south side of the island. It is a secluded beach with majestic landscapes and exotic sceneries.

Forokli is a long pebbled beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for tranquillity.

Kyra Panagia is a white sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the east side of the island. The beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the country offering an incredible swimming experience. It is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and a fish tavern.

Pera Ammos is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located close to the town of Pigadia. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, taverns and restaurants.

Psoraris is a long golden sandy beach with emerald waters located on the south side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for solitude.

Valias is a long pebbled beach with turquoise waters located close to the town of Pigadia. The biggest part of the beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and taverns. The beach is ideal for windsurfing lovers

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Ble Kipos: Coffee, Olymbos

Café Karpathos: Coffee, Pigadia

Kafenio tou Ledaki: Coffee, Olymbos

Kelaria Restaurant & Cafe Bar: Coffee and Snacks, Kyra Panagia

Le Grand Blue: Pastries, Lefkos

Gastronomic Delights

Acropolis: Greek Cuisine, Pigadia

Agios Theodoros: Greek Cuisine, Arkasa

Ble Kipos: Greek Cuisine, Olymbos

Calypso: Greek Cuisine, Amoopi

Corali: Greek Cuisine, Diafani

Dimitrios Fisherman: Seafood, Finiki

Dolphin: Seafood, Finiki

Dramuntana: Greek Cuisine, Lefkos

Evdoxia: Greek Cuisine, Amoopi

Esperida: Greek Cuisine, Amoopi

Folia: Greek Cuisine, Spoa

Glaros: Greek Cuisine, Arkasa

La Gorgona: Italian Cuisine, Diafani

Milos: Greek Cuisine, Olymbos

Orea Karpathos: Greek Cuisine, Pigadia

Perdika: Greek Cuisine, Menetes

Poseidon: Greek Cuisine, Afiartis

Small Paradise: Greek Cuisine, Lefko

To Perasma: Greek Cuisine, Pigadia

Votsalo: Greek Cuisine, Agios Nikolaos Beach

Cocktails Inspirations

Acropolis: Cocktails and Drinks, Pigadia

En Plo: Cocktails and Drinks, Pigadia

Island: Cocktails and Drinks, Pigadia

Skala Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Amoopi

Stema Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Arkassa

Local Products & Specialties

Taste the local products of fish, grapes, oil, honey and wine. The island is also known for the sweet red wine produced in Othos.

Taste the local specialties of makarounes, a type of homemade pasta, kolokithopoulis, a dish with zucchini flowers, skaros, a baked fish,  ofto, stuffed lamb with rice, chicken livers and herbs, tourta, a mizithra cheese pie with sesame, kopeles, a herd pie, gra, a vegetable pie baked in the oven, mizithropites, a type of pie with local cheeses, sisameli, a dessert made from honey and sesame, and baklava, the famous dessert.

Events & Festivals

Every summer, the International Windsurfing Competition takes place in Karpathos.

Every August, the Wine Festival of Karpathos takes place in the plateau of Lastos. The feast is followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

Every summer, the Tsambouna Festival takes place in the villages of Olymbos and Pigadia. Tsambouna is the traditional music instrument of Kalymnos, else known as bagpipe. The feast is followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

Every 15th of August, the celebration in honour of the Assumption of Virgin Mary takes place in the villages of Aperi, Menetes, Olympos and Pyles. The feasts are followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

Every 26th of August, the celebration in honour of Agios Panteleimonas takes place in the village of Othos hosting traditional and cultural customs. The feast is followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

Every 29th of August, the celebration in honour of Agios Ioannis takes place in the ancient site of Vrikouda. The feast is followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

Every 7th of September, the celebration in honour of Panagia Larniatissa takes place in the church of Panagia Larniotissa in the village of Pigadia. The feast is followed from traditional music and local delicacies.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to a legend, the first inhabitants of the island loved the gods so much that they travelled to the Mountain of Olympus and kidnapped them. They brought them to live with them at the highest mountain of Karpathos, which was named Olympus after them. For this reason, they were called Arpatheoi deriving from the word arpazo (scrounge) and theoi (gods).

History

In antiquity, the island used to be also called Tetrapolis,(four cities) owing to the fact that it had four fortified cities which were Arkesia (Arkasa village), Vrikous(Ancient Vrikouda), Nisyros (Saria Island) and Posidion (Pigadia village). Archaeological findings show that the island was first inhabited from the Minoans during the Neolithic era . Karpathos had important connections with Minoan Crete, as excavations have showed settlements with Minoan characters, which led to the great development of the island. Thereafter, the Mycenaean conquered Karpathos as evidenced from a wide collection of Mycenaean pottery objects followed by the Dorians who brought great wealth and development.  In 478 BC, Karpathos participated in the Athenian Alliance, which was then conceded to the Spartans after the Athenian defeat. Karpathos became more part of the Athenian Alliance and became independent during the Hellenistic period. However, the island suffered from various invasions, as it was conquered from the Romans, followed by the Arabs, the Saracens, the Mauritanians, the Genovese, the Venetians and the Ottomans. During the Greek Revolution, Karpathos took part and offered the land of the island for refugees while it aided to the repair the Greek ships and gave money for the supply of the revolutionary crowds. Afterwards, Karpathos followed the history of the Dodecanese falling under the dominance of the Germans and the Italians. Karpathos was formally incorporated in Greece in March of 1948.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Karpathos has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts one hour. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (226 Nautical Miles): Karpathos is accessible by boat from the harbour Piraeus. The journey lasts from twelve to seventeen hours.  Karpathos is also connected with the islands of Crete, Kasos and Rhodes. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

An Excursion to the Island Saria

If you travel to Karpathos, do not opt out a visit to the uninhabited island of Saria. It is an island of unparalleled beauty located on the northern side of Karpathos. It is believed that the two islands were separated from a strong earthquake. According to historical evidence, Saria used to be inhabited as seen from the traces of the ancient town of Nisyros and the medieval settlement of Argos. Saria offers spectacular sceneries for lovers of explorations in nature. Saria has been declared as an Important Area for Bird Species from the European Network of Natura 2000. A suggested hiking route includes the one that starts from the bay of Palatia and leads of the west side of Edi Gorge. The route passes through a plateau with preserved houses of the abandoned village of Argos surrounded from verdant fields with stone benches and a charming windmill. From that point, head towards the south side leading to the col with vertical cliffs and a big cave and cross the dense pine forest overflown from scattered groves and farmhouses between the hillsides covered with thyme. Excursion boats operate from the harbour of Pigadia.

Dedicate a Day to the Archaeological Site of Vrikouda

The Acropolis of Vrikouda was one of the ancient cities of Karpathos located in the village of Vrikous. The remnants of the ancient city extend into an elongated cape at the end of which lies the cavernous church of Agios Ioannis. The most important monuments of the citadel include the monumental carved tombs decorated with embossed arches and the inner sanctuary of the church. One of the biggest traditional festivals of Karpathos is held here on August 28 and 29.

Discover the Agricultural Village of Avlona

Grab your keys and start driving! It’s time for explorations!  Avlona  is a village every visitor should experience! The detour that leads to Avlona will take you on a journey through time. There, one will have the opportunity to see the plateau from up high fragmented into square shapes full of stables, fields and threshing floors!

Driving Explorations: A Beautiful Route

The countryside of Karpathos is an ideal place for driving explorations. Start driving from Diafani towards Olymbos. After one and a half kilometer, you will see on your right hand a wall stone along with some building materials. Leave your car there, and start walking through the dirt road going downhill until you see a red mark of the short trail that leads to the chapel of Agios Konstantinos. The chapel offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Enjoying a Coffee at Ble Kipos in Olymbos

Standing like an impregnable castle in the village of Olymbos, Ble Kipos is one of the best spots to enjoy your coffee with spectacular views towards the endless blue!

Explore the Unexplored: Karpathos Villages

In contrary with the other islands, Karpathos is also distinguished for its mountainous villages like Menetes, Mesohori, Olymbos, Othos and Pyles. The central and northern parts of Karpathos still remain unspoilt and authentic away from mass tourism.

Exotic Finesse: Emerald, Sapphire and Turquoise Waters

Having a coastline more than 160 kilometers, the island boasts numerous pristine beaches with turquoise waters. Ahata, Apella, Damatria and Diakoftis are among the best beaches of Karpathos.

Get Informed for the Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus Monachus

Get informed for the endangered species of the Mediterranean Monk Seal of Monachus-Monachus! There is an informational center within the Eparcheion in the city of Pigadia!

Hiking at Its Best: Wild Sceneries and Rugged Coastlines

Karpathos hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. The wild sceneries and the rugged coastlines of the island is an ideal place for hiking explorations. Discover the beautiful hiking trails of Karpathos from the Management Body of Karpathos and Saria. The MBK was established for the protected area of Northern Karpathos and Saria, which is considered to be one of the largest areas of Greece. The Association of Friends of Nature of Karpathos organizes hiking excursion in the hinterland of Karpathos.

It’s Sunset Time

In the village of Pyles, one will have the opportunity to admire one of the most beautiful sunsets in Karpathos!

Mobile is the Future: Karpathos Guide Mobile App

The Karpathos Guide Mobile App offers you the opportunity to discover the entire island just with one click! Events and activities, sights and beaches, restaurants and bars, shops and maps, everything you might need is there! Download Karpathos Guide to discover the island!

Must Visit: A Fine Sample of Traditional Architecture and Wild Beauty

The Village of Olymbos is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. Characterized as one of the most traditional settlements of Greece, the charming village is a unique sample of traditional architecture. Beautiful churches and cobblestone windmills are humbling with the traditional houses and narrow alleys on the ridge of the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias. Olymbos is definitely a place of exceptional beauty that has managed to preserve its authentic character.  As you walk through the picturesque alleys of the village, you will hear music from bagpipes, lyre and lute and people dressed in traditional costumes and you might feel like you stepped back in medieval times. The village is well known for the art of woodcarving.

Observing like An Olympian God on the Island of the Olympian Gods

Karpathos is like an observation point over the Aegean from all its settlements with magnificent views. This is the secret list on the locations you will admire the most beautiful views of Karpathos. Head for the church of Agia Kyriaki in Pigadia and the church of Agios Georgios in Vatses, or visit the church of Kyra Panagia in Aperi and the church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary in Menetes. The best is last; the church of Agios Onoufrios in Olymbos!

Participate in the Authentic Festivals of Karpathos

The Festivals of Karpathos were always one of the traditional forms of entertainment and religious worship for the inhabitants of the island. Karpathos has managed to maintain its traditions and customs as reflected from the numerous feasts, festivals and celebrations that are held on a monthly basis. The festivals of Karpathos are one of the things you should not miss if you visit the island that are accompanied from traditional music, food and wine. If you want to experience the authentic festivities of the island visit the local celebrations of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in the villages of Aperi, Menetes, Olymbos and Pyles on August 15.

Romantic Promenades with Your Other Half

Characterized as one of the most romantic villages of Karpathos, Mesohori is a fine sample fo the traditional architecture of Karpathos. The square of Skopi is considered to be one of the most charming beautiful of the Dodecanese. Mesohori is renowned for its breathtaking views to the Aegean, especially during the sunset, as well as for the traditional festivals held every summer.

Windsurfing at Its Best: The Windsurfing Mekka of Afiartis

Karpathos is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as it is considered one of the windiest islands in the Mediterranean. During the summer months, the island is spoiled from the northern winds while it offers strong wind conditions between April and October. In the area of Afiartis, the Meltemi is extremely accelerated ranging from seven to nine beau forts. Windsurfing lovers can also visit the International Windsurfing Competition of Karpathos!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Apella Beach: Ufoncz by Wikimedia

Archaeological Site of Arkasa: Hero Moorlag by Flickr

Chapel of Agios Konstantinos: Walkingonkarpathos.blogspot.com

Cove near the Beach of Damatria: Xjan by Panoramio

Damatria Beach: Xjan by Panoramio

Diakoftis Beach: 5dimverias by Panoramio

Gorge of Saria: Vasek Cinert by Panoramio

Katalakkos Beach: Rosanna68 by Panoramio

Menetes Village: Tassos B. by Panoramio

Mesohori Village: Bibos by Panoramio

Olymbos Village: Shutterstock

Othos Village: George Kostetsos by Flick