Karpathos in Greece
Karpathos is the second largest island (325 km2) of the Dodecanese islands, only Rhodes is bigger. In terms of number of inhabitants Karpathos is number five, after Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos and Leros. The year round population is about 6,225, the number increases during the summer months as many expatriated Karpathians come for their holidays.
Wonderful Lefkos on the west coast of Karpathos.
A large number of Karpathians emigrated after World War II, mainly to the United States but also to Canada and Australia. Many families moved back to Karpathos when Greece joined the EU, that is the reason why many islanders speak perfect English, often with an American accent. So do not be surprised if you are greeted with "Good morning Sir" instead of the traditional "Kalimera".
The three largest villages are Pigadia (2,700 inhabitants), Arkasa (530 inhabitants) and Menetes (415 inhabitants). The highest mountain Kali Limni measures 1,215 meters above sea level. The two nearest neighbouring islands are Kassos and Rhodes.
Karpathos is one of the island world's most beautiful and fascinating island. The rumour of this amazing island has spread like a wildfire over the years. No one will be disappointed. The attraction is superb beaches, enchanting scenery and charming mountain villages. Not to mention the unique mountain village of Olympos, which many Greeks consider to be one of the most worth seeing villages throughout the country.
Apella is one of Greece's most beautiful beaches.
Personally I rank Karpathos as one of the top Greek islands, together with Amorgos, Crete, Sifnos, Skopelos and Tilos. For a long time I avoided the island for some reason. I do not anymore. I am stuck - like many of the readers of Kalimera (the Swedish version of Kalispera).
Few islands have such fanatic fans, once Karpathos always Karpathos seems to be the motto. For many, Karpathos means lazy days on one of the many nice beaches, for others, the most important is the nature, there are many great hiking trails.
Karpathos has been blessed with many picturesque villages. The most famous of them is Olympos, often referred to as a living folklore museum. With the new road, you do not have to go by boat to Olympos. For good and for bad.
Olympos is one of the many lovely villages.
Pigadia, or Karpathos Town as some say, is Karpathos' capital and administrative centre. It is a rather unexciting town in view of the architecture. Still it is easy to fall for Pigadia, and that thanks to the Greek everyday life that goes hand in hand with the touristic life, in spite of the fact that Pigadia is Karpathos' largest tourist resort.
Amopi is a popular tourist resort with many fine beaches.
Amopi is a flourishing tourist resort with tavernas and hotels. Many package holiday travellers choose Amopi before Pigadia, especially families with children. Largely the reason is the proximity to many great child-friendly beaches. Lefkos (see photo on top) is a small but fantastic tourist resort with many nice sandy beaches, and good tavernas.
There are a lot of nice beaches and swimming bays around the island. The beach at Pigadia is the most popular along with the beaches of Amopi and Lefkos, and also Achata, Apella and Kyra Panagia. Achata is a nice beach with an incredibly beautiful setting north of Pigadia, the beach consists of pebbles mixed with pea-gravel.
Kyra Panagia is just a bit better if you ask me. Here are several tavernas and a couple of hotels. The sand is mixed with pebbles. It is nice to snorkel by the rocks to the left. In my opinion, Apella is the second most picturesque beach on Karpathos, after Kato Lakos. Not only that, Apella is one of the beaches with the most beautiful setting in Greece, the adjacent mountains cowered with pine trees goes all the way down to the white beach with crystal clear dark blue water. Simply a dream beach.
Kyra Panagia is one of many absolutely stunning beaches in Karpathos.
You can read more about Karpathos via the links at the end of this page. A short summary of the information comes here:
It is possible to go on a package-holiday from many countries, check with a tour operator in your country. If you want to travel independently to Karpathos, it is easiest to fly directly to Karpathos with a charter company. Another option is to go by air to Rhodes, and continue by ferry or domestic flight, or fly to Heraklion in Crete, and continue by ferry.
Karpathos is the island of the pretty little villages. When you are tired of looking at Olympos, I can recommend you to visit Aperi, Finiki, Arkasa, Spoa, Mesochori, Diafani, Stes, Volada, Othos and Agios Nikolaos.
As I said, the beaches are something out of the ordinary. Apart from the beaches as I mentioned above, you have many more to discover, as Agios Theodoros, Agrilaopotamos, Makris Gialos, Christou Pigadi, Damatria, Diakofti and Agios Theodoros, all located near the airport.
Olympos is a must. In addition, there are not any especially interesting sights. There are some roman water cisterns above Lefkos, and remains of an ancient city at the beach of Pigadia. Instead of historical sights, Karpathos offer nice villages, beautiful scenery and superfine beaches. What more do you need?
If you are travelling on a package-holiday - which you probably are - you stay either in Pigadia, Amopi or Lefkos. If you are travelling independently, you can choose to stay in almost any village. However, most people choose to stay in Pigadia which has the widest range.
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