Karpathos island is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea. This is a place with stunning beaches, strong character and marvelous hiking paths in the inland. The villages in the countryside of Karpathos are surrounded by imposing mountains and have distinctive traditional style. Olympos, Menetes and Othos are few of the most characteristic villages on the island. Karpathos beaches are also famous for their fantastic waters and the natural beauty. Holidays in Karpathos can be combined with a trip to the neighboring island of Kasos.
The island of Karpathos, in Greece, is one of the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea and it belongs to the Dodecanese islands group. Karpathos is a Greek island with picturesque villages, exotic beaches, interesting sightseeing and delicious restaurants. The crystal blue colour and the golden sand of the beaches in Karpathos island amaze visitors. Kyra Panagia and Apella are the most beautiful beaches, while many other nice places can be found around the island. In fact, the southern coasts are developing as windsurfing spots. The center of Karpathos island is dotted with picturesque villages. Olympos is the most beautiful village, built amphitheatrically at a high altitude. In this village, every house is self-governing, with its own windmill and church. Women in Olympos are dressed in their traditional costumes every day, not only on special occasions. A popular trip is a boat excursion to the remote island of Saria. This island is totally uninhabited but has some interesting ruins and beautiful beaches. Many folklore museums can also be found in various villages, depicting the local traditions. Located geographically between the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete, Karpathos is a truly relaxing place for vacations.
Most hotels in Karpathos are located on the southern side of the island. Pigadia, Achata, Amoopi, Arkassa, Finiki and Lefkos are the places where most hotels and apartments are found. Most of these hotels are family places, although some have upscale facilities, like pools and spa therapies. These beaches are convenient places for day trips around the island. Some nice and more secluded accommodations for your Karpathos holidays are found in Diafani and Agios Nikolaos Spoa.
Get in Karpathos
Karpathos is accessable via ferry from Piraeus, Crete, and Rhodes. During the summer months, small private boats depart from Pigadia to various locations daily, including Olympos (via Diafani) and some inaccessible beaches.
Karpathos Island National Airport, with its relatively large runway, is located on the south side (Afiartis area). Scheduled domestic flights connect the island with Rhodes, Kasos, Crete and Athens daily. Additionally, charter flights from various European cities are frequently scheduled during the high season (April-October).
Get around Karpathos
Public buses operate throughout the islands.
Within the island, cars are the preferred mode of transportation. You can rent a car or a motor scooter. Asphalt roads run across the west coast of the island. Roads in the interior turn out to be little more than dirt paths. Fixed-rate taxis (agoraia) are also available all year long.
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go – for example the twisted narrow streets of karpathos city. An additional advantage is that they are cheap to rent – 10 to 15 € a day is the usual price.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make you sure you do so on a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves. When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious – it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one, especially if you intend to drive on streets with more traffic.
Beaches of Karpathos
The beaches of Karpathos island can be divided into four large groups: the beaches on the east coast are smaller and gravelly but without wind; the beaches of the southern part of the island, near the airport, area made of fine white sand; the sandy beach on the west coast are the most exposed to the Meltemi and they are only available in low wind conditions; the beaches of the north of the island, accessible only by sea and partly by a jeep.
East Coast – Amoopi, Karpathos Beach, Achata, Kato Latos (reachable only by foot), Apella.
South Coast – Damatria, Diakoftis, Devils Bay, Agrilaopotamos (nude beach).
West Coast – Finiki, Arkasa Leucadius.
North Coast – Diafani, Vananda, Forokli
Some of the more popular beaches are:
Amopi – 5 km from the town is the most popular and friendly place for all in karpathos island have 5 beaches where you can find everything from the party beach, the family beach, the quiet beach next to you. There are tavernas, markets, bus every hour and taxi station. The prices for one umbrella and 2 chairs is 6€ per day, all the beaches are free for all, and the beaches are Mikri (small) and Megal (large). Votsalakia beach in front of votsalakia beach hotel, Kastelia in front of Aegean village hotel, Maounas in front of Kastelia bay hotel.
Afiartis, 15 km from the town is a very good place for wind surfing.
Achata beach 15 km from town, further to the North, is a pebble beach ith deep waters.
Kyra Panaya beach 12 km from town, named after Madonna, is situated between rocks capes. To swim in its deep waters demands caution.
Apella, 20 km from town.
Agios Mynas beach 20 km from town in the north of Karpathos, although isolated, has become more and more popular, however the prices of restaurants and chartering of deckchair and beach umbrellas have risen a lot.
Arkasa – well organized beach in Arkasa situated southwestern to Pigadia. It is one of the best beaches of the island with sandy beach with nice white sand and shallow sea while it is very popular because of big wave. There are sun beds and umbrellas, showers, restaurants and it is reachable by car.
Lefkos is on the east coast, 25 km from the town.