Karpathos is one of the most beautiful islands of Dodecanese. It is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea, between Rhodes and Crete. Due to the secluded location and the distance from the other Greek islands, Karpathos island started developing in the last decades. In fact, the southern side of the island has mostly developed in tourism, while the central and the northern side has remained unspoiled and authentic, with picturesque villages away from mass tourism. Karpathos Greece is mostly famous for the exotic beaches with the golden sand and the crystal water. Holidays in Karpathos are ideal for families and trekkers, as the trekking paths that cross the island leads visitors to amazing spots.

Karpathos island, Greece
Karpathos island, Greece

Wild, untouched beauty in the Dodecanese, sculpted by winds, customs and centuries-old traditions. Greece holidays in Karpathos Island.

The second largest island of the Dodecanese has no equal. It holds its past close: in its ancient acropolis, caves, churches and even its traditional dress. The setting is more than dramatic: stunning vistas from untouched, mountain-clinging villages that keep vigilant watch over the Aegean, despite being hammered by ferocious winds. In Karpathos you’ll discover an island with its Greek soul intact, living traditions, real people, local musicians and mythic festivals – untarnished by modern fads.

Where is Karpathos island

The Greek island of Karpathos is situated in the Aegean Sea between Crete and Rhodes. Karpathos covers an area more than 300 km² and is the second largest island of the Greek Dodecanese islands. A scenic, untouched island of the southern Aegean.

How to go Karpathos island

The airport of Karpathos receives domestic flights from Athens and the flight time is 1 hour. In summer, there are also few charters and international flights from abroad, mainly from Germany and the Netherlands. The airport is lcoated on the southern side of the island, at the region of Afiartis.

Ferries to Karpathos depart from Piraeus 3 times a week. The trip is very long (between 18 and 20 hours) but connects Karpathos with many other Greek islands, including Milos, Santorini, Anafi, Kasos and others. There are also ferries to Karpathos from closer ports, such as Rhodes, Heraklion and Sitia 3 times per week. These trips are shorter, from 3 to 5 hours. Karpathos has two ports: Diafani and Pigadia.

Apella Beach, Karpathos Island, Greece

Things to do and see in Karpathos

Olymbos: a timeless eagle’s nest

Exposed to the winds, Olymbos balances on a rough and distant ridge like a tightrope walker. Its houses spill down, tightly bound to each other and rooted in the rock. This harsh, wild place kept pirates and marauders at bay, and it still resists intrusions by today’s more peaceful invaders. Just what you’d expect from a town that has been defying the tides of time since the 9th century.

A colourful history of the Dodecanese

A single glance takes in multiple cultural reminders of multiple periods, inviting you to dig deeper. Among the significant sights and attractions are early Christian churches, ancient Vroukounta and Arkesia, the castle and the acropolis at Aperi, the Roman cistern at Lefko, the beehive tombs at Karpathos town and Arkasa. And then there are the more recent structures left by the Italians: bridges, aqueducts, wells, windmills and the outdoor ovens of Olymbos. Don’t miss this opportunity to travel back into the past.

Manners and customs alive and unspoiled

On this island, it’s as if time has stood still. Here you will find an authentic Greece, like something out of a bygone era. Many women still wear the traditional dress, while men harvest their crops with scythes. The two sexes sit separately at village festivals, where musicians play the bagpipes, lyre and lauto, crafted on the island, and sing in ancient modes. In northern Karpathos you’ll find even older, sometimes strange customs still practiced faithfully. The festivals have to be lived to be believed.

Karpathos Island, Greece

Beaches of Karpathos island

Award-winning, the sandy crescent of Apella is the most beautiful beach on Karpathos and a contender for one of the best in the entire Mediterranean. Emerald waters will also lure you at Kyra Panagia, Ahata, Lefkos and Ammopi – only the beginning of a long list.

List of All Beaches in Karpathos

  • Apella
  • Kyra Panagia
  • Achata
  • Mikri Amopi
  • Megali Amopi or Votsalakia
  • Arkassa
  • Diakoftis
  • Lefkos
  • Finiki
  • Afoti
  • Agios Nikolaos
  • Amopi Pera Ammos
  • Argilopotamos
  • Christou Pigadi
  • Damatria
  • Psoraris
  • Valias
  • Vrontis
Karpathos Island, Greece

What to do in Karpathos island

Nature and history in the untrodden north

The north, above Olymbos and all the way to Saria, is a favourite nesting place for birds, seals, frogs and salamanders as well as the home of large, tasty but elusive fish. There you’ll also find the palaces of Doric Nisyros, sacred ancient Vroukounda and exotic Tristomo.

The fertile plateau below Olymbos

It looks like the centre of a vanishing world. In Karpathos, the plateau of Avlona invites you to travel in time through its meticulously squared fields, silos and scattered houses. You just pick the century.

Walk to your heart’s content

If there is a hiker-paradise in the Aegean, it must be on Karpathos. Centuries-old cobblestone paths lead to forgotten ancient sites, roadless villages without electricity or other mod cons and breath-taking views. The hiking trails crisscross the island but are best in the north.

A rare ecosystem

Karpathos, along with the islet of Saria, is one of the most important islands in Greece for the protection of rare species and ecosystems. Two sites are included in the Natura 2000 network for their bird and seal populations.

Karpathos Island, Greece

Where to stay in Karpathos island

Karpathos Hotels, Karpathos is a secluded island in Dodecanese Greece, considered an alternative destination of the Aegean Sea. Look and search Karpathos accommodation, rooms, hotels apartments, studios and pensions.

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