<

Greece Travel Guide

Athensguide

 Greek Island Guide

Greek History

Hotels of Greece

Turkey

Paris

Karpathos

Apella Beach, Karpathos

Karpathos - The untouched heart of Greek Islands

In the southeastern part of Greece, there exists a small paradise, a unique island, which combines a pure natural environment with an authentic tradition lost in the centuries...

That is KARPATHOS!

Karpathos is located in the Southern Aegean Sea, between Crete and Rhodes. It is the second largest island of the Dodecanese, after Rhodes and it has not surrendered yet to mass tourism and therefore still retains a genuine, natural and authentic beauty.

Karpathos, EasterThe inhabitants of Karpathos maintain with respect and pride the habits and traditions of their ancestors. Maintaining these traditions goes through their daily lives, impressing guests, who feel like they are going back in time. The festivals of Karpathos are the most famous and genuine, dominated by traditional music and local dances and traditional food. Karpathos has 160 km of coastline which has countless beaches…some organized and others that are for those who seek solitude. The twelve villages of Karpathos are perched on mountainsides and others next to the sea. The cafes and lively taverns of the small villages offer genuine hospitality and authentic Karpathian recipes. The early Christian and Byzantine churches are scattered throughout the island. Guests are mostly impressed by the continuous breathtaking landscapes that differ from one region to another of Karpathos. Here you will find photos and descriptions of  beaches, villages, traditional cuisine, and hospitality of the people, BUT there is no way to describe the unique spirit of the island of Karpathos.-Evangelia Agapiou. Founder of Ecotourism Karpathos

Ecotourism Karpathos logo

The Villages of Karpathos

Pigadia, Karpathos

Pigadia
Pigadia is the capital of Karpathos. This was the site of one of the ancient cities of Karpathos, Poseidio or Posi, in honor of the sea god, Poseidon. There are still parts of the ancient acropolis and the Cyclopean walls that protected it. Today the city of Pigadia has all the amenities of a capital to its residents, and visitors. The cafes and restaurants, which are next to the sea, give you the opportunity to enjoy unique cuisine, overlooking the fishing boats. Not so far away from the center are clean and organized beaches like the endless beach “Vronti”, Kyra Panagia, Agios Nikolaos and Ammoopi located 6.5 km to the south. While touring the city you can enjoy images and cuisine of an authentic Aegean island. We suggest you visit the remains of an early Christian church of Agia Fotini at “Afoti”, next to the sea which, according to historians, is built on the ruins of the sanctuary of the Dioscuri. You can also visit the chapel of Agia Kyriaki which is located 2.5 km southwest and offers spectacular views of the sea and the green forest. Every morning from the harbor in Pigadia depart small excursion boats that go to unique beaches “Kato Lakos”, “Kyra Panagia” “Apella” “Chai”, etc.) and to Diafani where there you visit Olympos village. For restaurants I recommend you try Sofia's Place, Maxim Taverna and Orea Karpathos.
 Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Olimbos, Karpathos

Olympos
The most traditional village of Greece is Olympos. The village gives a striking impression from the first moment you see it. Located on the top of a hill, which is surrounded by bigger mountains and going west to inaccessible shores. Due to its location the houses have a unique view over the Aegean Sea and therefore not unjustly been characterized by many as the 'Balcony of the Aegean'.

The traditional colorful houses that climb up the two steep slopes, the windmills and the bell tower of the church give a sole and unprecedented picture. It is normal that during your stay here you will see people who continue to wear their local costumes, and retain their language and idiomatic expressions. The beautiful figures of women wearing the colorful handmade costumes not only impress, but astonish visitors.

For these reasons the village of Olympus is described as a living folk museum where visitors, along with the incomparable beauty, can experience the true Greek hospitality. Among the most remarkable sights of the village is the church of Panagia from the 16th century with its wood carved temple and murals. You can also visit the traditional flour mill, the folk museum of artist Vasilis Hadjivassili, the monastery of Chrisovalantou, located at the entrance of the village. A must visit is Ancient Vrykous, with ruins from the 4th century. For restaurants the Mylos Taverna is the most traditional taverna in the village or Drosia Taverna (the shepherd house), to taste fresh goat meat and local cheeses and dairy products. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Diafani, Karpathos

Diafani
Diafani is a small fishing village, which is the harbor of the traditional and historic village of Olympos. The village has a small number of accommodation, but it is an amazing place for a quiet holiday in beautiful surroundings if you are able to book something. The restaurants on the sea offer the local cuisine and fresh fish. You’ll enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters and beaches of Diafani and the adjoining beach of Vananta. It is easily accessible from the town by car or by boat from Pigadia. Also by boat from you can reach the quiet little harbor in the picturesque village Tristomo, many unspoiled beaches and the islet of Saria as well. For your eating needs try the Dolphins Restaurant, for fresh fish, Corali Restaurant for local specialties and live traditional music and Chrisi Akti, to enjoy your coffee just 5 steps from sea.
Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Mesohori, Karpathos

Mesochori
Mesochori village, together with Spoa and Olympus are the upper villages of Karpathos. Mesochori is located in the middle of the island around 34 km from the capital. It is an incredibly figurative village and in order to get there visitors must follow one of the most scenic routes through a dense pinewood forest. The main attraction in Messochori is the great church of Panagia Vrissiani, built above the magnificent fountain from a natural spring. Additionally the village has an amazingly beautiful landscape and is a traditional settlement where cars are allowed only until the edge of the village. In the narrow alleys with the whitewashed steps, visitors will discover Karpathian hospitality and can walk around and take pictures of the decorations of the traditional houses. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Menetes, Karpathos

Menetes
This large village looks like a colorful eagles nest, since it is built amphitheatrically on the side of the Prophet Elijah. Traditional architecture with colorful houses and narrow paths. Characteristic of the village is the great church of Panagia, with a carved, unique wooden temple, built on the impressive Sacred Rock. From the courtyard of the church you see in front of you the whole village and from  there a unique view to the capital of Karpathos Pigadia. In mid-August the Panagia is honored with the biggest festival of the island. The quiet stroll in the small paths of the village is a unique experience. Rustic taverns and cafes offer incredible dishes. Just outside the village is the church of Agios Mamas, a church with unique architecture and frescoes dating from 1300 .Menetes is also the home the Folklore Museum, with collections of archaeological findings, pottery, agricultural implements and sculptures. At the top stands the impressive church of Agios Spyridon. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Arkasa, Karpathos

Arkasa
Arkasa is located 16 km from Pigadia. It is a coastal village characterized by important historical monuments and strong marine landscape that surrounds it. If you visit you can admire the ancient monuments including the remains of the city of ARKESIA, located at Cape Paliokastrou. Also in the same region are the parts of an early Christian basilica of St. Anastasia. This temple dates from the 5th century and hosts some fine examples of art which are reflected in the mosaic floors. You can also visit the historic monuments of St. Sophia and Ypapanti. and the Archaeological Museum. In Arkasa you can choose the accommodation that suits you from a great selection of hotels and apartments . The beach of Agios Nikolaos is unique with large waves. Three kilometers from the village is the beach of St. Theodore. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Aperi Karpathos

Aperi
One of the largest villages on Karpathos, Aperi is the former capital of the island, built away from the coast to keep the people safe from pirates. It is a colorful village and thje fact that there are springs make it very green and colorful with locals who are proud of their gardens, many who are Greek-Americans who have retired here or come back for the summer holidays. There are walking trails for those who like to hike, some leading to nearby beaches, as well as hotels and restaurants. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Spoa Karpathos

Spoa
Spoa built at an altitude of 350 meters, has about 200 residents and is located at 24km from the capital. This is the part of the island that combines laced beaches, mountains and trees. The mountainous village of Spoa can see both the Sunset and the Sunrise. Residents are engaged in viticulture and animal husbandry and they keep alive their customs and traditions. The precious treasure of this village though is found more coastally around 5 km away from the village and is the magical and graphical gulf with the spotless and transparent beaches. The site of Saint Nikolaos (Agios Nikolaos). In Spoa there is only one taverna but its a good one, called Folia.

Beaches of Karpathos Island

Achata Beach, Karpathos

With several beaches with calm waters, Karpathos will satisfy even the most demanding traveler. Plan daily excursions around the island and discover beautiful beaches ranging from isolated or organised to sandy or pebbled, but always with emerald sea. Diakoftis, Lefkos and Apella are considered to be the most popular beaches in Karpathos Island, with the latter being voted twice as the best beach in Europe!

Lefkos beach, Karpathos

Lefkos
The village of Lefkos includes several well organized sandy beaches, like Lefkos, Frangolimnionas and Potali. Here is where the boats to the island of Sokastro sail from, which is located directly opposite the village. During the past few years, the area has known a mild tourist development, providing several accommodation and entertainment options. Search Hotels and Holiday Homes

Apella Beach, Karpathos

Apella
Apella is a beach in the southeastern part of Karpathos, which has been voted twice as the best beach in Europe. Access to the beach is achieved either by sea or by the road. The surrounding rocks are full of beautiful pine trees, which slope down to the sea.

Kyra Panagia Beach, Karpathos, Greece

Kyra Panagia
The small village of Kyra Panagia was developed because of the beach, one of the most famous and beloved of the island. Fully organised, this beach is ideal for families since the waters are very calm. You can have lunch at one of several local taverns located near the beach.

Achata Beach, Karpathos

Achata Beach
Achata Beach near the village of Aperi is a quiet pebble beach that is very quiet, though there are sunbeds and umbrellas and people do fill them up in August. It is a great beach for snorkeling, especially along the rocks. The sea gets deep quickly so it is not the best beach for small children but there is a taverna nearby and you can also get here by boat from Pigadia in the summer.

Diakoftis Beach, Karpathos

Diakoftis
Access to the beach of Diakoftis may be difficult, but the uniquely beautiful contrast between the white sand and the emerald waters will absolutely reward you. Make sure to bring with you all the necessary equipment for your day on the beach, as the beach is not organised and doesn't have any shops nearby.
Saria, Karpathos

Saria
In the ruins of the ancient city of  Nisyros in Saria islet, there is an unspoiled and a virgin beach Palatia. Many boats depart from Diafani to Saria almost every day.

More Beaches
The sandy beach of Damatria is considered one of the most beautiful in the island. It has a fine golden sandy beach with clear emerald waters. In less than 100 meters from the beach, you will find a nice restaurant with delicious Greek cuisine. Right across the beach, lies the small island of Mira. The beach of Agios Nikolaos is a well-organized beach close to Arkasa. It is located very close to Arpathea Villas. It has beautiful white sand and is great for playing in the gentle waves generated by its shallow waters. One of its most famous features are the small seaside restaurants, offering fresh fish and local cuisine.  The beaches at Afiartes in SE Karpathos are known world wide as one of the best places in Greece for windsurfing.

Akrotiri Bay, Karpathos

Practical Information

For hotels, villas, apartments, holiday homes, self-catering and Air BnB style acommodations in Karpathos see the Karpathos Hotels page or Search Karpathos Hotels with Booking.com

Flying to Karpathos from Athens is easy. Sky Express, Aegean and Olympic Airways fly here from Athens and there are also international flights from Europe. Karpathos has ferry connections to Pireaus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and other islands in the Dodecanese. For ferries to Karpathos use Ferryhopper.com

For assistance combining Karpathos with other islands try Matt's Create-an-itinerary form or contact Dolphin Hellas Travel in Athens

Ecotourism Karpathos logoKarpathos is a nature paradise, much of it protected, with a large variety of bird and plant life and many interconnecting walking paths. If you are a hiker you won't run out of things to see and places to go. The team of Ecotourism Karpathos is a group of local guides who provide high quality services to visitors to Karpathos including nature hikes, bird watching, herb collecting, bee-keeping, traditional cooking lessons, tours by car and more. They also offer car rentals and transfer services from the ports and airport and can assist you with your trip to Karpathos.

Join Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides Group on Facebook for comments, photos and other fun stuff. If you enjoy this website please share it with your friends on Facebook and Google+. If you are appreciative of all the free information you get on my websites you can send a donation through Paypal

Return to Matt's Greek Islands Index