Karpathos is the second largest and one of the most beautiful islands of the Dodecanese. The island is famous for its breathtaking scenery, stunningly beautiful beaches with golden sand, crystal clear waters, magnificent hiking trails, and twelve charming villages.
In Karpathos, and in the neighboring islet of Saria, the climate is the Mediterranean. The winters are mild and rainy while the summers are hot and sunny. The most rainfall (670 mm) occurs between October and March.
The most pleasant months to visit are April, May, October, and November.
Places to see
- Pigadia, the capital and main port of the island. This town gets its name because there are numerous springs in the area. (Pigadia means “springs” in Greek.) This lovely place has narrow alleys and beautiful red-tiled roof houses.
- The Acropolis of Arkasa. The Mycenaeans occupied Karpathos during the 14th century BC and built an acropolis with Cyclopean walls on the rocky headland. This citadel is known as the Paleokastro or the Mycenaean acropolis.
- The Cave of Poseidon. It was used either as a rock-cut tomb or a sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon or Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
Things to do
- Visit a beach. There are four different groups of beaches on Kárpathos you can visit from your private yacht charter. Those on the east coast (Amoopi, Kárpathos beach, Achata, Kata Latos, Kyra Panagia, Agias Nikolaos) are smaller and made of gravel but sheltered from the wind. The southern region (Damatria, Diakoftis, Devils Bay, Agriopotamos) is made of fine white sand.
- Visit the amazingly beautiful villages with time-honored traditions and festivals, both on the coast and in the mountainous regions of this island. For more information see Mysterious Greece.
- Scuba dive. The reefs of Kastelia and Fokia, the cave of the pirates in Ahata, and the shipwreck in Diakoftis are all excellent locations for diving. Your yacht Captain will recommend the best spots on your journey.
- Hike. Kárpathos offers many beautiful trails. One of the most scenic trails, for example, is the route that starts in Pigadia and leads to the village of Aperi.
- Windsurf. Kárpathos is one of the windiest islands in the Mediterranean and heaven for lovers of windsurfing. From April until October strong winds prevail, especially in Afiartis.
- Birdwatch. The European Network of Natura recognizes Kárpathos and Saria as very important areas for migratory bird species. Be sure to bring your binoculars!
Like in most Greek towns, dining is an experience. Traditional foods include horiatiki (village salad). Note it is not called Greek salad. Tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onion, and cheese are the main components. Try Paidakia, made with lamb chops and potatoes, pastitsio (baked pasta with ground meat and sauce), and dolma (stuffed grape leaves). You’ll find an abundance of fresh produce and seafood in most restaurants. Visit Edem Garden Restaurant in Olympos or Karpathos Thalassa in Pigadia.
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