Charming Karpathos | A Greek Island Gem
The Island of 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.
- 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.
- Olympos: Olympos is a traditional village that feels like a journey back in time. Nestled in the mountains, it’s known for its well-preserved customs and way of life. Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets, admire the colorful houses, and visit the Folklore Museum to learn about the island’s rich heritage.
- Diafani: This charming fishing village is the gateway to Karpathos’ northern beaches> It is also a great place to soak in the island’s serene atmosphere. Enjoy fresh seafood at seaside tavernas, watch fishermen at work, and explore nearby beaches like Vananda and Diafani Beach.
- Achata Beach: Located on the eastern coast of Karpathos, Achata Beach is known for its stunning natural beauty. Impressive cliffs surround the pebble beach, and the crystal-clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. You can reach it by car or a short hike.
- Lefkos: Lefkos is a picturesque coastal village on the western side of the island. It boasts several beautiful beaches, including Potali Beach and Lefkos Beach, where you can relax in a tranquil setting. The village itself is a peaceful retreat with traditional tavernas serving delicious Greek cuisine.
- Visit a beach. You can visit four different groups of beaches on Karpathos from your private yacht charter. Those on the east coast (Amoopi, Karpathos Beach, 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) has sandy beaches.
- Visit the amazingly beautiful villages with time-honored traditions and festivals. You’ll find villages 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 excellent diving locations. Your yacht Captain will recommend the best spots on your journey.
- Hike. Karpathos offers many beautiful trails. For example, one of the most scenic trails is the route that starts in Pigadia and leads to the village of Aperi.
- Windsurf. Karpathos is one of the Mediterranean’s windiest islands and heaven for windsurfing lovers. From April until October, strong winds prevail, especially in Afiartis.
- Birdwatch. The European Network of Natura recognizes Karpathos 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. The main components are tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onion, and cheese.
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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