Holidays in Karpathos

The exotic waters of Apella, one of the most beautiful beaches in Karpathos Greece

Karpathos is the second largest island of the Dodecanese group. Geographically it is located on the southern side of the Aegean Sea, closer to Crete and further from the other Dodecanese islands. Due to this remote location from the rest of Greece, Karpathos island has only recently starting to develop in tourism and has still kept intact its local customs and traditions.

The island of Karpathos in Greece is mostly famous for its fantastic beaches. All beaches in Karpathos have this wonderful light blue water that amaze visitors at first sight. Some Karpathos beaches are organized, while others are totally secluded and can be reached through a track road. In Karpathos also visitors shall find one of the most picturesque villages in Greece: Olympos village is found on the northern side of the island and the special thing is that it still keeps a purely traditional lifestyle.

Karpathos hotels and tourism

Tourism in Karpathos has developed more quickly over the last years. More beaches have been organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars and taverns. More Karpathos hotels and studios have been constructed, some of them with luxurious amenities. Charter flights from European airports arrive at the local airport, bringing more tourists to the island.

However, this does not mean that Karpathos has lost its local character. There is no mass tourism in Karpathos and visitors are being adjusted to the local way of life. The most tourist places on the island, where most Karpathos hotels are found, are Pigadia and close beaches, like Megali Amoopi, Arkassa, Finiki, Lefkos and Diafani.

Beaches and Villages

Kyra Panagia and Apella are the most gorgeous beaches in Karpathos. With golden sand and exotic waters, these beaches are among the top things to visit on the island. Other great beaches are Megali and Mikri Amoopi, Arkassa, Agios Nikolaos Spoa and Achata. The beaches of Diakoftis and Afiartis have developed into great windsurfing spots.

Apart from great beaches, Karpathos island also has villages with traditional beauty. The most impressive village is Olympos, perched on the mountains on the northern side and keeping a very traditional lifestyle. People in Olympos, especially women, are dressed in traditional dresses even today in their daily life.

The main town on the island is Pigadia, a seaside town on the southern side, while tourist villages are Diafani, Arkassa, Finiki and Lefkos. A drive in the center of the island will bring you to many villages with traditional beauty, such as Othos, Menetes and Aperi.


Visiting beaches and villages is the main thing to do in Karpathos Greece. However, there are also few nice sights to visit on the island. Getting the boat from Pigadia or Diafani to the secluded islet of Saria is a great day excursion. Saria is an uninhabited island about an hour from Karpathos with nice sea water and archaeological interest. Another nice day trip is to the neighboring
island of Kasos, a place with fishing villages and lovely beaches.

Karpathos in a glance

Swim in: Kyra Panagia beach, Apela, Achata and Amoopi
Do not miss: a visit to Olympos village
For a night out: have a dinner at a seaside tavern or a lounge drink in Pigadia
Popular activities: windsurfing and hiking

How to get to Karpathos

Karpathos can be reached by ferry and plane. There are ferries to Karpathos from Athens about three times per week but the trip is long (18-20 hours). This is why many visitors choose to take the ferry to Karpathos from closer destinations, such as Rhodes or Crete (ports of Heraklion and Sitia).

As the island also has an airport, many tourists arrive there by plane. There are daily flights to Karpathos from Athens and in summer there are also direct flights from European airports.

Villages and beaches
View of the fantastic village of Olympos in northern Karpathos

Olympos is the most picturesque village in Karpathos Greece. Located on the northern side of the island, it is found 58 km from Pigadia, the capital town of Karpathos, and 10 km from the port village of Diafani. Visitors can go by ferry from Pigadia to Diafani and then by bus to Olympos, or they can drive there. However, drivers should be careful because the road is windy and narrow. Due to its secluded...

View of Pigadia, the capital town of Karpathos island, Greece

Pigadia is actually the capital of the island, which is why it may also be referred to as Karpathos Town. This is also the main port of Karpathos island. Built around a natural bay, Pigadia distinguishes for its elegant architecture. As many locals had moved in the USA in the past decades, when they returned back to their homeland, they built nice mansions and opened businesses. A nice place to stroll...

The exotic beach of Kyra Panagia beach in Karpathos island

The beach of Kyra Panagia is among the best places to swim in Karpathos island, Greece. Located on the eastern side, it can be accessed by excursion boat from Pigadia or by car (15 km from Pigadia). The beach took its name from the lovely chapel of Kyra Panagia (Lady Mary), built on the hill just above the bay and offering fantastic view. The most impressive thing with Kyra Panagia beach in Karpathos...