Located between Rhodes and Crete in the Aegean Sea, Karpathos is the second-largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands. It’s renowned for its stunning beaches, rugged coastline and remote interior villages that have managed to preserve their traditional customs, costumes and dialect throughout the centuries.
Things to do in Karpathos
Enjoy the elevated views across the village of Menetes from the terrace of the Kimissi tis Theotokou, an impressive church built in 1845 using stones from the ancient settlement of Arkesia. Menetes is clustered with white and pastel-coloured houses and is home to a fascinating Folklore Museum where antique tools, traditional musical instruments and lacework are exhibited.
At the other end of Karpathos is the village of Olympos, which contrasts dramatically to Menetes with its colourful houses adorned in bougainvillea. It’s perched atop a mountain ridge that once protected the settlement from pirate raids and has enabled it to preserve its Doric dialect and unique local customs.
No visit to Karpathos is complete without enjoying the island’s stunning beaches, the most famous of which is Apella. Framed by cliffs, its sand and pebble cove is lapped by the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, making it ideal for both swimming and snorkelling. If you want a wider choice of beaches, head to Amoopi Bay where you’ll find seven different options to suit all tastes.
Getting around Karpathos
Karpathos Island National Airport is located in the south of Karpathos and has regular flights to Athens and seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Ferries connect to Karpathos from the Athens port of Piraeus, as well as from Crete and Rhodes, while buses travel throughout the island. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of exploring Karpathos and private boats can be hired for accessing coastal attractions.