Informations about Karpathos island, which are important to know before travelling. Where is located Karpathos in Greece, what are the main features and highlights of this beautiful Greek island? Read the most important infos, which are always useful for everyone, who want to visit Karpathos island in Greece.
Karpathos island (Κάρπαθος in Greek language) is located in the southeastern region of Greece, between Crete and Rhodes, in the Aegean Sea. Karpathos and its surrounding area belong to Dodecanese islands, which are a large group of Greek islands with 15 large and more than 150 smaller islands. The largest island of Dodecanese is called Rhodes island, and the second largest is Karpathos, but also importants islands of this region are Kos, Kalymnos, Symi, Chalki, Patmos, Leros, Nisyros, Tilos and Kasos.
Altough Karpathos island is located in the Aegean Sea, the sea of the west coastline is called Cretan Sea (Sea of Crete), which is a smaller part of the Aegean Sea. The east coast belongs to the Mediterranean Sea, so the island is one of the natural geographical borders in the Aegean area. The distance from Rhodes is 50 kilometers in the direction of southwest, and 50 kilometers northeast from Crete.
Despite the fact that Karpathos is the second largest among Dodecanese islands, its territory is much smaller than Rhodes, the area of the island is just about 330 km2. Geographical conditions are very important informations for everyone, because the landscape of the Karpathos is primarily mountanious, except in its south region, which is relatively flat. The highest point of Karpathos island is called Kali Limni peak (Mount Lastos), at 1215 metres above sea level.
The height of Kali Limni peak is very similar to Attavyros, the highest peak of Rhodes, which is also 1215 meters high, and these are the highest mountains in Dodecanese islands. The mountains of Karpathos offer several interesting hiking trails for visitors, so the island offer local tour guides also who want to discover the best trails and footpaths.
Because Karpathos is located in the southern region of Greece, most of its territory, including the mountains are quite barren. The forests can be find in the central region, where lush pine forests and olive tree gardens grow.
These exciting natural attractions, the high mountains and steep cliffs, the almost untouched area make exceptional charm and wild beauty for this island, and this is one of the main reasons, why is Karpathos island usually listed as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. The coastline and most of the beaches are characterized also by these features, many of them are exceptional beautiful with turquoise and deep blue sea colors.
How many people live on Karpathos?
The population of Karpathos island is about 6226, according to the latest official census in 2011. This demographical data increases significantly during the summer months, as tourism takes off and the tourists arrive from Greece and from several countries mostly with charters and domestic flights. Most of the locals are engaged in agriculture and tourism, but during summer season the population of the island slightly increases due to seasonal workers.
The inhabitants of Karpathos are proud for their ancient traditions, traditional costumes and lifestyle. Interesting information that many residents kept the local dialect also, which is not typical for other islands in Greece.
About the villages
The capital of Karpathos is called Pigadia (or known as Karpathos town, Κάρπαθος), which is the largest town of the island with an important port. Pigadia is located in the southeast part of Karpathos, directly next to a long and wide bay. The capital is a friendly and relatively modern Greek town with several taverns, coffee bars, souvenir and clothing stores, supermarkets and many other important services. The beaches of Pigadia are also popular, where thousands of visitors sunbathe and enjoy the sea during summer period.
The area of Pigadia (Karpathos town) is the most developed territory in the island and also the epicentre of tourism with car rental companies and a lot of accommodations. We can find in the town a lot of rooms, and high varieties of studios, apartments, hotels and villas can be booked.
The other villages in Karpathos are much smaller, but these are also very interesting for picturesque streets, charming ports, old traditions and natural surroundings. One of the most famous village in the island is called Olymbos (Olympos, Όλυμπος), which is often described as a living foklore museum in Greece, and has an old history. The women of Olymbos still wear their traditional clothes and keep their old habits, which can be seen when we walk on the narrow streets. The village is also famous for its beautiful location and amazing panoramic views, because most of the houses were built on the top a mountain, and offer exceptional lookout points.
Among the best tourist resorts in the island of Karpathos Greece are Amoopi (Ammopi, Lakki), Kato Lefkos, Arkasa (Arcesine), Diafani, Finiki, which have great beaches also. In the mountains we can find mostly traditional villages: Aperi, Othos, Volada, Pyles, Menetes and Mesochori are the most famous with calm atmospheres, narrow and winding streets.
There are many visitors who mention Kyra Panagia (Κυρά Παναγία), a small seaside resort as one of the hidden gems in Greece, because this tiny village has one of the most charming and dramatic views to the sea in Karpathos island.
Karpathos beaches, where dramatic beauty meets turquoise colours
Greece is well known by beach fans, especially the Greek islands have breathtaking beaches. The beaches of Karpathos are listed among the best beaches in Greece also, and offer great variety from sandy, pebbly and rocky beaches. The dramatic beauty of Karpathos fits to the beaches well, just take a look the photos of the beaches. Among Karpathos best beaches we can find Apella beach, which is voted by travelers into top beaches many times due to its beautiful location.
Other beautiful beaches in Karpathos are Kyra Panagia beach and Achata beach, the snorkeling miracles of Amoopi (Ammopi, Lakki), the family friendly Lefkos beaches or Diakoftis beach, which look like a small lagoon. The shallow beaches in Amoopi or Lefkos are suitable for smaller children, these are considered to family friendly beaches, where the coastline is sandy.
Useful information about Karpathos beaches, that the entire coastline of the island is extremely varied, where everyone can choose their favourites. Due to geographical conditions there can be find several hidden gems also, which can be reached only by boat trips or hiking trails.
What to see in Karpathos?
Due to the lot of mountains, great beaches and panoramic lookouts most of the best sights in Karpathos are natural attractions. Karpathos, or Κάρπαθος offers for its visitors more than 30 official hiking trails, several amazing panoramic views, and of course delights of the best beaches. There are also small museums which introduce the history of Karpathos, the local agriculture or the ancient folklore through old costumes, photos and a lot of handmade artifacts.
Among the best sights and top attractions we can discover monuments, which are dedicated to heroes and historical events. From the past there can be find some ruins of ancient towns, which fluorished in the area a thousands years ago.
How to travel to Karpathos, Greece
Karpathos has an international airport since 1970, called Karpathos Island National Airport, its IATA code is AOK. You can find it Karpathos Airport or Αεροδρόμιο Καρπάθου in Greek language on maps. The airport of the island is located on the most southern part of the island, where the most flatten areas can be find.
Karpathos Airport is a small one, much smaller than airports in Rhodes or Crete, but it is enough to recieve the flights and charters from Greece and some other countries of Europe. Most of the flighs are domestic flights from Greece, but there are important flighs and charters from Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary and Czech Republic.
Two towns of Karpathos, Diafani and Pigadia are connected with ferries to other Greek islands and to the mainland. The ferries to Karpathos depart primarily from Rhodes and Crete, which are the nearest large islands in Greece.
Where to stay
It is always an important question where to stay in Karpathos Greece, because the villages of the island offer less accommodations than in Rhodes or Crete. Most hotels are in the area of Pigadia, but there are also accommodations in Amoopi, Kato Lefkos, Arkasa, Olymbos, and in other villages.
It’s worth to know that if you would like to book a great apartment or hotel, always read the reviews before you book.
To read the guest reviews and find the best accommodations just look at here, where studios, apartments, hotels and villas can be find and book. (don’t worry, link opens in new window)
Visit Karpathos in 2023!
Karpathos is one of best Greek islands for holidays due to its almost untouched landscapes, and amazing beaches, where ancient traditions meets exceptional natural beauty. If you are looking for a special place in Greece, just read our travel guide and visit Karpathos island, an amazing hidden gem of Aegean Sea, and discover its wonders!
Karpathos, Greece – Κάρπαθος
Postal Code: 857 00