Arkasa is one of the largest villages in Karpathos island, and it is known as Arcesine, or Αρκάσα in Greek. The town is located in the southwest, about 15 kilometers to Pigadia and 11 kilometers to the airport of Karpathos.
Guide to Arkasa (Arcesine) in Karpathos
This town is one of the oldest settlements in Karpathos, because it was built on the ruins of Arkesia, an ancient city of Greece which flourished thousands of years ago. The name ‘Arkasa – Αρκάσα’ comes from Arkesia, and the ‘Arcesine’ is also originated from the ancient city.
Arkasa is located directly on the west coast in Karpathos island, surrounded by some barren hills. The population of Arkasa is 531 (census 2011), so the town is quite important for tourism with a few shops, apartments, taverns and some services.
The houses of the village were built amphiteatrically over the hills, and some of these offer panoramic views to the sea. A small canal bisects Arkasa (Arcesine) into two parts, but there are some small bridges for predestrians and for the road traffic. Arkasa can be reached easy from the capital of Karpathos, Pigadia by car, by public bus transport or by scooter, the trip takes about 20′ minutes.
What to see and what to do in Arkasa (Arcesine)
This small town of Karpathos is a calm and quiet place most of the year, even during the summer months. As the summer comes, the number of the visitors increases, but the atmospheres of Arkasa remain calm. You can found here some traditional taverns, coffee bars, souvenir shops, car rental agencies, so the village is well prepared for visitors.
Visitors can take a walk on the paved streets, take a look to the tiny chapels, or just relax on the beach – enjoy the great atmospheres of Karpathos! Arkasa don’t have a long promenade at the beach or picturesque port, but the traditional houses of the center are well maintaned and have nice look.
The town has supermarket and pharmacy near the main road, so you don’t have to go to Pigadia for these.
What are the sights and attractions in Arkasa?
One of the most important sights in Arkasa (Arcesine, Αρκάσα) is a Byzantine temple, Church of Agia Sophia, dated from the 5th century. Agia Sophia (Εκκλησία Αγία Σοφία in Greek) has well preserved mosaic floor, showing the fine art of the predecessors. The other important historical sight of Arkasa is located on the Paleokastro hill (Παλαιόκαστρο), where the ruins of ancient Arkesia are located.
On the top of Paleokastro there lies Arkesia, or known as the Acropolis Of Ancient Arkasa (Ακρόπολη Αρχαίας Αρκάνσας), one of the most important cities in the ancient times in Karpathos island. The ruins can be reached on a hiking trail, which starts from Agia Sophia. Visitors can see ruins of some walls and a few columns here, and of course panoramic views to Arkasa. One of the most important sights in Arkasa is Ypapanti church in the town center, which is the largest church of the town with whitewashed walls and beautiful bell tower.
When you visit the area, don’t forget to discover Finiki village (Φοινίκι), just 1,5 kilometers away from Arkasa. This small settlement was the primary port of Arkasa (Arcesine) for centuries, and now it is a beloved seaside resort of Karpathos island. Finiki offers atmospheres of a fishing village and famous for its fish taverns and the picturesque views even in Greece.
From Arkasa you can visit Agios Theodoros beach in the south, where a small chapel and a sandy beach with shallow waters await for visitors.
Beaches of Arkasa
The best beach of Arkasa is called Agios Nikolaos beach (Παραλία Άγιος Νικόλαος), which is located on the southern side of the village, about one kilometer away from the center. Agios Nikolaos is a nice beach of Karpathos island with its golden sand and emerald waters, and usually has some waves for fun.
The area is slightly organized with a small tavern, a parking lot, and some parasols and sunbeds for rent. Due to its charm it’s definitely worth a visit, if you like sandy beaches. Agios Nikolaos beach is called by many as Arkasa beach, because this is far the best beach near Arkasa village.
The north coastline of Arkasa is rocky and deepens quickly – someone call it also as Arkasa beach (Παραλία Αρκάσα), but this area is not much suitable for a swim.
Why visit Arkasa (Arcesine) in Karpathos island?
In Karpathos island Arkasa offers interesting historical sights and hiking trails for visitors, with a nice golden sand beach. The sunsets of Arkasa are also spectacular due its western location and the unique landscape!
Where to stay in Arkasa? Apartments, studios and rooms
The small town is situated about 11 kilometers away from Karpathos airport, and well connected with the capital of the island, Pigadia. Arkasa has a lot of recommended apartments with great guest reviews.
For the apartments and rooms of Arkasa just click here! (opens in new window)
Some recommended accommodations of Arkasa are listed below, just click the links, and a new windows opens with photos and reviews of the apartments and studios.
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Arkasa additional info
- Location: 18 kilometers to Pigadia, 11 km to Karpathos Airport
- Coordinates: 35.477438, 27.118806
- Population: 531 (census 2011), with Finiki 564
- Can be accessed via asphalt road
Arkasa Arcesine Αρκάσα 857 00 Greece