The most famous village in Karpathos island, with great history and amazing panoramic views.
Olympos (Olymbos) is located in the north of Karpathos, built on a mountain ridge. The village was not accessible by car until recently, but today Olympos is connected by asphalt road to the south. For centuries the one and only connection with the outside world, and with the other villages of Karpathos was the port of Diafani.
Olympos was built in the 7. century A.D., when the inhabitants of the ancient Vrykounda were frequently attacked by the pirates. They were leaving their land and moved into the high mountains, far from the sea. The village was much safer from attacks, but closed off from the world - Olympos left the important harbour. After the foundation of Olympos the residents lived in well protected place, they preserved their traditions, customs, and dialect, originate from the ancient doric people. After the raids the village expanded both towards the west and the eastern side of the mountain. Today the population of the village is about 400, they live in Olympos in the most of the year.
The central church of Olympos, the Assumption of the Virgin, was built in Byzantine style. The interior of the church is covered with frescoes dated from the years of the Turkish rule. Inside the curch are many icons, wood carvings, gold plated sacred objects. In the village there are a lot of chapel everywhere.
The locals are very proud of their traditions, the women in Olympos wear classical costumes even today. There are two type of these clothes: one is for weekdays, a black coloured apron and a simple scarf around the head. If they are celebrating, the women of Olympos wear colorful clothes and a double row of gold jewels.
Unfortunately today many houses in Olympos are uninhabited because of immigration, but other houses, mainly near to the main streets are in good condition. Along the mountain top there are many windmills, but they don't operate, the buildings are used mostly as lumber rooms.
Because of its traditions, people said that Olympos is a living folklore museum, with idyllic atmosphere.
The Windmill Museum in Olympos
- 45 km to Pigadia
- coordinates: 35.738999, 27.175382
- traditional mountain village