Pigadia is a beautiful capital of Karpathos island, which is definitely worth a sightseeing. On maps you can find this town is also as Karpathos town, or Κάρπαθος in Greek, same as the island.
This charming small town is located on the east side of the island, a few kilometers from the airport. Pigadia is the most important settlement in Karpathos, because it is the center of local tourism and economy. The capital has the largest port of the area for ferries and excursion boats, but is famous also for its picturesque seaside promenade and great restaurants and bars.
In Karpathos Pigadia is very important for tourism, because this town offer the most tourist services for visitors, where a lot of excursion boats and car rental companies can be find, and also most of the supermarkets and shops are waiting for travellers.
A visit and a sightseeing is strongly recommended, it belongs to the list of the best activities in Karpathos island. If you would like to walk in picturesque streets and alleys, take photos of colourful houses and unique atmospheres, you will like this town!
Pigadia is located on the southeastern side of the island, situated directly next to a wide natural bay. The airport is located quite near, which can be find just about 14 kilometers away. From Karpathos airport to Pigadia visitors can travel by taxi service, local buses or rented cars, and it’s useful information that the trip takes about 20-25′ minutes.
Pigadia has also a large port which can be used by ferries, and this port connects Karpathos with other islands of Greece such as Kasos, Rhodes, or Crete.
Pigadia is usually known as Karpathos town (Κάρπαθος) also, named after the island. Due to historical reasons in Greece there are several islands, which have the same name as the largest towns, such as Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Lefkada, Corfu or Zakynthos. Pigadia got its interesting local name from the springs of the surrounding mountains, because Pigadia means ‘springs’ in Greek language.
The capital of Karpathos island owns an ancient history, because Pigadia was built on the ruins of Potideon, one of the most important ancient cities. Potideon fluorished thousands years ago, and was a leading village of the area with an army, fleet of ships, significant economy and religious life.
The population of Pigadia is 2707 (according to census 2011), which increases significant during summer months due to the tourists who spend their holiday here. Pigadia is the beating heart of the island, which offers the widest range of touristic services such as a lot of apartments, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, souvenir shops, car rental agencies and much more.
The houses of the town were built on a slope of a hill, and are filled with charming streets and narrow alleys, with a feeling of a picturesque old town. Most of the tourists who arrive to Karpathos by travel agencies, stay in this area for its decent location and a lot of services.
In overall Pigadia is one of the best places to explore Karpathos island, because it’s location makes it ideal to discover the south regions and the north area relatively quick and easy.
Where to stay in Pigadia
This town is one of the best places for travellers, and can be recommended for everyone.
If you pick this area for a stay, just click here for the apartments, studios and best hotels in Pigadia (Karpathos town). Read the reviews, watch the photos and book your favourite!
What to find in Pigadia
Pigadia is the primary center of important services in Karpathos island, and there can be found a newly built hospital, a post office, bank, police station, local bus station and taxi station. The largest supermarkets and bakeries of the island awaiting for customers in this town, and there are several souvenir- and clothing stores, pharmacies, groceries for the everyday needs, which serves the locals and the tourists both.
The largest and most important port were built in Pigadia, which can be used for large ferries, medium-sized excursion boats and yachts, and of course for small fishing boats. The ferries connect Karpathos with other Greek islands and with the mainland of Greece.
The center of Pigadia is a really friendly and attractive place, where colorful houses, beautiful balconies, fountains and flowers give interesting charm to the streets. There are a lot of places which offer great panoramic views to the port also, one of the most beautiful places of the town.
If we arrive by car, we can park next to the streets where it is allowed, or just find one of the free public parkings for vehicles. It’s important information that most of the streets are quite narrow here, most of these are filled with the local people’s cars. For parking in Pigadia the recommended solution is to find a public parking lot.
Sights and attractions
Pigadia offer for its visitors several sights and attractions which worth a visit, and most of these are not far from each other. In the center, near the sea there is a large building which is usually painted to yellow, the Town Hall of Karpathos island (Eparchio Karpathou, Επαρχείο Καρπάθου).
The Town Hall, or the Eparchio is a historical monument, which was built by the Italians, when the island was controlled by them between 1926 – 1936. Directly next to the building, in its northwest wing there can be find the small museum of Pigadia, which is dedicated to the archeology.
This is where the Archaeological Museum of Karpathos (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Καρπάθου) opened its gates, showing pieces from the ancient eras of Karpathos. The museum is quite small, but it hosts the most important archeological findings of the island. Near the Archeological Museum and the Town Hall there is a small square, which got its name after the Greek prime minister Alexandros Papagos (Αλέξανδρος Παπάγος).
The open-air theater ‘Poseidonion’ is also situated here, where several musical events and dance performances are taken during summer months, to the great delight of the audience.
In the outskirts archeologists discovered the ancient ruins of Agia Fotini, which dates from the late 5th century. The chapel of Agia Fotini (Αγία Φωτεινή) is one of the few remarkable sights from the past, which still can be seen in Karpathos. Its marble columns, rock carvings and the foundation of the buildings are surrounded by a fence. It’s very easy to find, because is situated directly next to the main road which leads to the north from Pigadia, in the direction of Aperi and Olymbos.
Other interesting sight near Pigadia, which is worth a visit the small cave of Poseidon, known as ‘Poseidon’s Temple’. The cave was used in the ancient times by the priests of Poseidon, a god of the sea from Greek mythology. To visit the most famous cave we must leave the town, but it is just about 1,5 kilometer from the center.
Port of Pigadia
The port of the capital is the primary port of the island, which is also the largest. On maps you can find it as Karpathos port or Λιμάνι Καρπάθου in Greek, it is located in the heart of the town, directly in front of the interesting rocky hillside.
The ferries from other Greek islands, such as from Rhodes or Crete arrive here, and after a short stop the ships continue their journey. This is the place where you can find the excursion boats in Pigadia, offering daily boat trips for tourists.
The boat trips visit the most famous beaches of Karpathos from Pigadia, and travellers can sail to the beautiful Apella beach, the amazing Achata beach, the famous Kyra Panagia beach, and the tiny, but the abandoned Saria island is one of the favourite destinations also.
Most of the excursion boats depart in the morning hours from the port, and only returns in late afternoon, offering all day long trips. The actual schedules of the boat trips are posted at nights in front of the ships, or just ask one of the local tourist offices.
The inner side of the port is well protected with breakwaters, this dock is used by small fishing boats primarily. There is another port in Pigadia, which is located next to the Town Hall, in front of the Archeological Museum of Karpathos. This is a much smaller facility than the main port in the center, because it operates as a ship repair, and it is used by fishing boats. Karpathos diving center is situated behind the small port, so if you are interested about diving possibilities, just ask these guys.
Another important sight of Pigadia can be find behind this tiny port, where visitors can meet Captain Konstantinos Iliakis Monument (Μνημείο Σμηναγού Κώστα Ηλιάκη). This is a small monument, which is dedicated to a tragically deceased aircraft captain.
About the promenade and the pedestrian streets
The promenades of Pigadia are situated between the Town Hall and the large port. This part of Karpathos town is filled with restaurants, coffee bars, souvenir stores, tourist offices, candy stores, etc, and this is the most bustling place in the evenings.
Most of the streets in the center are narrow alleys for pedestrian traffic, where the cars don’t allowed to drive. The port road can be used during daytime, but in the evenings it is closed for traffic.
During summer evenings, especially in the high season months of July and August the streets of Pigadia are filled with walking tourists, the promenade is visited by hundreds of travellers and locals every day. The views of the port with its emerald waters and the colorful houses are so charming, which make this town one of the most beloved capitals in Dodecanese islands, and also in Greece.
The gift shops offer a lot of Greek souvenirs, many of these are made in Karpathos island, but there can be find also the most common plastic gifts also. If you would like to buy a gift which were really made here, just ask the seller or watch carefully the labels of the items.
On the pedestrian street there are also tourist offices, where boats trips, adventure programs and ferry tickets can be purchased.
The nightlife of Karpathos town is much calmer than several other Greek islands, such as Rhodes town (Rodos), or town large towns of Crete, but it’s not boring either. So if you spend your holiday in Karpathos island in other village but you want some hustle and bustle, just visit Pigadia. Most of the stores, restaurants, bars and gift shops are open till late night, so there is no need to rush anywhere.
Most of the local events are held in the open air theater, during summer nights visitors can catch a musical show or a small gathering here. These local shows are often advertised on billboards and posters. In the evenings the best restaurants and coffee bars fill up with guests, there are some taverns which are always full during the weeks of high season.
The long beach is located in the north outskirts, which is just a few minutes walk from the center. The nearest parts of Pigadia beach are well organized, these are very popular beaches in Karpathos due to the several hotels and apartments of the area. The biggest hotels of the island were built at this place, such as the famous Alimounda Mare Hotel or Konstantinos Palace hotel.
Most of the people call the entire long bay as Pigadia beach, but it is also usually known as sections of Limniatis beach, Afoti beach and Vrontis beach. These names depend from the distance, but the characteristics of these areas are quite similar. In front of the sea there are the lines of parasols and sunbeds, with some hotels, apartments and beach bars behind.
The bay of Pigadia is one of the largest natural bays in Karpathos island with a length of 4 kilometers, therefore when the nearest parts are crowded, a little further away there can be find slightly secluded areas to enjoy the beach without a lot of people. The coastline deepens moderate here, and covered by coarse sand and pebbles. The coast may be windy and sometimes there are waves also.
Where to stay? Apartments and hotels
The area of Karpathos town offers the most accommodations in the island, just take a look below to see the hotels, apartments and studios. The largest hotels and apartments of the island were built in the outskirts of Pigadia, especially in the north area. Some of these accommodations are situated near the main road, some of these are in the center, and there are also apartments and hotels with a beachfront.
Read the reviews of apartments and hotels, and book your favourite
Before travelling to Pigadia it’s always worth the check the photos, ratings and the reviews of the local accommodations.
Click here and take a look all the apartments, hotels and studios, with images and real guest reviews.
If you find your favourite, just book it!
If you would like to know what are the most recommended apartments and hotels, top picks in Karpathos town, just click the links below. The 5 stars hotels of Karpathos island are situated here, Alimounda Mare Hotel and Konstantinos Palace Hotel, both can be find near Pigadia beach.
Recommended apartments, studios
When you visit Karpathos, a trip to Pigadia is definitely recommended, no matter where you stay on the island. Just feel the charm of the largest town of the island, take a look to the panoramic views of the port, and discover the picturesque streets.
Don’t forget the local daily boat trips and excursions which sail to the best beaches, or just take a walk in the heart of Karpathos, and you will like it.
- Location: 14 kilometers to Karpathos Airport (AOK)
- Coordinates: 35.506817, 27.212014
- Population: 2707 (census 2011)
- Can be accessed via asphalt road