|Karpathos car rental|
|Agios Nikolaos beach|
|Amoopi / Lakki|
|Kyra Panagia beach|
|Pigadia / Karpathos stad|
|The Greek islands||Karpathos HOME||Karpathos Hotels||Karpathos Beaches||Karpathos Pictures||Karpathos Sights|
|Karpathos, an island divided into two parts|
The island of Karpathos in the Dodekanesos is 301 km2 large and it has about 5500 inhabitants. It is a quiet and relatively unspoiled island. Because there is an international airport in the south of the island most tourists come by plane. The connections with the ferries are less frequent. Karpathos is more or less a bit unfriendly in the middle of the island and this is why the ferries stop both in the north (Diafani) and the south (Pigadia or Karpathos town).
Karpathos has high mountains and green areas with a lot of trees. There are also a number of beautiful beaches on the island. One of the popular beaches is Amopi in the south, to which there is also a bus connection. Furthermore, the bus service is rather scarce and the road surface toward the north is not very good. Also, there are not many petrol stations.
The capital, Pigadia lies in the flatter and more densely populated south of the island. It lacks a truly historic heart. The best parts are the port and the couple of kilometers long beach north of the city. This beach is the busiest beach on the island, partly because there are many hotels on the strip. In the port of Pigadia lie the wooden fishing boats and the excursion boats and here also the ferries come in. Around the port are the restaurants and shops.
In the high season there are small boats from Pigadia to the beaches along the coast. The last beach on the route, Apella, is easily the best. The main tourist resort of Karpathos lies south of the capital in Amopi, with three bays with beautiful beaches, tavernas and hotels for tourists. The village of Aperi above Pigadia, is the ancient capital of the island and houses the cathedral. Here you find many splendid private holiday houses.
From Aperi, the road leads to the more authentic villages of Volada and Orthos. This last village is the highest village in the island (510 metres) and it can be chilly. After that going down the road leads to one of the most attractive mountain villages, Piles and then to Lefkos on the coast. Also Menetes, just southeast of Pigadia, that is a beautiful and authentic mountain village. There are large mansions and small white houses. Behind Menetes is the increasingly popular village Arkasa. Here are some remnants of a Mycenean city and there is a nice beach.
In the north of Karpathos there are less villages and it is much higher. Here the island is not more than a mountain ridge arising from the sea. From Mesochori and Spoa (almost in the middle of the island) there is a road to the north, but this it is very bad and not really suitable for cars. The main way to travel from the north to the south of the island (and reversed), is by the wooden boats that take this route regularly and that also more or less exist at the grace of tourism. In the north lies the famous village of Olympos, which is easily the most photogenic village on the island. It is a traditional village with a beautiful row of restored windmills. Many of the residents here dress in the traditional clothing of the island.
Update 2012 by Marianne Hagestein:
Update 2014 of Tim Bruinenberg: I have rented a scooter on Karpathos (50cc, but with large wheels) I actually toured the whole island and the roads were in good condition. The road to Olympos is also paved except for about 50 meters. And even these 50 meters are easy to do with your scooter. This is about 1 to 1.5 km past the village of Spoa. However, a serious warning is in place if you do this. The weather north of Spoa is erratic in this region and there is a very strong gusty west wind. (However, very nice rough environment). But with a speed of 20 km and driving in the middle of the road, I was fine. It is very quiet in this part of Karpathos. Other info: From the last gas station to Olympos is 40 km. Do you also want to go back and forth, as I have done to Avlona and Diafani, there will be another kilometer or 25. So together more than 100 kilometers on the scooter and since there are no petrol stations in this area you have to take this into account.
From Karpathos town you can make boat trips along the coast to Diafani and there is also an opportunity to visit the small uninhabited island SARIA. On this island you will see an old pirate town. Also from Diafani you can sail this island. From Diafani there is a bus to the village of Olympos. You can also rent a car to look at the island at the time and way that is best suitable for yourself.
|Rent a car on Karpathos - Karpathos car rentals|
When you visit Karpathos it is a good plan to rent a a car, because if you don't you are missing out on a lot. Karpathos is quite large and the island has a lot of things to offer. It is a good plan to go and explore it with your own means of transport.
Compare prices of the different car rentals and different kinds of cars with reviews of the car rental company on the website of rentalcars.com - click here.
|Plane tickets to Karpathos|
The island of Karpathos has an international airport so maybe you can book a direct flight from your country to Karpathos. Aegean Airlines / Olympic Airlines have regular flights from Athens to the island of Karpathos.
|Ferries to and from the island of Karpathos in Greece - island hopping from Karpathos|
From Karpathos there are regular ferries (as well normal as socalled "superfast ferries") to the town of Piraeus on the mainland and to other islands in the surroundings, such as Crete and several islands in the Dodecanese group.
You can check the times and prices and if you like you can book a ticket ahead on the site of Ferries-booking.com. Especially if you want to be on a superfast ferry during the high season this could be a good plan.
|The beaches of Karpathos|
First of all, there is the beach in the village Pigidia. This is the busiest beach on the island, partly because there are many hotels along and near the beach. In the south of the beach it consists primarily of sand and in the north there are more pebbles. You can rent umbrellas and sunbeds and along the beach are tavernas for a snack and a drink. In Pigadia there are three beaches: Afoti, Ammos-Xenonas and Vrontis. The beach of Vrontis is about 1 kilometer away from Pigadia, and it is perhaps not the most beautiful beach of the island, but it is the longest.
One of the most popular beaches is Amopi beach in the south of Karpathos, where a local bus makes a stop (only once a day in the summer season). Amopi consists of three bays with three different beaches. There is a pebble beach, a sandy beach and a small bay with a beach. The small beach is known as Micro Amopi in large one as Megalo (large) Amopi or Votsalakia. The sand beach has a taverna, and you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds here. It is popular among families with children because the beach is shallow, making it easy to get into the water.
The beach of Apella is regarded as the most beautiful beach of the island, and even as the most beautiful beach of the Mediterranean Sea, and it is in the list of most beautiful beaches in the world. It lies in the village with the same name on the east side of the island, 15 kilometres from Pigadia. It is situated in a bay surrounded by mountains and the sea is azure blue. Previously it was only reachable by boat if you wanted to get there but nowadays you can also get there by road. From the port of Karpathos town / Pigadia you can get on a boat every morning and go to the Apella and this is the easiest way to get to the beach (the road is not very good on some parts). The trip takes about 45 minutes. Since a few years You can also rent sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach.
South of the Apella beach, 12 kilometres from Pigadia, is the beach of Achata. It is a beach with white pebbles and sand surrounded by hills and it's pretty green. The water of the sea's emerald green. Here in Achata it is quite peaceful. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent in the beach resort of Achata and there is a taverna where you can eat or drink anything. At the beach itself there are no accommodations or rooms for rent.
Between the beaches of Achata and Apella, 14 kilometres from the capital, Pigadia, on the west coast of the island of Karpathos is the beach of Kyra Panagia. The beach is located in a bay that is surrounded by mountains. It is a mix of white sand and smooth pebbles. You can get there by a car, by motor bike or by boat from Pigadia. At the beach is a taverna and you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds. Near the beach are also a hotel, an apartment complex and there are some rooms for rent.
The beach of Damatria is situated 13 kilometres southeast of Pigadia. It is a beach with sand and fine pebbles and the beach is shallow. You can get there by taking the road to the airport and take the unpaved path on the left side. The path to the coast is about 1 kilometer long
In the southwest of the island is the beach at Diakofti. Drive from Pigadia to the south and take the road to Arkassa. Turn left and follow the road along the runway of the airport. Go left at the junction. At the end of the road lies the bay. The beach of Diakofti is very quiet but sometimes clutter from the sea clutter is blown in, so it's not always clean. The beach is split into two by a kind of sandstone rock. Also if you turn right at the junction you will end up in different bays with beaches.
If you drive a little further from Diakofti than you get to the beach from Pounta. On this beach and the bay next to it you will find many naturists. It is a quiet and beautiful beach with pretty rocks in the seawater. Throughout the whole southwestern area you will find many more nice and quiet coves with beaches, it is just a matter of taking a road and seeing where it ends.
The beach of Arkassa (also called Agios Nikolaos Beach) on the southwest side of the island has a beautiful sandy beach, that has been crowned as one of the cleanest beaches in Greece, but the sea can be a bit rough from time to time and there are almost always high waves. Also there can be a bit of current, especially on the left side of the beach. On the beach you find umbrellas and sunbeds for rent and there is a taverna. You can reach Arkassa by car or by bus from Pigadia.
At a distance of 33 kilometers northwest of Pigadia lies the beach at Lefkos. Here at the village Lefkos there are three bays with sandy beaches. There are also some accommodations in the village where you can rent a room.
The beach of Finiki is situated at a distance of 21 kilometres of Pigadia, on the west side of the island. In Finiki there is a beautiful sandy beach. There are also some hotels and tavernas in the village near the beach.
This is just a brief summary of some of the beaches on the island of Karpathos, because there are many more, such as the remote Psoraris beach (no facilities) or the long pebble beach of Valias (windsurfing, umbrellas and sunbeds), both in the south-east of the island. It seems to me the best plan to just rent a car for a couple of days or a bike and then a tour around the island for a bit to go and explore some of the beaches that can be found on the shores of Karpathos.
|Naturist beaches on the island of Karpathos|
On Karpathos there is enough choice for people who are looking for naturist beaches.
In Amopi, just under the capital Pigadia near the Lakki Beach Hotel there is a naturist beach. During the high season, the number of naturists is slightly smaller than outside the months of July and August. Amopi actually consists of four beaches and on two of them you can plunge into the sea without your textiles. On these beaches there are also sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.
The Golden Sands Beach is also a naturist beach. There are no facilities here, so you must bring your own water and food.
Near Lefkos are three or four beaches. The beaches at Lefkas belong to the best of the island. Leading from the end of the last beach, at Hotel Sarris, there is a path that after about ten minutes walking will end up at a naturist beach. Again, there are no facilities such as a taverna or umbrellas and sunbeds. 5 Minutes away is another small beach where you can swim nude.
Near Kato Lakos in the east of the island there are four beaches and some of them are also used by naturists. There is a beach in the southern part and there are three beaches in bays on the north side. The third of these beaches is the most beautiful. There is not a taverna, so bring your own water and food.
he difficult to reach Agontia beach, at the end of a bad side-road between Spoa and Olympos is also suitable for naturists. Turn off after about 10 kilometers to Aghia Minas and then to Agnontia. It is a quiet beach with a mix of nudists and people in swimwear. No taverna on this beach.
Finally, there is also a small bay next to the beach of Pounta, near the airport, where when you are the first to arrive you can turn it into a naturist beach.
|The sights of Karpathos|
The main excursion that is made on Karpathos is the trip to the mountain village Olympos with its beautiful old stone windmills. This is the most dramatic and photogenic village on the island where it seems as if time has stood still, and the village is also a "protected area". In the village are both medieval and modern buildings. The village dates from 1420 and is famous for its ancient windmills and many narrow streets with souvenir shops, older people in traditional costumes, and there is also a kind of museum in one of the houses with embroidery and other small items. Since the ancient times Olympus has been hidden on the mountain because of the pirate attacks. It can be reached by bus from the harbour Diafani over a bad road. They are busy putting asfalt on this road and it is should be finished in the summer of 2008. From Pigadia there are organized excursions to Diafani and Olympos every day.
SARIA is the name of the small island on the north side of Karpathos. It is assumed that there was an ancient city on the island in antiquity with the name of Nissyros. There are traces of habitation found in the areas that are called Palatia and Argos, and also ancient tombs have been found. SARIA was once the home of pirates. Officially the island now has two residents, two shepherds. Most land on the island belongs to the inhabitants of a village on Karpathos, who used their bring their sheep to the island for grazing. They just walked through the sea to the island, because the island is located only 100 metres away from Karpathos and it is only 1.5 meters deep. The visitors to the island come take a look at Palatio (which literally means "palaces"). Palatio dates from the 9th / 10th century after Christ and was built by pirates. The buildings are strangely shaped. According to the residents the Chapel of Agia Sophia in the mooring place of the boats stands on the spot where once there was a large church with 100 doors and 100 bells, and bit by bit the pirates have stolen it all.
On the island of Karpathos there are several ruins and remnants of ancient towns and buildings that you can visit. Sometimes there is not much left to be seen because it has been devastated by the pirates, or because the residents of the island have taken the stones and used them as building material for newer buildings. Between the 7th and the 10th century AD much looting was carried out by these pirates and the residents moved from the coast to higher-lying areas. If you want to see the ruins, you usually have to leave the main road. In Lefkos are the remnants of an ancient city. There are a number of cave houses, an old underground temple and Roman remains. You follow the road to Lefkos and turn off at the sign that points to the Lefkos Hotel. Along this road to the hotel you pass the sign that refers to the ancient ruins. At Agios Nikolaos, the remnants of the old city Marathos can be seen at the end of a difficult road. Spread over the island there are even more scattered remnants of ancient cities. In Akassa and Potideon are the visible remnants of ancient cities and in Paleokastro the remains of an old fort from the Venetian and Ottoman times. In Olympos are the remains of the old Vrykous.
There are several beautiful churches on Karpathos you can go and see, such as the Church of Agios Mamas. Also at the beach of Pigadia are the (not very impressive) remains of an ancient Christian church, the Agia Foteini, from the 5th/6rh century. In Olympos is the Church of the Holy Virgin Mary dating from the 16th century and on top of the mountain is the church of Agios Onoufrios. The most famous church of Karpathos is situated in Menetes and dates from the 19th century.
|Karpathos 2008 - Rita Woldringh|
This year we spent two wonderful weeks on the southern island of Karpathos and stayed in a complex that was praised and is called "Sound of the Sea." These apartments are situated right on the sea, somewhat isolated, at 10 minutes walking distance (over a hill) of the ever so cosy Pigadia main town, where you can choose from many fine restaurants. The atmosphere is great and everywhere you are welcomed with open arms!
For a week we had rented a (brand new) Nissan Micra and we have explored the island. The northernmost part was only accessible by jeep, because the roads there are not (yet) paved. Many attractions on Karpathos are difficult to find, but there is a stunning, pristine nature, especially in the east. The beaches there, as Achata, Kyra Panagia and Apella were really beautiful, but naturism was not (more) allowed and beachchairs and parasols took over: a mortal sin! In Amopi there was a tiny beach, also equipped with beds, which was intended for naturists, but this was not appeal to us. The quiet beach with no facilities, known as Golden Sands, we unfortunately could not find and Inquiries told us it did not exist??? (probably also absorbed by the textile people...). But we found the best places around the airport, where there are several heavenly bays available, and where we felt like Robinson Crusoe. To get here you do have to have your own transport. Also the beach near Lefkos you indicated was great. Furthermore, we have made a boat excursion to the mountain village of Olympos, a photogenic place, but very commercial.
All in all: We enjoyed it very much and are already looking for the next Greek destination .... From our huge collection of photos we are sending you a few.