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|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 namee 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.