Karpathos is not the most popular, or largest of the Greek islands. In fact, it lies in the 15th spot in terms of the top 30 largest Greek Islands.
The island is part of the Dodecanese collection of islands between Crete and Turkey and slightly off the beaten track. It will take a bit more travelling to get here, but it is worth every effort!
Nothing beats a summer vacation on a Greek Island. And this little-known gem of an island in the south-east Aegean Sea is no exception.
The average temperatures from May to October are above 20°C (70°F).
Greece’s summer is from June to August, but the weather conditions are just as great just before and after the summer season. Also, you’ll pick up cheaper accommodation before or after the peak season.
And put on your walking shoes for long scenic walks, with your camera in hand to capture all the scenic views. One place that immediately comes to mind is Olympos.
The quaint mountain village of Olympos sits on the northern side of the island. Here you’ll find that women still proudly wear colorful handmade costumes.
Another pretty village is Mesochori, 34 km northwest of Pigadia, which is the capital city of Karpathos.
Besides the beautiful whitewashed houses and natural springs, you’ll enjoy the most beautiful sunsets from Mesochori.
The church of Agios Ioannis, the church of the Virgin, and the Byzantine church of Agia Irini is worth seeing while you’re here. The frescoes are simply beautiful.
Above, from left to right you have Mesochori and Lefkos beach on the right.
Hike to some of the remote and equally pristine beaches on the island’s coastline. Agios Minas beach has a Taverna, but some of the remote beaches have absolutely nothing. For instance, at Kato Lakkos you may very well end up having the beach to yourself! Kato Lakkos is accessible by foot only (about a 20-minute hike, excluding photo breaks) Forget even a 4 x 4 drive. I guess one should not be surprised if you are joined by one or two naturists, as in our case.
Being on an island, fish is a given. In all of its varieties – cooked, boiled, grilled, baked, cold, warm…
However, when it comes to Karpathian cuisine, there are a few favorites I recommend.
You can’t help but NOT love this delicious variety of Greek pasta. It is a traditional meal in Karpathos, made with flour and water. It has no egg whatsoever, which makes it pleasantly different from the usual pasta dishes.
My Mom used to wrap spiced beef mince in cabbage leaves. Little did I know it’s a variety of the original Greek Dolmades! The traditional Greek way is to wrap a rice and herb mixture in grape (vine) leaves and boil it until tender.
I love a good salad and I was not disappointed with my choice. It came with super tasty bread cubes and the salad was as fresh as a daisy!
When you feel like a break from fish, try Byzanti, a Karpathian meat specialty. It’s a traditional meal during the Greek Easter season. The meat, either a goat kid or lamb, is filled with a mixture of chopped offal, rice or bulgur, and scallions.
Accommodation in Karpathos varies from luxurious stays to self-catering options. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
These are the most popular places (listed in no specific order) to stay in Karpathos, as voted by experienced travel buddies.