Crete to Karpathos

Quiet Island Charm

Crete to Karpathos... Κάρπαθος this is a large and rugged island to the east of Kriti. Exploring from Kriti is easy by regular flights or by ferry from Crete on the way to Rhodos and the Dodecanissa.

About the island...

Crete to Karpathos (image by Funtukli)

This windswept island has an intriguing history and culture, many untouched beaches and suits those independent travellers looking for a little extra adventure and the real Mediterranean experience.

Half way between Crete and Rhodes, the island has a small permanent population and while it gets a little busier during summer, it is not a highly touristic island and still keeps its natural feel.

This is pure Mediterranean; sparse and dry, isolated and silent. The sandy grey-greens contrast against the pure blue of the sea. Cicadas singing rhythmically, followed by summer silence…

The island has ten or so villages. Pigadia in the south-east is the main port and capital.

Village scene - cat on raffia chair (image by Greenmanalishi)

Other southern villages are Menetes, Arkasa, Amoopi and Finiki, and the mountain villages of Aperi, Volanda, Othos and Piles.

In the north are villages of Olymbos, Avlona and Diafani.

In the centre of the island are the villages of Mesochori, Spoa and Lefkos.

The winds blow hard on this island, trees are bent over permanently showing the force of the near continual blast.

Known in Italian as Scarpanto, the island's location in the middle of the crossing between the east and west ensured a violent and diabolical history, woven amongst the fabric of the history of Greece.

Cars are main transport on the island, in fact, some areas are four-wheel-drive-only territory. Travel to Olymbos is difficult as the high mountain roads are not paved.

Arkassa Village (Image by Peter)

Arkassa (above) is a beautiful simple seaside village in the south of the island only 10 km from the airport.

A perfect location for boating, hiking, scuba diving, windsurfing and water sports, this gorgeous little town has grown to provide services for travellers, yet kept is natural charm.

From Crete to Karpathos

There are options to travel from Crete to Karpathos (or return):
• Ferry with ANEK Lines
• Flight via Athens with Aegean or Olympic Airlines

The ferry journey from Heraklion to Karpathos takes about 7 and 50 minutes. The crossing from Sitia to Karpathos takes about 4 hours and 25 minutes. The fare for a shared berth is €50; there are cheaper and more expensive options.

See schedules for Crete to Karpathos ferry here...

Videos of Karpathos

Here we show some videos of Karpathos. The film below comes from the Society of Protection of the Culture of the Dodecanese. It shows the stunning scenery of the island.

Below is part of the documentary Karpathos - The Land and its Music.

Below is a video of traditional music in a small village of Karpathos. The lyra, laouto, tsambouna and the violi are the traditional Karpathian musical instruments.

The Sea of Karpathos in summer – a touching self-made video proving that love, friendship and summer are timeless…

Images of Karpathos

Colours of Fishing Boat (Image by Green Manalishi)

Pigadi harbour - pebbles and clear water (image by Inottawa)

Beaches are sandy and the water clear (image by Ufoncz)

South of the island looking north (Image by Sotiris Farmadakis)

Where to Stay...

Choose from small B&Bs and pensions to larger resorts and hotels, there are plenty of places to stay in Karpathos

Arkasa in the west of the island is quieter and more authentically Greek...

Apolis Hotel, Amoopi

Amoopi to the south is beautiful and there are many good B&Bs to choose from...or if you would prefer a little comfort the Apolis Hotel (left) is set by the most stunning crystal clear bay and has all modern facilities including a lovely big pool...

Apolis Hotel, Amoopi

The charm of this hotel is its remote setting - you could beleive you are the only person on this stretch of coastline in the Mediterranean, the rocky coves are perfect for exploration,

More information and bookings at the Apolis Hotel, Amoopi, Karpathos...


You may pass by Diafani (above) on the ferry from Crete to Rhodes or, of course, from Rhodes to Crete. Diafani is a small village on the east side of the island with crystal clear waters and plenty of space, peace and quiet.

Fishing, diving, spearfishing, relaxing and walking are popular activities in and around the northern part of the island. Diafani is 7 km from Olympos, one of the traditional villages of the island, from where magic sunsets can be seen. Boat trips to nearby island of Saria and beautiful untouches beaches can easily be arranged.

Dorana Studios, Diafani - handy to the port and a budget price

Dorana Studios is a small family-run business and Minas gives each and every guest his personal attention.

Guest review: "Minas is one of the most friendly and helpful people ever known. The rooms are equipped with every comfort and fairly spacious room with sea view. Advice for those who want to stop in Olympos or the beaches of the north. Breakfast plentiful and delicious! Recommended to all!" Mairgons, Bergamo, Italy

More information and bookings at Dorana Studios, Diafani

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