This page may contain affiliate links, see our disclaimer here.
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.
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, also called Karpathos.
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 (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.
Visit the beaches in the south and east of the island: Kyra Panagia, Apella, Agios Nikolaos, Amoopi, Karpathos Beach, Achata, Kato Latos (reachable only by foot), Kyra Panagia, Apella, Agios Nikolaos, Damatria, Diakoftis, Devils Bay
There are options to travel from Crete to Karpathos (or return):
The ferry journey from Heraklion to Karpathos takes about 7 hours 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. Ferries arrive into the port of Karpathos, with the same name, Karpathos, in the south-east of the island.
Flights from Crete to Athens, departing from either Chania or Heraklion, are around 1 hour duration, and flights from Athens to Karpathos are 1 hour and 5 minutes. Get to Karpathos before lunch with a good connection in Athens. Fly with Aegean or Olympic Airlines.
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.
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.
The charm of this hotel is its remote setting - you could believe you are the only person on this stretch of coastline in the Mediterranean, the rocky coves are perfect for exploration,
Situated 1 km from Pigadia port, also known as Karpathos, in the island's capital, are Dimitra Apartments, a simple, modern, small group of apartments set a little inland from the beach. These comfortable rooms make a great base from which to explore the island, and are perfect for self-catering.
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…
The video below shows just some of the sights and activities for active travellers on Karpathos, climbing, hiking, biking and diving.
Rock climbing is very popular in Karpathos, it is dotted with stony mountains everywhere, get away from everything with just the fresh air and the wind in your hair. With few tourists, quiet calm villages, fresh natural beaches, good windsurfing and surfing, this is a great island for adventure. There are many great climbing routes and experienced guides to take you to the climbs.
Karpathos Adventure will take you climbing, surfing, mountain biking, hiking or windsurfing.
You may take the ferry from Crete to Karpathos to the port of Diafani. You may pass by Diafani (above and below) 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 untouched beaches can easily be arranged.
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