Karpathos is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, located about 47 kilometers southwest of Rhodos. The highest point is Mt. Lastos, at 1,215 meters. Pigadia (official name Karpathos), the capital and main port of the island, is located in the southeast of the island.
The capital is surrounded by the villages of Menetes, Arkasa, Aperi, Volada, Othos, and Pyles. In the north Mesochori, Spoa and Olympos. There are two ports, in Karpathos and in the north of the island next to Olympos named Diafani.
The island’s population is about 6,000 inhabitants. This number more than doubles in the summer months as many Karpathian expatriates come to the island for their vacation with their families. Also, taking into consideration the number of tourists that visit, there can be up to 20,000 people on the island during the summer months.
Karpathos is covered with high mountains, and is therefore a wonderful island for walkers/trekkers. There are many paths with walks ranging from easy walks to nearby beaches to more demanding walks in the mountains. Check Internet for routes, maps and recommendations.
Pigadia (Karpathos City) – Karpathos, July 2014
Our hotel was located at the end of the pedestrian street, and just a few steps down we could walk along the pier all the way to the marina. Pigadia is a typical Greek island town with white houses around a bay with fishing vessels moored in the marina. Along the marina there are lots of restaurants and shops.
In this video we walk along the pier from our hotel, have lunch in the marina area, and walk back through pedestrian street. In the evening we walk back into town for dinner.
Pagidia early evening, July 2014
After a day on the beach, and a shower and nap, the best time of the day is just before sunset. The streets are relatively quiet, the temperature is bearable, and the early evening light is soft.
Just to sit outside a bar watching people passing by, with a drink and some snacks, is relaxing. Then stoll down the pedestrian street all the way to the church and graveyard overlooking the sea. Later walk back into town and start lookining for a restaurant for your dinner.
Pigadia Evening, July 2014
The town is not known for a vibrant nightlife, but the evenings are nice. Sit on a street side tavern with a coffee or a drink and watch people passing by. Walk along the the pier or in the pedestrian street and enjoy the mild evenings.
Then walk along the restaurants and find one you like. If you are not sure what to order from the menu, just ask the waiter to show you the dishes in the kitchen. This is quite common in at least smaller family restaurants in Greece.
Apella Beach, July 2014
Chapel on a hilltop outside Pigadia, July 2014
The best time for walking is before it gets too hot in the morning. If you walk southwards in the upper part of the town you will find a small road running along the coast.
The road turns uphill, and you will reach the monastery Panagia Lamiotissa with a tall cross at a view point on the other side of the road.
Then walk up a steep winding road, and you will reach the chapel Eklisia Agia Kiriaki.
Olympos Village, July 2014
Olympos is located up in the mountains in the northern part of the island, overlooking the sea on the far side. Population is about 550. It was named after the mountain where it is built. The villagers have kept the local dialect and the traditional costume due to the isolation of this place from the rest of Karpathos, and this traditional style attracts many tourists.
We rented a car and followed a very winding road along the coast. The car had to be parked outside the village, because the streets were to narrow for cars. Along the street to the main square with the church there are shops and a few taverns. A visit to Olympos is recommended!
Hiking from Othos in the mountain down to Pigadia, July 2014
There are many beautiful hiking routes in Karpathos. Among the villages you can find many footpaths, which are often marked by signs or red dots painted on rocks.
I took the bus from Pigadia to Othos. I walked through the village and had to ask the way to the first marker sign.
Thereafter it was all downhill back to Pigadia. Very warm and dusty, but worth it. It took me several hours.
<– Click on photo to view a photo series from Karpathos