Karpathos Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Karpathos, Greece with ease using this comprehensive guide which covers the best places to visit, things to do, and more!

Karpathos, one of the lesser-known Greek islands, is a hidden gem located in the Dodecanese archipelago in the southeastern part of Greece. Although this island is not on the average traveler’s radar, it is a perfect destination for those looking to explore a unique side of Greece. With its rugged mountains, pristine beaches, rich heritage and picturesque villages, Karpathos offers a range of experiences that cater to every traveler’s wants and needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip to Karpathos.

Introduction to Karpathos

Karpathos is the second-largest island of the Dodecanese, with a total area of 301 square kilometers. It is located between the islands of Rhodes and Crete, and it is known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning landscapes, and scenic villages. With a population of around 6,500 inhabitants, Karpathos has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it perfect for a relaxing vacation.

List of Places to Visit in Karpathos

Karpathos has a lot to offer when it comes to attractions. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying breathtaking views, or simply relaxing on the beach, there is something for everyone. Here is a list of the must-visit places in Karpathos:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Archaeological Museum
  • Folklore Museum of Olympos
  • Church of Panagia Kastriani
  • Acropolis of Arkasa
  • Church of Our Lady of the Assumption
  • Agia Kyriaki church

Natural Attractions of Karpathos: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Profitis Ilias
  • Diakoftis Beach
  • Kyra Panagia Beach
  • Apella Beach
  • Kira Panagia cave
  • Valley of the Olymbos

Hiking/Biking Routes of Karpathos

Karpathos is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers and bikers. There are numerous hiking and biking routes available on the island that allow visitors to explore its rugged landscape and scenic views. Some of the most popular routes include:

  • Trail from Olympos to Diafani
  • Trail from Olympos to Avlona
  • Trail from Othos to Pyles
  • Trail from Spoa to Lefkos

Best Things to Do in Karpathos: Activities and Tours

Karpathos offers a range of activities and tours, catering to every traveler’s desires. Whether you’re interested in exploring the island’s culture, indulging in outdoor activities, or simply relaxing on the beach, there is something for you. Here are the top things to do in Karpathos:

  • Explore the picturesque village of Olympos
  • Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
  • Enjoy the Kamari beach day and night life
  • Visit the stunning beaches of Amopi
  • Experience the Wind and kite surfing experience on Mikri Amopi Beach
  • Visit the beautiful nature of Agios Ioannis islet

Week-Long Itinerary for Karpathos

If you plan to stay in Karpathos for a week, here’s a suggested itinerary to make most of your stay:

Day 1: Explore the Village of Olympos Day 2: Visit the Valley of the Olymbos Day 3: Go for a beach day in Apella Beach Day 4: Take a trip to Diakoftis Beach Day 5: Have an active day of windsurfing in Mikri Amopi Beach Day 6: Visit the Byzantine church of Agioi Apostoloi Day 7: Enjoy a relaxing day in Kyra Panagia Beach

Food and Drink Scene of Karpathos

Karpathos has a rich culinary heritage, which can be traced back to its ancient roots. With its fresh seafood, locally produced meats, and flavorful vegetables and fruits, Karpathos cuisine is a must-try for foodies. Some of the must-try dishes include:

Must-Try Dishes

  • “Pitta” bread of Karpathos
  • Lamp Exohiko
  • Makarounes (Pasta made of flour, water and salt)
  • Queso Karpassia (Sheep’s Cheese)
  • Avgato (lamb stew)

Local Beverages

  • Karpathian Wine
  • Brandy (Tsikoudia)

Where to Stay in Karpathos: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Karpathos offers a variety of accommodation options, catering to all budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel, a budget-friendly hostel, or a cozy guesthouse, you’ll find it on the island. Some of the popular options include:

  • Apollo Hotel
  • Alkioni Hotel
  • Arkasa Palace Boutique Villas
  • Hotel Poseidon
  • Karpathos Village Hotel
  • Anna’s Place

What to Buy in Karpathos: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Karpathos is known for its handicrafts, textiles, ceramics, and jewelry. Visitors can buy souvenirs and local products at the island’s markets, artisan shops, and boutiques. Some popular items include:

  • Embroidered textiles
  • Pottery products
  • Ceramics
  • Handmade jewelry

Local Culture and Customs of Karpathos

Karpathos has a rich cultural and folkloric heritage, which is evident in its festivals, traditions, and customs. The island celebrates various festivals, including the Festival of Panagia, which is held on August 15th, and the Feast of the Assumption of Saint Mary, which takes place on August 14th. The islanders also have unique customs, such as the “Apokries” or Carnival celebrations, where they wear traditional costumes and masks.

Best Time to Visit Karpathos

The best time to visit Karpathos is from May to September when the weather is warm and sunny. The peak season is from July to August, when the island is busiest, and the prices are high. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, consider visiting in May or September when the crowds are thinner, and the prices are lower.

Do’s and Don’ts of Karpathos

Here are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while visiting Karpathos:


  • Respect the island’s cultural heritage and traditions
  • Try the local cuisine and delicacies
  • Explore the off-the-beaten-track areas of the island
  • Bring sunscreen and protective gear for outdoor activities


  • Ignore rules and regulations regarding environmental protection
  • Wear inappropriate clothing in religious sites
  • Forget to book your accommodation in advance during the peak season

Safety and Health

Safety in Karpathos

Karpathos is a safe destination for travelers. The crime rate is low, and tourists can move around the island without worrying about their safety. However, visitors should take precautions to protect their valuables and avoid leaving them unattended on beaches or other public places.

Health in Karpathos

Karpathos has a modern healthcare system, and visitors can access medical services in case of emergencies. However, it is recommended to have adequate travel insurance before embarking on a trip to ensure health coverage.

Getting to Karpathos: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Karpathos

Karpathos Island National Airport located in the south of the island, is the main airport in Karpathos. There are daily flights that operate from Athens, Rhodes, and other Greek cities.

Ferry Services

There are ferry services available between Karpathos and other neighboring islands like Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini. Visitors can also take ferries to Piraeus, the main port of Athens.

Bus Stations Near Karpathos

Karpathos has a well-developed bus system that covers most of the island’s major towns and tourist destinations. Visitors can access the central bus station located in Pigadia.

Other Options

Visitors who prefer to drive around the island can rent a car, jeep, or a motorcycle from numerous car rental services available on the island.

How to Get Around in Karpathos

Visitors to Karpathos can get around the island using buses, taxis, rental cars, or motorcycles. Buses are the most convenient option for those who prefer public transportation, while taxis are ideal for short distances.

Where to Go Next from Karpathos: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Karpathos is an ideal base for exploring other nearby islands and destinations. Some of the most popular options for excursions include:

  • Visit the Island of Kasos
  • Day trip to the Island of Crete
  • Take a ferry to Rhodes


Karpathos is a hidden gem that offers a unique experience for travelers seeking something different from the typical European destinations. With its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage, Karpathos has something to offer for everyone. This comprehensive guide includes all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Karpathos. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!