Karpathos Island Guide

Karpathos Island Overview

It would be very easy to overlook Karpathos as a holiday destination. Nestled between the larger and more popular island of Rhodes and the much, much larger island of Crete, it’s not somewhere I had even considered visiting until 2021. While planning my extended tour of the Greek islands, I was looking for a route north from Crete that would take me to some new places and Karpathos turned out to be the perfect solution.

Getting Here

Though accessible by ferry, by far the easiest way to get here is via internal flight from Athens, or if you live in one of a small number of European countries that offer direct flights (Germany and The Netherlands being two possibilities). There are ferries from Piraeus, but due to Karpathos being one of the furthest islands from mainland Greece, these crossings take 18 hours or more.

You can take ferries from a number of other islands, though, most notably Crete (as I did), Rhodes, Milos, Santorini and a few others.

Where to Stay

The main tourist resort is the island’s capital and main port town of Pigadia, also known as Karpathos Town. Situated in a large, east-facing bay on the southeastern side of the island, you’ll find plenty of accommodation at a variety of price points, as well as the usual array of shops, tavernas, cafes and bars you would expect to find in any island capital.

Other popular resorts include Lefkos and Arkassa (Arcesine) on the western coast; Ammopi and Lakki south of Pigadia; and Diafani on the northeastern end of Karpathos.

Alternatives

If you’ve been to Karpathos before and want to find alternative islands offering a similar experience, here are our recommendations:

  • Folegandros: a much smaller island located in the central-western Cyclades, it has a similarly peaceful vibe, albeit with fewer resorts to explore. It does have a very pretty Chora and perhaps a better culinary experience.
  • Amorgos: one of the easternmost Cycladic islands, Amorgos is known for its beautiful mountainous terrain and is popular with hikers for this reason.
  • Serifos: another island in the western Cyclades, Serifos is overshadowed by its more popular neighbours such as Syros, Sifnos and Milos, but is worth a visit if you like getting away from it all.

Karpathos Hotel Reviews

Iolkos Hotel, Pigadia, Karpathos

Posted in Hotel Reviews

Review Rating: 3/5 Date of Visit: July 2021 Iolkos hotel wasn’t my first choice of accommodation on Karpathos, but, having left it late actually booking anywhere, the other places I’d…


Karpathos Blog Posts

Day 19: Exploring Karpathos by Car

Saturday 24th July 2021 A Busier Day Ahead It was time to get busy exploring Karpathos after a very chilled few days. My hire car would be available from 9…

Day 18: Ammopi Beach by Bus

Friday 23rd July 2021 Finally Some Sightseeing…Kind of! Realising that I’ve had two very lazy days at the local beach in Pigadia, I made an effort to look at a…

Day 17: Karpathos Beach Day…Again

Thursday 22nd July 2021 Déjà Vu I’m afraid to say that today’s update is going to sound an awful lot like yesterday! I didn’t yet have the urge to explore…

Day 16: Karpathos Beach Day

Wednesday 21st July 2021 Topping up the Tan After a few busy days exploring Crete, I was keen to relax on my first day here on Karpathos. I woke early…

Day 15: Karpathos Arrival

Tuesday 20th July 2021 First Ferry of the Trip I woke ahead of my alarm just after 7 am and decided to use the extra time to pop outside and…