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Karpathos Island

Karpathos Island

Visiting Karpathos island is like visiting another world! Karpathos, high and mighty, is situated between Crete and Rhodes, in the middle of the Carpathian Sea. After a long boat trip, you find yourself on this mountainous island which is difficult to reach, but is definitely the most beautiful of all the Dodecanese islands.

It is a very traditional island whose inhabitants take care to preserve local traditions and where you will discover the authenticity and warmth of Greece much as it was fifty years ago. Although the town of Karpathos has a busy waterfront with plenty of cafes and restaurants, the island has not given itself over to mass tourism and you will be free to discover its many, beautiful, secluded beaches on your own. If you go to Karpathos, you must definitely visit the mountain village of Olympos, where women still wear their traditional local customs in every day life even today-a real gateway to the past.


Karpathos the second largest island of the Dodecanese is an island with beautiful beaches and a variety of scenery - its southern part has valleys and plains whilst central and northern Karpathos is mountainous. Karpathos is the ideal island for a quiet holiday. Karpathos or Pigadia - the island's capital also serves as the island's main port. Its ancient name was Potideo or Posidio. It's a modern town without any eminent buildings or sites. The town is built on the edge of Vronti bay, a four km sandy beach where you can go swimming and rent personal watercrafts. On the beach are the remains of the early Christian basilica of Agia Fotini. Start off from Pigadia and follow the road to Amoopi and Makris Gialos, go back to Menetes and continue for Arkasa with its Acropolis and the remains of the pre-Christian church of Saint Anastasia. The road from there leads to Finiki, Lefkos and Mesochori. From Mesochori you go to Spoa and continue for the picturesque settlement of Olymbos. Only then you will understand why Homer when referring to Karpathos names her the island of the winds. At the end of the road is Diafani from where you will return to the capital and on your way visit Kyra Panaghia, Aperi (ancient Karpathos), Volada and Othos. With an excursion boat you will go to Karpathos' most picturesque beaches and to Diafani that is the island's second port. It has a beach with large pebbles and 312 inhabitants. The northern sea regions of Karpathos are an important habitat for the Monachus - monachus Mediterranean seals. The island's tallest mountaintop is Kali Limni with an altitude of 1,215m.


According to mythology, the first inhabitant of Karpathos was the titan Iapetos the son of Uranus (the sky) and Gaia (the earth), father of the gods and of men long before the Olympian Gods. The island was first inhabited in the Neolithic times. The contacts that Karpathos had with the island of Crete played a significant role in the island's development in the Bronze Age. Back then, the island's most important port Potidaio (today's Pigadia) became home to settlers from Crete and it acquired a Minoan character. The contacts between the two islands continued throughout the 14th century B.C. period when the Myceneans took control of Karpathos island. Potidaio was deserted following a number of raids after 1200 B.C. The inhabitants of the island settled in more protected areas such as today's Aperi where they founded the city of Karpathos. Karpathians fought with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC and lost their independence to Rhodes in 400 BC. In 42 BC the island fell to Rome. In the following centuries, Karpathos was ruled in turn by the Arabs, the Genovese pirate Moresco, the Venetians, and the Ottoman Empire. Italians conquered the island during World War I. Karpathos even found itself ruled by the Germans for a couple of years before the end of WW II. Karpathos became part of the new and independent Greek State on the 7th of March 1948.


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