The Greek Islands and Athens

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The island of Karpathos is part of the Dodecanese and is the second largest and most southern of the group. It is located between the two well known Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete. It is a large and mountainous island, still steeped in its age-old traditions. but things are changing quickly as tourism plays an increasing role in the islands prosperity. In some of the villages, the women still wear traditional costumes that consist of a double line of gold coins on their chest and a scarf covering their head. Their houses are often decorated with hand made locally woven fabrics and embroideries.

Karpathos

Karpathos 1

Karpathos town, known as Pigadia, is almost completely modern but does boast a small fishing harbour which is a popular location to while away the evening in one of its bars or tavernas. Pigadia is where most of the bars and clubs on the island are situated. The nightlife often goes on until late, but unlike some of the more touristy islands, things very rarely get out of hand. The food served in the tavernas is mainly traditional Greek cuisine of good quality. The local specialty is called Makarounes, and consists of pasta with onions.

Karpathos 2

In Pigadia you will find shops that sell newspapers and modern clothes and shoes. In the villages, there are many shops where you can buy handmade souvenirs like hand woven textiles, painted ceramics and wood carved toys. There is a quite good bus network that connects Pigadia with several of the beaches and villages. There is also a special bus takes you to Olympos. There are also places to hire both cars and bikes, and a number of taxis are also available.

Karpathos 3In contrast to its rugged interior, Karpathos has as many beautiful beaches. Often sandy and un-crowded. Agios Nicholaos or Arkasa is considered by some to be the best beach on the island, but the waves here can become quite large, so care should be taken. Between Pigadia and Kira Panagia, lies the little beach of Ahata. Here there are sun beds and parasols for hire and a small taverna, Due to its location between two mountains, there is often little wind, although the beach is rocky. About a ten minute drive from Pigadia is Amoopi, a small place which has 3 main beaches and a lot more small ones for those looking for a little more privacy. There are a number of small supermarkets and a few tavernas. The largest of the beaches is suitable for children, and there is a beach volley court, plus it is a good spot for snorkelling.

Karpathos 4

Kira Panagia has a partly sandy beach that can be reached via excursion boats from Pigadia. Here there are a number of tavernas and small hotels. A view of the church and the beach make a wonderful photograph.

Karpathos 5Some archaeological finds have shown  that the island was inhabited during Neolithic times and that the civilisation that lived here were greatly influenced by the Minoans, some even believe that the Minoans actually settled on Karpathos. During the Hellenistic period, Karpathos was owned by the island of Rhodes. Then followed various invaders including the Romans, followed by the Arabs, and the Sericucians, and later by the Venetians and the Ottomans.