Karpathos


Karpathos is an island half way between Crete and Rhodes. By now there is quite a bit of tourism on Karpathos however, it still is a good destination for holiday makers that like it rather quiet. Approximately 6000 people live on the island, which also has an international airport. Especially during high season there are several charter flights from a number of European cities.

Karpathos

The ferries arrive in the capital Pigadia (also Pigadhia). There you will find a number of hotels, pensions, restaurants, a post office, banks and supermarkets. Most restaurants are along the Seaside promenade. Best value for money is the taverna Ideal. It is not only cheap but the food is also fairly decent. Backpacker's favourites in Pigadia are Rose Studios, Konaki and Harry's Rooms. The latter is my personal favourite.

Pigadia - the capital and port of Karpathos

Very important these days is internet access. Unlike the good old days where you told your family "I'll be gone for two months, see you then" you are now expected to be in touch within an hour of your arrival. No problem on Karpathos, internet access is easily available. I'm still not sure if thatís such a good thing but then who am I to question these things?

A surprisingly large number of villages on Karpathos have a good infrastructure. Tourists are little more demanding these days and in response the locals actually did something to meet their demands. It did surprise me I have to say.

I reckon it was actually the travel agencies that insisted on a certain standard and they provide the big business at least in the south of Karpathos. The south of the island indeed is far touristier than the rest of the island. It is here where you find the rather expensive hotels and restaurants that cater package holiday makers. The main reason for these places being almost exclusively in the south is that all the really nice sandy beaches are there.

Fair enough, I just stay in the north. Very few people ever get there even fewer people live in this part of the island. It's perfect for long hikes. There is no hostel or campsite on the islands but near Diafani you'll find an unofficial campsite. It may not be legal but it is tolerated if you pitch up your tent there. If you are there don't miss the inland. The little villages up in the mountains are unspoiled by modern package holiday tourism. The mountains are up 1200 metres high, that's not bad for a small island.

There are daily flights to Rhodes and Athens. The bus service is pretty good and connects most of the villages on the island. To get up north you may need to book a day trip in Pigadia unless you want to book a push bike, motorcycle or car.

You can reach Karpathos easily from Crete and it is quiet cheap as well. There are 3 ferries a week that go from Agios Nikolaos and Sitia to Kasos (3-5 hours) and Karpathos (about 6 hours). The boat then goes to Rhodes (another 5-6 hours).

 

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