Travel tip: Karpathos (Greece)

In my 23 years on this planet I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to some marvelous places, some of them I’d like to share with you! This time it’s the Greek island of Karpathos.

The first time I ended up travelling here was because my niece was working here as a travel hostess. I’d never heard of the island before and I also hadn’t visited Greece before. The experience was one I’d never forget and has made me return to the island again a few years after.

Karpathos is quite a large island, located Northeast of Crete. It’s quite remote from other islands, which is why Karpathos has an untouched air about it. There aren’t large crowds of tourists and most villages still hold on dearly to old traditions. It also has a very nice climate, with strong winds blowing in the summer months, cooling it to a pleasant temperature. It’s also quite popular to go windsurfing here! Even though it’s quite a big island, it’s not very densely populated at all, especially in the winter months. The capital city of Karpathos is Pigadia, also known as Karpathos City, even though its size would not suggest it being any kind of city at all.

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Pigadia (Karpathos city)

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Visiting Pigadia in 2010 (I still miss my fabulous hat and kitty purse)

We then move to my second favourite place on Karpathos: Olympos. As its name might suggest, Olympos is a village built against a mountain. It used to be only reachable by the nearby port of Diafani or through a dirt road only drive-able by Jeep, but in 2010 they started making an asphalted road to Olympos. We drove over this road in an open Jeep, so needless to say I ruined everything I was wearing that day when asphalt rocks rained on me…R.I.P. my hat. However, the travel is completely worth it, because Olympos and its people are marvelous. Fun fact of the day: the leader singer of the British Indie band Foals, Yannis Philippakis, was born here!

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Windmills in Olympos

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Olympos, built against the mountain

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Beautiful views looking down the mountain

Apart from beautiful villages and culture, the island also has its fair share of gorgeous beaches. One of the most famous being Apella Beach, with it’s beautiful white sand, surrounded by lush green vegetation.

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Apella beach

However, there’s also other wonderful beaches that all have their own charm (including nice white sand and emerald water). My personal favourites are Lefkos beach and Diakoftis beach.

Lefkos beach actually consists of two bays next to each other, where from left to right, the intensity of the current and its waves increases. I loved to right one the most, because of the intense waves that would literally knock me off my feet (also literally knock my bikini off but that’s a whole different story). The left one is more gentle, hence there are mostly families with children that go swimming there.

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Lefkos beach, photo by Michiel Sijbers

Diakoftis beach is, in my humble opinion, the best beach in all of Karpathos. It’s located behind the airport, which may sound unappealing, but is really one of the quietest beaches in all of Karpathos. Ofcourse you have to travel 30 minutes by jeep to get there, but it’s very much worth it. The water is perfect and not too deep and it’s never busy! It almost feels like your own little paradise.

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Diakoftis beach, photo by Sophie

And last but not least, of course there are lots and lots of cats and dogs roaming the streets of Karpathos. They are very adorable, but keep in mind that people don’t treat these animals very well here. This is sad, but it also makes the animals weary of humans. This kitten, however, was docile enough to let us pick it up and stroke it. Which I did until I saw a flea the size of a pea walking around on its head and preceded to keep it as far away from me as possible.

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Kitty

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