Karpathos is located in the Dodecanese and it’s a very beautiful and pristine island, ideal for quiet vacations with amazing landscapes in the background. On this Ferryhopper page, you will find all holiday tips about Karpathos, along with info on its beaches, sights, villages and food. You can also check its ferry routes, compare prices and book ferry tickets to Karpathos at the best prices!
Vacations in Karpathos
Karpathos is the second largest island of the Dodecanese. It has a mountainous and rocky terrain, with many hiking trails that lead to picturesque villages, overlooking the Aegean Sea. In addition, you will find stunning beaches and impressive natural sights. In fact, the center and the northern parts of Karpathos have been declared as Natura 2000 protected areas due to their natural wealth. Families and couples usually choose the island for their summer holidays due to its relaxing atmosphere and variety of activities.
Small church overlooking the heavenly waters of Karpathos
How to get to Karpathos
Karpathos is well connected to mainland Greece through the port of Piraeus. There are weekly ferry crossings to the island all year long and the trip with the conventional ferry lasts around 20 hours. Moreover, you can find frequent ferry routes to Karpathos from other islands of the Dodecanese or Crete. Find more information about the ferry schedules from and to Karpathos in the section below!
What to do in Karpathos
Holidays in Karpathos are ideal for relaxation, tranquility, swimming in crystal waters and getting to know the local traditions. Its wild landscapes, the villages from another era and the island’s gastronomy will surely be memorable. In case you are visiting Karpathos in the summer, you will have the opportunity to attend the big Greek festivities, aka panigiria, where you will listen to traditional Greek music, taste amazing food and have fun until early in the morning.
Beaches in Karpathos
Karpathos has many beaches for all tastes, but crystal clear waters are a common trait to all of them. Most of them that are located on the eastern coastline have pebbles, while the western ones are sandy. Furthermore, the island has famous beaches with amenities like sunbeds, umbrellas and beach bars, but there are also more secluded shores for relaxing moments by the sea. Some of the best beaches in Karpathos are:
- Achata: It has fine sand and small pebbles. Its deep blue waters and the imposing rocks around it complement the magical scenery. The beach has amenities and there is a taverna nearby.
- Agios Nikolaos (Arcesine): It is known as “Hawaii” of Karpathos. The beach has golden sand, crystal turquoise waters and is ideal for bodysurfing. It also has an impressive view of neighboring Kassos. There are amenities for visitors such as umbrellas, showers and restaurants.
- Apella: It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Karpathos. The combination of deep emerald waters, golden sand and lush vegetation makes a hard-to-forget scenery. There, you can find umbrellas and a taverna.
- Ammopi: Popular beach near the settlement of Laki. It has crystal clear waters, fine sand and amenities for the visitors.
- Kira Panagia: One of the most famous beaches of the island that stars in many photography campaigns. It has golden sand, clear turquoise waters and is surrounded by tall pine trees. The area has umbrellas and restaurants.
- Lefkos: These are consecutive sandy beaches with enchanting turquoise waters. The beach is organized, with umbrellas and tavernas. It offers a wonderful view of the island of Sokastro. Here you will find the ruins of an ancient city!
- Diakoftis: When you see this beach you will immediately think that you are somewhere in the Caribbean! The crystal clear waters, fine blonde sand and magnificent view compile a dreamy scenery.
- Forokli: One of the secluded beaches of Karpathos, with all blue waters. It is surrounded by large rocks and is accessible either by sea or by a hiking trail.
Note: You should definitely plan a one-day trip to the Saria islet to the north of Karpathos. Saria will definitely enchant you with its pristine beach, unique landscape and impressive seabed. The boats to Saria depart from the port of Diafani.
Beach with dreamy blue waters in Karpathos
Sightseeing and activities in Karpathos
Karpathos is an island with a rich history and cultural interest. It has many museums and historic sights that are worth a visit. Moreover, the island is known for its natural beauty as its combination of high mountains and dense vegetation with small charming bays is truly unique. You can and should explore the hidden corners of Karpathos by following its numerous hiking paths! Our recommendations:
- Archaeological Museum of Karpathos
- Minetes Folklore Museum
- Agricultural Museum of Pyles
- Folklore and Archaeological Museum of Arkasa
- Protected Area of Karpathos - Saria
- Church of Agios Georgios Lefkos
- Church of Agios Loukas
- Church of Agia Anastasia
Nightlife in Karpathos
Karpathos may be low-key but it has many options to offer regarding nightlife. Most bars and cafes are located in the capital, while restaurants and small kafeneia can be found in its settlements as well. There, you can enjoy refreshing drinks, traditional appetizers and cool ouzo. Don’t forget that many local festivities, or panigiria, are the main way of having fun on the island. The most famous ones take place on August 15th and September 8th, but many others are held in the various settlements, during the summer.
Food in Karpathos
In Karpathos, you will have the opportunity to taste amazing dishes and traditional recipes. The island is famous for its bread, pasta and fresh fish. Ferryhopper suggest:
- Makarounes (traditional pasta)
- Manouli (goat cheese)
- Stuffed zucchini flowers
- Roast lamb
- Psilokouloura (thin breadsticks with sesame)
- Kritamo (traditional steamed green salad)
- Kserotigana (flatbreads)
- Zimpilia (sweet pies with raisins)
- Spoon sweets
Villages in Karpathos
Karpathos is a large island with many villages that are worth exploring. First, the town of Karpathos (or Pigadia) is the largest settlement, the capital and the main port of the island. Don’t miss to visit the famous mountain villages which keep the local traditions unchanged over the years! We suggest visiting the following villages of Karpathos:
- Karpathos (or Pigadia)
- Kipi Afiarti
The mountainous settlement of Olympus with its beautiful architecture
Useful information for Karpathos
Karpathos is a relatively large island with several facilities for visitors. You can find ATMs , supermarkets and gas stations throughout the island, and mainly in the southern settlements of Karpathos. For this reason, we suggest that you need to pack all necessities before visiting the picturesque settlements of the North. There are pharmacies in the capital, but also in some smaller villages. In the capital, you will also find a health center.
In terms of accommodation, there are many options in Karpathos, mainly in the south of the island, but also in Diafani and Lefkos in the north. Lastly, the island also has an airport, which is located around 15 km south of the port and the capital.
Tip: Karpathos usually is very windy, especially in its mountainous parts. We suggest you bring along a windproof jacket, closed shoes and some warm clothes to comfortably enjoy your excursions on the island.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Karpathos
Some useful phones for your vacation in Karpathos:
- Karpathos Port Authority: +2245022227
- Diafani Port Authority: +2245051227
- Karpathos Health Center: +2245022228
- Karpathos City Hall: +2245022427
- Karpathos Police: +2245022222
- Karpathos intercity bus station (KTEL): +2245022338
Transportation in Karpathos
The island has intercity buses (KTEL) that run from Pigadia to the villages and beaches, as well as to the village of Olympos. There are additional boats that depart from Pigadia to Diafani, as well as to the beaches of Kira Panagia and Apella. If you want to further explore Karpathos,we advise you to bring your vehicle to the island or rent one there.
Ports in Karpathos
The 2 main ports of the island are in Karpathos and Diafani. The port of Karpathos is in the capital and it’s great if you’re looking for traveler and visitor amenities. There are car rentals, hotels, cafés and restaurants, as well as banks and supermarkets in the area.
The port of Diafani is located on the northeastern coast of the island. It’s 50 km from Karpathos and it’s a smaller port. There are hotels, restaurants, cafés and a bakery nearby
Windmills in the picturesque village of Olympos
Island hopping from Karpathos
Karpathos is an ideal starting point for island hopping around the Dodecanese! There are also frequent connections to Crete and the Cyclades. Ferries depart from Karpathos ports to:
- Sitia (Crete)
- Heraklion (Crete)
You can find all ferry routes from Karpathos, along with indicative prices on our interactive Map of ferries. Check all crossings to the Dodecanese, Crete and the Cyclades and organize an amazing island hopping experience in a few steps!
Karpathos ferry: schedules and tickets
The easiest way to reach the island of Karpathos is by catching a ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens. Blue Star Ferries and Aegeon Pelagos serve this itinerary 2-3 times a week with large, conventional vessels with bed cabins and garages.
The Piraeus - Karpathos ferry ride usually lasts around 20 hours, so we suggest that you book a cabin or a numbered seat for a more convenient trip.
In case you are already on an island of the Aegean, there are multiple crossings to both ports of Karpathos, especially during the summer.
Where to book ferry tickets online to Karpathos
Can't wait to get to Karpathos, the island that combines wild natural beauty with the tradition of the Dodecanese? Book ferry tickets to Karpathos at the best prices on Ferryhopper! On our fare search engine, you can find all ferry routes to and from Karpathos, compare ferry companies, ticket types and discounts and organize your trip, without extra costs!