Karpathos is the name of a town and island in southeast Greece. The island is sandwiched in between Crete to the west and Rhodes to the northeast, both of which are seen as being more popular with tourists. However, Karpathos has its charms, one of which being that its peaceful nature. This quality makes the island hugely popular with older holidaymakers. As the second largest of the Dodecanese Islands, there’s a lot to explore here including a clutch of beaches, parkland and a few historical sites which have their origins from the time of the Ancient Greeks. Some of the more remote parts of the island are ideal for walking, especially as it’s so sparsely populated here.
Just to be on the safe side, it might be worth driving a rugged 4x4 for navigating some of the dirt roads in the centre of the island, as well as along some of the trickier coastal routes.
Driving in Karpathos
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
While the coastal routes around Karpathos are made of asphalt, the minor routes in the centre are basically dirt roads.
When driving on dirt roads, make sure that the weather is dry, as wet weather can make some journeys on these routes a little difficult.
Petrol stations in Karpathos can be a little hard to find away from the main villages. Be sure to fill up your tank when you can.
Highlights & Hotspots
On August 15, there is the Panagias Festival, a religious event celebrating the Assumption of Mary. The festival sees parades, street parties and sermons held by Greek Orthodox ministers, all of which help to attract visitors from all over Greece.
The most popular beach in Karpathos is Amopi, which is just a short distance away from Karpathos town. Here, there are five different parts where families, couples and young people can enjoy themselves at their leisure. Tavernas, bars and market stalls are all common here.
Another beach worth a look if adventure is your thing is Afiartis. Here, you can go windsurfing among other things, while surfing in general is also possible here, albeit with caution. It’s much quieter than Amopi.
If you decide to go shopping in any of the villages on the island, there are a few locally-made products you could take home as souvenirs. Honey, jewellery, olive oil and even handmade boots are all available if you look hard enough.
Karpathos Island National Airport is located around seven miles southwest of Karpathos town on the southernmost tip of the island. It serves destinations all over Europe during the summer months, with year-round flights to other parts of Greece.
The airport can be reached by going south from Karpathos town on one of the main roads and through Kipi Afiarti, which is the nearest village to the site.