Hi guys, we are Kathrin and Dominik from Germany. Welcome to our travel guide on the best things to do in Karpathos island, Greece. We grew up in the southeastern part of Bavaria near the Austrian border and met six years ago at work. We’ve been together as a couple ever since 2015.
We both have full time corporate jobs but started to work as travel bloggers in early 2017 during a road trip in Western Australia. Since then, we have shown our social media followers all of our travels including several trips to Africa, America and Asia, and a three month round the world trip in 2019.
Our aim is to inspire people to get off-the-beaten-path, while we partner with local hotels and trip operators. The most important thing for us is to enjoy nature and wildlife – helping to protect the planet as we travel.
A Lovely Week in Karpathos
We got the recommendation to visit Karpathos from German bloggers, some of whom specialise in Greece. They recommended Karpathos after we asked them for a place that has stunning beaches, beautiful nature, amazing food and few tourists. Karpathos was the answer.
Our trip to Karpathos started by flying into Rhodes. We then took the ferry to Karpathos. Our accommodation was a private villa with a pool and sea views. That was our base for a week. We visited amazing beaches, strolled down the alleys of villages and climbed the highest mountain.
Most of our time in Karpathos was spent swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing, hiking and indulging in Greek food. Life doesn’t get better than that. Our favourite place on the island was Kato Lako Beach. This bay is so incredible – crystal-clear waters and it remains a local secret.
Top 7 Things To Do in Karpathos
Karpathos is one of the most underrated and under-explored places in the Greek Islands. Home to wild mountains ready for hiking and crystal-clear bays ready for swimming – this is another incredible destination in Greece. Below you will find our top recommendations on things to do in Karpathos.
1. Visit the Beautiful Mesochori Village
Mesochori is a picturesque garden village with lots of beautiful flowers and pomegranate trees. The village is located 34 km northwest of Pigadia, the capital of Karpathos island. Not only are the gardens gorgeous but the white-washed houses and narrow alleys are just as amazing to explore.
2. Discover the Mountain Village of Olympos
This village is perched high up on Mount Prophet Elias, offering stunning views down below. The road up has a lot of twists and turns but the drive is definitely worth it. Here you will discover traditional Greek folklore where people wear traditional clothes and speak in old Greek dialects.
3. Hike the Highest Mountain of Karpathos
Kali Limni is the highest mountain on the island where you can see the sunrise or sunset and enjoy a 360 degree view. Hike up 1215 metres to the top of the mountain – following dusty paths and stony gravel tracks all the way. The hike takes between one-and-a-half hours to two hours.
4. Admire the Shimmering Blue Bays of Lefkos
Lefkos is a fishing village located by the sea. Here you will find three bays that shine in the summer sun in different shades of blue. This village is equipped with superb accommodation making it a hospitable stay if you choose to sleep overnight. Relax at the beach and admire the bays.
5. Relax at the Perfect Paralia Kato Lakkos Beach
There are two ways to reach this secret beach: one by boat and the other on foot. Once you arrive you will be greeted by turquoise waters, white pebbles and an amazing view. Luckily, this beach hasn’t been spoiled by beach taverns and umbrellas – so it has kept its untouched vibe.
6. Go Swimming at the Popular Apella Beach
Apella Beach is without doubt the most popular beach in Karpathos. The turquoise waters are just delightful and the views are stunning. There are plenty of umbrellas to make your base for the day and ample room on the beach for visitors in the peak of summer. Grab your togs and go swimming!
7. Venture out to the Small Islet of Saria
Located off the north coast of Karpathos, this small islet is a real gem of the Dodecanese. A kingdom once existed there in ancient times, making it a fascinating place for history-lovers. The islet has a beautiful landscape of white sandy beaches with turquoise waters and rugged cliff sides.
Culture & Food of Karpathos
As most of the accommodation and tavernas (restaurants) on the island of Karpathos are family-owned businesses, it’s inevitable that you will get the chance to meet locals on your visit. People here are incredibly hospitable.
Despite many losing their incomes due to COVID-19, they remain positive and continue to enjoy their life and island. And what’s not to love? The weather is amazing, the beaches are beautiful and the villages are incredible. Not only that but the cuisine is a highlight in itself.
The food in Karpathos is healthy and fresh. We recommend everyone try the family-owned tavernas which you will find in every village of the island. They tend to have just a few tables available but this makes it nice and cozy.
Some tavernas don’t even display a menu. They just bring you into their kitchen and the mama lets you choose from pots of meat, fish and vegetables. It’s awesome! We discovered amazing dishes like Makarounes, Moussaka, Saganaki and a variety of awesome fish and seafood dishes.
Everyday we enjoyed these dishes as well as the staples such as Greek salad and Tzatziki. I could eat that type of food until the end of time!
Staying at Lux View Villas
We stayed at a place called Lux View Villas for a week. There are five small luxury villas here on the slope of the island with incredible views of the Aegean Sea. Each villa has its own pool and jacuzzi, a fully equipped kitchen and a BBQ facility on the terrace so you can cook.
You are also walking distance to Paralia Kato Lakkos Beach and Kato Laki Beach – two of the islands most amazing (and still secret) beaches.
Favourite Memory from our Trip
One of our favourite memories from Karpathos was when we decided to wake up early and hike to the top of Kali Limni Mountain for sunrise. We climbed the highest mountain of the Dodecanese at dawn and arrived just in time for sunrise. Yet, the best was still to come after sunrise.
We actually got engaged that morning as Dominik proposed! So now, this incredible mountain will have a special place in our hearts forever.
Need to Know Before you Go
There are only a few direct flights to Karpathos from the middle of Europe. So I recommend checking for flights to the surrounding islands like Crete or Rhodes if you want to fly. Then you can catch the ferry from there. You will need to rent a car as Karpathos has no well-developed public transport.
However, that is not a huge deal as you can receive your car straight from the airport or port (if you arrive by ferry). Don’t expect too much partying or nightlife on the island – Karpathos is for nature and food lovers. Thanks for reading and enjoy your time at the gorgeous Karpathos island of Greece.