The villages of Karpathos form two circles, which make the tour of the island. Beginning from Pigadia you can follow the way up to Aperi, pass from Volada, continue to Othos following the mountainside of the highest mountain of the island, Lastos.The longer circle excludes the villages Volada, Othos and Pyles. From Aperi instead of turning left to Volada, Othos and Pyles, the visitor can follow the road to the right and head to the north part of Karpathos island.
It is built 8km to the northwest of the town hidden behind the tall mountainous bulges of Karpathos, so as not to be seen by pirates. Aperi, a traditional village with a few shops, coffee houses and taverns, used to be the capital of the island until 1892. Its picturesqueness, the rich vegetation and the flume, which halves the village, compose one of the most beautiful villages of Karpathos. The old manor houses preserve partially their former glory, but most of them are either uninhabited or used as lodges. Koraki, the ancient citadel of Karpathos, is located outside the village on the mountain’s peak. Moreover, the beach of Kyra Panagia can be easily accessed from Aperi, one of the most beautiful beaches of Karpathos.
Arkasa is an ongoing summer resort of the island located in the middle of the route from the airport to Pigadia, a location that has played a significant role in its tourist development. This is a beautiful village built next to the sea on a fertile and green area of Southern Karpathos. Here you will find several options for accommodation and entertainment. Some of the monuments worth visiting are the ruins of the ancient city of Arkesia, the Old-Christian basilica of Agia Anastasia as well as the archeological and folklore museum. On your way to Menetes, you will encounter the beautiful chapel of Agios Mamas. The most known beach in Arkasa is Agios Nikolaos, while if you prefer a quieter place, then the beach of Agios Theodoros, just outside the village, is an excellent choice.
Diafani is a picturesque seaside settlement, near Olympos, which was named after the crystal clear waters surrounding it. In Diafani, which still holds its traditions but at the same time is trying to develop in the field of tourism, are located several fish taverns and cafes, while there are and some options for accommodation. The village, which can be accessed either by boat from Pigadia or by car via a pretty rough road, is a way station while approaching Olympos. There you will enjoy two tranquil beaches, Diafani and Vananta.
Menetes is a small beautiful settlement, 8km from Karpathos, which is amphitheatrically built on the slope of Mount Profitis Ilias. This is a village of traditional architecture with white houses and narrow alleys, where cars will rarely disturb your tranquility. The landmark of the settlement is the church of Agia Panagia standing above Menetes and overlooking the sea. On the 15th of August, a grand festival takes place in honor of Panagia. Outside the village lies the church of Agios Mamas, a chapel of remarkable architecture and murals dated from 1300 AD. The Folklore Museum is also housed in Menetes, where several collections of archeological findings, vessels and sculptures are kept.
About 30 km to the northwest of the capital lies this quaint village that looks like trying to climb up the mountain, while, on the other hand, it also seeks eye contact with the sea offering an amazing view towards it. Its narrow alleys, the white-washed steps and the traditional architecture of the houses compose an authentic insular image. In this dorp, the locals pride themselves on having one of the most beautiful squares of the Dodecanese with the chapels of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), Stavros and Agios Nikolaos overlooking the Aegean Sea. Reach Panagia Vryssiani via a verdurous path. Mesochori does not have its own beach, but there are several other beaches located nearby, such as Lefkos, Perdika and the noted Fragkolimnionas.
If you heard that people in this village preserve traditions, are dressed in traditional costumes and bake in a wood oven in an amazing landscape, wouldn’t you like to see this place with your own eyes? Olympos is the most popular and traditional settlement of Karpathos. Amphitheatrically built on the foothills of Mount Profitis Ilias and at approximately 250m in altitude, seems to be hanging from the edge of the cliff. Olympos extents in the northern part of the island isolated from the rest villages. Perhaps this is the reason why its inhabitants hold their traditions with devotion by wearing their fancy costumes, speaking the local jargon and cooking traditional dishes. If you find yourself in Olympos, the view to the sea will take your breath away. Wander around the picturesque village, where time stands still. Go for a walk in its uphill alleys, discover the enthralling corners of the settlement and visit the village’s square, Makrymita, where you can rest and enjoy local dainties in the coffee houses. Moreover, you will encounter a line of windmills towering just outside the village contributing to the traditional image of the settlement. Several of which are used even today by the locals to produce flour. The road to Olympos is still gnarled. You can access the village either by car or by boat till the nearby Diafani and then by bus. Due to the poor accommodation facilities of the village, it is recommended for a day’s outing. If you find yourself here in the evening, you will enjoy the magnificent sunset
Othos is the most mountainous village of Karpathos built at approximately 500m in altitude, just 12km from town. This is another settlement that preserves its traditional aspect and mode of life. A few guest houses and several taverns serving delicious dishes are also located here. You should definitely visit the typical rural residence, where the folklore museum is housed. If you find yourself in Othos during the Carnival, you can take part in one of the most entertaining customs, which are revived on Ash Monday, the Immoral Acts Court!
The town of Karpathos is built at the port of the island and extents till the foothills of Mount Kali Limni, where the ancient city of Poseidio was located once. The walls of its citadel are preserved on top of the hill. Pigadia is a special town, partially picturesque due to the dissimilar architectural structure of its buildings and asphalt roads. Moreover, Pigadia has developed in the field of tourism with modern infrastructures, hotels, restaurants and clubs, which attract many tourists and inhabitants of the island. The capital of the island can be the base for your excursions to the remote villages of Karpathos due to the comforts it offers. Last but not least, several organized cosmopolitan beaches are located in Pigadia, such as Ammos and Afoti, where you will see the remains of the Old-Christian basilica of Agia Fotini and Vrontis.
Piles is one of the smaller villages, situated in the western side of the Island and has a panoramic view to the neighboring historical island of Kasos and the mountains of Sitia. It is Located 15 km from Pigadia and it is literally drowned in the green from its many crop fields.
Every evening you can enjoy here a splendid sunst! The most important church of the village is the church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, which is celebrated on August 15th. A unique agricultural museum which does not only exist in Karpathos but in most Greek islands is located in Piles. Visitors of the museum can experience the natural and very ecologically friendly way of living in the countryside of the not so distant past.
Spoa is located 38 km from the island’s capital near Mesochori. Apart from Olympos, Spoa is also one of the quaintest settlements of the island with its four windmills complementing this beautiful landscape. In Spoa, you will be able to enjoy the view to the Karpathian Sea wherever you go. The locals, who are homely, friendly and hospitable, stir your soul with their snugness. If you find yourself here during a festival, you will experience the authentic Aegean element. You should definitely visit the chapel of Agios Ioannis, which is built in a cave. Moreover, the remains of an Old-Christian basilica and an Old-Christian baptistery are also located here. Last but not least, Agios Nikolaos, the marvelous gulf with its crystal clear waters, is an excellent choice for a swim near Spoa.
Volada is located 10km from the town and 2km from Aperi, a traditional dorp built in a fecund area on the slope of Lastos Plateau. There are several paths leading to the highest point of the island, the peak of Mount Kali Limni.