...old customs and traditions are very much alive...
Karpathos is the southernmost member of the Dodecanese (Twelve Islands) cluster of islands on the eastern Aegean Sea. Encompassing 301 sq.km. of land, this beautiful island – carved by sea, wind and waves – conserves a dynamic natural environment inhabited by a diversity of plants, animals and birds. The northern part of Karpathos has the most wild nature, preserved pine forests, precipitous mountains, inaccessible settlements, solitary old paths, and harsh character. The south is characterized by small fertile valleys with citrus trees and grapevines. This tranquil island features a dramatic coastline, stunning scenery, sea cliffs, sandy beaches, astounding caves and peaceful walking trails, It is an enchanting destination hiking, biking, swimming, surfing and fishing, offering 160 km. of shoreline and pristine beach. Variety, contrast and a harmony of landscape and colors compose the charm of the island ranking it among the most beautiful ones in Greece.
A few existing records indicate human presence on the island since the Neolithic era. Like the rest of its sister islands, Karpathos also saw successive conquerors throughout the ages, including the Franks, the Venetians and finally the Ottomans in the 16th century. It became part of Greece in 1948.
With its slow relaxed way of life, Karpathos is an unrivaled destination for sun worshipers, naturists and adventure sports enthusiasts. For those seeking to explore this tranquil island there is much to find in the way of “hidden delights”. The old island capital of Pigadia, the scattered picturesque whitewashed villages, the inspiring landscape and the uninhabited islet of Saria are but a few of the delights which will make any holiday a truly unique experience to be remembered.
Old customs and traditions are very much alive on Karpathos and in several villages they are incorporated in the daily routine. In the north, the old village of Olymbos, in particular, is a live museum of architecture, ethnology, linguistics and musicology, where time to a large extent seems to have stood still. The island is famous for its “seven-day feasts”, since the locals consider number “7” to be the most venerable of numbers. The wedding ritual here is very significant and celebrations last for 15 days after the wedding ceremony.
The nightlife is not much, yet it is worthy – there a few bars and nightclubs in Pigadia. Quite often, the locals arrange traditional singing and dancing and visitors are more than welcome to join in and immerse themselves in the real Greek atmosphere.