Karpathos has a real Greek soul, where islanders proudly retain age-old customs on the second largest island of the Dodecanese.
Step back in time to find village festivals and celebrations, where musicians play locally crafted lyre and lauto, and sing just as their ancestors would have done centuries before.
Legend has it that Prometheus and his Titans were born on Karpathos, a 300 sq km island where visitors can explore the wild and rugged landscape to find early churches, ancient Vroukounta and Arkesia, the castle and the acropolis at Aperi, the Roman cistern at Lefko, the beehive tombs at Karpathos town and Arkasa.
Traditional villages dot the rugged hillsides in dramatic settings and it is well worth visiting time-forgotten Olymbos which balances on a remote ridge where houses spill down to the sea.
There are wonderful sandy beaches so choose a different stretch every day to swim in turquoise waters – the award-winning Apella Beach is exceptionally beautiful and considered one of the best in the Med while Ammopi, Kyra Panagia, Ahata, Lefkos should not be missed either!
Karpathos enjoys mild weather from mid-March to May and basks in sunshine from June to mid-September. The Meltemi, a north-west wind, blows from the middle of May and reduces the intensity of the heat – but be sure to always wear plenty of sun protection.
Make the most of the breeze to try watersports from windsurfing to kitesurfing. Perhaps realise an Olympic dream with Olympic Holidays because kiteboarding is set to make its debut at the Paris Olympics 2024 so there’s plenty of time to hone your skills in Karpathos and go for gold at the Marina De Marseille!
For a more leisurely day out, take a boat from Diafani to the uninhabited island of Saria where there is a large unexcavated city. Birdwatchers can look for Elenora’s falcons which breed on the rocky, volcanic island.