Karpathos is the second largest of the Dodecanese group of islands in the Aegean Sea. The island of Sarnia used to be connected to Karpathos, but an earthquake separated them. The two islands form the municipality of Karpathos. The highest point on the island of Karpathos is Mt. Lastos, at 1,215 meters. The island is composed of 10 villages. Pigadia is the capital and main port of the island of Karpathos. It is located in the southeast area of the island. The other villages include: Menetes, Arkasa, Aperi, Othos, Volada, Pyles, Mesochori, Spoa, and Olympos.
The island of Karpathos was closely connected to Rhodes during the ancient and medieval times. The name of the island was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, but it was spelled as “Krapathos.” In his work Argonautica, Apollonius of Rhodes (an ancient Greek author) made the island a port of call for the Argonauts. The island of Karpathos was also mentioned by Greek historian Diodorus, who claimed it was a colony of the Dorians, Pliny the Elder, Pomponius Mela, and Strabo.
During the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC, the island of Karpathos sided with Sparta and would lose their independence to Rhodes in 400 BC. Then the island would fall to Rome. In 395 BC, after the division of the Roman Empire, the island of Karpathos would become part of the Eastern Roman Empire.
In 1304, Karpathos was given as a fief to the Genoese corsairs Andrea and Lodovico Moresco. In 1306 the island would fall to Andrea Cornaro, who was a member of the Venetian Cornaro family. The family would control the island of Karpathos until it became possession of the Ottoman Turks in 1538. The island would rebel during the Greek War of Independence, but fall under Ottoman rule once again. The island of Karpathos would join the Kingdom of Greece in 1948.
Administrative Region for Karpathos Island, Greece
Area of Karpathos Island, Greece
Municipality: 324.8 km2 (125.4 sq mi)
Municipal Unit: 219.9 km2 (84.9 sq mi)
Population of Karpathos Island, Greece
Municipal Unit: 5,670
Top Attractions in Karpathos Island, Greece
Acropolis of Arkassa – Located on a hill with a view of the sea. These are remains of the Ancient until Venetian times. Mycenaeans built an acropolis with Cyclopean walls on the rocky headland.
Cave of Poseidon. Located in Pigadia – A natural site that was used as a rock-cut tomb or sanctuary dedicated to Poseidon or Aphrodite. Cave is only reached by boat.
Sokastro Islet – Used to be attached to the rest of the island, but now is a separate islet. Features monuments from the Medieval and Byzantine times. Home to small, sandy beaches and a rocky landscape.
Saria Islet – This islet was also once attached to the island. Monuments from antiquity and the Byzantine periods are featured. Can be reached via tour boat.
Kyra Panagia Beach – 14 lm from Pigadia. Soft sands, exotic waters, and picturesque views. A family friendly and organized beach.
Mikri Amopi Beach – 7 km southwest of Pigadia. A sandy beach with clean water, Mikri Amopi is organized with sun beds and umbrellas. Fish taverns line the coast.
Ancient Potideon – The ruins of an ancient city with ancient temples. Located at the harbour of Pigadia. The city of Potideon was deserted around 1200 BC because of the continuous raids on it.
Church of the Assumption – Located in Menetes. The church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was built in the 19the century. Columns from the ancient site of Arkassa were used in this church.
Othos Folklore Museum – Located in Othos. Housed in a traditional house that is a good example of a Karpathian house. Exhibits a rich collection of authentic folk pieces of the area.
Achata Beach – 13 km north of Pigadia. A white-pebbled and sanded beach with pretty green water. The beach lies in a cove surrounded by mountains.