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The Greek island of Karpathos is an absolute insider tip and absolutely enchanted us. Karpathos is a dreamlike island in the Mediterranean, which, in contrast to the other better-known islands of Greece, is really very original and authentic. You can expect beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, original taverns and an impressive - albeit barren nature. In our opinion, the island of Karpathos is a real insider tip in Greece.
In Greece, of course, you pay with the Euro. At the entrance of some supermarkets or mini markets you will always find ATMs. In larger restaurants you can also pay by card. In the small taverns, you tend to pay in cash.
Tips are the same as in Germany. Depending on the amount, 5 to 10% is appropriate.
We always kept the plastic bags, when we went shopping in supermarkets and reused them next time, because reducing plastic is not yet that common in Greek supermarkets.
The accommodations on Karpathos - our insider tip island in Greece - tend to be more self-catering. So you have to go grocery-shopping. In Pigadia, the capital of Karpathos, there are one or two supermarkets. But even these are more likely to be smaller shops with a manageable selection. There is no meat or fish counter. You can get meat at the butcher in Pigadia and to get fresh fish, you have to be at the port early in the morning and wait at the small stalls of the fishermen. Alternatively, you can ask for a source of fresh fish and seafood in the tavern of your trust.
In the smaller towns, there are mini markets with a very limited selection. Cold drinks, sweets, some fresh fruit, bath products and so on are found there.
The price level is reasonable, even if a lot of food has to be imported from neighboring islands or the mainland. As you can see, the infrastructure on Karpathos is rather basic compared to the more touristy islands of Greece. But that's exactly what makes the island so charming. Nature and tranquility are the reason, you'll come here.
In the following we would like to talk about, what makes Karpathos special and why it is an insider tip among the islands of Greece for us. Imagine an island in the crystal clear Mediterranean. One beach is more beautiful than the other. Enjoy the hospitality of the gracious locals. Every evening, you'll eat delicious seafood and drink a chilled glass of white wine. And all of this without the negative influences of package tourism.
The highlights on Karpathos are picturesque bays and villages as well as breathtaking nature.
On Karpathos, you will find sand and pebble beaches, although we liked the pebble beaches much more due to the crystal clear water. Since we traveled in the second half of September and during the Covid-19 pandemic, we had almost all the beaches to ourselves.
Amoopi Beach is located in the south near the main town Pigadia. It is a beach with fine yellow sand that stretches to the left and right of a small cape with a church. Due to the location in a wide bay, the water is really calm, crystal clear and gently sloping, so that Amoopi Beach is also well suited for families with children. There is a large parking lot and you can borrow sunbeds and umbrellas. The restaurants and small kiosks will cater your needs. The beach has a good infrastructure by Karpathian standards and is therefore well frequented in the summer months.
We really enjoyed the Skala bar on Amoopi Beach. A cold beer or a cold glass of white wine with a great view awaits you here.
Kato Laki Beach is located near Lux View Villas and can only be reached by foot. Park your car on the side of the road here and descend a rocky path for about 20 minutes to reach this incredible little bay. Sturdy shoes are clearly an advantage here. The water really glows in all shades of blue you can imagine. This secret beach was our Karpathos highlight. The bay is so small that there is only space for a few swimmers. Most of the time, we were the only guests here. This beach is really one of a kind. We would even say that few beaches we've seen so far can compete with Kato Laki Beach - maybe some in Western Australia or the Seychelles.
The same applies of course to famous Apella Beach. The rough sandy beach is very wide and several hundred meters long. There is of course also a lounge chair rental and a tavern as well as a large parking lot. In the main season, the sailboats anchor in the crystal clear water of Apella Beach. This beach, with the large rocks in the water, is very popular with tourists.
As you approach the lagoons of Lefkos, you'll get a glimpse of the beauty of this place from far. The Lefkos has three beaches. Two of them are sheltered in wonderful turquoise blue bays and are great for swimming and families. The third and also the widest and longest beach is oriented directly to the west and is unprotected, which is why large waves land here.
Lefkos is a place on the west coast of the island of Karpathos. There are many accommodations and restaurants as well as small supermarkets. The infrastructure in Lefkos is very good compared to other places, which is why many tourists come here. You can of course rent loungers and umbrellas on all beaches of Lefkos. Overall, we liked the lagoons of Lefkos very much - even if there is more hustle and bustle here than on other beaches.
One of the most beautiful places on our Greek insider tip island of Karpathos is the pilgrimage site of Olymbos or Olympos in the north of Karpathos. Olymbos with its white houses sits idyllically on the cliffs and offers an impressive sea view to the west. It's best to visit the place in the evening and enjoy the sunset from the terrace of one of the many restaurants. Following the recommendation of Tom and Ella , we went to Milos´ Taverna and had fresh Greek salad, delicious tzatziki and the best Makarounes on the island.
Kali Limni is the highest mountain on Karpathos and the entire Dodecanese region. Park your car near the Kali Limni tavern and follow the signs to Kali Limni and the red markings on the rocks.
We decided to do a sunrise hike and started at 05:40 in the dark. Finding your way in the dark is not that easy. We would definitely recommend hiking boots. We made it to the top with sneakers, but we wouldn't do it again. Roundtrip takes two to two and a half hours to walk. Enjoy the view from the summit all over the entire island - a really magical place and we were alone up there again.