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Karpathos
... an island of contrasts

 

Photo:from the mountains down to Pigádia

View from the mountains near 'Othos to the Vrónthi Bay of Pigádia

Blick von den Bergen bei 'Othos auf die Bucht von Pigádia.






General information


The Greek island Karpathos is located between Rhodos and Crete and belongs to the Dodecanese, which means "the twelve". In addition to the capital Kárpathos (formerly called Pigádia) there are about ten main villages with approximately 5.000 people in total. Many of the Karpathiens have immigrated to the USA and Australia for economic reasons. Most of them use to work hard, but they come back regularily for elections, vacation or family celebrations. The situation leads to an increasing contrast between lively traditons and Americanism, forming the face of Karpathos' society today.

Tourism

The main opportunity for non-immigrants to earn their living is touristic business. This started on a large scale after the (former military) airport has been opened for civil flights and leads to an increasing number of new hotels and apartements. However, today's Karpathos is not very crowded and still a good place for people who appreciate a rough but beautiful landscape, complemented by an impressive hospitality of the people.

List of some Hotels

Climate

The climate is subtropical with hot and dry summers, followed by mild and sometimes very rainy winters. The daily temperatures vary from 20° C in April to 32° C in July. During the summer months there often blows a strong north wind called Meltémi, which makes the hottest months more bearable. Windy days usually alternate into calm and hot periods and you may observe that the weather seems to have close connections to the changing of the moon. In our opinion the most beautiful months to stay on Karpathos are May and September: May because the climate is not too hot and everything is green. In September the temperature lowers and the sea usually becomes very calm, which gives you best conditions to spend beach holidays. After all the weather may stay warm until November. Windsurfers will find their paradise at the south east coast near Afiártis, which has a strong wind all over the summer.

The weather today
 

Climate table


Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Day temperature

20° C

24° C

28° C

32° C

31° C

29° C

25° C

Night temperature

11 ° C

15° C

19° C

22° C

22° C

19° C

15° C

Water temperature

17 ° C

18° C

20° C

24° C

25° C

24° C

21° C

Rainy days

5

3

1

1

-

2

6

Sunny ours/day

9

11

12

13

12

11

9



Landscape

from the wild east ...



The Karpathian landscape is full of rocks and mountains, except for the south, which ends into a stony, hardly populated plain. A huge mountain range goes from the middle to the north. It's highest peak is the Kalí Límni mountain, which is also the highest of the Dodecanese (1215m).


Picture: The wild east




Vegetation

... to the mild west.



Once Karpathos has been called the "green island" because of this beautiful pine-trees and oaks. Unfortunaly two disastrous forest fires in 1982 and 1990 destroyed most of the trees between
Spóa and Olympos and the forest near Messochóri. The fire also raged in the south from Apéri down to Afiártis. Only parts of the north and the region near Lefkós and has been spared and gives you a good impression how rich in forests Karpathos was. However, there are several river beds between the hills, which stay dry in the summer but keep enough ground-water to let fruits and flowers grow. Wild herbs and spices use to give the whole island a unique smell.


Karpathos is the island of contrasts: between green and dry, mountains and beaches and also between tradition and modern lifestyle. If you come and stay you will love it and come back like many travellers before. Otherwise you will look for another place immediately. There is hardly a way between. But be careful: if you like it, Karpathos is predestinated to become an obsession.

    

 

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Last update:27.02.2001
© 1996-2000, Hubert Brentano, all rights reserved