The village that is the jewel in Karpathos’ crown is spread out like a tapestry between two peaks on Mount Prophet Elijah. The medieval settlement, built between the 7th and the 9th century, is a remarkable architectural complex of painted houses, dozens of windmills, churches, and outdoor wood-fired ovens from another era. It is a living folk museum, where the women dress in brightly-coloured traditional costumes and an ancient Doric dialect is still spoken.
Standing in a verdant landscape surrounded by orchards, this small 17th-century village was created as a refuge from pirate raids. The sunset, with views of neighbouring Kasos and the Sitia mountains of Crete, is magnificent.
The splendid ruins of this ancient city, situated on the rocky peninsula of Paleokastro, are a breathtaking sight. The early-Christian (5th century) basilica of Saint Anastasia has superb mosaic floors.
This uninhabited island just off the northern tip of Karpathos is full of natural and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered. Don’t miss the dazzling “Palatia” (palaces), an 8th-9th century Arab settlement with mysterious vaulted buildings on the site of ancient Nisyros. In front of them is a small beach with clear emerald waters perfect for endless hours of swimming. Alternatively, climb the hill to Saint Zachary’s Church to gaze out over the Aegean or simply explore the location, which is a protected area in the Natura 2000 network. You can travel to Saria by excursion boat from Diafani.
Dating from the Byzantine period, this beautiful village boasts perhaps the largest and most attractive square in the Dodecanese, the impressive Skopi. However, what makes it truly unusual are its neighbourhoods of white houses and pebbled courtyards, which function something like unofficial open museums, the residents leaving the front doors wide open to reveal the richly decorated interior.
Karpathos’ largest village, nestling on the bare hillside of Mount Prophet Elijah, is particularly striking when its pastel-coloured neoclassical mansions are viewed from afar. Its centrepiece is the imposing “sacred rock” topped by the legendary Church of the Assumption (1845), whose large courtyard has a fantastic view of Pigadia.
Othos Folklore Museum
This fascinating museum is a re-creation of a traditional local home, giving an authentic picture of everyday life on the island. The collection includes period furniture, wonderful examples of textiles, and household objects.