Halfway between Crete and Rhodes, on the same latitude as Malta and Casablanca, Kárpathos was an island-hopper’s best-kept secret that is now firmly on the map. It has beautiful beaches, but it also has character, strongly marked by the affection it inspires in its inhabitants: although many have been forced to go abroad to make a living (mostly to the USA), they come back as often as possible, and even ship their bodies home to be buried on the island.
They have the money: Kárpathos’ sons and daughters have one of the highest rates of university education in Europe. And the climate gets a gold star, too, for people suffering from respiratory diseases.
Kárpathos offers two islands for the price of one: long and thin, austere and ruggedly mountainous in the north, and fertile, softer, beach-fringed and ‘European’ in the south, linked by a giant’s vertebra of cliffs which culminates in two mountains over 900m (3,000ft) in height.
Images by AlexandraMas94, Enpatrais, Creative Commons License, Ioannis Fakis, Kostas Limitsios, Nikos Patsiouris, Ruk7, Spiros Vathis, Stavros Megalithos, Troppy89, Ввласенко