Karpathos - the magical and non-touristy island that became the pearl and flagship of the Greek Islands

  • By Editor
  • 06 20
  • 2021

Beach - Achata

A recommendation for a trip to the most romantic and picturesque island of the Greek Islands, just an hour's flight from Israel

BY ITZHAK RABIHIYA / SNN, Space Network News

About an hour's flight from Israel is the Greek pearl of Karpathos, a charming little island, picturesque and romantic, authentic and exciting every time you visit. I thought I saw everything until I reached Karpathos Island, the zoological and botanical paradise with the turquoise azure beaches. 


I will never forget this wonderful mornings: I lay on one of the pristine beaches of the island of Karpathos, all around me, the turquoise blue of the sea. It was silence all around and you could hear only the sound of the waves, behind me were wild cliffs, picturesque villages surrounded by green mountains that joined the magical beach. A gem of nature and serenity, of exotic beauty, of a sense of freedom. 




The summer is already here and with its official opening I would recommend visiting one of the non-tourist islands of Greece - Karpathos and enjoying the Greek paradise about an hour's flight from Israel. Flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays depart from Ben-Gurion Airport by Ofek Travel & Tourism at very reasonable prices and include excellent hotels and transportation. 


Karpathos is not a familiar name on the Israeli tourist map, and not by accident. This beautiful boutique island nestled in the Carpathian Sea between Rhodes and Crete, which for years was a well-guarded secret. Unlike other islands, our island remains immaculate and pleasant. No activities in the pool, no "all inclusive" and no fireworks and fairs. Destination that reminds the beaches of Thailand or the beaches of Sinai in its good days, only turquoise strong. 


Beach - Achata


Only 5,000 Greeks live on the island at the height of the season and guarding their small plot of God, so that at any given time, only 3,000 tourists can stay on the island, even at the height of the tourist season. The island still has a wide range of attractions, hotels, beaches and restaurants, taverns and entertainment venues, most of which are concentrated in the capital of Pigadia, where the island's nightlife center is located. 


So I left my house with a small bag for a dreamy weekend. The flight from Ben-Gurion Airport landed on the island of Karpathos after an hour, and an air-conditioned bus and a charming guide led us to the luxurious hotel Elimonada Mara in Pigadia. 


Here is basic information about this magical island: It is small, only 324 km², and the roads are also small and pleasant to travel, there are no traffic jams and almost no traffic at all, and on one day you can circle the island including splashing in a number of beaches. On the way you can see many taverns, agriculture plantations of vineyards and olive trees. The island is very easy to navigate and a main road leads along the coast to the villages around the island, which preserves its authentic character including fields of agriculture, fishing boats, picturesque churches, white houses with blue shades, clean air, an peaceful island for those who prefer to be away from the crowd. 



The second day of our vacation began on the picturesque island between bays, wild cliffs, green forests and turquoise beaches. We drove from Pigadia to the small village of Olympus in the north of the island. The village is located on a hillside above the island's windy west coast. For hundreds of years, the village was based on agriculture and supplied all its needs through a system of traditional flour mills built among the residents' houses. In recent years it has been connected to the island's narrow road network and opens to the world but yet most of the villagers still wear traditional clothing. We spent the evening and night in Pigadia, which serves as a center with a few restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, taverns, and a beautiful and exotic port. 


One of the gastronomic experiences on the trip was dinner at Sofia's restaurant. Sofia's Place restaurant is on the waterfront, near the small port of Pigadia. Sofia is only here during the tourist season. The culinary experience at Sophia's recommendation included fresh fish and seafood, a few glasses of Ritzina, the traditional Greek white wine in the production process more pineapple leaves added to the menu, vine leaves, Soufflaki, a perfect Greek salad, stuffed zucchini flowers, tzitziki, and mozzarella juice and watermelon. 


We spent the third day with Boat trip around the island and the spectacular beaches of the island (30 euros), including a light lunch. The swimming takes place around the boat and the beaches. The captain drops the anchor, yells in Greek "Yalla - to the water" and everyone jumps into the cool, pleasant water. It is possible, of course, to swim to the beach and every such stop at the beach takes about an hour. On the regulated beaches parasols and sun loungers are offered for EUR 6. One of the beaches we visited during the cruise was Achata, which was one of the five beaches that won a world award for water quality, spectacular views and a beautiful bay that combines vegetation at the foot of the cliff. 


Another recommended recreation on the island is a land trip with jeeps in ancient picturesque villages (€ 30 per person). The trip includes pick-up from the hotel and visits to a number of sites including the enchanting Phoenician fishing village with a church, a small boat harbor and local restaurants. Another site worth a visit to the village of Afari, where the rich families who returned to the island about twenty years ago and built new homes and cared for the sea. Another recommendation is to visit one of the island's local taverns where singers and bouzouki musicians perform and guests dance happily and break dishes. Enjoy. 


Details and dates of flights and packages: 04-8538666 or on the Ofek Travel and Tourism website ...



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