Karpathos (Greek: Κάρπαθος) is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Together with the neighboring smaller Saria Island it forms the municipality Karpathos, which is part of the Karpathos regional unit. From its remote position Karpathos has preserved many peculiarities of dress, customs and dialect, the last resembling those of Crete and Cyprus. The island has also been called Latin: Carpathus, Italian: Scarpanto, Turkish: Kerpe.
The island is located about 47 kilometers southwest of Rhodes, in the part of the Mediterranean which is called, after it, the Carpathian Sea (Latin: Carpathium Mare). The Sea Of Crete, a sub-basin of the Mediterranean Sea, has its eastern limit defined by the island of Karpathos. Karpathos' highest point is Mt. Lastos, at 1,215 metres (3,986 ft). Karpathos comprises 10 villages. All villages preserve intensively the traditional style of the island. In the southeast of the island you can find Pigadia (official name Karpathos), capital and main port of the island.
The capital is surrounded by the villages of Menetes, Arkasa, Aperi, Volada, Othos, and Pyles. In the North one can find Mesochori, Spoa and Olymbos the last village in the North of the island, of great folkloric and architectural interest. There are two ports in the island; one is in the town of Karpathos and the other in the north of the island next to Olympos named Diafani. The island Saria was united with Karpathos in the ancient times with an isthmus, but an earthquake divided them. Saria preserves many important antiquites, but they haven't been studied enough.
Karpathos Island National Airport, with its relatively large runway, is located on the south side (Afiartis area). Karpathos is connected to neighboring islands and to the mainland via ferries and airplanes. The ferries provide transport to and from Piraeus (via Crete and Rhodes). Scheduled domestic flights connect the island with Rhodes, Kasos, Crete and Athens daily. Additionally, charter flights from various European cities are frequently scheduled during the high season (April–October).
Within the island, cars are the preferred mode of transportation. The port, the airport, the main villages and other popular locations are connected by an adequate system of municipal roads, most of which are paved. During the summer months, small private boats depart from Pigadia to various locations daily, including Olympos (via Diafani) and some inaccessible beaches. Fixed-rate taxis (agoraia) and municipal buses are also available all year long.
The beaches of Karpathos island can be divided into four large groups: the beaches on the east coast are smaller and gravelly but without wind; the beaches of the southern part of the island, near the airport, area made of fine white sand; the sandy beach on the west coast are the most exposed to the Meltemi and they are only available in low wind conditions; the beaches of the north of the island, accessible only by sea and partly by a jeep.
- East Coast - Amoopi, Karpathos Beach, Achata, Kato Latos (reachable only by foot), Apella.
- South Coast - Damatria, Diakoftis, Devils Bay, Agriopotamos (nude beach).
- West Coast - Finiki, Arkasa Leucadius.
- North Coast - Diafani, Vananda, Forokli