Hiking Trip – The unspoiled Karpathos Island is a unique holiday experience based on the island of Karpathos – the legendary birthplace of Prometheus and the Titans!
Karpathos is the second largest of the Dodecanese Islands and is located in the southeast of the Aegean Sea. Here our Hiking Tour takes place in one of the least commercialized places in Greece. Because it is remote and somewhat protected from the modern world, it has preserved many of its distinct traditions concerning dress, customs and dialect. With its villages nestled high up in the clouds on its mountains and rugged beauty, Karpathos is undeniably unique.
On our Hiking Trip – The unspoiled Karpathos Island, we hike along steep cliffs and rocky coasts enjoying its wild and impressive scenery. Unspoilt and tranquil, it creates a safe haven for a wide variety of animals. The coastal rocky caves are home to the Mediterranean Monachus-Monachus seal and the protected Eleonora’s falcons and Audouin’s gulls also nest on the coastal rocks. We encounter brushwood along with dense pine tree copses on the east coast of Northern Karpathos, which create the impression of a painter’s dark green brushstroke on the land. We enjoy the rich flora, including a total of 940 plants, 87 of which are indigenous, rare and also endangered. Nowhere else can one find such a vast concentration of unique flora and fauna – all within easy reach on foot.
We have selected the northern part of Karpathos for this reason, being the most mountainous it is the area where the most beautiful hikes with breathtaking landscapes, sea mammals and birds are found.
From our base in the picturesque sea village of Diafani we hike on the most impressive paths of the region. A minivan and small boats enable our short transfers back and forth to our base and as a result there are many opportunities for swimming on our Hiking Tour, Hiking Karpathos.
Getting to Karpathos.
Getting to Karpathos is not so easy – this is what part of its beauty and authenticity is attributed to. The easiest way is to fly either from Athens (daily) or from Rhodes with http://www.skyexpress.gr/. There is also the option of a 6 hour ferry boat from Rhodes. On 2021 a new highspeed ferry will eb available for the route Rhodes – Diafani – Pigadia too.
Trekking Hellas offers a variety of activities and tours on Rhodes and the Dodecanese Islands, which can be added to your itinerary which you can customize to maximize your holiday experience with us. If you enjoy hiking in more remote and authentically Greek islands we highly recommend our Dodecanese Island Hopping Tour or you can try our Sail and Hike in the Dodecanese Islands if you wish to explore the islands from the vantage point of a sailor.
Period of Operation: April to October
Self Guided Mode:
- 520€ for 6-7 participants
- 540€ for 4-5 participants
- 590€ for 2-3 participants
Fully Guided Mode:
- 670€ for 6-7 participants
- 740€ for 4-5 participants
- 1050€ for 2-3 participants
This level of this Hiking Tour is moderate with an average of between 4-6 hours hiking daily.
- 8 days / 7 nights’ accommodation in double room with breakfast at http://www.dorana.gr/index.php/en/
- 5 days of hiking with English Speaking Trekking Hellas Greek Guide with all transfers (mini van and boat included).
- Meal Plan Full Board starting from dinner on day 1 to dinner on day 7.
- Karpathos Port / airport transfer to hotel and hotel to airport / port of Karpathos.
SELF GUIDED MODE
- 8 days/7 nights’ accommodation in a double room with breakfast at http://www.dorana.gr/index.php/en/
- 5 days of hiking with detailed instructions, GPS routes
- Map of Karpathos
- All transfers (mini van and boat included)
- Transfers to and from Karpathos Port/Airport
- Flights/Ferry to Karpathos.
- Drinks during meals.
Upon arrival at Karpathos Airport/Port, transfer to the charming sea-front village of Diafani.
We settle into our rooms and enjoy a welcome dinner.
On Day 1 of Hiking Trip – The unspoiled Karpathos Island we hike to Olympos, the capital of Northern Karpathos and a village of exceptional beauty.
We pass through traditional villages, beautiful green valleys and along cliffs located in lush green areas along the way until we reach the beautiful settlement on the slopes of a mountain.
Houses in Olympos are built amidst a forest and their traditional colours and layout have been preserved. The village itself is indeed a true live museum and has an idyllic atmosphere.
Today, the village has a population of 400 inhabitants, most of whom are engaged in farming and agriculture. Olympos retains its traditional way of life where old-fashioned customs play an important role. Having reached Olympos we continue climbing upwards to the summit of Profitis Ilias at an altitude of 718 metres. Here, we admire magnificent views of the Aegean sea. We then descend back to Olympos where we have time to enjoy some lunch and explore the village.
Depending on how you feel, we can either then hike down to Diafani via Ag.Konstantinos or transport you back to Diafani.
Distance: 8 -10 km.
Estimated hiking time: 5.5 – 7 hours.
Today’s hike is a lovely walk up and down some gentle slopes, through pine trees and past olive groves and wheat fields to the pretty bay of Papa Mina with its pebbly beach and shady Tamarisk trees. On this Hiking Tour we have time to enjoy some swimming and snorkelling in this beautiful bay before we return back to Diafani.
Distance: 7.5 km.
Estimated hiking time: 3.5 hours.
Day 3 of Hiking Trip – The unspoiled Karpathos Island starts with a short transfer to Avlona from where we hike down to Ancient Vroukounta on a stone path, built in ancient times.
Vroukounta is a mystical area where the ancient city state of Vrykous once stood.
We explore ruins, more than 3500 years old, the Cave Church of St. John and even underwater treasures while snorkelling. We then hike back up to the village of Avlona for a delicious homemade lunch in the one and only taverna in the area – famous throughout Karpathos.
After our lunchbreak, we continue to Vananta on a stone path that gently descends towards this lovely bay. From there, the last part of today’s Hiking Tour takes us along the coast offering incomparable views.
Distance: 10 km.
Estimated hiking time: 5.5 hours.
Today we again start our hike from Avlona, following a cobbled road until we reach Tristomo, an almost deserted village. This natural harbor, set in a protected bay on the north-west coast, is home to the one last family which refuses to abandon its hometown and spectacular views.
After a picnic lunch, we continue to Ag.Aikaterini and Steno – the spot where we can almost “touch” the nearby island of Saria it seems so close. From here a traditional fishing boat takes us back to Diafani.
Distance: 8.4 km.
Estimated hiking time: 3.5 hours.
Day 5 of Hiking Trip – The unspoiled Karpathos Island takes us on a boat across to Saria Island, where we hike the length of the island ending up at the beach of Palatia, where we enjoy a barbeque lunch and take a boat back to Diafani.
In antiquity, Saria was one of the four cities of Karpathos, until it detached from the island due to erosion, later becoming a base for Saracen pirates.
We can see ancient monuments, ruins and remains of ancient settlements nearly everywhere we look.
According to mythology, the island was created when Poseidon, in a battle with Titan Ephialtes, cut off a piece from the side of Karpathos and buried his opponent under it.
Ruins of the city have sunk into the Strait of Tristomou, between Karpathos and Saria. Indeed signs there indicate the existence of the Apollo Porthmiou sanctuary.
There are traces of human existence here since the Neolithic Age and the early Bronze Age, and remains of fortifications have also been found on the West side of Castello hill dating back to historical times.
In addition, the island is an important natural habitat and breeding ground for birds and marine species. It is important to note that northern Karpathos, Saria, and the area of sea around them, all belong to the European network of protected areas Natura 2000, thanks to the variety of different natural habitats available for the animals that live here as well as the rare plant and animal species that they host.
Distance: 8 km.
Estimated hiking time: 3 hours.
(Optional hiking or cooking class, etc).
Transfer to Karpathos Port/Airport.