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Karpathos is an island, unique among others in the Aegean. Beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, fascinating traditions and customs… and yet, Karpathos remains unspoilt by mass tourism. Although the island is large in size –second only to Rhodes in the Dodecanese- it is sparsely populated, with only 6,100 permanent residents, and a just recently expanded road network.
Mentioned in the Homeric Iliad, Karpathos has been inhabited since Prehistoric times. In the classical period Karpathos prospered due to the island’s proximity to Rhodes. In 42 BC Karpathos was conquered by the Romans followed by successive conquerors: Byzantines, Venetians, Arabs, Genovese and Ottomans. In 1948 it was handed back to Greece, while the great revival of Karpathos came in the 1980’s, when many of the locals returned to the island after spending years as immigrants abroad.
Karpathos boasts of wild natural beauty, architecturally exciting villages, living traditions and a rich ancient cultural heritage. The island can be compared to a large open air archaeological and folk art park.
Karpathos’ southern part, near the port and the capital of Pigadia, is the island’s most developed; while the North retains its originality.