Three Must-See Beaches in Karpathos

I'm not about to post any breaking news... in fact, what I'm about to share with you will be shared by anyone who lives on or frequently visits Karpathos. There are all kinds of beautiful beaches on the island... Diakofti, Damatria, Christou Pigado, Lefkos but there are three that are absolute no-brainers:
Kyra Panagia

We had a chance to visit all three during our visit and loved all of them. We would probably give the nod to Apella as the most beautiful, even if it is the most remote. Nonetheless, you can't go wrong with any of them. Each has their own feel and all three provide "thrilling" car rides.

Let's start with Apella...
Take a look at that first picture - that's Apella as seen from the main road. Wow... I mean wow. The water is simply beautiful - nice and calm, shallow and so clear. There are plenty of rocks for snorkling and wading around and the setting is just dramatic - jutting cliffs to the left and right and a valley rising up behind the beach. It's a wide beach with quite a few sunbeds and plenty of space to stretch out. I really liked the pines in the area - gave it a different and greener look than what many are used to in Greece.
You can rent two sunbeds and an umbrella for 6 Euros from the gentleman at the base of the steps to the beach. He'll guide you to where you should set up camp. There's really nothing located directly next to the beach but you can walk a couple of minutes up the main road to a nice little taverna with a beautiful view. Parking is mostly on the side of the road - no real parking area like you'll find in Achata or in "town" like in Kira Panagia. Just squeeze your car where it will fit (and hopefully turn around). My advice, find a way to turn around and park it pointing uphill so it's easier to get out after you've baked in the sun.
Then there's Kira Panagia...

Everyone loves taking a picture of the church overlooking Kira Panagia. It's really a very scenic spot. What I liked about it was not only the gorgeous beach but the smattering of hotels, houses and tavernas located by the beach. It looks like a very nice place to stay for a few days. The set up in the steep valley just really made an impression on me. Personally, I would love to stay at the hotel next to the church. What a view!

The beach is nice and wide with plenty of sunbeds for rent. I don't know if anyone ever came and asked for us to pay for ours... maybe they weren't paying attention. No tavernas are directly on the beach but you'll find one (Olive Garden) near the church, a place to get a drink at the hotel above the church, a mini-market on the main road and probably a couple of other options. The beach is a mix of sand and rocks and the water is nice and calm, with a beautiful blue color. A great spot to take a dip and, who knows, maybe stay a little longer.
Finally we have Achata...

One of the intangibles I really liked about Achata was the drive to the beach. Achata is the closest of the three to Pigadia. The 4 km drive from the main road snakes through a pretty valley flanked by soaring cliffs. The valley, more gentle than the drives to Kira Panagia and Apella, is dotted by small agricultural plots, wild oleanders and scores of olive trees. There's something more peaceful about it the drive and the cave-riddled cliffs are a sight to behold.

The drive eventually opens up to Achata - a rocky beach lined with umbrellas and two tavernas. The water, unlike the other two, drops off faster so you'll notice just a few steps will have you wading in deeper water. The water also tends to be a bit more active although still a beautiful turquoise color. Two sun beds and an umbrella are only 4 Euros each. For my money, I'd choose the beds run by the taverna on the left (when facing the water). They are newer and the taverna offers a reasonable menu in a nicely restored boat house. The owners are friendly and the pergola is a great spot to catch an afternoon Greek coffee. You'll also have a shot at some afternoon shade when the sun starts shifting in the sky whereas the beds on the right side stay exposed much longer.

No comments: