A travel guide on the best beaches in Karpathos Greece. Includes everything you need to know to make the most of the beautiful Greek island in the Dodecanese.
A guide to the best Karpathos beaches
Karpathos is one of the Greek islands in the Dodecanese group. It is known for its wonderful beaches, picturesque, rugged landscapes and long-standing traditions.
The impressive coastline of Karpathos stretches over 160 kms (100 miles), encompassing many dozens of fantastic beaches. There is a very diverse range of beaches, from secluded to busy and vibrant, from sandy to pebbly or rocky.
The prettiest and most sheltered beaches from the meltemi wind are located on the eastern side of Karpathos. This makes them ideal for families and anyone who wants to take it easy, relax, and snorkel in the island’s incredibly clear waters.
The island is also a great destination for water sports enthusiasts. Several beaches, mostly on the southern side of the island, offer opportunities for activities such as windsurfing or kite surfing.
In this article, you will discover some of the best beaches of Karpathos island. I have included facilities, distance from Pigadia, and how to get there.
1. Apella Beach Karpathos
Apella beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Karpathos. It is a long sandy beach with exotic water, surrounded by steep cliffs and tall pine trees.
The lovely beach is located on the east coast of Karpathos, about 20 km (12.4 mi) north of Pigadia, the capital. You can get there either by road or on a boat trip.
If you are planning to hire a car, you should know that the road is narrow and twisted. Nevertheless, the journey is worth it, not only for the beach itself, but also for the stunning views of the island. There’s a short walk to get to the beach.
Another option is to catch a daily boat trip from the port of Pigadia. These depart in the morning and return in the early evening, passing by a few beaches in Karpathos on their way to Apella.
As Apella beach is particularly popular, it’s best to arrive early, to secure both a parking space and a good spot on the beach. There is a section with loungers and umbrellas, but there is also plenty of free space under the trees, where you can put your own towel.
Right above the beach, there’s a taverna. There’s also the tiny St Lucas church, which dates from the 13th century.
Tip: To the right of the famous beach, you will find the secluded Little Apella. You can get there through a footpath which goes up and down the mountain. The path is also great for views of Apella from above.
2. Kyra Panagia Beach Karpathos
Kyra Panagia is one of the most photographed and most picturesque beaches in Karpathos. It’s a stunning beach with a mix of sand and pebbles, nestled in a small cove surrounded by mountains.
Kyra Panagia beach is located 15 kms (9.3 mi) north of Pigadia, and you can get there by road or sea. There are a few hotels and restaurants here, ideal for people who want to spend a few nights in the area.
The beach is mostly organized and family-friendly, with umbrellas and loungers. It is perfect for visitors seeking a calm and sheltered environment.
To reach this iconic beach, visitors can drive through a narrow and winding asphalted road, which offers breathtaking views of the deep blue Aegean Sea.
At the end of the road, there is free parking space, and if you are lucky you can park under the trees. This is a convenient spot to leave your vehicle before walking through the small settlement to reach the beach.
You can also access Kyra Panagia beach on the boat excursions from Pigadia port.
3. Achata Beach
Achata is another picturesque beach in Karpathos. Its small white pebbles and attractive green waters make it popular with families and couples.
There are many loungers and umbrellas on Achata, and it can get rather busy. There’s also a (very) small area where you can put your own towel on the sand.
In my experience (September 2023), the canteen owner has expanded beyond their original location, and this affects anyone who isn’t planning to use their services. Hopefully this will be sorted for 2024.
Achata beach is located on the east coast of Karpathos, 12 kms north of Pigadia. It’s easy to reach it by road, or you can take the boat trip from Pigadia.
Tip: If you have your own rental car, you can visit Apella, Kyra Panagia and Achata beach on the same day as they are all on the east side of Karpathos, and very close to each other. There are also public buses from Pigadia to these three beaches, but they are very infrequent.
4. Pigadia Beach
Pigadia is a long beach at walking distance from Pigadia Town, the capital of Karpathos. It is an organized, family-friendly beach, and it’s popular with anyone seeking a convenient and sheltered environment close to the town.
The beach is easily accessible by foot from the town center. Due to its convenience, it gets quite busy in the summer months. Still, it offers a pleasant and comfortable experience for visitors.
On the side of the beach closest to Pigadia town, there are a few beachfront hotels. There, you will find a range of facilities such as wooden sunbeds, umbrellas and watersports.
As you walk away from the town, Pigadia beach changes name to Limniatis, then Affoti, with fine golden sand. This side of the coast is quieter, and ideal if you want your own space.
Pigadia Beach is surrounded by several tavernas, beach bars and shops, and there’s a variety of dining and shopping options. As it’s close to the town, it’s a popular place to stay in Karpathos.
5. Beaches in Amoopi – Lakki area
The area of Lakki – Amoopi is a beautiful seaside resort, located just 7 kms (4.3 miles) away from the capital, Pigadia. Amoopi is one of the most popular areas to stay in Karpathos.
Amoopi area has numerous bays and small coves, which are generally sheltered from the winds. The area is ideal for families, and for anyone seeking a relaxing beach experience.
The beaches in Amoopi have a mix of sand, pebbles and rocks. The waters are super clear, and visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Most of the Amoopi beaches are organized, with umbrellas and loungers that you can hire. Moreover, there are several dining options available, providing a convenient and enjoyable beach experience for visitors.
Main Beaches in Amoopi
Here are the main beaches in the Amoopi Lakki area, from north to south:
- Little Amoopi beach, which is covered with umbrellas and loungers
- Pera Ammos beach
- Amoopi beach or Votsalakia, the main beach in the area, with a wide range of sun beds and umbrellas
- Kastelia beach, a pebbly cove with only a few sunbeds
- Fokia beach, where there are only a handful of umbrellas and no other services.
Apart from these main beaches, you will find many little coves along the Amoopi coastline where you can swim. The water is so clear!
You can reach Amoopi by rental car, but parking can be a challenge, especially during the high season. You can also get to Amoopi on the public bus from Pigadia, or taxi.
In order to reach most of the beaches, you will need to walk down a few stairs.
Tip: If you like secluded beaches and quiet holidays, you will love Potami beach, about 3 kms (2 miles) east of Amoopi. There’s an easy dirt road leading there, and you will likely meet a few fishermen and divers when you get to the beach. Take everything you will need, as there are no facilities.
6. Diakoftis Beach
Another one of the top beaches in Karpathos is Diakoftis. It’s a beautiful remote beach with sand dunes and shallow blue green waters, which will remind you of the Caribbean. It is ideal for snorkeling as there are many sea caves.
Here, you will find what is probably the most expensive beach bar in Karpathos island. As an indication, a set of two loungers and an umbrella cost 50 euro, and a coffee about 8 euro (September 2023). You can always bring your own water, snacks and towels though.
Diakoftis beach is located on the south coast of the island, very close to Karpathos airport, and is only accessible through a rough dirt road. You can only get here with your own transport, ideally an off-road vehicle.
Drive towards the airport, turn right on the dirt road behind the airport, and follow the signs pointing to Diakoftis. Don’t trust the navigator in this occasion – it will suggest that you do an hour’s walk from the airport 🙂
You will have to follow the dirt road for about 15 minutes. Drive carefully, as the road is bad in some places. In fact, before you go, it’s best to ask the locals about the road’s current state.
7. Lefkos Karpathos Beaches
Lefkos is a Greek paradise resort on the west side of Karpathos. The area has plenty of tavernas, cafes, bars and rooms to let, and is a popular place to stay in Karpathos.
Lefkos offers a selection of beautiful beaches for visitors to relax and enjoy. The beaches are known for their clear turquoise waters, soft white sand, and stunning views.
The main Lefkos beach is fully organized, with plenty of umbrellas and loungers. As the bay is enclosed, it is usually sheltered from the winds.
Other beaches you can visit in the area include Fragolimnionas and Potali. These are both quieter than Lefkos beach, but can get affected by winds. Fragolimnionas has a lovely view towards Sokastro islet and the sunset.
The easier way to visit these beaches is with your own transportation. There are also buses from Pigadia to Lefkos a few times per week. Allow for at least an hour if you are driving from Pigadia.
8. Agios Nikolaos Arkasa Beach
Τhe popular, low-key resort of Arkasa, οn the west coast of Karpathos, offers a serene and picturesque setting. Here, you will find a fantastic sandy beach, Agios Nikolaos Arkasa.
There are sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and changing rooms on the beach, as well as a lovely beach bar. If you like hiking, don’t miss Paleokastro hill, which offers a beautiful view to the sunset.
Generally speaking, the sea at Agios Nikolaos beach can get very wavy, and is a good place for certain watersports. If you ever wanted to try wave surfing, here is your chance.
I was planning to contact Surfvival school and take a class, but unfortunately I ran out of time (and really regret it). Hopefully when I return to Karpathos I’ll get the opportunity!
Agios Nikolaos Beach is approximately 16 kms (10 miles) from Karpathos Town. It’s easy to get here in a hired car, and there is plenty of parking space. There are also buses from Pigadia a few times per week.
To the north of Arkasa, you will find Finiki beach. This is a sandy beach with shallow waters, ideal for children. The small settlement also has a few tavernas and rooms to let.
9. Agrilaopotamos Beach
People come from all over the world to go wind surfing and kite surfing on Agrilaopotamos beach, on the south coast of Karpathos, 15 km (9.3 miles) from Pigadia. The strong winds in the area are ideal for both of these sports.
There’s a school where you can rent equipment and take classes, a taverna, and a vibrant community of surfers staying in a makeshift campsite.
People who enjoy these watersports will love Agrilaopotamos. There’s also the nearby Michaliou Kipos and Psoraris beach, which are less crowded.
If you drive on the dirt road to the west, you will reach Araki, a quiet hidden gem with small pebbles.
A little further west, you will find the pretty beach of Agios Theodoros, which seems to attract a few people.
Both of these beaches have a few loungers and umbrellas, and are great for swimming. However, on windy days, the waves can get pretty big.
If you drive all the way here, stop at the taverna in Agios Theodoros for a meal, and stay for sunset if you can. It will take you a little over a half hour to get back to Pigadia.
10. Agios Minas – Philios Beach
In northern Karpathos, not too far away from the famous Olympos village, you will find Agios Minas beach. It’s a remote, fantastically beautiful beach, with fine pebbles, crystal clear waters, and, usually, very few people.
There are a handful of umbrellas and a couple of tavernas here, but otherwise Agios Minas is wild and unspoiled. The main reason that it’s not the most famous beach in Karpathos is that it’s not so easily accessible.
To reach Agios Minas by road from Pigadia, you should be prepared for more than an hour’s drive. Of those, about 20 minutes are on a rough dirt road.
As you are driving towards Olympos, there are two exits to reach Agios Minas. The first exit is clearly signposted, whereas the second exit is easier to miss, as the sign to Agios Minas is facing the other direction.
The second exit is the one you want to take, as that road is much smoother. Still, you should drive slowly, and make sure your car insurance covers you for off-road driving. The landscapes and the fabulous beach will reward you for the long drive!
It’s also possible to get to Agios Minas on a boat trip from Pigadia. Just ask around at the port area to find what trips are running when you are there.
11. Agios Nikolaos Spoa
Agios Nikolaos Spoa, not to be confused with Agios Nikolaos Arkasa, is a small beach with a mix of sand and pebbles, on the eastern coast of Karpathos, close to a mountain village called Spoa. The beach has umbrellas and loungers, and a few tavernas.
To the north of Agios Nikolaos Spoa, you will find the quieter Antiperatos beach, which I thought was more appealing. We had a meal at Xopetro bar, which was great – big portions, lovely sea view, and a very welcoming owner!
If you are taking a day trip from Pigadia to Olympos, Agios Nikolaos Spoa is a good spot to take a break for a swim and a meal. It will take you about 45 minutes to cover the distance of 28 kms (17.4 miles) from the capital.
12. Diafani Beach
At the north of Karpathos, you will find Diafani, a small port town close to the famous Olympos village. Here, you will find a pebbly beach, which is good for a quick swim if you are staying in the quiet, quaint coastal village.
The beach in Diafani is not very special, but there are facilities and a few tavernas and cafes. If you are staying here for a few days, there are two nice secluded beaches that you can easily get to.
Vananda beach is located to the north of Diafani. It’s a pebbly beach with clear waters, and a few tamarisk trees for shade. You can get here on foot, or on a relatively easy dirt road.
Papa Mina beach, marked on Google Maps as Panorama, is another quiet beach, and is located to the south of Diafani. You can walk here in about 90 minutes from Diafani, or drive in a suitable vehicle. Before you do, it’s best to ask the locals about the current state of the dirt road.
From Diafani, you can also take a boat tour to the uninhabited Saria island. The main beach on Saria, Palatia, offers fantastic snorkeling opportunities.
More Karpathos guides
So, there you have it! These are just a few of the most famous beaches in Karpathos. And it’s very hard to select the single most beautiful beach, as so many of them are amazing.
Here are a few more Karpathos guides you’ll like:
- How to get to Karpathos
- Where to stay in Karpathos
- How to get around Karpathos
- Best things to do in Karpathos
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens. I’ve been to over 60-65 of the Greek islands, and I found that Karpathos has some of the prettiest beaches in all of Greece. Snorkeling here, and on the nearby Saria island, was a delight! Follow me on FB for more Greek news and inspiration.