You can get to Karpathos island in Greece by flight or ferry. Here is everything you need to know to travel to Karpathos island in Greece.
Getting to Karpathos island in Greece
Karpathos island is one of the best beach destinations in Greece. Located in the Dodecanese group of islands in the Aegean Sea, it is also known for Olympos village, where women still wear their traditional costumes.
You can get to Karpathos island by flight, ferry, or a combination of both transportation modes.
Karpathos has a national airport, to which there are direct seasonal flights from certain airports in Europe. In addition, there are domestic flights from Athens, Rhodes and other airports in Greece.
Moreover, frequent ferry routes connect Karpathos with various other islands and Piraeus port in Athens. Karpathos has two ports – Pigadia port, which is also the main town and the island’s capital, and a minor port called Diafani.
Let’s break down the best ways to reach Karpathos island in Greece.
Flying to Karpathos from Europe
During spring, summer and autumn, there are direct seasonal flights to Karpathos from certain European airports. There are both regular flights, and charter flights.
At the time of writing, there are no direct flights to Karpathos airport from the UK. You can fly directly to Karpathos from many cities in Italy, Austria and Germany. There are also direct flights from Prague, Amsterdam, and Stockholm.
If none of those airports are convenient for you, you will need to take a non-direct flight to Karpathos. Most people would fly to Athens, and take an onward domestic flight. More on this, later.
Another option is to fly to another Greek island with an international airport, and then take a ferry to Karpathos.
Islands offering direct ferry routes to Karpathos include Santorini, Rhodes, Kos and Crete. You can check out ferry routes and book your ferry tickets on Ferryscanner. More on this, later.
Traveling to Karpathos from the USA or Australia
Travelers from outside Europe, for example the USA or Australia, will have to use a combination of flights to reach Karpathos.
One option is to fly to a major European hub that may offer direct flights to Karpathos, for example Rome or Amsterdam. This could potentially reduce your travel time if you can coordinate your flights appropriately.
Another option is to fly into Athens International Airport, and then take an onward domestic flight to Karpathos. During the high season, there are several domestic flights per day.
In some cases, e.g. if you are departing from New York, you can fly directly to Athens without stopping at another hub in Europe.
Of course, your local airport may not offer any direct flights to Europe. In this case, you might need to plan your trip using multiple airlines.
When arriving at the Athens airport, it’s best to allow a couple of hours between your international flight and your onward flight to Karpathos, especially during the peak season. Also, make sure your travel insurance covers you in case your international flight is delayed.
Domestic flights to Karpathos
As mentioned earlier, many travelers choose to get to the Athens airport, and then take an onward flight to Karpathos.
Domestic flights from Athens to Karpathos operate year-round. This includes the off-season, which can be a great time to visit Karpathos for people looking for a tranquil experience.
Sometimes, you can also find flights to Karpathos from other places in Greece, such as Rhodes and Thessaloniki.
On occasion, island flights can be subject to weather-related delays or cancellations. It’s always wise to have a flexible schedule, especially when flying back home.
Air carriers flying from Athens to Karpathos
Two domestic carriers fly the route Athens to Karpathos: Aegean Airlines / Olympic Air, and Sky Express. The flight takes about 70-80 minutes.
Both airlines offer various types of fares, with different luggage options and cancellation policies. You can choose the one that works best for you in terms of timings and cost.
The cost of a round-trip flight starts at about 60 euro, but can be much higher depending on the season. Last minute flights tend to be expensive, so it’s always best to book in advance.
To avoid unnecessary fines, always make sure that your luggage complies with each airline’s rules. Note that some airplanes are smaller than others – so, if you have hand luggage, check the dimensions carefully to ensure it will fit in the overhead compartment.
How to find flights to Karpathos
The best way to find cheap flights to Karpathos is to use a flight search engine, like Skyscanner or Kayak. You can use the flexible date calendars to compare prices and find the cheapest or quickest flights.
If you set up a price alert, you’ll get notified when the prices change. That way, you can book your trip at the perfect time.
As a rule, prices increase closer to travel time. It’s best to book your flights to Karpathos as early as possible to get a good deal.
Before you book your flight tickets, have a look at this article about the best time to visit the Greek islands.
In fact, Karpathos is one of the warmest Greek islands in October – keep this in mind!
Taking the ferry to Karpathos
Another way to get to Karpathos is by ferry. There are frequent routes connecting Karpathos with various other islands and Piraeus port in Athens. These are operated by the Blue Star Ferries, a popular ferry company in Greece.
The duration of the ferry ride depends on the route. For example, the journey from Piraeus is a very long trip, as it can take you up to 18 hours. By comparison, the ferry trip from Rhodes takes just under 4 hours.
Other Aegean islands directly connected to Karpathos on the ferry include Santorini, Crete and Kos. All these islands have airports, so you can always fly to one of those and then take a ferry.
Ferries to Karpathos arrive at the main Karpathos port, Pigadia. Some routes also stop at Diafani, the smaller port located on the north-eastern side of the island.
You can check out ferry routes and book your ferry tickets here: Ferryscanner
Is it better to take the ferry, or fly to Karpathos?
While the ferry is more time consuming than a flight, it can be an adventurous addition to your travel experience.
Moreover, the ferry is often the only way to travel between the Greek islands. Most people planning an island-hopping trip will inevitably take a ferry at some point.
You can check out ferry routes and book your ferry tickets here: Ferryscanner. Note that, as a rule, ferry companies might not release their summer ferry schedules until spring.
How to get from Karpathos Airport to Pigadia
The airport in Karpathos is located on the island’s southern coast, about 14 kms out of Pigadia.
The best way to get from Karpathos Airport to Pigadia, or anywhere you are going to in Karpathos, are by taxi / pre-booked transfer or rental car. Airport public transport services are rare.
If you are planning to explore Karpathos and its beautiful beaches, it’s definitely best to hire a car. Have a look at Discover Cars, a great platform where you can compare several car rental companies and book a vehicle for your vacation in Karpathos.
FAQs – How to get to Karpathos
Here are a few questions people who are planning a trip to Karpathos often ask:
How do you get to and from Karpathos?
You can get to / from Karpathos by either plane, or ferry. There are direct flights to Karpathos from various European cities and Athens.
How long is the ferry from Crete to Karpathos?
Ferries from Heraklion in Crete to Pigadia in Karpathos take about 6 hours 40 minutes. This ferry continues to other Dodecanese islands.
Is Karpathos very touristy?
Karpathos is an upcoming Greek island, so it’s not as touristy as some other islands in Greece. Still, some resort areas like Ammopi or Lefkos are more developed than others.
How do I get to Karpathos from UK?
There are currently no direct flights from UK airports to Karpathos. Your best option is to take an international flight to Athens from a UK airport, and a quick onward domestic flight to Karpathos.
Do you need a car in Karpathos?
If you want to explore Karpathos at your own pace, a car is definitely the best way. This way you can travel at your own pace, and see all its amazing beaches, traditional villages and incredible natural beauty!
More Karpathos travel guides
For more information about Karpathos, check out these other articles:
- Where is Karpathos – Map and geography
- Where to stay in Karpathos – Includes info on accommodation and hotel suggestions
- How to get around Karpathos – Includes info on how to take a bus, taxi, or rental car
- Things to do in Karpathos – Swim, snorkel, hike, and explore
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens and my mission is to explore all the Greek islands 🙂 You can follow me on FB for more Greece-related info!