Pigadia Karpathos – A Guide To Karpathos Town Greece

Pigadia, also known as Karpathos Town, is the capital town and main port of Karpathos island in Greece. Here’s what to do and where to stay in Pigadia Karpathos.

Pigadia Town in Karpathos Greece

Pigadia, also known as Karpathos town, is the capital and main ferry port in Karpathos island. Here is where most locals live, and where you will find most of the services on the island, including supermarkets and travel agencies.

Pigadia is a popular place to stay in Karpathos, as it’s a great base from where you can easily explore much of the island. This is where all public buses depart from to anywhere in Karpathos. 

Pigadia Town Karpathos

While Pigadia doesn’t look quite as traditional as other port towns in Greece, it has a distinctively Greek feel to it. Apart from various hotels, there are many cafes, cocktail bars, and several tavernas with a lovely view to the sea.

Most visitors will want to spend at least one evening in Pigadia Town in Karpathos Greece. Here is some more information on what to do and where to stay.

What to do in Pigadia Karpathos

If you are traveling to Karpathos by ferry, Pigadia will be your first port of call. Ferries connect Pigadia Karpathos with many other Dodecanese islands, Piraeus port in Athens, and Crete.

During the summer months, a few cruise boats are lined up at the small harbor at Pigadia. These take visitors on daytrips to some of the best beaches of Karpathos, as well as the nearby Saria island.

You can easily explore Pigadia on foot. Stroll around the pedestrian streets and narrow alleys, and have a look at the souvenir shops where you can buy some local memorabilia.

Pigadia Karpathos main port town

It’s also worth visiting the main church in Pigadia, Panagia Evangelistria, and walking to the solemn chapel of Agios Nikolaos, at the far end of the town.

When you need a break, you can stop at one of the numerous taverns or coffee shops with a view to the port.

Taste traditional Karpathian dishes in Pigadia

Karpathos, like most of the islands of Greece, has it own distinctively traditional cuisine. There are plenty of tavernas and restaurants in Pigadia where you can taste the local flavors.

Arguably, the most famous dish from Karpathos is Makarounes, a type of local handmade pasta. There are also several dishes based on goat meat, fish or seafood.

You must also taste the various types of cheese, like the local sitaka, a soft creamy cheese with mild flavor.

Many of the dishes you’ll find in Karpathos are local to the island. However, you will also find other popular Greek dishes, which are common all around Greece.

Dinner at Pigadia town Karpathos

Our favorite place to eat in Pigadia was Antama. Tucked away on a quiet street, it serves great quality dishes and is a few steps up from a basic taverna. If you are going in high season, you would most likely need a reservation.

Other restaurants we enjoyed were Ellinikon and Ladokolla – though neither of them was as memorable as Antama. 

Sit for a coffee or drink overlooking the sea

When you are on a vacation in Greece, one of the things you will notice the locals doing is sitting out for a coffee!

The Greek coffee culture is quite unique. In essence, “meeting for a coffee” usually means “meeting for a long chat”. You could argue that having a coffee is somewhat of a ritual in Greece.

There are many cafes in Pigadia, overlooking the harbor. Choose one, and relax for an hour or two, with a view to the numerous fishing boats.

A view of Pigadia port in Karpathos

In the evening, Pigadia is the best place in Karpathos for nightlife. Don’t expect Mykonos-style parties – evening entertainment in Karpathos is way more relaxed!

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Karpathos

Pigadia has a small museum with various archaeological artefacts found on the island. There are findings spanning several millenia of history, starting from the neolithic age.

The exhibits include various types of vessels, shells, coins, statues and tomb elements, providing information on life on Karpathos in the ancient times.

The museum operates in a beautiful building which was built during the Italian occupation. On most summers, it is open from Wednesday to Monday, 8:30 – 15:30 – but check the official website before you go.

Walk to the beaches close to Pigadia

If you are staying in Pigadia Karpathos, you are walking distance from a very long beach that stretches for a few kilometres.

The beach closer to the town is usually referred to as Pigadia beach or Limniatis beach. This part of the beach is covered with loungers and umbrellas, and gets pretty busy during the summer months.

A little further down, you will find Affoti beach, which is the quieter part of the long sandy coast. There are some facilities, but you can bring your own beach towel to lie on, as well as a few drinks and snacks.

Along the coastline, you can also see some ancient ruins of a Paleochristian Basilica dating from the 6th century AD, Agia Fotini. It’s a very small site, and entrance is free.

Agia Fotini ancient ruins Karpathos

Many tourists choose to stay on one of the hotels on the beach, and walk to Pigadia in the evenings. This way, they can spend the daytime on the beach, and enjoy a dinner or drinks later on.

Take a boat trip to Saria island

If you like the idea of spending the day on an uninhabited island, you should take a day trip to Saria island, located to the north of Karpathos. 

Saria is a nature lover’s paradise. There is unique flora and fauna, and there are beautiful seacaves where you can snorkel and see the underwater life. 

Day trip to Saria island from Karpathos

You will see a few boats at the harbor offering the excursion to Saria island. I took the trip with the Chrissovalandou boat and really enjoyed the day! The captain, Nick, really made a difference, as he is passionate about what he does.

Here is some more information on boat trips to Saria island.

What to do around Pigadia Karpathos

If you are located in Pigadia, you can easily take a bus or hire a car and see more of the island and its wonderful beaches. For example, you can go to the famous Kyra Panagia and Apella beach, or explore the villages on the north like Olympos and Diafani.

The bus services are the cheapest way to get around Karpathos, but they don’t offer much freedom, as services can be rather limited. Moreover, they can get crowded in summer.

Hiring a car is the best way to travel around Karpathos if you want to be independent and enjoy the island at your own pace. You can compare car rental prices and book a holiday vehicle at Discover Cars.

Have a look at these two articles with some more information:

Note: Not all hotels in Pigadia have dedicated parking areas. We never had a problem parking at the public parking lots at Pigadia, but we visited outside the peak season. If you are planning to hire a car, check if your hotel has parking facilities. Also, note that some areas of the town, including the road next to the port, are closed to the traffic in the evenings.

The famous Kyra Panagia beach Karpathos

Where to stay in Pigadia – Hotels in Pigadia

Unlike other port towns on the Greek islands, Pigadia is not a very traditional settlement. The town itself has its fair share of modern houses. Still, there are many charming little streets, and the numerous bars make Pigadia the best area to stay in Karpathos for nightlife.

Three of the best bigger hotels on Pigadia beach are Alimounda Mare Hotel, Konstantinos Palace and Astron Princess. These are all very well located and offer a wide range of facilities.

As hotel prices are often higher than prices for self-catering rooms, you can also have a look at Aronia Luxury Apartments. The location is great, right by the beach, close to many supermarkets and the town.

For other holiday resorts in Karpathos, check out my guide on the best areas to stay in Karpathos.

Again, in order to make the most of Karpathos, it’s best to hire a car and drive around the island. Check Discover Cars for the best offers.

A car is the best way to see Karpathos Greece

How to get to Karpathos

You can get to Karpathos either by flight, or ferry.

In summer, direct flights operate to Karpathos from various airports in Europe. There are also daily connections with Athens and, often, other cities in Greece. 

Unfortunately, there are no standard bus services from Karpathos Airport to other areas of the island. Unless your hotel provides a transfer, you could get a taxi, or hire a car.

Moreover, ferries connect Karpathos with Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Kasos, a few other islands in the Dodecanese, and Piraeus port in Athens. Ferries are often the only option if you want to do some island hopping in Greece.

You can check ferry routes and book your ferry tickets at Ferryscanner.

Have a look at these detailed guides with more information:

A ferry to Karpathos

More island travel guides

If you enjoyed this article about Pigadia in Karpathos, have a look at these other guides about island travel in Greece:

Vanessa from Real Greek ExperiencesHi! I’m Vanessa from Athens, and I’ve been to about 60 or 65 (??) of the Greek islands. I loved Karpathos for its fantastic beaches and stunning wild landscapes. Follow me on Facebook for more Greece-related inspiration.


Leave a Comment