Despite being the second largest of the Dodecanese – smaller than Rhodes and bigger than Kos – Karpathos has been inexplicably neglected by tourists. Admittedly Pigadia, its main town and port, is not as immediately pretty as some, but stay awhile and its old-fashioned atmosphere grows on you. From here, hire a car and explore the island’s low-key resorts and rugged interior.
What to do Visit the village of Olympos, high in the mountains, where the women dress in traditional costume and back alleys wind past pastel houses to amazing views.
Where to stay The perfect little resort of Lefkos boasts a sandy sweep of beach and several relaxed places to stay and eat. Le Grand Bleu (€60) is one of the most comfortable.
Where to eat Back in Pigadia, Ellinikon is an old-school taverna. Feel free to look into the various pots that will be bubbling, and discuss today’s specials.

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