Hey, you! Yeah, you, the one who’s dreaming about being on a beach, holding a cold, refreshing margarita... snap out of it! It’s time to take matters into your own hands, and start planning your drool-worthy vacation right. This. Moment. And you know what? I have just the perfect spot for you. So, sit back, relax, and let your imagination take you away… oh, and hmm, you can thank me later: Gorgeous beaches, a bunch of journalists and lots of RakiTwo weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit Karpathos, a gorgeous island on the southern side of the Aegean Sea between Rhodes and Crete. It might not ring any bells, since Karpathos has become quite the tourist attraction only in the past few years (totally changing right now, this exotic island is a rising star), maybe because of its distance from other Greek islands. Well, at least its southern side. The central and the northern areas are very authentic, with picturesque villages and welcoming locals. Like every other island in Greece, Karpathos is famous for its breath-taking beaches and crystal clear water. But Karpathos is not just that, it has so much more to offer. Fasten your seatbelts future vacationers, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
But first, where to stay and how to get there:Until not so long ago, there were no direct flights to Karpathos. If you wanted to get there, you had to take a flight to Athens, and then a second one. Quite a headache for a two-hour flight’s distance. But, these days you can take a direct flight (there are two flights a week), without all the fuss of a connection. Once you arrive at Karpathos airport, one thing is immediately clear – and unavoidable. The vibe is nothing if not relaxed. I split our time between two hotels, The Mediterranean (4-star hotel) and Alimoundamare (5-star hotel). While The Mediterranean is a boutique hotel, the Alimoundamare is bigger and more typical. Both of the hotels are run by families, who offer kind and warm service. At the end of the season (June-October), the hotels close, and Karpathos becomes a ghost town. The locals work only during the summer. Karpathos is a thing of beauty. Of course, there are many more hotels on the island. Of the two I visited, I can tell you that if you’re looking for intimacy, peace and good taste, go for The Mediterranean. But if you’re into something more luxurious, then Alimoundamare is the place for you. Where to eat? There are a lot of good taverns, where you can find good seafood, tzaziki and moussaka. But my favorite places to eat were the shockingly good pizza at Uno, and Sofia’s Place – an amazing local food place with a unique vibe. These two restaurants can be found near the port. Also highly recommended is a dessert called loukoumades, homemade doughnuts (סופגניות) with honey and cinnamon. What to drink? Raki and ouzo! But if you don’t like the taste of anis, the local beer Mythos is a great alternative. What’s hot?Besides the amazing views and the spectacular beaches, there are plenty of other things to do in Karpathos - from visiting the villages to cruising along the shore, through scuba diving and wind surfing. You’re sure going to have lots of fun… guaranteed! The writer was a guest of Ofek Tourism.