Southwest of Rhodes, Karpathos has retained much of its own style which neighbours succumbed to the perils of mass tourism. Visitors do come here, but not in the vast numbers that similar sized islands have to cope with.
As a result Karpathos is an ‘authentic’ Dodecanese island (as far as that phrase has any real meaning).
What you get is locals who are happy enough to see you, but not overly bothered to change their ways for your benefit. What you don’t get is the seething resentment that sometimes bubbles up on ‘tourist’ islands at the end of a long hard summer season.
For these reasons, many people truly love Karpathos. They actively help the locals to better their circumstances without turning their beloved island into another Faliraki.
There are rocky cliffs and high mountains making Karpathos either ‘hard to get around’ or ‘great to explore’ depending on your point of view. The south-west of the island has the sandy beaches and tarmac roads are found only on the west coast of the island. Head inland and you rapidly find yourself running up dirt tracks unsuitable for many vehicles.
However, don’t miss out on visiting Menetes, if only for the view. Don’t miss the ancient chapel of Agios Mammas a few miles away in the village of Exiles.