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AEGEAN ISLANDS

A stroll down the mythical past of Karpathos

Spectacularly beautiful, with wild, rugged landscape, mountainous in the north and fertile in the south, Karpathos is a paradise for all. It might be a bit difficult to get here, but once you've made it you won't regret it.

A place blessed with wild natural beauty, which also boasts a centuries-old history as well. What sets it apart is its ability to slow even the most overwrought visitors down to the local pace, allowing them to stop long enough to enjoy its lost-in-time charm.

 

According to legend, the first inhabitants of the island kidnapped the Gods from Mount Olympus and brought them to the island. Therefore they were called Arpathei (those who took the Gods); and as a result the island was named Karpathos. Other ancient names of the island were Tetrapolis, Anemoessa and Anemousa as reported in the Homeric Sagas.

Another mythological version says that Karpathos was the homeland of the Titan Iapetus,  and the place where Athena sprung out of Zeus’ head. In addition, according to another version, the Titans lived on the island before the War of the Titans, the known battle between the Titans and the Olympian Gods. In this battle, Poseidon fought with the Titan Ephialtes, he cut off a part of Karpathos, underneath which he buried his enemy. It is said that this piece of land is Saria Islet to the north of Karpathos.

 

Last but not least, according to modern local legends, a sea monster lived in the beach of Fysses near Olympos. Apparently the dark colored sea spooked the inhabitants and they created this legend to justify their fear.

Afar from the legends that surround the past of the island, traces of human life that have been found, come from the end of Neolithic Era. Minoan colonists from Crete, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians and Dorians conquered the island, while its history during the Hellenistic period has a close affiliation with Rhodes. After Christ, the conquerors who defined the island’s character were Romans, Francs, Turks and Italians.

 

Visit the island and follow a long line of traces left by conquerors, cultures and civilizations that have tiled the cultural path of the island from Antiquity to the Modern Ages. Are you ready to unveil Karpathos’ historic mysteries? 

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Co-financed by Greece and the European Union - European Regional Development Fund
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