SARIA: A small paradise north of Karpathos
Dodecanese, beyond the known and visible islands hide many small and not so well known 'paradises' worth discovering. One of these heavenly unspoiled is the Saria Island.
Saria, or Saros, or Nisyria is an island located in the North end of Karpathos opposite capes Vourgounta and Espoa. It has an area of 20.4 square kilometers and an altitude of 630 m. According to the 2011 census the existing homonymous settlement, is living 45 people and among them scientists who do research on the monk seal. In the summer months Saria is flooded with many holidaymakers.
The island was part of Karpathos aand divorced from it through erosion. In Saria was in antiquity one of the four cities of Karpathos, Nisiros, as Strabon says. Everywhere there are ancient monuments, ruins and remains of ancient settlements, while Saria was the base of Saracen pirates.
According to mythology, the island was created when Poseidon in titanic battle as he struggled with Titan Ephialtes, he cut off a piece from Karpathos side and buried under this opponent.
Ruins of the city are sunken in the Strait of Tristomou, between Karpathos and Saria. Signs indicate the existence of Apollo Porthmiou sanctuary. There are traces of human presence since the Neolithic Age and the early Bronze Age, and since historical times have been found remains of fortifications on the west side of Castello hill. Remains of settlements are in Argos (north) and Palaces (east), where excavations have revealed several findings. Palaces have beautiful beach with a few trees.
Furthermore, the island is an important habitat and breeding site for birds and marine organisms. Note that the northern Karpathos, Saria, and the sea area around them, belong to the European network of protected areas Natura 2000, thanks to the variety of habitats available and rare plant and animal species that host.
Today, once a year, the Saria is again in the spotlight during the great festival at the monastery of Saint Panteleimon on 26 and July 27, which is one of the events of the year.
On the island you can arrive by excursion boat from Pigadia Karpathos.