Karpathos is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the south eastern Aegean Sea. Together with the neighbouring smaller Saria Island it forms the municipality Karpathos, which is part of the Karpathos regional unit. From its remote position Karpathos has preserved many peculiarities of dress, customs and dialect, the last resembling those of Crete and Cyprus. The island has also been called Carpathus in Latin, Scarpanto in Italian and Kerpe in Turkish.
The island has a typical ancient history being mentioned in Homer’s The Iliad, and being involved in successive wars and conquests. After many changes of “ownership” the island formally joined the Greek State on 7 March 1948, together with the other Dodecanese islands.
The beaches of Karpathos island can be divided into four large groups: the beaches on the east coast are smaller and gravelly and with limited wind. The beaches of the southern part of the island, near the airport, are made of fine white sand. The sandy beaches on the west coast are the most exposed to the Meltemiwind, which can be powerful. The beaches in the north are accessible only by sea and partly by jeep.