Information about Arkasa

arkasaArkasa located in the southwestern part of Karpathos, it is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Arkesia. Situated along the island’s rocky coastline, Arkasa located 15 miles from Pigadia. Although somewhat less visited by holidaymakers compared to other settlements on the island, Arkasa is a worthwhile destination with several attractions and sandy beaches.

Considered one of Karpathos’ largest towns with over 500 residents, Arkasa (Arcesine, Αρκάσα) is generally quiet and tranquil throughout most of the year, typical of many villages on the island. Despite the rocky terrain of the barren region, the town is close to the sea, and the main road passes through it, connecting Arkasa with Lefkos (Kato Lefkos) on the western side of Karpathos and passing through the picturesque fishing village of Finiki (Φοινίκι).

Wandering through Arkasa’s winding streets, visitors will encounter well-maintained houses, charming apartments, and quaint churches. Traditional taverns and cafes, operated by local families, are scattered throughout the evolving town, providing both locals and visitors with places to enjoy meals and refreshments.

arkasa-karpathosArkasa’s major attractions include the ruins of ancient Arkesia, which can be explored on the hills near the town. Adjacent to the archaeological site is the remains of the Agia Sophia Church, dating back to the 5th century, considered one of Karpathos’ oldest excavated early Christian churches, featuring nearby mosaics.

The main beach of Arkasa is the golden sandy Agios Nikolaos beach, situated farther from the town center. This well-equipped beach, often awarded the Blue Flag, is appreciated for its unique atmosphere and frequent waves, making it a favourite among holidaymakers despite its relatively small size.

Given the rugged terrain of this part of Karpathos, characterized by hills and valleys, there are several hiking trails and paths for those who appreciate the natural beauty reminiscent of the Wild West. Visitors often explore this unique landscape and atmosphere.

What to see

Nearby attractions include a visit to the fishing village of Finiki or a journey to Agios Theodoros beach to explore the southwestern tip of Karpathos, offering a clear view of the nearby island of Kasos.

Before visiting Arkasa and its surroundings, including ancient Arkesia, the churches, the history of Karpathos’ ancient city-states, and the background of other nearby places, it is advisable to consult the relevant chapters of the current downloadable travel guide for Karpathos. Such guides often provide useful and interesting information beyond what maps alone can offer.

On Paleokastro hill you will see the remains of the ancient city of Arkesias. The remains of the early Christian basilica of Agia Anastasia, dating from the 5th century, are also preserved in the same area. It is characterized by its exquisite mosaic floors, parts of which you will see in the outdoor area of the temple. The floor mosaic has been transferred to the museum of Rhodes.

You will swim at the beach of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Georgios. A few kilometers outside of Arkasa, you will find the settlement of Finiki, with its small fishing harbor and the amazing beaches of Fokia, Adea, Akrotiri and Proni. Arkasa is a developing tourist area, where you will find hotels and rooms for rent. There are also taverns and bars that satisfy all musical tastes.