Pigadia the capital of Karpathos

pigadia-karpathosPigadia is the capital of Karpathos, the largest and most important settlement on the island, offering interesting sights and a long beach. The city, located 14 kilometers from the airport, occupies one of the broadest bays on the eastern side of the island, encircled in an amphitheater-like arrangement by the capital’s houses.

As the capital of Karpathos, Pigadia holds significant appeal for holidaymakers, as most hotels and apartments have been built within its vicinity. The majority of travelers, including those arriving by plane, often choose accommodations here.

Often referred to as Karpathos Town on maps, Pigadia, with a population of around 2,700, primarily thrives on the increasingly popular tourism industry and agriculture. The settlement has an ancient history, as the flourishing city of Potideon (Ancient Potideon) once stood here, a prominent and well-known city in the Aegean Sea region.

Pigadia may be smaller in size compared to the major cities of Crete or the capital of Rhodes, but it offers almost everything needed by locals and tourists alike. From small to large supermarkets, gift shops, clothing stores, restaurants, and cafes, various service providers take care of the residents and visitors, making most of Karpathos’ shops located in this part of the island.

The streets of Pigadia open up to cozy bars and tavernas offering both traditional Greek dishes and modern cuisine. Bakeries also serve delicious pastries, sweets, and desserts. An important note about Pigadia is that the numerous car and motorcycle rentals, as well as boat excursions starting from here, contribute to a rich holiday experience. This part of the island is also recommended as a starting point for exploring.


Several excursion boats depart for some of Karpathos’ best beaches, such as Apella Beach and Kyra Panagia Beach, and for sights like the island of Saria.

As the largest port on Karpathos, the city’s harbor was last renovated in 2006. The port serves as a departure point for boat trips to destinations such as Apella Beach, Kyra Panagia Beach, Achata Beach, and the traditional village of Olympos (Όλυμπος). Pigadia’s port is also a stop for large ferries arriving from Rhodes and Crete according to the schedule.

Archaeologists have uncovered traces of a flourishing civilization, Ancient Potideon, on the rocky hills near Pigadia’s port. The relics excavated from this ancient civilization are now preserved in museums. Potideon, once a leading settlement on Karpathos, controlled the entire region and was an important commercial hub. Another significant historical remnant near the city is the ruins of the Agia Fotini Early Christian basilica, partly built on the ruins of Potideon.

For those holidaying near Pigadia, it’s important to know that Karpathos’ bus station is located in the city, with local bus services departing to various settlements on the island according to the current schedule.

What to do in Pigadia

pigadia-nightlifeA key center of life in Pigadia is naturally the port area, where most shops and restaurants are concentrated. The seaside promenade, running alongside the city’s outer row of houses, transforms into a bustling pedestrian street on summer evenings, frequented by locals and holidaymakers alike, enjoying walks, shopping, and lively tavernas and bars.

Pigadia is particularly vibrant during the summer months, from May to mid-autumn, with the city becoming quieter during the cooler winter months when airplane holidays are paused. During this time, some restaurants close, and many tourism workers and seasonal workers leave the island, returning again in spring.

Pigadia’s nightlife is the liveliest on the island, characterized by the bustling activity of holidaymakers on the pedestrian streets. While loud entertainment venues are not typical, bars and restaurants occasionally offer live music during dinner, often indicated by ‘live music’ signs.

Many recommend a thorough exploration of Pigadia to fully appreciate its details, attractions, secrets, important information, and unique features, as outlined in the latest downloadable Karpathos guide. This guide provides a comprehensive understanding of this charming Greek city, and visiting Karpathos without it is highly recommended.


Primarily residential, the city center also features apartments and studios above the shops, while larger hotels are predominantly located outside the city center.

The largest hotel complexes in the city are the five-star Alimounda Mare Hotel and the Konstantinos Palace Hotel, located against the backdrop of the long beach.


The city’s outskirts host one of the longest, virtually continuous beaches on Karpathos Island, known as Pigadia Beach.
Pigadia Beach is a stretch of pebbly, rocky, and stony shoreline, lined with hotels and apartments, and covered with sun umbrellas and loungers, making it one of the most developed and frequented beaches on Karpathos.

Pigadia Beach is notable for its length, divided into smaller sections. Apart from the general name of Pigadia Beach, other sections moving away from the city center include Limniatis Beach (Παραλία Λυμνιάτης), Afoti Beach (Παραλία Άφφωτη), and Vrontis Beach. Behind these beaches, one can also discover the Chapel of Agia Fotini, partially built on the ruins of Potideon, and a historical sight of the capital.

In addition to the main beach of Pigadia, other nearby seaside areas include Amoopi Beach, located 5 kilometers south, and Achata Beach, 12 kilometers north, both counted among Karpathos’ best beaches.

Cultural events

Pigadia hosts several cultural events during the summer, with outdoor stages near the sea coming alive with performances and musical events for the enjoyment of both locals and tourists.