Points of Interest
SOPHID VILLAGE is located in the Ardani Area, roughly 5 km from the port of Pigadia. Pigadia is the capital of the island and is a modern, populated city featuring many services, shops, and sightseeing opportunities, in addition to several cultural hotspots and attractions.
The capital city of Pigadia offers a grand assortment of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, museums, theaters, viewpoints, beaches, rental services, public transportation, supermarkets, and a multitude of farmers markets to explore.
The city’s unique and colorful architecture, and charming streets and atmosphere creates a friendly, welcoming environment.
Just north of Pigadia lies the ancient ruins of Ag. Fotini (late 5th century AD), Apella beach (one of the most picturesque beaches on Karpathos), and Achata beach (calm waters with gorgeously colored waters).
Farmers markets of Pigadia are occupied with stands selling local fruits, vegetables, seafood, and various other trades also surround the harbor and its collection of restaurants and bars. Similar markets can be found in many of the other cities around the island.
Since the island is not geared towards traditional heavily tourism, activities are relatively limited to things (preferred?) by locals. Things to do around the island include organized windsurfing in the bay of Afiartis on the southwestern side of the island and is even the location of an annual international windsurfing competition each summer. A network of gorgeous hikes criss-cross the island and lead to historical sites, mountain villages, secluded beaches, and beautiful viewpoints. Scuba diving, kite surfing, and touring around island via boat are also popular activities on Karpathos.
The beaches scattered around Karpathos are a major attraction and vary depending on their location. The southern beaches feature a fine, soft white sand. The beaches on the east coast are smaller and gravelly, but are sheltered from wind. The beaches on the western and northern coasts are the least accessible; the western beaches are the most exposed to the Meltemi (strong winds from the Aegean Sea, most powerful during the afternoon, but calm as the night approaches) and are only available in low wind conditions, and the beaches to the north are only accessible by sea (or partly by a vehicle capable of traversing rough terrain).
Read excerpts of THE ROCK journal from the Founder Giuseppe Baxiu here.
There are also a number of festivals to attend if your journey falls on the dates of celebration.
If you happen to be visiting on the 15th of August, the Panagias festival (Assumption of Mary) is the singular most important festival on the island. This is also one of the largest celebrations in Greece. Karpathos’ cities of Pigadia, Diafani, and Olympos are particularly celebratory on this day. August 28th is a day of celebration in honor of the feast day of Agios Ioannis. Locals arrive a day before the overnight festival takes place in the ancient site of Vourkounda. Grand spectacles including food, music, and dancing are a major part of the festival’s traditions.
The international Tsambouna (Bagpipe) Festival is held every summer in Pigadia and Olympos and is the most important cultural event in Karpathos. Singing, dancing, eating, and drinking are large parts of this grand festival. While at first it can be a strange experience to Western ears unaccustomed to the sound of the unique instrument, it is said that people rapidly warm up to the rhythm and the melodies suddenly “click” or listeners just “get it”. The (unique) sounds of the tsambouna’s tunes are lasting and are rumored to resonate in one’s memories for a lifetime.