Between the town of Lefkos and the seaside resort of Kato Lefkos are the relatively well preserved ruins of a Roman cistern. Cut out of bedrock and covered over with large carved rock, seven underground galleries were used to collect underground water. A flight of steps into the structure enabled people to access these storage tanks for water supplies. The facility probably served the community living at Kato Lefkos. The site is well sign posted, and well worth a visit as there are few specifically Roman sites on the island ... More Information & Photographs >>
Just above a river bed at the base of mountains overlooking the town of Lefkos is a Byzantine church dedicated to Saint George. The stone-built church dates to the 12th century, perhaps even earlier. A number of well preserved frescoes can be seen in the church, including an image of St George. As with many Byzantine churches, the frescoes were whitewashed - possibly during the Ottoman period of the island's history.
The museum is housed in the west wing of the early 20th century building that overlooks the port of Pigadia. An eclectic mix of architectural styles, the building was constructed to house the Italian administration. Three galleries cover the three main periods of the island's past: prehistory, Classical and Byzantine. Although not extensive, the exhibits give a very good introduction to the early history of the island. One of the most striking displays is the collection of artefacts recovered from a 14th century BC chambered tomb.
In a purpose-built museum a local priest gathered together a small but interesting collection of artefacts from the area around the town of Arkasa. A wall in the entrance displays a series of religious icons in various states of preservation, the oldest about two or three hundred years old. Alongside bleached bones of sea animals is a shell encrusted Roman amphorae. Capitals from the columns of early Christian churches are staked on on top of each other next to a collection of historic shoe-making tools.
Karpathos is a big enough island to have the usual range of hotels; from budget to 5*, as well as B&Bs and AirBnBs. Out of season the choice is a bit limited, but from May through to September most hotels are open for the summer. Arriving early, I was so limited and made the wrong choice. Just avoid any establishment that alludes to the rising sun. It offers nothing but a false dawn. I found the Alimounda Mare Hotel too late, but wish I had stayed there my entire time. Right on the edge of a wonderful beach, and within walking distance of an Early Christian Basilica. That bed! Heaven really is a place in Karpathos.