The history of Karpathos is rich and spans several millennia. The island's strategic location in the southeastern Aegean Sea has made it a significant crossroads for various civilizations throughout history.

Ancient period

Karpathos has evidence of human habitation dating back to the Neolithic period (6000-4000 BCE). Excavations have revealed the remains of prehistoric settlements, including tools, pottery, and burial sites.

Minoan and Mycenaean Influence: During the Bronze Age, Karpathos had close ties with the Minoan civilization on Crete and later the Mycenaean civilization on mainland Greece. Trade and cultural exchange flourished during this period.

Classical period

In the 1st millennium BCE, the Dorians, an ancient Greek tribe, settled on Karpathos and brought their language and customs. The island was part of the Doric Tetrapolis, a federation of four Dorian cities in the Karpathos and Saria region.

In the 5th century BCE, Karpathos came under the control of the Persian Empire. It later became part of the Roman Empire, enjoying relative stability under Roman rule.

Karpathos fell under the control of the Persian Empire in the 5th century BCE. Later, the island became part of the Roman Empire and experienced relative stability under Roman rule.

Byzantine and Medieval period

In the 4th century CE, Karpathos became part of the Byzantine Empire. The island was subject to pirate raids during this time, and its inhabitants sought refuge in the inland village of Olympos, which provided a defensible location.

In the 14th century, the Venetians briefly controlled Karpathos as part of their maritime empire. However, the Ottomans gained control in the 16th century. The island became a stronghold against piracy, and many inhabitants became seafarers or took part in shipbuilding.

After Greece gained independence, Karpathos became part of the newly formed Greek state in 1830. 

Karpathos in WWI and WWII

Karpathos remained under Ottoman rule until the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century. Karpathos played an active role in the revolt against Ottoman rule. Local fighters participated in battles and skirmishes, seeking freedom from Ottoman control.

In 1912, Karpathos, along with other Dodecanese islands, came under Italian control during the Italo-Turkish War. Italian occupation lasted until World War II.

During World War II, Karpathos was occupied by Italian forces until 1943 when the Germans took control. The island was eventually liberated by Allied forces in 1945.

Karpathos today

After the end of World War II, Karpathos, along with the other Dodecanese islands, was incorporated into modern Greece in 1947.

In modern times, Karpathos has seen economic development, tourism growth, and infrastructure improvements. The island’s traditional culture and way of life are still cherished by its inhabitants, particularly in the village of Olympos.

Today, Karpathos retains its traditional charm, with the village of Olympos being a significant symbol of the island’s cultural identity.

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TUI Austria continues to support Karpathos

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