Rent a car on the Greek island of Karpathos

On Karpathos you can of course opt for a hotel in Pigadia without a car. Just relax for 8 days on the beach near your hotel. Yet we think that is quite a shame, because Karpathos has so much more to offer. We therefore think that renting a car on Karpathos is a must!

Is renting a car on Karpathos a must?

Yes! Renting a car on Karpathos is 100% recommended! Not renting a car on Karpathos is a real shame, because there are so many beautiful places! And especially on an island like Karpathos, the distances are small, so you never spend hours in the car. Renting a car on Karpathos will of course cost some extra money, but try to go in the low season, such as in May, early June or from mid-September, then the prices are lower. You can also choose to rent a car for a few days instead of for the entire holiday if you want to save some money.

Auto huren Karpathos

How much does it cost to rent a car on Karpathos?

You usually rent a car for € 30 to € 60 per day. This depends on a number of factors such as the size of the car, the number of days and the period.

If you are going to rent a car on Karpathos, we recommend that you do this with a local. Often a travel organization gets a decent percentage and with that you better sponsor a local, isn't it? We have been renting the car here for 10 years now. This rental company is located in Arkassa and is the family business of Michalis and Sofia Pittas. Everything is always well organized and Michalis and Sofia are very nice people.

Over the years they have really become friends of ours! We usually rent a small car, but they have many choices in terms of cars. Recently they also opened a branch in Pigadia. You will find this on the long road towards Aperi. Although the company is owned by Michalis and Sofia, it has a different name: AutoUnion. This location belongs to a much larger car rental company. AutoUnion car rental is currently one of the largest car rental companies in Greece!

Practical information about renting a car on Karpathos

Stop along the way

On Karpathos there are many small unpaved coves in the road, especially between Afiartis and Amoopi. Here you can stop to take pictures of the view. What you really have to pay attention to is the wind. When the wind blows, it is better to stay in the car. The hard winds from the mountains can suddenly give a jerk and that is dangerous at such a point along the road.

Thought

Refueling is not possible in many places on Karpathos. In Pigadia you will find 3 petrol stations. Two at the end of Pigadia (on the way to Aperi) and one at the beginning of the city (coming from Amoopi). You can also refuel in Arkassa. You will find this gas station – seen from Afiartis – before you drive into Arkassa. By the way, you don't refuel yourself, a tank attendant fills up your car for you. The cost of petrol is usually about € 1.80 – € 2.00. In July and August it is wise to provide extra petrol in the car or to refuel if possible. It can sometimes happen that the boat with petrol does not arrive and you have to wait a few days. Fortunately, in some cases you can also go to the car rental company for some extra petrol in case of an emergency.

Parking

They do not know parking costs on Karpathos. So luckily that saves you a lot of money. Fixed parking spaces (with lines) are not self-evident on Karpathos. In the villages you will usually find fixed parking spaces, but at beaches you will generally just park along the road. Keep in mind that – especially in high season – beaches such as Apella and Kyra Panagia are very busy. So get on the road early to score a (normal) spot for your car. It is also useful to know that cars in the capital of Karpathos, Pigadia, are no longer allowed on the boulevard/harbour after 7 p.m. This is also indicated at the beginning of the boulevard/harbour on a sign and after 7 p.m. there is also a fence here.

Need navigation?

In principle, a navigation on Karpathos is not necessary. The island is small and there is really only one main road across the island. You can't get lost ;). A map (or via Google Maps) is useful to know where the villages are approximately.

Karpathos in corona time

Safety

Safety is above all. So here are some questions answered regarding safety when you choose to rent a car on Karpathos?

Are there traffic rules?

Karpathos has few 'real' traffic rules. There are no traffic lights and roundabouts and there are also few intersections. By the way, driving is on the right on Karpathos. On Karpathos you are of course not allowed to make phone calls while driving and wearing a seatbelt is mandatory. Although that is very common in the Netherlands, most Greeks still have trouble with it 😉

There is a police presence on the island, but there are no real checks as we know them in the Netherlands. We have never been arrested in all these years! There are also no speedometers or speed cameras. The island does not really have a speed limit either. Most will drive between 50 and 60 km (the Greeks themselves much faster, that also applies to the taxis and buses haha!). Still, it's just a bit of feeling how fast you can drive somewhere. In a corner you will have to slow down considerably and take it easy through the corner, but at Afiartis and Arkassa there are sometimes roads where you can also drive faster than 60 km per hour. So just feel it yourself, then it will be fine!

Do I need a 4×4?

When you rent a car on Karpathos you do not necessarily need a 4×4. Actually, all roads are just fine to drive with a normal car. A beach like Diakoftis , which you reach via a long, unpaved road, can also be reached with a normal car. Kato Lako is one of the few beaches where you really can't get to without a 4×4, but you can also choose to rent a quad on Karpathos for the day or to park the car at the top and then drive down. to walk.

Please note if you want to go to Kato Lako, in 2020 the road was washed away by a large rain shower, we do not yet know whether this has been repaired. You couldn't get there in 2020 with a quad, only walking.

Driving at night

Driving at night on Karpathos can take some getting used to. In the villages you have lighting thanks to hotels, restaurants, etc., but there are no lampposts outside (yes, there is a whole line near the airport, but they are never switched on). In the evening, therefore, a lot of driving is done with high beam. We are not necessarily in favor of this. Try to drive with normal light for as long as possible, until it is really not possible or you do not feel safe. When you immediately start driving with high beam and you have to turn it off when there are oncoming traffic, your eyes have a lot of trouble suddenly switching back to the dark. The road between Arkassa and Afiartis is a lot nicer to drive than the road between Afiartis and Pigadia. This road has cat eyes on the road, which makes it a lot nicer to drive!

Auto huren Karpathos

Leuke auto routes op Karpathos

Renting a car on Karpathos has countless advantages. But especially the freedom is of course wonderful alone! If you are going to rent a car on Karpathos, these are some nice routes to drive!

Ahata, Kyra Panagia en Apella

The above beaches are the best known and most beautiful beaches of Karpathos. Especially in the late season it is wonderfully quiet there and there are no umbrellas and beach beds! The beaches are next to each other (even though it is a short drive from beach to beach due to the mountains) and can therefore be perfectly combined with each other.

Lefkos & Messochori

On the west side of Karpathos you will find the village of Lefkos. A beautiful place with beautiful beaches and nice eateries. You will also find several archaeological excavations here. Near Lefkos is also Messochori. This village is also definitely worth a visit and don't forget to visit Kafe Skopi!

Olympos

A visit to Olympos should not be missed when you go to Karpathos. It is about an hour's drive from the capital. Although the road used to be unsafe, it has been well asphalted for a few years and the road is now easy to drive. The road to it is also beautiful. Go early, because after 11:00 it becomes (too) touristy in Olympos.

Would you rather not rent a car on Karpathos? There are also buses! Then check this page about public transport on Karpathos . Or rent a quad on Karpathos !

Kalimera! We are Athina & Vincent. A Dutch couple who have been living on Karpathos for a few years. On this blog we share our stories and the most beautiful places of the island with you!


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3 Comments

  1. Can you also rent bicycles of a decent quality on Karpathos? For myself I am thinking of a MTB and for my wife an E bike. Properly maintained bicycle equipment that is well maintained.

    Reply
    • Hi Chris! Karpathos is not really a cycling island. There are few flat parts and especially very mountainous. That is also one of the reasons that almost no bicycles are rented. ION does have mtb's that you can rent from their location in Pigadia and they also provide mtb tours. See also our blog about this: https://thekarpathosguide.com/mountainbiken-karpathos/

      Reply
  2. Best
    because we will soon be going to nasr karpathos for the first time, i will find your site at tieval!! what a cool thing to say.
    I see you give tios voir car rental. is this company close to the air vents?
    we have namely booked with D travel also for a car
    but maybe it's better to choose a car rental company with locals?
    I would love to hear from you
    Best regards

    Reply

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