Wind on Karpathos: Are they really that strong here?

On Facebook there are several groups about Greece and every time someone has a question about Karpathos, there are always about 10 people who shout: “DO NOT GO TO KARPATHOS, THE WIND IS ALWAYS SO EXTREME AND YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING”. We don’t want to say that it doesn’t blow on Karpathos, because it does, but in the end, we only have about 2 or 3 weeks a year that it blows really hard. The other days there is no wind or there is just a nice breeze that provides some cooling now and then. Of course it is very unpleasant when you are on Karpathos and experience this hard meltemi wind, but that does not mean that it is like that every day. In addition, it also depends on where you are and in what period you come.

In this blog, we want to tell you a bit more about the wind on Karpathos. Because how hard is the wind really on the island? We have noted every day in 2023 how hard it was to get all the data processed in two nice tables. Hopefully, this way we can reassure you a bit more about the wind on Karpathos!

Karpathos Wind Force Data 2023

Karpathos, like most other Greek islands, experiences the well-known Meltemi winds. More on this type of wind later, but for now, it is useful to know that they are most powerful in July and August. This also makes Karpathos one of the top destinations when it comes to windsurfing. You can see this nicely in the table below as well. However last year there were not many days with really strong winds in August. In September the wind was more often above 6 bft haha. Just goes to show that the weather is never predictable.

But in general, July and August are therefore the most “violent” months when it comes to wind. It also depends on where you are on Karpathos. Afiartis is the windiest location, which is why people windsurf here. Places like Kyra Panagia and Amoopi sometimes have no wind at all.

In general, most people are not bothered by the wind when it is below 5 bft. That is less than 38 kilometres per hour. Only from 6 bft on, people often find the wind annoying. If you look at the overview below it is not so bad how many days there is a ‘really’ strong wind on Karpathos. Also good to know is that the data below is measured in Afiartis. This is the windiest place in Karpathos.

Karpathos wind force 2023
Karpathos wind direction 2023

Our tips for when it’s a windy day on Karpathos

  • Find places where there is less (or no) wind. On Karpathos, nine times out of ten the wind comes from the northwest which means that the south of Afiartis (near the airport) is where the most wind is. In general, you can assume that places like Kyra Panagia, Apella, Pigadia and Amoopi have a lot less or even no wind. This is also true the other way around. If the wind in Pigadia comes from a different direction, you will see that there is less wind in Afiartis.
  • Even in summer, it can be a bit chilly depending on wind strength and wind direction. Therefore, always make sure to bring a cardigan for the evening.
  • Plan activities depending on the wind. Would you like to do a boat trip? Then you might want to choose in advance a day when the wind is a little less.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy the wind. It provides coolness and it also keeps flies and mosquitoes away. Of course, you can also enjoy it extra by, for example, going windsurfing. Karpathos is not known as a windsurfing hotspot for anything.

Meltemi wind

In the Aegean region, the Meltemi winds, also known as etesian winds, are powerful, dry and often windy, especially during the summer months. The word “Meltemi” derives from the Greek “meltem,” which simply means “seasonal wind.” These winds are a regional weather phenomenon primarily associated with the Greek islands, Turkey and areas along the Mediterranean coast. What distinguishes Meltemi winds is their strength and reliability, and they often blow from the north or northwest.

How does this wind arise?

The main cause of these winds is the pressure difference between two weather systems: one over the Balkans and one over the eastern Mediterranean. In summer, the eastern Mediterranean becomes extremely hot, resulting in a low-pressure area. At the same time, the Balkan region remains relatively cool and develops a high-pressure area.

The Meltemi wind is influenced by the shape of the land and sea at this location. The wind is influenced by the location of mountains and beaches. These geological features can cause the wind to become stronger and faster as it passes.

Meltemi wind Karpathos

As you can also see from the picture above, there are a lot of Greek islands that “suffer” from this wind and it is not only Karpathos. All islands except the Ionian islands suffer from the Meltemi wind. The wind is most present on the Cyclades (Santorini etc.) and the Dodecanese (Rhodes and Karpathos among others). But that is not to say that it always blows everywhere on the island. August is generally the windiest month on Karpathos, but last year there were not more than 5 days when the wind was stronger than 6 Bft. (above 39 km/h). It also depends on where you are on an island. This varies from island to island, but from experience, we know that on Karpathos the wind blows hardest in the south near Afiartis and on Rhodes, the wind is fully present Northwest near Ixia.

Where, when and how strong is the meltemi wind?

Meltemi winds are typically present during the summer months, from late May to September, peaking in July and August when they are most powerful. The wind is known for its powerful gusts and can reach average speeds of 7 to 9 on the Beaufort scale.

But how long do these Meltemi winds actually last? Well, that’s hard to say. Sometimes only a few days, but in extreme cases they can last up to two weeks.

Frankly, we do enjoy the wind, even though it can be a bit maddening at times. We live in the windiest part of Karpathos (Afiartis) and don’t need air conditioning. With enough wind, there are no mosquitoes or flies to be seen either.

The weather on Karpathos

What the weather will be on Karpathos in May or any other month is surely one of the most frequently asked questions. Although the weather can never be predicted (just like the wind) we have also collected data on the temperature and rainfall. Everything you want to know about the weather on Karpathos can be read in this deze blog.

Karpathos travel guide

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