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Κυριακή, 26 Μαΐου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionLiving in Karpathos in the 2020s

Living in Karpathos in the 2020s

By Amalia Theocharidou,

As the innovative forms of tourism have been coming on the surface more and more nowadays, the world comes across places out of the box of the “dreamy”, luxurious vacation that has been spread all over the media. One of them is Karpathos. The frontier island of the Aegean has been gaining more and more attention due to its living tradition and calm, as well as relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere. But this is all the summer exterior one gets to meet during a week of stay. But what happens with the locals? And how do they deal with this type of life? 

Karpathos is a small island of five thousand people, situated near Rhodes and Greece. In the summertime, its center, Pigadia, is filled with life and different types of restaurants and cafes for someone to try. But that’s not the case for the winter. During the cold months, the city looks entirely different. Losing their activity, the stores are closing one by one with approximately three remaining places for the locals to visit. As we compare the situation to the neighboring islands like Rhodes, we can understand the outcome as the division between two different worlds. Rhodes has had a strong connection with Karpathos throughout the years. Up to now, it has been providing electricity to the island with underwater wires as well as being the news agency Karpathos appertains. But the low sales compared to Rhodes have managed to cut off the island from any form of written press, as the Karpathian agency closed its doors last year. 

The first consideration one would have about a place is the education. Karpathos has two elementary schools and one high school. But the problem arises when it comes to middle school and the technical professional lyceum. Back in 2016-2017, the building where the two schools were co-located was destroyed after a strong rainfall. The mayor ignoring all the acts for help, decided to provide the rooms of one of the elementary schools for use at night. Without heating, computers, and often even electricity, the students were asked to reverse their daily lives attending all the extracurricular activities during the morning and going to school at noon until the night. The exhausting program continued until the middle school transferred not to a new building but to prefabricated houses that only added to the difficulties of the teachers and the students. 

The middle school in Karpathos, Image source: blogs.sch.gr

In the last years, there has been a ray of hope for the locals as the mayor took the initiative and created an activities center for the residents to enjoy, including a chess club and a small cinema. But still, it doesn’t justify the fact that people in the previous decades could have more than what the Karpathians have now. Behind all the summer and relaxing image one meets during a week of July and August, lays a series of problems that need to be faced immediately. People staying in the frontier areas are a kind of modern heroes, giving meaning to even the most distant parts of the country, and spreading awareness that the Greek culture and nationality are alive. And that’s exactly the part of the population that needs to be treated with the utmost respect for their everyday silent declaration that the state is there. So that ends with a question: When will the local authorities stand up? And what can we do to achieve that? The matter is left to the reader’s thought. 

  • eJamo.com (2022) Karpathos: How to get there, where to stay and beaches, Greece. Available here 
  • Γυμνάσιο Πηγαδίων Καρπάθου. Available here



Amalia Theocharidou, Editor-in-Chief
Amalia Theocharidou, Editor-in-Chief
Born in 2003, she is an undergraduate student in the department of International and European relations in the university of Piraeus. She likes to travel and get to know new cultures and environments. She loved writing since she was young which is what inspired her to start publishing articles.