Karpathos is very close to Crete and has been greatly influenced by its life. They have in common pride, levity, commitment to tradition and hospitality. In music, and especially in the lyre player, the similarity of customs becomes evident, since the lyre player, as in Crete, makes with great success the couplets for the songs and dances that often describe situations of the moment or the celebrated event.
As for the occupations of the residents, due to their terrain they have also engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry and fishing. They raise sheep and goats and grow cereals, vegetables, fruit, olives and vines.
However, because the living and farming conditions in the barren continental areas were difficult, many residents followed the path of emigration to America and the rest of Greece. The windmills are no longer active and products that were once grown on the island are being imported. Only beekeeping showed improvement, because beehives changed, and pottery because tourism increased.
The houses that people build today are of a different style than the older houses and tourism brings about changes both in the living style of the people of Karpathos and in their occupations which are now mainly intertwined with tourism. Shops, restaurants, hotels and rooms for rent are constantly increasing.
The wedding is the happiest event and is celebrated by the whole village. The wedding and especially the feast lasts a week.
In the past, marriages in Karpathos were mainly performed with consuls. The so-called "matchmakers" met the parents of the bridegroom and the bride and planned the future life of the young man and the young woman they intended to marry. When the negotiations were done and both families agreed, matchmakers brought the groom's relatives and the groom to the bride's house where the first betrothal took place.
The Municipality of Karpathos also organizes events with concerts of traditional and contemporary music. Most of them take place in the courtyard of the District. The music includes the traditional musical instruments: lyra, laguto and the tsambouna. Traditional songs are classified into syrmatics, i.e. folk songs, mandinades and obituaries. The dances are called sianos (slow) or lower dance, and upper dance which is fast and heady. The instrumentalists who come mainly from the Menetes are on a platform and in the dance there is a man in front who must be a good dancer and the women follow.
Old capital of the island and today the seat of the Metropolitan with a characteristic layout and architecture of the houses with red tiles, spacious yards and decorative reliefs. Invisible from the sea, it was built in the Middle Ages on the slopes of an ancient and Venetian castle, when the inhabitants of Potideo retreated to the interior of the island to face pirate raids. A green ravine divides Aperi in two and a bridge joins the two slopes.
Traditional settlement built in a mountainous and inaccessible location which was also the main motivation for the resettlement of refugees from Brukuntos and Saria during the period of the Arab invasions (7th - 9th century), The current settlement is much larger than its original Medieval core, since it spread out on the mountain slopes once the pirate threat was removed. On the mountain there are over 80 windmills in a row, while picturesque boats are scattered around the settlement. Many houses are now uninhabited due to emigration.
In Pigadia, there are notable public buildings of the Italian occupation such as the District, the Port Authority
The three days of the fifteenth of August becomes the biggest festival of the island in Olympos, with traditional music with traditional musical instruments (tsabouna, lyre, lute), singing and dancing. At the Olympic festivals, women wear colorful traditional costumes with a double row of gold frills on the chest and headscarves.
The two most important festivals of the region, Agios Ioannou (29/8) in Vroukounda and Panagia, patroness of Olympus (15/8), attract local and visiting Carpathians. The rite of Bright Tuesday in Olympus is considered unique due to its pagan echo, with a Catholic commemoration of the dead through the sanctification of the springs and the countryside and procession of icons.

Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou