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Many of the often wealthy Carpathians who emigrated to the United States and Australia have returned to Karpathos after their retirement and provide an economic boost by, among other things, building beautiful and large houses, especially in Karpathos Town but also in villages such as Aperi. Those who still live in the United States or Australia often celebrate their holidays on Karpathos. The Karpathian Progressive Association of Australia, founded in Australia, exists since 1959.
Fertile agricultural land is found in the regions of Avlona, Achortea, Pei and Koilios around Olymbos, and Pyla, Ammoe and Nappa on the islet of Saria. Farmers there produce olives, olive oil, cereals, fruit, vegetables and grapes, which are used to make local wine.
Karpathos Town is the tourist centre of Karpathos and from here there are numerous (boat) connections with neighbouring islands. Karpathos has only been attracting more and more tourists since the 1990s.
Diafani, located on the northern headland on the east coast, is an important port where ferries with many tourists from Piraeus, Crete, Santorini, Milos and Rhodes, but also from Karpathos town, dock.
Most hotels on Karpathos are, of course, located in the capital Karpathos Town, but there is also plenty of accommodation in nearby Amopi. Arkassa is also an important holiday resort.
Karpathos, and in particular Afiartis Bay near Amopi, is a true paradise for surfers and kite surfers due to the constant presence of a fairly strong wind.
In the extreme south of Karpathos, on the plain of Afiartis, Karpathos Airport, the only airport on the island, has been situated since 1970. Normally it can only be reached by a domestic flight, but in the summer charter flights from other countries, land directly on Karpathos. In 2008 the airport was expanded.
The island of Kassos also has an airport, Kassos Municipal Airport, but it can only be reached from Rhodes after a stopover on Karpathos. Tradition has it that this is the shortest flight route in Europe, the one between Karpathos and Kassos takes only five minutes.
The island of Kassos has a rich shipping tradition and many islanders still earn their money in this economic sector. The most beautiful houses on Kassos are therefore owned by wealthy ship owners. Other sources of income are fishing and agriculture, especially the various types of goat cheese are popular..
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