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Karpathos, Olympos

High up in the mountains, almost as far north you can come on the island of Karpathos, you find the village Olympos. Here seen when approaching it from the road that goes up through the mountain from the fishing village Diafani, which is situated down at the shore on the eastern side of the island. We got there by boat from Karpathos town as there is no road that can take a tourist bus to this town.

Olympos is the most northern village on the island. The houses, which are built on steep rocks, are detached from one another and have pure traditional architecture.Olympos was built this high up to hide it from view from the sea and from pirates. You can see the sea at both sides of the island from the village, but the village cannot be seen from the sea.

As the men – who were fishermen – had to make their income on other islands – the village became and still is a matriarchate. It is the women of the village that trade, own their houses and own their particular place in the village church. The house and the place in the church is passed along to the eldest daughter. When the women get married, the man moves into the womans' house.

There are many tourist shops in Olympos which trade mainly with handicraft of all sorts and lots of embroideries – and spices, which are picked in the nearby mountains. The village also have some small hotels.The climate is cool and nice even on a very hot day .