Karpathos’ capital and main ferry port, Pigadia sprawls beside a long bay on the southeast shore of the island. Decent beaches stretch away to the north, but the town itself lacks the photogenic good looks and geometrically pleasing whitewashed houses of other islands. Give it a little time, though, wandering its harbour and among waterfront bars and backstreet bakeries, and the place may grow on you. Determinedly Greek, it barely looks up from its afternoon retsina to acknowledge your arrival. But isn’t that what travellers sometimes long for?