Olympus is built at an altitude of 250 meters, along the neck that connects two mountain peaks of northern Karpathos. The west side of Olympus is steep and stands on a cliff that ends at the sea while the east side is smoother and offers access to its port, Diafani.
Olympus was a separate community from 1948 until 2010 which is integrated in the unified Kallikratiko Municipality of Karpathos and is a local community. The total area of the community is 104,876 km2 and its borders include the northern part of Karpathos and the island of Saria. The community of Olympus has a population of 761 inhabitants and also includes the settlements of Diafani, Avlona.
In ancient times the main cities of northern Karpathos were Vrykous (capital of the island) and Nisyros (today called Palatia) which were built on the coast around the strait between Karpathos and Saria. In the 7th century AD. Due to the pirate raids (mainly Saracens), the inhabitants of the ancient cities abandoned their original homes and sought refuge in more mountainous and inaccessible parts of the island, thus establishing the current settlement.
The settlement was built following the architecture of the medieval island settlements and maintains this image almost unchanged to this day. The name Olympus is due to the older name of the mountain on which it was built, which today is called the prophet Elijah.
Olympus remained isolated from the rest of Greece, even from the rest of Karpathos, as a result of which it developed a separate tradition, many elements of which it still retains. Characteristic is the traditional costume of the area that is still worn today by the women of Olympus.
Olympus was declared the Capital of Popular Culture of the Dodecanese as well as was defined as the Historical seat of the new municipality of Karpathos established with the Kallikratis program.
The improvement - asphalting of the road network that connects the settlements with the rest of the island helped a lot the tourist development of the area which was rapid after 1990. The communication of the settlements is done by sea from the port of Diafani.
Although Olympus is busy, with several cafes and restaurants, it has not yet surrendered to mass tourism so you can discover small deserted beaches where you will be truly alone.