In the forested north, traditional mountain villages and culture while in the south package tourism rears its ugly head. Some villages speak their own dialect of Greek!
Although quite mountainous there are some flat areas and several nice beaches on the island. There is an airport in the extreme south which explains the packages tours and the main port and village of Pigadhia on the south east coast.
In the more difficult to reach north, traditional village Olymbos, is popular with tour buses and in high season you may have to wait in line. These Olymbos villagers wear traditional costumes for your edification.
A recently constructed road connects north and south but its rough in places.
To get away from it all this island is a good choice if you stick to the north. Read about the ecology of Karpathos, its wilderness and its close by Greek island cousins.