Although Astypalaia (Astypalea) belongs to the Dodecanese complex, it has an intense Cycladic character. This is a small island and its shape looks like a butterfly. On this page you may find where is Astypalaia island, how to get there, things to do and see, what to do in Astypalea, beaches and villages, where to stay, hotels and accommodation and more.

Tourism is not much developed but tourist facilities are enough to cater for the limited number of visitors. Astypalea island looks very charming with the picturesque architecture of Chora, the Venetian Castle on top of the hill, the traditional windmills and the relaxing beaches. Few beaches close to Chora are organized, but as you drive away from the capital, you will find totally secluded places to enjoy privacy. Astypalaia Greece is an ideal place for families and romantic couples, as nightlife is lounge on the island.

Astypalaia island (Astypalea), Greece

Astypalaia Island: It’s been dubbed “The Butterfly of the Aegean,” partly because of its peculiar shape and partly because of the beauty of the landscape. For those willing to travel off the beaten track, it’s love at first sight. In the southeastern edge of the Aegean, in the Dodecanese (not the Cyclades as some may think), there is an island rich in imagery and emotions. Many stay forever devoted to this island of white light, with its crystal-clear water, sun-drenched beaches, historical heritage and hospitable residents.

Where is Astypalaia

  • 117 seamiles from Athens / Piraeus
  • 23 seamiles from Kos
  • 97 qkm (the whole archipel 114 qkm)
  • about 1300 inhabitants
  • 482 m highest mountain
  • 5 villages (Astypalaia, Livadi, Analipsi, Vathi, Pera Gialos)
Map of Astypalaia
Where is Astypalaia

How to get to Astypalaia

The airport of Astypalea is small and works only in summer. Astypalea receives only domestic flights from Athens. The flight time from Athens to Astypalea is 50 min. The airport is located in the centre of the island, at the region of Maltezana. After they arrive, visitors can take a taxi to their hotel.

There are ferries to Astypalea from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, 3 times per week. This ferry trip is long (about 9 hours) and connects Astypalea with many other Greek islands, such as Naxos, Amorgos, Paros, Donoussa, Rhodes, Tilos and more. The port of Astypalea is found at the region of Agios Andreas, 4 km from Chora. After they arrive, visitors can then take the bus or taxi to their hotel.

What to do

Astypalaia

It looks like a traditional Cycladic hora, even though it’s part of the Dodecanese. Its famous castle, majestic views of the Aegean, windmills and whitewashed homes make up a remarkable traditional settlement. Hora, or Astropalia as the locals call it in their dialect, is the island’s largest town, offering a variety of choices for food and fun.

Castle on a hill

At the top of the hill, the famous stone castle of Astypalea towers over Hora is a special attraction. Erected by the Quirini family in the 13th century, it was a typical fortified settlement, built for protection from pirates. But as the island’s population grew, their homes overflowed beyond the castle and onto the slope and today reach as far as the edge of the hill and the port of Pera Gialos.

Beaches, pure and seductive

Astypalea’s beaches may not have a cosmopolitan vibe, but they offer something else: translucent water, relaxation and tranquility. The most beautiful beach on the island is Kaminakia, but Vatses, Livadi, Steno and Psili Ammos are also lovely.

The Virgin Mary in the shade of the castle

Founded in 1762 by Saint Anthimos, Panagia Portaitissa is one of the most beautiful churches in the Aegean. Whitewashed, with an impressive bell tower and silver dome, it is located right below the castle, in Rodia, a poetic place whose name is derived from the pomegranate tree (rodia) that once grew nearby.

In the island’s garden

Livadi is a fertile valley with citrus groves and vineyards. The homes are awash with flowers and are spread along the length of a stream that ends in one of the most beautiful and populated beaches on the island, filled with coffee shops and restaurants.

Astypalaia island (Astypalea), Greece

Things to do and see

Hellenistic bath houses

In Maltezana (Ascension) you’ll find the famous Baths of Talara, with their trademark blue tiles and mosaics from the Hellenistic period. Experts have singled them out for their unique composition, which depicts the seasons and the symbols of the zodiac.

The stalactites at Negrou

The Cave of Negrou at Vatses has impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations that are interwoven with myths about pirates and the treasures they buried there. From the beach you can hike (45 mins) to the cave, or you can also reach it by boat.

Rock climbing in Astypalaia

Give yourself an adrenaline rush. There’s a climbing site at Ftera, just 20 minutes outside the island’s hora. The relief of the limestone rocks has created two climbing sites, offering some 20 routes of varying difficulty. Are you up for it?

Villages of Astypalaia

All villages on Astypalea are small and most of them are found on the seaside. They have a few permanent inhabitants that deal with agriculture and fishing. Meanwhile, some of the locals also engage in tourism. The capital of the island is Chora and the most tourist spot is Pera Yialos.

  • Astypalaia Town – Chora, map
  • Pera Gialos, map
  • Livadi, map
  • Vathi, map
  • Analipsi, map

Beaches of Astypalaia

All beaches in Astypalea have clean water and they are much quieter than beaches in other islands. Some Astypalea beaches are easy to access while you need to take the bus to go to some others, which are secluded and frequented by naturists. Most popular Astypalea beaches are Pera Gialos, Agios Konstantinos, and Livadia. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Astypalea island.

List of all beaches in Astypalaia

Map of Astypalea, Greece
Beaches and villages of Astypalaia, Greece

Where to stay

Astypalaia Hotels: Look and search island of Astypalaia hotels, accommodation, rooms, apartments, studios and pensions.

Astypalaia Chora Hotels

Astypalaia Pera Gialos Hotels

Astypalaia Hotels Between Chora and Livadi

Astypalaia Livadi Coast Hotels

Astypalaia Maltezana Bay Hotels

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