Deep fishing waters heaving with all kind of fish so that in ages gone by, the island was known as Icthyoessa – the isle of fish.
The Capital Chora Astypalaia
Where the Cyclades encounter the Dodecanese, Astypalaia island (Astypalea) (18 km long and 13 km wide at most) lies like a huge “butterfly” in the middle of Aegean sea.
Beaches, hidden coves, small villages, Chora one of the most photographed spots with its white picturesque houses clinging on the hillside beneath the Venetian Castel (built in 1207).
Chora is the island’s capital, position itself on a hillside overlooking the port and the beach of Pera Gialos. Chora is the oldest settlement on the island. Within the castle walls two Byzantine churches. the Evanglistria and Agios Georgios.
With its characteristic windmills, Chora town is more of a typically Cycladic settlement than the Dodecanese. You can visit two of the windmills. In the past, there used to be 12 and now eight of them are preserved.
Places to Eat in Chora and Pera Gialos
Ageri Restaurant located in the central square, just beside the windmills. Popular place, lively atmosphere, Greek and Mediterranean menu. Try Astakomakaronada (lobster with pasta)
Barbarossa located a few steps up the Chora on the way to the castle. Great sea views and a nice courtyard. Greek cuisine and a good vegetarian selection. Try the Moussaka.
Ouzeri Anastasia located Pera Gialos harbor with seating directly on the beach, with views up the Chora and castle. Table and chairs in the sand. A varied and tasty selection of small meze dishes. A great ouzeria place.
Agoni Grammi located opposite the windmills. Seating in and outdoors. Excellent value for money. Fresh fish and seafood, pasta and lamb on the menu.
Beaches and Day cruises with Captain Mike.
One of the most renowned beaches on the island is Kaminakia Beach. Accessible by car, a 30-minute drive from Chora on a dirt road (2018).
Also accessible by boat from Pera Yalos. Kaminakia Beach, two traditional taverns, lounge chairs and plenty of trees that create natural shade. The beach is quite long and mostly sandy, and the waters are deep and crystal clear.
The most popular beach of the island is the beach of Livadi, which is situated close to the port of Pera Gialos, just over the hill. The distance to the Chora (the capital on the top of the hill) is 3 kilometers. Livadi is a long beach with citrus orchards in its back. The beach consists of sand and small pebbles.
Also on the southwest coast, Vatses Beach, at the mouth of a gorge, has coarse sand and pebbles as well as clean, deep waters. Popular beach bar, Galina cafe.
Tzanaki beach on the southeastern coast. Steno beach right in the middle of the island is perfect for kids with its shallow waters and natural shade.
Maltezana Beach or Analipsi Beach is located 9 kilometers east of the Chora. Allegedly been named after Maltese pirates that once sought shelter in its bay and had a basis here. Maltezana is a long and narrow beach with sand and a few pebbles, where you can find shade under the tamarisk trees. Almyra taverna along the beachside is a popular choice. Maltezana (or Analipsi) a seaside village and the second largest.
The tiny Limanaki beach, right beside Maltezana, is very pleasant if you get there early and secure a nice spot. It’s also sheltered from the summer winds.
The uninhabited islets of Kounoupa and Koutsomitis can be reached by excursion boats out of Pera Gialos. Stretches of white sand, clean waters in every shade of blue and the fun of diving off the boat. Daily cruises with Captain Mike.
How to get to Astypalaia
Astypalaia International Airport (JTY) also named Panaghia Airport. Located near the village of Analipsis and just under 13km (northeast) from Chora. Domestic flights springtime 2019 from-to Athenas and Leros with Sky express.
Pera Gialos is the “old port”. The new modern built port Agios Andreas of Astypalaila is located 7km from Chora.
Astypalaia and the Dodecanese Islands are connected to the port of Piraeus. From Astypalea you can also visit the nearby Dodecanese islands, the Cycladic islands, and Crete.
Your trip to Astypalaia can be with a conventional ferry, “sailing” time 10-12 hours depending on the number of port visits. Highspeed ferry again depending on the day on port visits, average 6-8 hours “sailing” time.