Astypalaia

Shaped like a butterfly, the lovely island of Astypalaia is the most westerly of the Dodecanese and largely unspoilt. It could just as easily be one of the Cycladic islands with its tumble of white-washed houses on the slopes below its excellent Venetian castle, and a string of windmills silhouetted against the sky.

Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece: https://www.greece-travel-secrets.com/Astypalaia.html

Astypalaia is a hilly island with lots of good beaches, its peculiar shape giving it much more coastline than other islands of a similar size. The main town gets busy in summer but there are still numerous quiet retreats to be found. You'll see the name spelled several different ways, when you translate the Greek letters into English, including Astipalia.

The Venetian fortress overlooks Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of GreeceThe Venetian fortress overlooks Astypalaia

Chora and Castle

The original town of Chora built up on the top of the hill where the castle now stands on the site of what was the acropolis. The castle came in the 14th century and is remarkably well-preserved, with two 14th-century churches incorporated into the walls, houses also built into the walls for protection, an art collection and stunning views over the Aegean.

Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of GreeceAstypalaia

Beaches

There are the ruins of a Byzantine castle on the west coast at Agios Ioannis, where there is also an excellent beach and something of a rarity in the Greek islands: a waterfall. Also on this western ‘wing’ of the island is Astypalaia’s main resort, Livadi, but even this has far fewer visitors than comparable resorts on more popular islands. It is easily reached on foot from Chora, and if you wish to cast your clothes to the wind you can carry on a little further to Tzanaki, where there is an unofficial nudist beach.

Don't miss reading our account of when we visited Astypalaia on August 15th when they celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, with fun and games on the beach as well:

Our Feast Day on Astypalaia.

Heading east from Chora the road crosses the narrow neck that links the two halves of the island, with the sea on both sides visible at the same time. Just beyond is this region’s main resort, Analipsi, also known by its earlier name of Maltezana. It is still relatively quiet, but increasing in size and popularity. At the very northern tip of this eastern ‘wing’ are the caves of Drakospilia, only accessible by boat and not yet an ‘official’ tourist attraction, which indicates the fairly unspoilt nature still of Astypalaia.

Astypalaia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece: https://www.greece-travel-secrets.com/Astypalaia.html

Getting to Astypalaia

Flights to Astypalaia
Astypalaia has a small airport but with no international flights. The best way to get there is to fly to nearby Kos and take a ferry to Astypalaia, though you might have to go via Kalymnos. There are domestic flights to the island with Olympic Air from AthensKosLeros and Rhodes.

Ferries to Astypalaia
There are ferry connections to Astypalaia from Athens (Piraeus) and from islands including Kalymnos, Kos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes and Tilos. There are four ferries a week between Athens and Astypalaia with a journey time of 9-10 hours. 

Ferries in Greece

Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.

Map showing location of Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece(c) Google Maps

Where to Stay on Astipalia

More Information
Here's a small but useful website about the island: www.astypalaia.com
And here is the official Astypalaia island website: www.astypalaia.gr

Some other Dodecanese pages

  • Mermaid Singing: Kalymnos Travel Writing

    Mermaid Singing by Charmian Clift is a fine example of 1950s travel writing about the Greek island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese.

  • Rhodes

    Travel advice, information on Rhodes in the Dodecanese, with ferries from Piraeus for Athens, Symi, Crete, Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and flights from Europe

  • Easter on Rhodes

    During Easter on Rhodes Greece Travel Secrets publisher Mike Gerrard travels from Lindos to Kattavia to visit a monastery and spend Easter with a Greek family.

  • A Walk in the Old Town of Rhodes

    This walk through the Old Town of Rhodes takes you through this World Heritage Site and along the main streets and past the city walls, palaces and mosques.

  • Kos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece has good beaches and night-life, and archaeological remains.

  • Symi in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Symi (or Simi) is a small island in the Dodecanese near Rhodes with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas.

  • Easter on Symi

    Easter on Symi is a wonderful Greek celebration and one of the best times to visit the little gem of an island a short ferry-ride from Rhodes in the Dodecanese.

  • A Holiday on Symi

    Mike Gerrard wasn’t sure what to expect from a holiday on Symi, in the Greek islands, but what he found was lots of local feasting, dancing, and music.

  • Kasos

    Travel information on Kasos in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Patmos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Patmos in the Dodecanese islands is famous for the monasteries of St John and the Apocalypse and on this page you can also read about flights and ferries

  • Wild Abandon

    Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.

  • Tilos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Tilos is a small island in the Dodecanese between Rhodes and Kos with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas and ancient remains.

  • Our Feast Day on Astipalia

    Greece Travel Secrets helps celebrate a feast day on Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

  • Nisyros

    Nisyros is a unique volcanic island in the Dodecanese and easily reached on day trips from Kos Town and Kardamena.

  • Lipsi

    Travel information on Lipsi in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Leros in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Leros is a sizeable island in the Dodecanese with flights from Athens, ferries from Rhodes and Piraeus, good beaches, restaurants and hotels.

  • Kastellorizo

    Travel information on Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is noted for its traditions, its music, and mountain villages like Olympos.

  • Kalymnos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece

    Kalymnos in Greece in the Dodecanese islands is most famous for its history of sponge fishing, and see here information about flights and ferries.

  • Halki

    Travel information on Halki in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Dodecanese

    Travel and vacation information about the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Patmos, Halki, Tilos, Karpathos, Leros, Lipsi, Astipalea.

  • Arki

    Arki is a small island in the Dodecanese close to Lipsi, with beaches and tavernas with rooms to rent and ferry connections with Patmos, Samos and Marathi.

  • Agathonisi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece

    Agathonisi is a small island in the Dodecanese with quiet beaches, a few hotels, pensions and rooms to rent.

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