Astypalea The Dodekanisos butterfly
ASTYPALEA is a Greek island that belongs to the archipelago of DODEKANISOS, the latter grouping twelve main islands located in the southeast of MER EGEE.
The island is 18 km long and 13 km wide. With many smaller uninhabited islets (the largest of which are Syrna and Ofidoussa), it forms the municipality of ASTYPALEA. The coast of the island is rocky, and offers many small pebble beaches. There is a small strip of land, about 100 meters wide, which separates the almost island into two sections at Sterno.
The capital and the former main port is ASTYPALEA – or Chora, as the locals call it. A new port has been built in Agios Andreas, in the middle of the island and from where departures are now to the west and east, towards Piraeus and the other islands of DODEKANISOS.
The island is connected to the port of Piraeus and the other islands of the DODEKANISOSarchipelago, the Cyclades Islands and Crete. ASTYPALEA is accessed by ferry or highspeed, depending on the day and the ferry company chosen. The duration of the crossing is between 10 to 12 hours by ferry and between 6 and 9 hours in Highspeed.
It is isolated, it is marked on the west coast by huge cliffs. it is often considered an integral part of the Cyclades because of its architecture and way of life.
It was the landmark of the Maltese pirates.
Astypalea is one of the Greek islands, which is not very touristy and therefore retains all its beauty, identity and calm. It is a Greek island of arid DODEKANISOS with white cubic houses with its castles, churches and old mills.
The island has a butterfly shape west of the DODEKANISOS islands group. With an area of 1,000 square km (8 times smaller than Corsica), it has 1,200 inhabitants. The coasts of the island are rocky, with lots of bays and beaches and the island is surrounded by islands
There are flights from Athens, otherwise it is possible to go by ferry from Athens or there is a boat to Astypalea every 2 days wholesale. The duration of your trip to Astypalèa is about 10 to 12 hours with stop on some islands in passing. If you like cruises, consider this trip as a lovely cruise among the hundreds of Greek islands. Since 2019, there is a connection from LEROS via SKY EXPRESS flights on Tuesday with return on Thursday.
CHORA with hundreds of all-white houses surround an overhanging BYZANTIN fort castle. Sublime alleys in the city. Old mills complete this magnificent panorama. Two small churches (St George and Evangelismou) are intramural.
The church of PANAGIA PORTAITISA just at the foot of the castle is among the most beautiful I have seen on the island. It was built in 1764. The icon of the Virgin Mary is a faithful reproduction of the icon of Panagia Portaitisa of the Iberian convent of Mount Athos (North-East Greece)
The seaside village of LIVADIA, 1.5 km from Chora,
AGHIOS KONSTANTINOS This beach is beautiful with its pebbles and deep waters.
ANALIPSI OR MALTEZANA to the east of the island. There is a pretty harbour, a large beach and tavernas, go see the Roman site of the Baths of Talara with a beautiful mosaic on the floor as well as the paleo-Christian church of Karekli with its beautiful mosaics.
According to mythology, ASTYPALEA and Europe were the daughters of Finikos and Perimidis The first inhabitants of the island are the Karès who calls the island PYRRA (because of the red color of its rocks). The island then belongs to theMINOAN EMPIRE.
In Roman times, Astypalea showed significant growth thanks to the numerous ports being the strategic base against pirates. In the Byzantine years, however, the rise of piracy changed the urbanization structure of the islands with the decline of settlements near the coast. Thus the displacement of the inhabitants inside and the construction of the castles for protection take place. The island was taken by the Latins in 1207. The VENITIANS lost Astypalaia in 1537 when the fearsome Ottoman admiral Barbarossa appeared on the island. During the Turkish OTTOMAN rule, the island secured privileges and lived self-administered and then took part in the independence revolution in 1821 only to be indexed to GREECE in 1948.
Visiting the beaches is also fantastic for the days when you want to laz on.