Astypalea / Astypalaia island
Astypalea island is Aegean’s butterfly
at regional unit of Kalymnos
Astypalea also called Aegean’s butterfly, thanks to its shape. This year I chose green for my vacation in this smoke-free island. Furthermore, Astypalea Astypalaia island is a Greek sustainable island with many chargers for electric vehicles. It has about 1300 permanent residents and it’s part of Dodecanese, an archipelago of fifteen major islands in the south-eastern Aegean Sea. Astypalea /Astypalaia island is 97km2 and its capital is called Chora. If you do not want to take your car or you are having boat nausea, then take the airplane for island’s only airport.
Naming the island
In Greek mythology, Astypalaia was a Phoenician princess. She was the daughter of King Phoenix and Perimede, daughter of Oeneus, hence she was the sister of Europe. Astypalaia was worshiper of Poseidon who seduced her. After her abduction by Poseidon in the form of a winged fish-tailed leopard, she had two sons by him: Ancaeus, King of Samos, and Eurypylos, King of Kos. As a result, the island of Astypalaia was believed to have been named after her.
At the island, we stayed at Castillio in Maltezana area. It was a crystal white structure giving you a sense of purity among the mobility of those around. Moreover, inside the room you can see few pastel colours that gives you calmness. You have your own balcony to hang or you can go to the common area near the bar and breakfast tables. It was really quiet, even though it was situated by the street. Most important, it was clean., So, kudos to them!
This beach has 1 km dirt road. Pebbles inside the sea, but pebbles and … gold sand outside. The beach bar offers the under-the-tree sunbeds for 5€. Moreover, the bar can fuel you with aperol spritz, tsipouro and dakos to eat. And they cooperate with the beach’s tavern to facilitate you, if you want to use their restroom.
6 km dirt road to get to this cove sheltered by the mountains. In other words, the sun goes down quickly at the afternoon almost forcing you to go to Linda’s tavern for braised wild goat. The sunbeds have 10€ and if you are near the water the pos machine do not have signal. The waters are clear and cold and refreshing and restful with small round pebbles. Totally worth to pay a visit, despite the shitty road.
Took the 3km dirty road to find this golden sand beach with the big stones inside the sea. The sunbeds cost 10€ under the tree. On the other hand, it is sooo relaxing to sleep under those trees hearing the leaves and the waves. Around 18:30 there is shade all over the beach because of the surrounding rocks.
Bonus: Their polite waitress disinfested every sunbed after use.
Disadvantage: They only accept cash, because there is no pos machine. There is only a chemical toilet on the field.
A beach appropriate for families, since it has thin golden sand inside and out. Furthermore, there is a swing inside the shallow warm sea. Hence, it is always crowded with families and kids. However, if they answer the phone, you can book your sunbed for tomorrow. 40€ for privet sunbeds, 35€ for the 1st row in front of the coast, 25€ for the 2nd row and 20€ for the 3rd row. But … the chairs have 10€. Do not miss their zombie cocktail and the helpful politeness and philoxenia of Sotiris, Lydia and all the other waiters. They were truly amazing.
Even though I didn’t swim to Livadi beach or Maltezana or … or…, I saw the crystal-clear waters in every corner of this island. That is to say, that all beaches in Astypalea island have clean blue waters calling you to swim. And… if you are in the mood and have your sports shoes with you, there are even more to discover.
We wanted to see more beaches, so we took the boats that lead us to the 3 small islands outside of Astypalea Astypalaia island. Those three were: Kounoupes, Koutsomitis and Kokkinos Vrachos. Our boat was called Perla and cost us 35€ per person. Certainly, we had a blast to this small trip because we were finding ourselves doing friends and swimming to stunning clear light blue water. In addition, we refreshed ourselves in the beach bar of Kounoupa with pure Greek tsipouro. Har…har…
At Ageri you have the opportunity to try the 8 mills fresh beer that the island produces. Do not miss their zucchini balls, grilled octopus and their special eggplant salad.
Here you will find imaginatively -with shells decorated- plates, and furthermore…so-so-sooo…delicious. Try local cheese pies with mint or thyme, fisherman’s pasta with Astypalea’s traditional pasta called makarounes and many more.
By the sea, Almyra is the twist of restaurants in this island. Over there you will taste carpaccio, stuffed -with chlori cheese- flogeres (stuffed filo dough) and many more.
Local greens with local chlori cheese by the sea breeze. What else to ask for? Remember to book a table before your arrival.
Really professional, comprehensible and polite personnel to offer you a culinary experience with their delicious spaghetti lobster. Moreover, they even give you appropriate peeler lobster deveiner to help you. Most importantly, to accompany your meal there is a live band with Greek music.
On the day you will swim at Steno beach, don’t neglect to eat at the canteen. Steno cantina has ravioli with chlori cheese and local saffron, as well as fava, spicy cheese salad, sour cheese and many more to accompany your iced-cold beer.
The must-try tavern at the area of Maltezana for juicy luscious lamb chops, homemade dolmadakia and chlori cheese. Please, do-not-miss-it!
To steki tou kalofaga
If you want gyros, then this tavern is the appropriate to eat a good one on this island. With a gigantically enormous portion of gyros/yeeros and and an έζα beer, what else do you need to satisfy the hunger after a long and tiring swim?
To steno tou koukla
Handmade yummy dolmadakia? Cheeeeecked! Greek έζα/eza beer? Cheeeeecked! Bougiourdi (baked -on the oven- feta cheese? Cheeeeecked! Kontosouvli and burger patties, also checked. Yumminess? Ohh yeahh!!!
Bar bonus: There are many bars and clubs all over the island, most of them at Chora of Astypalea island. My tip is to choose one with a breath-taking view of the sea. I chose Paliomilos (meaning: old mill) at the top of the mountain. In short, make sure you get there before sunset to enjoy the view of Chora, the sunset and the deep blue sea.
Are you looking desserts with a twist? Ohh, they have them at Archipelagos. Rum cake, black cherry millefeuille and mastic panna cotta among others. And then…you can enjoy the view of lighting castle with the rejuvenating sea breeze on your face.
That is to say, for more traditional syrup-y desserts like kantaifi or baklavadakia, this is your place.
On the other hand, for modern desserts go to Meltemi. After all, mouth-watering chocobanana, banoffee and cheesecake are their thing, and they are doing it goooood!!! Plus, it is in the middle of Chora, hence you can see everyone -and I am meaning everyone- passing by from the road. Ιf you like to observe passers-by.
What to say? Do not miss it. The 360o view of Chora and the sea is tremendous. It’s romantic, it’s unique, it’s picturesque. Moreover, wandering inside the castle, you have the feeling like you are walking on history.
Church of Panagia Portaitissa
If you are lucky to be on the island during 15th of August, then go to church. The floral epitaph of Panagia wafts the smell of flowers during the service and the litany around the village on 14th. As a result, after that the locals wear traditional costumes and along with the singer they dance until morning.
I loved it. Also, I am really happy that I found time to explore this museum. It is small but fully packed with history. Moreover, the personnel are very informative and polite and they have the willing to help you understand the history. I learned about the sanctuaries of Athena, Asklepios and other ancient gods. I read about the architectural remains of the cemeteries, the antiquity’s tyrant Phalaris and historian Onesikritos and many more about the prehistoric times, early Christian period etc..
In Astypalaia you can go hiking or biking, you can take the astygo taxi or an astybus ride on board electric shuttle vehicles to see your friends on the camping. All these, through the astymove app. On the other hand, you can go for surfing, scuba diving or snorkelling and canoe kayaking. Ohh, do not worry. You are safe in beaches like Vatses, which has bay protected from wind by mountains around.
Astypalea / Astypalaia island is a buzzling community with polite people, history among the picturesque white pebble-stoned alleys, quiet turquoise waters and … delicious food. I wish -to all of you- to seize the opportunity to visit this magnificent island.
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Travel tip: useful telephones for Astypalea / Astypalaia island
- Archaeological museum’s tel: +30 2243061500
- Municipal Health center’s tel: +30 2243061222
- Police’s tel: +30 2243061207
- Port police’s tel: +30 2243061208
- Taxi’s tel: +30 (try astymove app)
PS: Check out also my articles about souvenirs in Greece: here