Astypalaia (Astypalaia) Island Attractions, Travel & Hotel Guide

In the middle of the Aegean Sea, far from the crowded tourist routes, lies a paradise to be discovered by those seeking tranquility and an authentic Greek experience: Astypalaia. This unique butterfly-shaped island is not only a natural wonder, but also a rich historical and cultural heritage. From ancient times to Byzantium, from Venetian rule to the Ottoman Empire, Astypalaia has a rich history. The castle in Chora, the capital of the island, dates back to the Venetian period and offers visitors the opportunity to travel deep into history. Exploring this hidden paradise of the Aegean will relax both your body and soul and provide you with unforgettable memories. A journey to Astypalaia is not only a vacation, but also an opportunity to rediscover yourself. If you are looking for a peaceful vacation away from the crowds this summer, Astipalya is waiting for you.

Astypalea'nın en sevdiğiniz yaz mekânınız olmasının 5 nedeni | Discover  Greece

Unknown Things About Astypalaia Island?

Butterfly Shape When you look at the map of Astypalaia, you can see that the island resembles a butterfly. This unique shape divides the island into two main parts: Mesa Nisi to the west and Exo Nisi to the east.

World's First Green Island Project Astypalaia aims to become one of the world's first fully green energy islands in collaboration with the Greek government and Volkswagen Group. This project promotes the use of electric vehicles and investments in renewable energy sources.

Hidden Caves Astypalaia hosts many undiscovered caves waiting to be explored. Particularly popular is the "Drakos Cave" with its stalactites and stalagmites, offering a mesmerizing natural beauty.

Ottoman and Venetian Influences The island has been under the rule of both the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian Republic throughout its history. These influences are visible in the island's architecture, castles, and historical remnants, with the Venetian Castle in Chora being a striking example.

Local Handicrafts and Traditions Astypalaia is known for its rich handicrafts and traditional production techniques. The locals engage in weaving, ceramics, and embroidery. You can find these handmade products in local markets and workshops, along with traditional dances and music as an integral part of the cultural heritage.

Rich Marine Life The waters around Astypalaia boast rich marine life and clear waters, making it an excellent spot for diving enthusiasts. Diving expeditions often encounter ancient shipwrecks, colorful corals, and diverse marine species.

Local Cuisine Astypalaia is renowned for its traditional Greek cuisine and unique flavors. The island's specialty, "pouggia," is a sweet delicacy made with honey and almonds. Additionally, the island is known for its production of olive oil and fresh seafood.

Ancient Astypalaia In ancient times, Astypalaia was an important settlement. Various archaeological sites and ancient ruins, such as ancient tombs and mosaics near Maltezana (Analipsi) village, offer intriguing insights into its history.

Hiking and Trekking Trails Astypalaia offers ideal conditions for hiking and trekking enthusiasts with its olive groves, wild herbs, and panoramic views along various paths. Hiking to the island's highest point, Vardia Peak, provides stunning vistas.

Dolphins and Monk Seals The waters surrounding the island are home to dolphins and Mediterranean monk seals, attracting nature lovers. Boat tours often provide opportunities to observe these charismatic marine animals.

Events and Dates Festivals in Astypalaia Island

The Panagia Portaitissa Festival is one of the biggest religious festivals in Astypalaia. Celebrated at the Church of Panagia Portaitissa, this festival commemorates the ascension of the Virgin Mary. The islanders and visitors celebrate this day with religious rites, local music and dances. It is known for its night-long entertainment and festivities featuring local food. Held on August 15th.

Agios Panteleimonas Festival, in honor of Agios Panteleimonas, the patron saint of the island, this festival begins with church services and religious ceremonies. The festival continues with traditional Greek music and dances. The locals welcome guests with traditional food and drinks.

Fishermen's Festival, held in Livadi, celebrates the island's fishing heritage. It is a feast of fresh seafood, fish dishes and local music. A fun event for both islanders and tourists.

Analipsi (Ascension) Festival, celebrated in the village of Maltezana (Analipsi), begins with religious ceremonies and rites. The festival continues with traditional Greek music and dance performances. Local people serve traditional food and drinks to the guests. It is held 40 days after Easter.

Astypalaia International Music Festival is organized in various venues across the island, with performances ranging from classical music to jazz. With the participation of both local and international artists, this festival is a great attraction for music lovers. It is organized in July.

Greek Dance and Folklore Festival, held in various villages of Astypalaia, celebrates traditional Greek dances and music. Local dance groups and musicians give visitors unforgettable performances and moments. The festival is a great opportunity to get to know the local culture. It is organized during the summer months.

Astypalaia Film Festival, held in various venues across the island, this festival hosts screenings of both Greek and international films. During the festival, in addition to film screenings, interviews with directors and actors are also organized. It is organized in August.

Cultural Events and Exhibitions, Astypalaia hosts various cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year. Events such as exhibitions of local handicrafts, lectures on history and archaeology, and art exhibitions allow visitors to discover the cultural richness of the island. They are organized on various dates throughout the year.

Astypalaia Island Public Holidays

New Year's Day, Epiphany, Clean Monday, Independence Day and Day of Awakening, Easter, Labor Day, Holy Spirit Monday, Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Ohi Day, Christmas.

Best Time to Enjoy Astypalaia Island?

The best time to enjoy Astypalaia Island depends on your personal preferences and what kind of experience you are looking for on the island. However, in general, spring, summer and fall are the best times to visit the island. Spring is calmer and milder than summer. In the fall, with the end of the summer season, the tourist density is low and it has a mild weather. You can still swim in the sea and have a quieter vacation.

Don't Return Without Doing These Things in Astypalaia Island!

Visit the Venetian Castle in Chora! Located in Chora, the capital of the island, this castle dates back to the 13th century and witnesses the history of the island. You can stroll around the castle and enjoy the magnificent views and traces of the past.

See Panagia Portaitissa Church! Built in the 18th century, this church is located just below the Venetian Castle. It is a typical Greek church with whitewashed walls and a blue dome. The exquisite icons and frescoes in the interior are eye-catching.

Swim at Livadi Beach! One of the most popular beaches in Astypalaia, Livadi Beach is famous for its clean and clear waters. Here you can sunbathe, swim and enjoy the beach.

Discover Drakos Cave! One of the island's natural wonders, Drakos Cave is known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Exploring the cave is a great way to see the creativity of nature.

Taste the Local Flavors! Don't leave Astypalaia without exploring the local cuisine. Especially try the "pouggia" (a traditional dessert made with almonds and honey), fresh seafood and local wines.

Visit Vathy Bay! Located east of Astypalaia, this isolated bay is an ideal destination for nature lovers. Here you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and nature walks.

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Pera Gialos! Located in Pera Gialos, this museum showcases the rich history of the island. You can learn about the island's past with ancient artifacts, sculptures and archaeological finds.

Attend Local Festivals! Attending the local festivals that coincide with the period you are on the island is a great opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions. Especially the Panagia Portaitissa Festival (August 15) is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

Take Nature Walks! There are various hiking routes to explore the natural beauty of Astypalaia. You can hike among the olive trees and explore the wild nature of the island.

Swim in the Sea Caves! There are many sea caves around Astypalaia. You can visit these caves with boat tours and swim in the crystal clear waters.

Watch the Sunset at the Molinos! The old windmills at the top of Chora are the perfect place to watch the sunset. From here, you can enjoy spectacular views of the sun setting into the Aegean Sea.

Places to visit in Astypalaia Island

The capital of the island, Chora is famous for its whitewashed houses, narrow streets and Venetian Castle. Located at the top of the town, the castle offers spectacular views. You should also visit the Panagia Portaitissa Church in Chora.

Built in the 13th century, the Venetian Castle is an important part of the island's historical heritage. Wander the streets inside the castle to trace its history and enjoy the beautiful views of the island.

Built in the 18th century, Panagia Portaitissa Church is a typical Greek church with white walls and a blue dome. The interior features exquisite icons and frescoes. From the site of the church you can enjoy beautiful views of Chora.

Drakos Cave, one of the natural beauties of Astypalaia, is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites. Inside the cave you can find a natural coolness and the opportunity to explore the cave.

Kaminakia Cave, one of the island's several sea caves, is an interesting place for nature lovers.

Maltezana is one of the traditional villages of Astypalaia and is located in the south of the island. Here you can get to know the local life and culture better.

Pera Gialos is the harbor area of Astypalaia. Here you will find colorful fishing boats, taverns and cafes. You will enjoy exploring the atmosphere of the harbor and the restaurants famous for their seafood.

The Most Beautiful Beaches on Astypalaia Island

Livadi Beach, just below Chora, Livadi Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. It is a long, sandy beach with calm waters. There are tavernas and cafes near the beach, making it an ideal place to relax and eat.

Vatses Beach is perfect for those looking for a more isolated and quiet beach. To reach Vatses Beach, you may need a walking path or a boat. The beach is famous for its pebbles and clear waters and is also ideal for snorkeling.

Pera Gialos Beach, located in the harbor area of Chora, this beach is known for its easy access. It is especially suitable for families with its sandy and shallow waters. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area.

Astypalaia Island Food & Drink Recommendations

Located in the harbor area, Akti Restaurant is famous for its fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes. It is a pleasant place where you can dine with a sea view.

Kafeglikatzidiko Ouzeri, located in the narrow streets of Chora, is known for its appetizers and local drinks. You can spend a pleasant evening with its friendly atmosphere and delicious snacks.

Argo Restaurant, located near Panagia Portaitissa Church, serves traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist. It has a romantic atmosphere, especially for dinner.

Kouklis Taverna in the Maltezana area is known for its authentic Greek food and homemade desserts. You can dine in the atmosphere of a traditional Greek village.

Plori Bar Restaurant, located in the center of Chora, is an ideal place to enjoy both food and drinks. It is known for its cocktails and delicious food.

If you want to try something other than local food, Aiolos Pizza is a good choice with its fresh and delicious pizzas. It is also suitable for families and groups of friends.

Astypalaia cuisine is famous for its desserts, especially those made with almonds and honey. You can try the traditional dessert made with almonds and honey called "Pouggia".

Astypalaia Honey, Don't return without tasting the island's famous honey.

Fouskoti, a kind of pastry made with local herbs and cheese.

Kavourmas, a kind of preserve made from local meat products, especially pork.

Astipalya Adası: Kapsamlı Seyahat Rehberi 2024 -

Where are the entertainment venues on Astypalaia Island, what are the recommendations?

Chora is the center of the island and the liveliest spot. There are several bars, cafes and taverns here. Wander the streets in the evenings to experience the local atmosphere and enjoy traditional music.

Plori Bar Restaurant, Plori Bar Restaurant in Chora offers live music and cocktails in the afternoon and evening. Here you can have a drink with a beautiful view and enjoy the music.

Kafeglikatzidiko Ouzeri, this ouzeri in Chora can organize local music and dance shows in the evenings. A good option for those who want to experience traditional Greek entertainment.

Tips for Shopping in Astypalaia Island

Astypalaia is famous for its traditional handicrafts and ceramic work. Handmade ceramic products made on the island are decorated with beautiful patterns and colors. Ceramic vases, plates, ornaments are among the main souvenirs you can buy.One of the famous products of Astypalaia Island is locally produced honey. This honey, obtained through beekeeping activities on the island, is natural and delicious. You can find it in local markets or specialty shops.You can find traditionally woven carpets, rugs and handmade textiles in Astypalaia. With their colorful patterns and local motifs, these products reflect the cultural richness of the island.

Where is Astypalaia Island and how to get there from Turkey?

Astypalaia is located between the Dodecanese and Cyclades islands.

By plane

Via Rhodes You can fly to Rhodes Island first from Turkey. There are direct flights to Rhodes Island from big cities like Istanbul or Izmir. You can then take domestic flights from Rhodes to Astypalaia. Flight duration and frequency may change seasonally, so it is important to book before traveling.

By ferry

Via Piraeus Port You can fly from Turkey to Piraeus Port, the port of Athens. There are then ferries from Piraeus to Astypalaia Island. The ferry journey can often be long (12-15 hours), so it is important to choose a ferry that suits your travel plans.

From other islands If you want to cross to Astypalaia from other Dodekanes islands (e.g. Rhodes, Kos), there are also inter-island ferries. These ferries are usually regular and it is important to check the availability of the ferries depending on the period you are traveling.

Travel Tips

Visa A Schengen visa is required when traveling to Greece.

Booking Booking your flight or ferry tickets in advance is important, especially during the summer months as popular destinations like Astypalaia can be in high demand.

Local Transportation Transportation on Astypalaia Island is usually provided by car rental or taxi. Although it is a small island, we recommend you to rent a car if you want to travel between the different villages.

Visit the link for Astypalaia Island Accommodation and Small and Boutique Hotels Recommendations!