Purity, tranquility, hospitality, beautiful beaches and hidden treasures: The ideal place for an offbeat holiday
Astypalaia: It’s been dubbed “The Butterfly of the Aegean,” partly because of its peculiar shape and partly because of the beauty of the landscape. For those willing to travel off the beaten track, it’s love at first sight. At the southeastern edge of the Aegean, in the Dodecanese (not the Cyclades as some may think), there is an island rich in imagery and emotions. Many stay forever devoted to this island of white light, with its crystal-clear water, sun-drenched beaches, historical heritage and hospitable residents.
About The Location
It looks like a traditional Cycladic hora, even though it’s part of the Dodecanese. Its famous castle, majestic views of the Aegean, windmills and whitewashed homes make up a remarkable traditional settlement. Hora, or Astropalia as the locals call it in their dialect, is the island’s largest town, offering a variety of choices for food and fun.
At the top of the hill, the famous stone castle of Astypalaia which towers over Hora is a special attraction. Erected by the Quirini family in the 13th century, it was a typical fortified settlement, built for protection from pirates. But as the island’s population grew, their homes overflowed beyond the castle and onto the slope and today reach as far as the foot of the hill and the port of Pera Gialos.
Astypalaia’s beaches may not have a cosmopolitan vibe, but they offer something else: translucent water, relaxation and tranquility. The most beautiful beach on the island is Kaminakia, but Vatses, Livadi, Steno and Psili Ammos are also lovely.