Astypalea (Astipalea or Astypalaia) is at the west Dodecanese. Full of high rocks and hills, with beautiful coasts and picturesque villages, it invites its visitors to a magic journey to the light blue of the Aegean and the white of its houses. The capital, Astypalea, almost connected to the harbour Pera Yialos, is one of the Aegean Islands' most beautiful capitals. Built on the ruins of Ancient Acropolis, at the hill's top, is Astypalea's Castle, manufactured during 13th century by its Medieval Conquerors. In the Castle are two churches of the 14th century, Panayia Portaetissa and Ayios Yeoryios. At the Castle's west, white houses fill the hill to meet the eight Windmills that point the beauty of the capital.
The island of Astypalea is separated in two pieces from a narrow band of ground, Steno. The west side, where the capital is, is called Exo Nisi, while the east one is called Mesa Nisi. At Exo Nisi you should visit Ayios Ioannis and its Waterfalls, as well as Livadi at capital's south with its long beach. At Livadi Area you may admire the reach valley with its fruit trees and its beautiful flowers. A multi-coloured picture that ties up splendidly with the coastal landscape. At south, Mesa Nisi, you will see Maltezana (also called Analipsi), the most crowded resort of Astypalea. Maltezana got its name after Maltese pirate that had the island as their base. There, in 1827, the French Bigot burned his own boat, for not to be captured by his enemies. At the northeastern side of the island is the lagoon Hameni Limni. At its coast is built the village Vathy. From there you can visit the Spileo tou Drakou (Cave of the Dragon), the Spileo tou Negri, or at the south the Italian fortress Castellano.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Enetian Castle of Astropalia at the Cpital. It was built by the Guerini family at the 13th century, on the ruins of Ancient Acropolis. The Church of Panayia Portaitissa with its silver parts and the church of Ayios Yeoryios, built on an Ancient Temple, in the Enetian Castle. The Caves Drakou and Negri at Mesa Nisi and Castellano fortress, built by Italians on 1912. The eight well maintained windmills of Astypalea.
On 15th August takes place the biggest feast of the island. It's Mother Mary's day and the feast happens at Panayia tou Kastrou, with traditional food and music. At the capital is also organized every year, an important cultural festival.
To Astypalea: With a ferry from Piraeus the trip lasts 12 hours. With a plane from Athens you will be at Maltezana airport in almost 60 minutes.