Vacations in Astypalaia (Dodecanese - Greece)
Astypalaia: The beautiful butterfly-shaped island of the Aegean
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Information On Astypalaia
Astypalaia is located in the center of Aegean Sea between Cyclades and Dodecanese. Due to its position, although it belongs to the Dodecanese, it is greatly affected by the architectural style of Cyclades.
The shape of Astypalaia is like a butterfly with the two parts, the west and the east, connected by a 100 meter wide strip of land. Astypalaia has a very long coastline, compared to its size, of 110 Kilometers, which means that there are many beaches to choose from.
Although Astypalaia is an island of simplicity and low tourist growth, it does not lack the night-life. In Chora you will find several bars where you can stay until late. If you find yourself on Astypalaia during the end of August - early September you will experience the music festival which is held every year with free entrance for everyone.
Astypalaia has an impressive total of 365 churches and chapels scattered all over. Most of the activity is at the south part of the island while the north part is under-developed. On the whole, tourism is not very developed in Astypalaia.
In Astypalaia you will experience warm hospitality and delicious food at a bargain price.
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Beaches Of Astypalaia
Astypalaia has a lot of fantastic beaches for every taste, thanks to its long coastline, but endless golden beaches are not included. The best beaches are the ones at the west part of Astypalaia, with the northern ones are sandy but the are less popular due to the winds. There are many beaches suitable for solitude that you can only reach by boat.
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Travel To Astypalaia
By ship it will take you about 10 hours to reach Astypalaia from the port of Piraeus. You can also easily reach Astypalaia by plane, as the flight from Athens to the airport of Astypalaia is no more than 30 minutes.
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Transportation On Astypalaia (Car Rentals)
There are buses for the most popular beaches of Astypalaia with the frequency of the routes being no more than half an hour. However, if you want to explore the island it is advised to have your own transportation, mainly because the buses cover just a fraction of the island's area. Most of the roads of Astypalaia are dirt-roads (except from the part from Livadi to Maltezana / Analipsi), so a 4x4 car or a motorcycle may be more suitable.
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Accommodation On Astypalaia (Hotels, Apartments, Guesthouses, Rooms to let)
There are a lot of rooms in Chora with great view towards the castle or the sea. If you would like to stay somewhere more quiet then Maltezana (also called Analipsi) is where you should be looking. In Livadi you will find rooms with low prices and that it why most young people choose to stay there. Finally there is an organized camping in Marmari, very close to Chora.
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Food & Drink On Astypalaia
Astypalaia used to be called Ichthioesa (roughly translated to fish-island) during the ancient times, so you can expect to find fresh fish. You must also try the local fresh white cheese chlori and the kitrinokouloura (yellow cookies) from the local bakery that are made with safran which grows on Astypalaia.
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What To Buy On Astypalaia
Astypalaia produces some of the best honey in Greece, so do not forget to get some for home. As in everywhere in Greece you will find traditional home-made syrup sweets, but here you will a rare type, mantarine flavored syrup sweet.
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Attractions On Astypalaia
The Astypalaia Archaeological Museum is housed in a one-story room in Chora. The exhibits are dated from the second millennium B.C.
A remarkable archaeological collection housed in a building in Chora, a perfect sample of traditional architecture.
It is also called the house of Astypalaia, being a representation of a typical home of Astypalaia of the previous century.
The Castle of Querini is the first thing you see when you approach Astypalaia. It hosts two remarkable churches and the annual fair.
On the main square of Chora you will see the 8 traditional byzantine windmills. Some of them are still used today.
This is the only one of its kind in the entire world.
On Astypalaia there are two caves of great interest, rumored to have been the hiding place of pirates and their treasures.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Astypalaia, this is a canyon with running waters and thick vegetation.
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Alternative Islands To Astypalaia
Astypalaia is not what you are looking for? Then one of the following nearby islands might interest you:
Kos (40 klm from Astypalaia)
Kalymnos (55 klm from Astypalaia)
Nisyros (57 klm from Astypalaia)
Leros (63 klm from Astypalaia)
Patmos (69 klm from Astypalaia)
Tilos (72 klm from Astypalaia)
Lipsi (77 klm from Astypalaia)
Karpathos (97 klm from Astypalaia)
Halki (98 klm from Astypalaia)
Rhodes (109 klm from Astypalaia)
Symi (112 klm from Astypalaia)
Kasos (125 klm from Astypalaia)
Kastelorizo (280 klm from Astypalaia)
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Islands Connected To Astypalaia
There is a ferry from Astypalaia to the following islands:
Amorgos (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Donoussa (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Kalymnos (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Kastelorizo (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Kos (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Naxos (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Nisyros (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Paros (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Rhodes (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Santorini (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Symi (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Syros (direct connection to Astypalaia)
Tilos (direct connection to Astypalaia)
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