Overview

Introduction

Being on the outer fringes of the Dodecanese, remote Astypalea has a more Cycladic mood than others in the chain. Certainly the main town is one of the most handsome in the Aegean, its cubist whitewashed houses climbing up the hill from the harbour, under the protective eye of the imposing Venetian kastro above.

The island divides into two – Mesa Nisi (inner island) to the west and Exo Nisi (outer island) to the east, linked by a very narrow strip just 100m wide. Wild and rocky on its heights, more fertile in its valleys, Astypalea has been inhabited since the Bronze Age (evidence of which can be viewed in the small town museum) and ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Turks and Italians over the centuries since. The island today has no organised tourism but has become very fashionable, and the short but busy high season (mid-July to late-August) sees well-heeled Athenians and Italians, many with second homes here, outnumber locals. Outside this period Astypalea is pretty quiet.

The town, not uncommonly, is split into two parts – Skala (aka Pera Yialos) around the harbour below, and Hora the old village above. Skala has most of the tavernas and shops, and a serviceable town beach. Hora starts at the windmills and the square here houses a number of cafés and a popular taverna of its own. A steep climb up through the narrow lanes, under the wooden balconies of the old village houses and past tiny chapels, brings you to the 13th century kastro – inhabited until an earthquake in 1956, now home only to a pair of churches.

Below the far side of Hora, west of the promontory, is the bay and lovely beach of Livadia, a long wide stretch of sand/fine shingle shelving into a very clear sea – the swimming here is excellent. Back from the beach are some half-dozen restaurants and cafés. Livadia is some 20 minutes’ walk downhill from Hora and served by bus four times daily (more frequently in high season). Beyond Livadia are three smaller fine-shingle coves which can be reached on foot or (in season) by water-taxi from Skala.

The second village is Analipsi to the east. Also known as Maltezana (after the Maltese pirates who used to raid) it comprises simply a fertile valley, a small fishing harbour and a handful of tavernas and village shops. There is a long narrow sandy beach, shaded by tamarisk trees, and boats run in season to the uninhabited islets of the small archipelago just offshore, home to some fine beaches. Analipsi is a peaceful retreat with no steps or hills to negotiate. Buses run the 9 kms to Hora but for further exploration a car would be recommended.

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Getting There

Getting There

Flight to Rhodes, Kos or Athens and onwards domestic flight. Island transfers on arrival and departure (15 mins). Flight details vary and will be given on request. Please note that overnight stays in Rhodes or Kos will probably be necessary on arrival and departure due to the limited flight connections – to minimise this combine Astypalea with another Dodecanese island as a two-centre holiday.

Representative

Representative

We do not have a representative on Astypalea. The hoteliers speak good English and will happily provide local information. Our main agent in Rhodes can always be contacted for any further assistance required.

Car Hire

Car Hire

Car hire can be prebooked and is recommended due to the location of our hotels – please enquire for prices.

Multi-Centre Options

Multi-Centre Options

Recommended (see flight note above) – Astypalea can be combined with most Dodecanese islands via Rhodes or Kos. Via Athens the island can also be combined with Amorgos, Naxos and Paros on a tailor-made basis as there is a ferry connection several times weekly (please note that there is a very early departure time from Astypalea).

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Justin Blaza
Justin Blaza
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 2 hours

Currency

Euro

Language

Greek

Average flight times

3 hours 40 Minutes (Flight to Rhodes). Then transfer on to Astypalea.

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Greece expert

Jackie Gogonas
Jackie Gogonas

Those of our clients who have, over the last 20 or so years, visited Tolon in the Peloponnese will know Jackie; our very knowledgeable and passionate representative. Having decided to return to the UK, she has joined our reservations team and, needless to say, knows Tolon, a resort we have featured since 1973, inside out. It will come as no surprise to know that the Peloponnese is her favourite region in Greece.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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Astypalea, Dodecanese

Astypalea

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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