The rugged coastline of Astypalea is nothing more than an endless game between land and sea. In the middle of the island approximately, the land narrows so much that a strip just 10 m wide connects the two sections. The Steno, as it is known by locals, divides Astypalea into the eastern Mesa Nisi (middle island) and the western 'Exo Nisi' (outer island).

Astypalea or Hora

Astypalea or HoraThis is the capital and port of the island built on a hill protruding into the sea thus forming two bays: the port - Pera Yialos -and Livadi Bay. The peak is dominated by the fortress built of dark local stone from which one can see the glowing white domes of the Evangelistria and Aghios Georgios Churches sticking out. Around it are white houses with blue doors and windows and wooden railings on the balconies. Among them are churches and domed chapels. On the saddle of the hill are eight windmills, a unique jewel adorning Hora. Slightly further on is the traditional coffee house and further still is the Town Hall from whence the two main roads which lead up the hill to the Fortress begin. Each leads to a well known church, the Monastery of Panaghia Portaitissa on the Livadi Bay side and the Megali Panaghia Church on the Pera Yialos side.

Analipsi or Maltezana

A seaside village spread out along a small valley in Exo Nisi with a beautiful sandy beach. The second name 'Maltezana' makes reference to the pirates who pillaged the Aegean and found refuge in the island's sheltered bays. The village hugs the bay with a long jetty at which fishing caiques moor. The orchards and vineyards go right down to the water's edge. Tour boats can take visitors to the island's beaches and the islets of Hondro, Ligno, Aghia Kyriaki, Koutsomytis, Syrna and Kounoupi.


A seaside village spread along a fertile valley on the inlet of the bay with the same name. Livadi is the island's flower garden. The gardens with mandarin trees, orange trees, vines, and houses bedecked in flowers are spread along the entire length of the stream which terminates at a beautiful beach.


Vathi resembles are lagoon. The bay is almost completely closed off with an opening of just 50m. There are two small villages at Vathi: Exo Vathi which is at the mouth of the bay with its small jetty at which caiques moor and Mesa Vathi on the inlet of the bay with fields, a few trees and vineyards. Visitors can reach Vathi by road along a passable dirt track or by boat. There are regular sailings from Vai Bay.

Other islets in the area

To the southeast are the islets of Hondro, Ligno, Aghia Kyriaki with a church dedicated to that saint, Koutsomytis with its charming beach and Kounoupi. Further out are Adelfi, Syrna and the Tria Nisia. To the west are the islets of Ktenia, Pontikoussa, Ofidoussa and Katsagreli. To the north is Fokionisia.


5 straight routes weekly to and from Piraeus or with connection to Kyklades and Dodekanese 3 straight routes weekly with Kalymnos
Tourist Information: (+30) 22430 61778
Port Police: (+30) 22430 61208 )

Destinations: Athens (ATH) - Astypalaia (JTY)
Astypalaia (JTY) - Athens (ATH)
Rhodes - Kos - Leros - Astypalaia (JTY)
Astypalaia (JTY) - Leros - Kos - Rhodes

Olympic Airways Olympic Airways on Astypalaia: +30 22430 61588

Tourist information: 22430 61 778
Health Center: 22430 61 222
Police : 22430 61 207
Port Master's Office: 22430 61208
Airport: 22430 61 410 - 61665
Olympic Airways: 22430 61 588
Ferries Agency: 22430 61 588
Ferries Agency: 22430 61 224
Travel Agency - Municipal Information: 22430 61412


The hotels and rooms you can let in Astypalaia are very traditional, built according the cycladic colours and guidelines. Most of them are either newly built or renovated in order to offer any visitor a pleasant stay.


You can start your "sea & beaches" tour at the beach at Pera Yialos. From there by boat or car visit the beaches at Livadi (with sand and pebbles), Tzanaki, Moura, Pappou and Aghios Konstantinos (7km away).More remote beaches are to be found at Vatses (8 km), Kaminakia (11 km), Aghios Ioannis (accessible by boat), Panormos (17 km) and Pachia Ammos (accessible by boat).There are also beaches at Marmari B and C, Schinonda, Karekli, Vrysi, Plakes (a beach with rocks), Steno and Psili Ammos.

Don't forget to taste the delicious Astypalean kitchen and goods:
"Poungia" (cheese pie made from kopanisti cheese and honey)
Preserved fruits (quince, fig, bitter orange, bergamot orange), turnovers
"Rantista" (lentils cooked with finely grained dough and vinegar)
Stuffed vine, cabbage leaves or courgette flowers
Various local cheeses such as "ladotyri", "myzithra", "chlori"
A type of yoghurt called "xyalina"
Lobster with spaghetti, octopus balls, fish, goat stuffed with rice
Liver finely chopped and cooked with spices known as 'lambrianos"
Yellow bread rolls "kitrinokouloura" with 'chlori' cheese and saffron and pies known as 'lambropittes"
and last but not least the out of this world, "the honey of Astypalea" smelling thyme and taste amazing.

Ancient monuments and sites of archaeological interest
The Tallaras Baths in Maltezana
The Monument to the French admiral Bignon
The remains of a Minoan settlement and the ruins of a tower in Vathi.


The Venetian Quirini Fortress
Ai Yanni Fortress

Monasteries and Churches
The church of Panaghia Portaitissa in Hora
Megali Panaghia church in Hora
Panaghia Flevariotissa Monastery in Hora
Aghios Ioannis Monastery lies 12 km west of Hora

Picturesque chapels

Of particular note are Aghios Dimitrios (5 km SW), Aghios Eleftherios (7 km SW), Aghios Panteleimon (9 km W), Aghios Georgios (6.5 Km S) and Aghios Konstantinos (7 km S).


Drakou Cave is at Vathy with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Get there from Vathy by caique or on foot (around 2 hours along dirt track).

Negrou Cave is in Vatses Bay. Tradition links it with pirates and their treasures. Get there by boat from Hora. Trips to the cave and nearby islets are organized.

1 comment:

George said...


My parents were from Astypalea. Do you by any chance happen to have or can post a recipe for poungia and or how to make the Kopanisti cheese. Krinos foods here in the US stopped selling Kopanisti but my mother also made poungia with ricotta. But I don't know how to make the dough.

Thank you.