Astypalea belongs to the Dodecanese and is an island of wild beauty, known for its butterfly shape and its castle. On this page, you will find information about holidays in Astypalea, its beaches, sights, food, villages and ferry routes. Book ferries to Astypalea at the best prices on Ferryhopper.
Vacation in Astypalea
Astypalea is the westernmost of the Dodecanese and that is why it has many influences from the Cyclades. It is often called the "butterfly of the Aegean'', due to the shape of the island. The main settlement of Astypalea (aka Chora) is one of the most beautiful and impressive island capitals in the Aegean. It is built amphitheatrically on a hill with windmills and white houses, while the famous castle stands imposing to the top.
Holidays in Astypalea combine calm, relaxation, swimming and diving in crystal-clear waters, good food and fun in Chora. In the summer, the Cultural Festival of Astypalea is also organized, along with many “panigiria” with live music and traditional delicacies.
Traditional white church overlooking the Aegean
How to get to Astypalea
There are regular ferry routes from mainland Greece to Astypalea via the port of Piraeus in Athens, throughout the year. Alternatively, there are also frequent crossings to the island from ports of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. Find more information about ferry travel to Astypalea below.
What to do in Astypalea
In Astypalea time is not wasted. The island has many beauties, wonderful beaches, wild landscapes but also a rich history that has left its marks scattered on the island. Adventure lovers will find an impressive seabed for exploration, hiking trails and natural attractions. The evenings in Astypalea are vivid and there are many options for food, drink and entertainment.
Beaches in Astypalea
The beaches of Astypalea are numerous and diverse, suited for all tastes. On the island, you will find rocky shores, sandy beaches with wonderful views, turquoise waters and an impressive seabed. Many of them don’t have amenities like umbrellas, so make sure you have the essentials with you. A list of the best beaches of Astypalea:
- Plakes: This windless beach has pebbles on one side and slabs on the other. It has a very beautiful seabed, so make sure you have your mask with you. The beach doesn’t have umbrellas or other amenities.
- Tzanakia: One of the most beautiful beaches of Astypalea, easily accessible on foot. It has pebbles and deep crystal-clear waters, while the huge rocks near the coast offer some shade. The beach is also nude-friendly.
- Mple Limanaki: Very small windless beach, accessible by dirt road. We suggest you get there early, as it is popular and due to its small size it can be crowded.
- Megalo Steno: It is an organized beach with blue shallow waters, ideal for families. It has sunbeds, tamarisk trees that offer shade, and a canteen. It is easily accessible by local transport.
- Vatses: Beautiful pebble beach for the most part, but also sand at the beginning. There are some umbrellas as well as some tamarisk trees for shade. Vatses has a beach bar and is accessible by dirt road.
- Kaminakia: One of the most famous beaches of Astypalea. It is windless, large, with sand and crystal-clear, relatively deep waters. It has 2 tavernas, sunbeds and tamarisk trees.
- Pera Gialos: The most easily accessible beach of the island, located in the old main port. It has umbrellas and tamarisk trees that offer shade. There are many tavernas, cafes and stores in the nearby area.
- Agios Ioannis: Probably the most famous beach of the island. It is accessible either by boat or on foot from the church of the same name (30 minutes - 1 hour). The amazing clear blue waters worth a dive!
- Panormos: A beach of wild beauty with pebbles, but it hasn’t shade. It is windless and accessible by a relatively challenging dirt road.
- Agios Konstantinos: Beautiful beach overlooking Chora and the castle of Astypalea. It has pebbles, deep waters, tamarisk trees, but also umbrellas. There is also a taverna and a beach bar.
Tip: You can also go on a day trip to the neighboring uninhabited islands of Astypalea. It is worth visiting Kounoupi, Koutsomytis and Plakida! The landscape is pristine and the beaches are magnificent!
The amazing emerald waters of Plakes beach in Astypalea
Sights and activities in Astypalea
Apart from impressive morphology and beautiful seas, the island also has a rich history and attractions that are worth seeing. Some of the sights of Astypalea that we recommend are:
- Castle of Astypalea
- Windmills of Astypalea
- Archaeological Museum of Astypalea
- Church of Panagia Portaitissa
- Hellenistic baths in Maltezana
- Caves of Astypalea
- Ancient Infant Cemetery
- Climbing the Ftera field
- Trails of Astypalea
- Diving in Livadi
Nightlife in Astypalea
The nightlife in Astypalea is vibrant but not ideal for party hard. Most guests prefer a taverna for live music and ouzo, while others choose a lounge bar for refreshing drinks and cocktails. Most of them are located in Chora, Livadi and Analipsi. The bar of the Astypalea camping is a main meeting point for younger travelers. Keep in mind, that many “panigiria” take place at these villages, throughout the summer!
Food in Astypalea
In Astypalea you will try delicious local products of top quality, fresh fish and delicious appetizers overlooking the sea. We suggest you try the following traditional recipes of Astypalea:
- pougkia (sweet or savory pies with cheese)
- lampriano (stuffed lamb)
- rantista (cooked lentils with dough)
- makarounes (local pasta)
- local honey
- local cheeses
- kitrinokouloura (local cookies)
- kserotigana (flatbreads)
Villages in Astypalea
Chora of Astypalea is the capital and the largest settlement of the island together with Pera Gialos, the old port. We suggest you explore the other beautiful villages of Astypalea and discover the unique morphology and flavors of the island. We recommend you visit:
- Pera Gialos
- Maltezana or Analipsi
Beautiful Chora of Astypelea under the sunset
Useful information about Astypalea
Astypalea is a well-developed island that has recently been found in the center of tourist interest. In the settlements of the island, and especially in Chora, you will find services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, stores, gas stations and ATMs.The Astypalea Medical Center is also located in the country, near the port. Regarding accommodation in Astypalea, there are many options, from affordable rooms to luxury hotels in Chora and the smaller settlements. The island also has an organized campsite, located between the port and Chora.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Astypalea
Some useful contacts for Astypalea are:
- Astypalea Port Authority: +302243061208
- Astypalea Medical Center: +302243061222
- Tourist Office: +302243061412
- Astypalea Police: +302243061207
- Taxi: +302243061204
- Pharmacy (Pera Gialos): +302243061444
- Astypalea Airport: +302243061410
Transportation in Astypalea
The distances in Astypalea are long, even if the island isn’t very large. For this reason, we suggest that you bring your car or motorbike with you or rent one there. Astypalea has intercity (KTEL) buses that serve routes from the port to Chora and the villages of the island. Near the village of Analipsi is the airport, about 10km from the capital.
Ports in Astypalea
Astypalea has 2 main ports: the old and the new one! The old port is located close to Chora and it is mainly used by sailing boats. The new port is located in Agios Andreas, 2km from Chora.
The traditional windmills in Chora of Astypalea
Island hopping from Astypalea
Astypalea is located between the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, so it is an ideal starting point for island hopping in the Aegean. From the island, you can find direct ferry routes to:
On the interactive Map of Ferries of Ferryhopper you can find all ferry itineraries and combinations from Astypalea. Plan your island hopping experience in the Greek islands in only a few clicks!
Astypalea ferry: schedules and tickets
Astypalea is well connected with Athens through the port of Piraeus all year long. The direct route Piraeus - Astypalea runs 4-5 times a week and the trip lasts from 8.5 to 11 hours, depending on the vessel and the intermediate stops.
An alternative way to easily reach Astypalea from Athens and add another island to your vacation is with Naxos as an intermediate destination. The route Naxos - Astypalea runs at least 4 times a week and the duration of the trip is 3.5 hours.
Where to book ferry tickets online to Astypalea
Book ferries to Astypalea online with just 4 clicks with Ferryhopper! On our page, you will find all the information you need about the island, the ferry itineraries, the prices and the types of tickets. Organize your trip easily and as you imagine it!