connect with us
Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Astypalea: A “Butterfly” In The Aegean

Photo © claffra / Shutterstock

Photo © claffra / Shutterstock

Astypalea in the southeastern Aegean may not have the glamorous reputation like Mykonos or Santorini but this does not seem to be a problem. Over the years, Astypalea – also known as “Butterfly of the Aegean” due to its shape – has acquired numerous loyal fans.

The island is rocky and located almost at the halfway point between the Cyclades islands and Rhodes. Ideal for holidays on the quiet side, Astypalea has made a name for itself through the centuries for its fragrant flowers and its fish-laden waters.

Astypalea has many names: Ichthyoessa (abundant in fish) in ancient times; Stampalia or Astropalia, as the locals call it today. The name Astypalea means “old city.”

Photo © Facebook - Greek Islands

Photo © Facebook – Greek Islands

The island has a relatively small community of residents spread over three towns, Astypalea or Chora, Analipsi and Livadi, a coastline punctured by coves and a constellation of small islets of various shapes, sizes and distances from its coast. Its two main sections – its butterfly wings – are connected by a strip of land that is a mere 100 meters in width at its thinnest point.

Astypalea, the belltower of the church of Great Panagia. Photo © Astypalea Municipality

Astypalea, the belltower of the church of Great Panagia. Photo © Astypalea Municipality

Among its main attractions are the imposing Venetian castle that sits atop the whitewashed houses Chora, the famous Panagia Portaitissa church below the castle, site of the island’s main mid-August feast, the castle of Aghios Ioannis, a delightful museum that testifies to the long history of the island through the Prehistoric, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian periods, and stunning mosaic floors at some of the islands basilicas and Roman-era baths.

If it weren’t for Mykonos, the island’s red-capped windmills would probably be the island’s hallmark, or at least one of them

The road with the windmills. Photo © Astypalea Municipality

The road with the windmills. Photo © Astypalea Municipality

Among its natural attractions the island boasts two caves, a lagoon near it northeastern tip and a terrain that is ideal for hiking, trekking and biking. An airport connects Astypalea to Athens and some of the nearby islands.

How to get to the island

Ferry schedules at:  www.gtp.gr

How to get to the island

Accommodation on Astypalea

Follow GTP Headlines on Google News to keep up to date with all the latest on tourism and travel in Greece.
About the Author
This is the team byline for GTP. The copyrights for these articles are owned by GTP. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner.

Add your comment

*