Guide to astypalea island Greece
Astypalea belongs to the Dodecanese islands at the south east Aegean . The coastline of Astypalea is rocky and wild with beautiful coves and beaches like some of the southern coasts of Crete. The shape of the island resembles an egg-timer narrowing in the middle to a strip just 10 m wide which connects the two sections. This strip is known as 'Steno', which divides Astypalea into the eastern Mesa Nisi (middle island) and the western 'Ekso Nisi' (the outer island). To the southeast are several little islands: Hondro, Ligno, Aghia Kyriaki which has a church dedicated to Saint Kyriaki, Kounoupi and Koutsomytis with a lovely swimming beach. A little further away are the Tria Nisya, Syrna and Adelfi and to the west are the small islands of Pontikoussa, Ktenia, Katsagreli and Ofidoussa . Going north you will come to Fokionisia. The capital of Astypalea is Hora which as well is the main port of the island. Hora is built on a hill which protruding from the sea forms two bays ,Livadia and Pera Yialos . The top of the hill is dominated by a fortress built from dark local stone which creates a beautiful contrast to the glowing white domes of the churches Evangelistria and Aghios Georgios that was built there. At the base of the hill are white houses with their traditional blue doors and windows and wooden railings around the balconies. Dotted amongst the houses are churches and domed chapels. On the crest of the hill are the eight windmills, regarded as the crowning glory of Hora. It is well worth visiting the traditional coffee house near to the Town Hall before reaching the crossroads to climb up the hill to the Fortress. Each road here will take you to a church like the Monastery of Panaghia Portaitisa on the Livadia and the Megali Panaghia Church on the Pera Yialos. Ferries from Athens approaching the island frequent.