Astipalaia is one of the most up trend islands the last few years in Greece..No wonder why! Very beautiful chora-main village, lots of beaches, delicious food. what can you ask more for vacations? It is located in Dodecanese islands complex.
Astipalaia has the advantage of the airport.. If you don’t want to go by boat (you ll need round 9 hours from Piraeus) you can go by aeroplane. Be sure though to book early because during july and august ist difficult to find tickets in affordable prices (the plane is small with few available seats).
The best place to stay is Pera Gialos. Pera Gialos starts from the old port and you can hardly stand Pera Gialos from chora-the main village. There are many beautiful rooms to rent, mini markets, bakery and tavernas. Chora is in walking distance, round 10 minutes-however its hilly.. From Pera Gialos you can also get the bus that goes almost everywhere to the island. But the beaches are hard to reach so ..its better to rent a car or motorbike. Otherwise you’ ll miss lots of islands’ beauties.
On the top of the hill in chora there are ruins of the castle. The Venetian Quirini Fortress with the heraldic shield of the family. In architectural terms it belongs to the fortified settlement category where the outer walls of the houses are the curtain walls with small openings as murder holes.
The home of the Quirini is built around the entrance on the eastern side and covers two storeys. Until 1956 the entire fortress was inhabited.
Inside the fortress are two churches painted white with ornate bell towers. At the entrance is Panaghia Kastriani (Evangelistria) and at the end Aghios Georgios. The Panaghia Church was built in 1853 above the arched entrance to the fortress. Inside there is a founder’s inscription dated 1413 and the heraldic shields of the Quirini. Aghios Georgios was built in 1790.
During your visit to the Chora be sure to see the baby cemetery that is unique in the world.
Located in ‘reel’ overlooking the bay of Livadi. Both of archaeological and anthropological point of view this is a unique find and meet in the Geometric period.
Unique in the world in infant cemetery burials in pottery revealed Astypalea. The excavation revealed more than 2,500 burials of infants, especially newborn babies, which were deposited in earthen vessels, according to an landfill called jar-burial. Burial in earthen pots pots initially, and urns, jars, or amphoras and other pottery shapes were the most common method of burial in ancient times for babies, probably symbolizing the womb of their mother.The burial of the infant was usually opened hole in the belly of the vessel, which is then covered with the same piece that was cut or even a stone.
Scientists speculate that the area was sacred geometric era where believers came to deposit lost their baby or even embryos from abortions. Then, however, the original shrine of the Geometric period through the years developed into a Panhellenic sanctuary, where believers come to offer the lost baby, without grave goods, the same as a tribute.
Near there is a path leading to a small beach where basically locals go. 10 min walking and you ll have your private beach.
In Chora great place for dinner is Barbarossa and you have plenty of choices to go for a drink.
The most beautiful beaches need motorbike or car. However close to Chora and very easy to reach is Livadi. families prefer it, there are beach bars and tavernas. We had lunch at Astropelos. they produce their own cheese with herbs and have fresh seafood. we loved it! Kaminakia is difficult to reach but worth visiting. There you can find a tavern called Linda. Although there are lots of reviews about it, we weren’t satified at all.
The most beautiful beaches to visit though are reachable by boat. Absolutely have a daily excursion from Maltezana or Platis Gialos. Arrange with the captains one day before your booking, because it is usually crowded. you ll visit two nearby islands with extraordinary beaches.
If you visit Astipalaia during August don’t miss on 15th August the big traditional festival !
For mor info visit the website http://www.astipalea.org