Astipalaia..the butterfly of Aegean

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.pera gialos and chora

In Pera Gialos the best place to have dinner is Akti. Great view, unforgettable sunrise, quick service and everything we ordered was delicious. IMG_3453

In Chora you can find many churches and the best time to visit is before the sunset. During the day it’s really hot and everybody remains indoor or visiting the beaches. choraIMG_3622

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.
night view from the castle
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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.
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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.

Ble limanaki is a small cove close to maltezana, bit difficult to find but if you go early you have your own private beach!ble limanakible limanaki2

Vatses is another beach you should visit. You ll definitely need car and you ll find a beautiful beach bar.vatsesIMG_3467

If you are into nudism you can visit small coves close to Livadi called tzanakia. No shade at all so bring umbrellas and supplies with you. it’s really beautiful also if you like snorkelling.

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tzanakia coves

 

 

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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.IMG_3500IMG_3519IMG_3608

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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

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Donousa a small hidden gem in Cyclades

Donousa is a really small island in Cyclades with unspoilt beautiful beaches with crystall blue water. If you want to relax, enjoy swimming this is your paradise! Till 80s there was no electricity and for many years it used to be paradise for nudists and free campers. The last few years you can find some apartments to rent in the main village called stavros-which is also the port. There is a bakery, minimarket, 2 tavernas and 2 bars to have a drink at night.

Donousa is located close to Koufonisia, between Naxos and Amorgos and you ll need round 8 hours on deck from Piraeus.

Arriving at the port you ll be amazed to see that people are swimming nearby..

This photo is taken from the beach beside the port...
This photo is taken from the beach beside the port…

Fifteen minutes walking from port and the main village of the island called Stavros you find the amazing beach of Kedros. In this beautiful beach you can meet lots of freecampers and no need to carry with you water and snacks, cause there is a mini market, wc, and you can buy snacks, water and daily they prepare delicious salads, with vegetable that cultivate nearbylivadi.
livadi

The other famous beach of the island is called Livadi. As the island is really small you don’ t have to get a car to discover its beauties. You can get a taxi (round 8 euros to reach Livadi) or local bus with frequent scheduled program. If you are with friends (8 persons at least you can also call th driver and arrange to pick you up whenever you want, upon request and no extra charge!!)
Arriving at Mersini -the village on top of the beach be sure you wear comfortable shoes, suitable for hiking. You ll have to walk round 15 min a path leading to Kedros beach. The paradise of free campers and nudists. Don’t forget to carry with you water and some snacks because at the beach there isn’t any beach bar and you ll have to walk all way up… kedrosthe path leading to Livadi beach

At Mersini there are 2 tavernas with breathtaking view. The best time to visit..just before sunset. I visited Kori Tou Michali evrything we ordered was simply delicious!

The other part of the island has a beautiful beach called Kalotaritissa kalotaritissa08-2013 ΔΟΝΟΥΣΑ 221

The ones who have a boat will have the chance to swim in small coves that cannot be reached by foot.fokospiliasea view

Good food, low prices, friendly locals, extraordinary beaches..This is Donousa!