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hotels in Astypalea or Astipalea, accommodation in Astypalea, Astypalea hotels, Astypalea holidays Astipalea, car rental Astypalea
hotels in Astypalea or Astipalea, accommodation in Astypalea, Astypalea hotels, Astypalea holidays Astipalea, car rental Astypalea
hotels in Astypalea or Astipalea, accommodation in Astypalea, Astypalea hotels, Astypalea holidays Astipalea, car rental Astypalea
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This most western, of the Dodecanese has had many names: Ichthyoessa (abundant in fish) in ancient times; Stampalia or Astropalia, as the locals call it today. The name Astipalea means “old city”.
A mountainous island with an indented coastline concealing numerous delightful coves, Astipalea in fact resembles two islands joined by a ribbon of land only 105 meters wide.

The main village is Chora or Astypalea, built up the side of a steep hill, and presided over by the massive, austere remains of a Venetian castle. Its small, square houses, painted white with brightly colored doors and windows, follow the contours of the hill in an almost unbroken band down to the sea. So closely are they packed that the walls of the uppermost houses form part of the outer fortifications of the castle.

hotels in Astypalea or Astipalea, accommodation in Astypalea, Astypalea hotels, Astypalea holidays Astipalea, car rental Astypalea Hotels in Astypalea
 
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The balance of white and blue is cut of by the red shade of geraniums which blossom in the pots of the narrow, stone-cobbled lanes. In the old neighborhoods of Chora, there are no great-open spaces, no squares.

The Astypalaian traditional houses are similar to those of the Cyclades.A row of windmills on the pass of the hill provides an additional picturesque note.One enters the castle from the southwest side of the hill. Inside it are two churches, dedicated to St. George and to the Annunciation (Evangelismos).
The former contains a noteworthy carved iconostasis. Below the castle stands the 18th century church of Portaitissa, one of the most beautiful in the Dodecanese. It too has an impressive iconostasis, covered with gold leaf.
Livadia, Analipsi and Vathi are charming fishing hamlets on the south and north coast of the island, while among its many beaches, Tria Marmara, Schinontas and Vathi stand out.

Hotels in Astypalea
Hotels in Astypalea

Convent of Livia. On the northwest of Chora the road leads to the convent, built on the slope of a mountain, overlooking the sea and having a small guesthouse. Further the main road leads to Analipsis or Maltezana.
A picturesque settlement with its white houses and its flowery fields and gardens, the vast beach and taverns. One can admire the well-preserved mosaics of a Roman swimming pool and the monument of the French philhellene captain Bigon, who died in 1827, by setting fire to his corvette to avoid being captured by pirates.
Grottos of the island. Two of them are the most important: the Grotto of the Dragon or "Dracospilia", near Vathy, ornamented with stalactites and stalagmites amidst a fairy-like scenery and the Negro's Grotto near the locality Vatses, formerly a pirates' den, with a strait mouth and adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.
Ancient coins of Astypalea minted during the 3rd-1st centuries represented the head of Perseus or a gorgon-head. Later they represented the effigy of Dionysos or of Athena or of Asklepios.




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