"Astypalaia Island" Nisos Astypalaia by Glyt
Nisos Astypalaia Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 6 photos
Until the 19th century, Chora was the only settlement of the contemporary years of Astypalaia. The other settlements which exist today were created in the uncultivated spots of the island.
The biggest of these settlements are Livadi and Analypsi or Maltezana, created during the Italian years. Most of the island?s life is concentrated in Chora. It is built on a peninsula which is bathed by the serene sea creating two tranquil bays called Pera Yalos which is situated on the left as we look at the open sea and Livadi which is on the right. The Venetian Castle, with its two whitewashed churches, stands proudly at the top of the peninsula proclaiming the onset of the development of the settlement.
As the centuries progressed, little white houses began to appear outside the walls of the castle which covered the hill and reached the port of Pera Yalos joining together to form a mosaic of our island?s history. The portrait of Chora with its white body and ocean blue heart, leaves the visitor speechless because of, its beauty and harmony.
Astypalaia has many beaches. Crowded, isolated, with small rocks, with gold sand, whatever one enjoys will definetelly be found somewhere in Astypalaia. Ask the local and they will be glad to point you some of the great place for swimming and relaxing under the sun.
From Livadi, a passable dirt road begins which provides a truly breathtaking view of Chora and connects Tzanakis, the cut off nudist beach, to Chora; and, after passing a number of small coves and Papou beach, it ends up at the enticing, sandy beach of Agios Konstantinos.
Two of the most beautiful beaches of the island can be reached by the tourist boats which set off from Pera Yalos and Maltezana. These beaches are Kaminakia, where there is a tavern which serves boiled goat (stew), an island speciality, and Vatses, where there is a cave with stalactites and stalagmites.
The chora appart from the castle which stands on the top, has many places to walk around. Under the castle a complex of small passageways and alleys called "sokakia" take you around the chora with wonderfull views of the island underneath. Some small cafes situated at the entering of Chora offer loukoumades (dough with honey) and some local cheesepies with honey as well.
The Castle takes up all the plateau at the top of the hill and used to be densely built group of houses which made up the Middle Ages settlement. Today, only a few of the houses have survived, the outside walls of which make up the walls of the Castle.
Only on the southside is there a strong battle tower which is known by the name "Serai". Inside the Castle, between the scattered columns and the carved stones, two beautiful churches, Panagia of Castro (the Holy Virgin of the Castle) and Agios Giorgios (Saint George) stand. The church of Panagia of Castro was built in 1853 on the arched entrance of the castle. Inside there is an ownership signature of 1413 and the shields of the Querini family. Agios Giorgios was built in 1790. Around the walls of the Castle the uniform white houses, with blue stutters and wooden balconies, the churches and all the small family temples are clustered together.
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.
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