Greece’s Dodecanese islands — an archipelago that comprises 12 large islands and numerous smaller ones in the south-eastern Aegean Sea — offer some of the country’s most exciting tourist attractions. Of all the islands worth visiting, Astypalaia is easily one of the best.
Home to a little over 1,300 residents and a mere 18 kilometers long, Astypalaia Island (sometimes referred to as “The Butterfly of Aegean”) may be a small place, but it’s packed with options for travelers, young and old.
Are you interested in taking a trip to Astypalaia Island? If so, use this guide when planning your itinerary to ensure you have a smooth stay and don’t miss any of the island’s offerings.
Stay at the Oneiro Suites Hotel
Astypalaia Island offers plenty of lodging options, but Oneiro Suites is one of the newest and most luxurious.
The Oneiro Suites Hotel is within walking distance from Astypalaia Town (the island’s capital and home to some of its most impressive attractions). It offers gorgeous views of the island and the Aegean Sea.
The Oneiro Suites hotel has a modern, minimalist design. It features 12 luxury suites — nine have private heated jacuzzis, and one includes a private pool.
Another perk of the Oneiro Suites hotel is that the breakfast that is served there is delicious!
Rent a Car from Vergoulis
Astypalaia Island is small, but it’s still convenient to have a car. Vergoulis is an excellent option for reliable and cost-effective rental vehicles. They also rent motos and ATVs, making them a perfect choice for those who prefer the wind in their hair.
Explore the Whitewashed Wonder of Chora
Once you’ve checked into your hotel and secured your rental car, you’ll be ready to head out on your first adventure. Consider starting with a trip to the main town of Astypalaia, Chora.
Even though this island is part of the Dodecanese islands, Chora more closely resembles one of the towns on the Cyclades Islands. It’s home to picturesque windmills, a collection of whitewashed houses, and two whitewashed churches.
Visit the Hill-Top Castle That Crowns Astypalaia
Located at the top of the hill in Chora is the famous Querini Castle.
This stunning stone castle was built by a noble Venetian family (headed by John Querini) in the 13th century. Not only is it full of history, but it also provides unparalleled views of the entire island.
The Querinis took over Astypalaia Island after the Crusaders seized Constantinople in 1204. They constructed the castle to protect themselves from pirates and various other enemies.
In 1310, John Querini II renovated the castle. It stayed under Venetian rule for over 300 years.
Visit Astypalaia’s Iconic Church
Located just below the Querini Castle is Panagia Portaitissa, the most iconic church on the island.
Originally a monastery, this church was founded by Saint Anthimos in 1762 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is one of the island’s most beautiful whitewashed structures and features a silver dome and bell tower.
Enjoy Incredible Coffees and Desserts
If you need a caffeine or sugar-filled pick-me-up, Astypalaia Island has a multitude of options, including these:
- Meltemi: Located in Chora’s Main Square, this cafe offers a delicious selection for breakfast and brunch
- Archipelagos: Located in Chora’s Main Square, this cafe and bar is a great place to go for coffee, tea, and adult beverages
- Butterfly: Located in Chora’s Main Square, this restaurant offers a bevy of tasty drinks and live music
- Kolokitha: Located in Pera Gialos, Kolokitha is an excellent place to go for breakfast, brunch, drinks, or late-night eats
Visit the Island’s Best Bars
If you’re looking for an adult drink, there’s no shortage of bars on Asypalaia Island. Here are some of the top places to visit:
- Mylos Bar: Found in Chora’s Main Square, this is one of the island’s most famous and historic bars
- Sti Thea: Located in Chora’s Main Square, you’ll find tasty cocktails and gorgeous views here
- Castro Bar: Located in Chora, this dog-friendly bar offers food, drinks, and live music in a fabulous setting
- Panorama Club: Chora’s Main Square is home to this fun bar and nightclub
- Buka: Found in Chora’s Main Square, Buka cocktail bar offers various cocktails and live music
- En Plo: Found in Pera Gialos, En Plo is one of the most atmospheric bars on the island
Dine at Delicious Restaurants
For an incredible meal from start to finish, you can’t go wrong with any of these restaurants:
- Akti: This Pera Gialos restaurant is an excellent choice for fresh, local cuisine
- Maistrali: Perfect for enjoying lunch or dinner in Pera Gialos
- Antikastro: Located in Pera Gialos, Antikastro offers steak and traditional Greek food
- Aiolos: For one-of-a-kind pizza, visit this restaurant in Pera Gialos
- Salis: This Pera Gialos cafe is perfect for Greek and Mediterranean food
- Akrogiali: Located in Pera Gialos, Akrogiali offers delicious Greek, Mediterranean, and seafood
- Apanemia: Found near the castle, this restaurant offers tasty Greek dishes
- Karai: Also found near the castle, Karai provides a variety of Greek, Mediterranean, and seafood dishes
- To Stenaki tou Koukla: Enjoy a taste of Greece at this restaurant in Chora’s Main Square
- Dukato: Chora’s Main Square is home to this tasty, cozy Greek restaurant
- Barbarossa: For vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, head to this restaurant in Chora’s Main Square
- Agoni Grammi: This is another restaurant in Chora’s Main Square with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food
- Ageri: Head here in Chora’s Main Square for more vegetarian and vegan dishes
- Astropelos: Located on Livadi Beach, Astropelos offers some of the island’s best seafood
- Gerani: This taverna on Livadi Beach offers Mediterranean, Greek, and seafood dishes
- Para Thin Alos: Livadi Beach’s answer to cries for healthy, delicious seafood and Greek food
- Astifagia: Located in Maltezana, Astifagia offers Greek, Mediterranean, and seafood with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options
Choose a Beach and Enjoy the Best of the Aegean
It wouldn’t be a trip to Astypalaia Island without a trip to the beach. This island is full of picture-perfect beaches, including the following:
- Livadi: The most organized beach on the island
- Vatses: A lovely beach bar with a deck, chairs, and umbrellas
- Kaminakia: A beautiful bay that many consider the island’s best beach
- Agios Konstantinos: Another great beach bar with a panoramic view of the castle (stay away on windy days!)
- Steno: The island’s only sandy beach
- Schinontas: The beach of Maltezana, it’s full of excellent restaurants
- Ble Limanaki: An adorable but crowded bay
- Plakes: This beach is found at the bottom of a hill after a 10-minute descent
- Kounoupes & Koutsomitis Islands: Gorgeous beaches only accessible by boat
Other Things to Do
If you need more to do during your trip to Astypalaia Island, here are a few other suggestions:
- Explore Livadi’s citrus groves and vineyards
- Take a trip to the Baths of Talara in Maltezana
- Witness the stunning stalactites and stalagmites at Negrou
- Go rock climbing at Ftera, 20 minutes outside of Chora
Time to Plan Your Stay
Are you ready to witness all that Astypalaia Island has to offer? Start planning your itinerary and book your trip today!