When you choose Astypalea for your holiday you should be ready to have days full of things to do. Between relaxation, the sea and everyday fun, make sure you leave room for activities and excursions. If you don’t do this, you will miss out on half your holiday and you will not be able to fully experience this beautiful place in the heart of the Aegean, the island that unites the Cyclades and Dodecanese.
A mini cruise to take you swimming on small islets around Astypalea should be at the top of your list. Whichever route you choose, you will have the chance to see and experience something truly special.
Combine a hiking trail with a visit to some of the island’s churches and monasteries to see how religious belief has given its own colour to the island. If you are lucky enough to find yourself at a saint’s day festival, make sure you don’t miss the chance to join in!
The archaeological and ecclesiastical museums have an interesting selection of exhibits. The archaeological museum will give you an overview of the island's history, and the ecclesiastical museum is next to the Panagia Portaitissa church in a beautiful courtyard in Rodia. One of the most important and moving archaeological sites on the island is the infants’ cemetery which was found near of Kylindra overlooking the bay of Livadi. The Early Christian basilica of Agia Varvara and the Baths of Talara are two other interesting archaeological sites on the island.
And our final recommendation is the beautiful Venetian castle of Querini. It was the first settlement on the island, and is built on the ruins of a Byzantine castle. It was rebuilt in 1413 as a fortified settlement which, according to some sources, was home to more than 2,500 people. Indeed, most of the houses were inhabited until 1956. Today there are two churches, Panagia tou Kastro and Agios Georgios with its blue domes and the ornate bell towers.
And of course, as well as these sightseeing trips and activities, make sure you get to know the islanders. These famously hospitable characters will be able to tell you many tales and stories and you can enjoy joining in with their music and their songs.