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Astypalea Page 3

The Castle or Kastro

astypalea  greek island guideastypalea  greek island guideastypalea  greek island guide

Keep winding your way upwards and after a pleasant walk you will arrive at the portcullis of the Kastro for whose embellishments  we can thank the islands' Venetian rulers, the Quirini. Outside the castle, the  aptly named Xokastro area consists of numerous dwellings attached to its exterior walls and is the oldest section of the town. Within the keep the ruins of several houses built into the walls may be seen as well as the Church of St. George and the Church of the Annunciation. Archeologists have discovered within the keep ruins of ancient roads, temple foundations and sophisticated drainage systems from the 6th Century BC.

astypalea  greek island guideJust below the Castle is the most important church of the Island the Panagia Portaitissa. This richly decorated  edifice is one of the most beautiful of the Dodecanese and is crested with a white tiled dome. Intricate gold-leaf carvings decorate the interior. It is open to the public until sundown and its eminent location makes it an ideal spot to enjoy the sunsets.

Astypalea's Best Beaches

astypalea  greek island guideastypalea  greek island guideJust to the west, downhill from the windmills, lies Livadia, literally meaning valley. This shingly, sandy beach is popular with familites.

Just to the south of Livadias' beach is the nudist beach of Tzanaki and continuing further will bring you to the beach of St. Konstantine, one of the island's best.

To the north of Skala and on your way to the steno (isthmus), a paved road passes a group of beaches collectively called Marmari. Continue on to Maltenza (Anlypsi) just past the isthmus, which was once the lair of Maltese pirates. The airport is nearby. Its neighboring cove is secluded and naturalists sun bathe there. It also boasts the remains of ancient Roman baths with well preserved floor mosaics.

BeachOther beaches include Vathy (deep) with its stalactite cave, which can only be reached by boat. It is popular with yachting enthusiasts, has a good seafood taverna and a few rooms to let. Its Drakospillia or Dragons Lair Cave is likewise only attainable by boat and it's best to bring your own supplies and flashlight.

Additionally, the two beaches of Kaminiakia and Negrou are only attainable by water taxi or private boat.

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