Chora the main town of Astypalea

astypalea townThe Town of Astypalea, reminds of an island of Cycladic architecture, despite the fact that it belongs to the Dodecanese.

White houses with blue balconies and windows, built amphitheatrically on two hills and yards overflowing with bougainvillea in full bloom.

It is the capital and port of the island with the most inhabitants, which with its picturesqueness attracts a large number of tourists. Upon your arrival in Chora you will be welcomed by the traditional stone windmills, while in the square and the surrounding cobblestones you will find several options for relaxation and food, as well as for your night out.

The houses of Chora climb up the hill, at the top of which is the Venetian castle, called Astroplia Castle or Querini Castle. It was built by the Venetian Querini family on the ancient acropolis. It took its final form in the 15th century.

It is built with traditional local dark stone and surrounded by white houses, the outer walls of which create a real wall, with small windows for battlements. With a strong fortress character to protect the inhabitants from pirates, it has visibility to the two natural harbors of the island.

The paved path on the southwest side is the only entrance to the Castle. Here you will be impressed by the imposing walls and the view, especially if you stay until sunrise. The white domes of the two churches, Evangelistria and Agios Georgios, emerge from the stone walls.

astypalea-church of panagiaHere you will admire the church of Panagia Portaitissa, one of the most beautiful in the Aegean, which was built in the 18th century by a blind Athonite monk and is the place that hosts the famous August 15th festival.

To the left and right of Chora, two windless bays are formed: Pera Gialos and Livadi, while going up to the foot of the hill, the eight windmills, which are kept in very good condition, make a special impression.

Do not leave Pera Gyalos without visiting the Archaeological Museum of Astypalaia. Its collection of exhibits, among which you will see pottery, jewelry, bronze and stone tools from the Mycenaean burial chamber, takes you back to prehistoric times.

It is worth trying the local flavors such as pougia me chlori (bread stuffed with local cheese), angrista (lentils with dough balls), lambriano (lamb stuffed with rice and liver) and xerotigana (folded and fried dough with honey).