This small island is located in the Southeastern part of the Aegean Sea and belongs to the island group of Dodecanese. Its mostly rocky area is about 99 km² with the indented coastline of about 110 m. Visually Astypalaia resembles a butterfly with two “wings”: the Eastern Mesa Nisi (middle island) and the western Ekso Nisi (the outer island). These parts are connected with a narrow strip “Steno” of 100 m.
Astypalaia has its own small airport. So it makes it easy to get to the island right from Athens. Or one can get there by a ferry boat from the mainland port of Piraeus. The ferry boat is also the main means of communication of Astypalaia with other islands of the region.
The island’s capital Astypalaia or Chora (Hora) is located on the hill that comes down to the coast forming the bay Livadi and the port Pera Yialos. At the very top of this hill is the Venetian castle the Castro. The castle is surrounded by whitewashed cube-like houses. Though built in the traditional Cycladic style their architecture still takes its own way: their wooden balconies, outer stair cases and window-frames of sky-blue colour, their picturesque terraces and yards full of flowers. Another touch of the brush to this picture is a group of old windmills that meet the guests at the foot of the hill.
Besides Hora, it is also well worth mentioning Livadi, a small seaside settlement not far from the capital. Then comes Analipsi or Maltezana that owes this name to the Maltese pirates and the small settlement Vathi.
Livadi is a sandy shingly beach with small coves and shady trees. Maltezana is one of the most popular beaches with soft sand and sparkling waters. Agios Konstantinos is a long sandy with pebbles beach with mountainous background. Vathi is one of the isolated beaches with pebbles and shallow waters.