Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
Please allow me a general conclusion. For Greek people, no summer would be like the one of 2015. Anxiety, frustration, doubts, fear, pessimism during a period when normally we used to search for our holiday plans, destinations, accommodation and tickets. Nothing was normal, nothing was like before. Only holiday cancellations, anxious conversations and a constant effort to adapt to a reality that is changing so rapidly that even the most optimistic person wasn’t able to follow. Not only we have witnessed the sinking, but (almost) every one of us experienced it with a cost.
However, when you are reaching the lowest point you always must find the courage to go up to the surface. Each of us has his own method to do this. One method that favors reboots is to leave, to disappear in peaceful places. I’ve done this before. And I did this year at Astypalaia.
Astypalaia is an island in a strange butterfly shape. Although it belongs to the Dodecanese, it has this white-blue Cycladic charm. The impressive chora is built amphitheatrically offering a magnificent view from pretty much anywhere, and it remains perhaps the most picturesque and beautiful part of the island. Without exaggeration I think the chora of Astypalaia is within the three nicest I’ve seen in a Greek island. As for the beaches, most of them have pebbles and all of them have crystal clear turquoise waters. So if you decide to go to Astypalea, it would be nice to do the following…
Explore the different angles! The beautiful chora favors it. See the chora from above, from below, which is the old harbor Pera Yialos, from the castle and from the side. Finally, how many things in life you can see them in different angle?
Go for a swim in Plakes Beach. You will walk for 10 minutes and at the end you will climb a bit. But even if you “struggle” a little, you can always look at your destination…
Take photos at the 8 traditional windmills that give a nostalgic ambience in the chora of Astypalaia. In one of them there is the really helpfull tourist office while another one hosts mini exhibitions.
Make a stop at Maltezana family beach for a swim. Watch how careless are all these young wannabe divers. And then go just across the street for a lunch at Astyfagia. The owner -although Athenian- makes excellent seafood and great mullet. If you appreciate the chatty types, you have found your man!
You can teleport to the past with a short walk to the castle. Great view not only of the island but of these lucky B@stards with the fantastic terraces. Of course the best time to visit is-what a cliches! – while the sun sets.
Eat seafood spaghetti at Akti restaurant! This unique restaurant has 3 different levels with tables with some of them literally hanging over the sea!
Follow the lead of the most wise creatures of the animal kingdom. Cats know when to camouflaged and go unnoticed and when to stand out with their dynamic presence. They also know well that is better when you have compagny…
If you are looking for original cocktails while overlooking the Venetian castle, then just pay a visit at the Kastro bar. The alternative versions of populal cocktails like their own zombie we tested, is something else.
Drink an iced coffee at the beach bar on the beach Vatses. One of the few organized beaches where you can satisfy your thirst (or your hunger) at the moment when you come out from the sea.
Get excited! You’re on a beautiful island away from anything that concerns you. Take advantage of this distance and laid back!
One of the highlight of our holiday in Astypalea was staying at Viva Mare Traditional Studios! The view from our balcony was cutting our breath every time and we had the same postcard-like view from the window next to our bed. Plus the really helpful and kind stuff!
Think again your choices. The peaceful ambience of Astypalaia helps a lot… And do not be discouraged! When a door closes a window opens, right?
When you go to the only sandy beach on the island, Psili Ammos, do not forget your umbrella, because there is no shadow at all… And you may end up making your own artificial tiki!
The fact that I have a serious sweet tooth and I live in Paris, has made my criteria for desserts very strict. Therefore my word counts much more when I say without any doubt that the banoffe at Meltemi café is dreamy!!!
Be lazy! Just do nothing and switch off everything.
The must do at Astypalea is a trip to the nearby uninhabited islets Kounoupas and Koutsomitis. In a short distance from the island you will get incredible crystal clear water and total isolation.
The nights out in the chora was my favorite thing not only because there is a mysterious atmosphere in these barely lit streets, but you can also act crazy and no one can see this in the dim light…
Even if you’re not a fan of nudism, go swimming in Tzanaki where small caves are ideal if you want to pass unnoticed (with or without your bathing suit)!
Finally what I reminded myself before leaving Astypalaia is that even when everything around is black and dark and ominous, if you look a little further, you will see the light …
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