Astypalaia, with its white-washed sugar cube house, narrow alleys and windmills, has a more Cycladic character than Dodecanesean where it belongs to. Astypalaia is a butterfly-shaped island -a narrow isthmus a mere 100 meters wide connecting its two winds- with citrus groves and decent mountainous walking country.
The island was named after Astypalaia, the daughter of Phoenix and Perimede. In the old days the island was also called Ichthyoessa due to its abundant fishing grounds. It was first inhabited in prehistoric times. In 1204 it came under the Venetian rule enforced by the Guerini family until 1537 with the exception of a brief period in time (1269-1310) when the Byzantine Empire took over again. In 1537 the Turks occupied the island. As is the case with the other Dodecanese islands, Astypalaia remained under Turkish rule until 1912; it was then conquered by the Italians, the British, and the Germans until it was finally integrated in Greece in 1948.
Sights of interest on Astypalaia’s island are ancient monuments and archaelogicals sites, castle, churches, monasteries and caves. All tiles are an incredible image that unites the past with the present.
Restaurants, fish taverns, cafes, sweet shops etc, are spread all throughout the town of Astypalaia island and cover a wide variety of tastes. At night, a lit up Chora and castle complete the magical scenery.