Another gem of the Dodecanese is the upcoming remote island of Astypalea, full of wonders and vibrant hospitality that will remain unforgettable to anyone who visits. Astypalea is located 147 nautical miles from Athens, and so to get there, the ferry trip would take anywhere between 8 and 11 hours. But the island is worth it.
With very few residents, it’s a quiet island full of coves and family-friendly beaches to visit. It has many sights to explore, including Chora with the traditional windmills and an imposing castle, among others. It is a relatively mountainous island with hiking trails and nice views over the Aegean Sea. Most notably, it is known for the feasts, also called “panigiria” where locals and travelers eat, drink, sing and dance together.
Here’s an overview of the best beaches in Astypalea and how to get there to enjoy the island’s crystalline waters:
10 Best Beaches to Visit in Astypalea
One of the most visited beaches on the island, Steno beach, is on a narrow strip of Astypalea. It is a sandy beach with quite shallow waters, ideal for families with young children.
It also has all the amenities one could possibly need, with a few sunbeds, umbrellas, and a beach bar that serves refreshments and drinks and food if you get hungry. There is some space in the unorganized part of the beach to go and spend the day quietly. Keep in mind that there are no trees for natural shade, so go prepared.
You can get to Steno beach by road if you own a private vehicle, or catch the bus there, as there is a public bus stop nearby.
Plakes is a rocky cove located 8 km from Chora. It is a wild landscape with rugged cliffs and mirror-like waters. Ideal for nature lovers who wish to avoid the crowds and the noise of more popular beaches in Astypalea.
You will find no amenities there whatsoever, so go prepared. You can find the location and reach it via a dirt path. Access to the beach isn’t easy because of the sharp rocks. It is worth the climb and the effort.
Among the top beaches in Astypalea is Maltezana, located 9 km south of Chora, the island’s capital. The beach has a long history, and its name is taken from the pirates who had their outpost close by.
It is a very long but narrow beach, ideal for families and couples who wish to enjoy the sun. The beach is mostly of golden thick sand and clean but shallow waters.
There are sunbeds and umbrellas in some parts of the beach, and you will find amenities there. However, you can choose to go unorganized and lounge on the sand. You will find everything you need in the picturesque village there. The white houses and amazing architecture, and many sights, such as the Tallaras Baths with their mesmerizing mosaic near the beach to explore.
You can find Schoinontas beach about 10 km from Analipsi town. It is a sandy beach with mesmerizing waters located west of Maltezana beach. It is an organized beach with many visitors who wish to enjoy its facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, and a beach bar for refreshments and drinks. It also has various accommodation options nearby and restaurants with good local food, so it is considered an ideal choice for families.
You can access Schoinontas by car via the road quite easily.
Pera Gialos Beach (Port)
The closest beach you can find to Astypalea’s capital is Pera Gialos. It is located right next to the port, within walking distance from Chora. It is the place from where the boats depart to other places on the island.
The beach is pebbly, with very clear waters, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. There are sunbeds and umbrellas there and various taverns that offer fish dishes.
You can walk there from Chora, and there is also road access if you’re coming from somewhere else.
Livadia is perhaps the most visited beach in Astypalea, situated near the village of Livadi, which is only a kilometer away from Chora. It is a partly pebbly and partly sandy beach, with blue shallow waters and a view of Chora.
It can offer all necessary amenities, including sand beds and umbrellas, bars, restaurants to get food and drinks, and even water sports facilities for those who want to try something new. There are also some trees that offer shade for those who don’t want to go to the organized side.
Access to the beach is quite easy if you have a car, as a road leads you straight to the shore. You can also walk to Livadia beach from Chora.
You will find Tzanaki beach close to Livadia, one of the most popular beaches in Astypalea. It is a tiny bay of fewer than 100 meters. The pebbled beach is the only officially nudist beach on the island, but it also hosts other non-nudists who wish to enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
It is generally protected from most northern winds, so there are no waves. You won’t find any amenities here, except if you walk to Livadia or come prepared.
Access to the beach can be done via road or by a public bus that stops at Livadia, and you can then hike for 25′ to get to Tzanaki.
Agios Konstantinos Beach
You can find Agios Konstantinos beach about 7 km away from Chora. It is a stunning sandy cove with the brightest blue waters to swim and enjoy. The surroundings are mountainous and rugged, which creates a unique contrast.
It is not a touristic beach, and although it has some amenities, it attracts nature lovers and off-the-grid beach-goers. You can find some sunbeds and umbrellas and a tavern offering fresh seafood by the seaside. Alternatively, you can also find some trees for natural shade.
You can get to the beach via a 1-kilometer dirt road if you have a car.
Tip: keep in mind that this beach is mostly windy, as it is not protected from northern winds, especially from July to August.
One of the most stunning beaches in Astypalea, Vatses is a tropical paradise. You can find it on the southern coast of the island, about 8 km from the capital.
The beach has grey pebbles mixed with sand and rocky cliffs as a background. It’s a beautiful setting with the most azure waters. Although it is a remote beach, it has some umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, as there is a small beach bar operating there. You will also find some trees for natural shade on the western side of the beach.
You can access the beach via a dirt road that passes through a gorge (about 20 minutes drive from Chora.) Another way to access it is by boat if you choose to get on a boat from Pera Gialos port. Nearby, you can find the Cave of Negro full of stalagmites and stalactites to explore. To get to the cave, you must hop on a boat from Chora or Livadia.
Fun fact: This cave was used as a hideout for pirates back in the day. Some coins were discovered there that you can see at the archaeological museum of the island.
Kaminakia beach is considered the best beach in Astypalea, with breathtaking natural beauty. It is a white pebbly shore, with the most turquoise waters diving into serenity.
You will find some amenities offered by a single canteen with refreshments, drinks, and food. You will also find a few sunbeds and umbrellas, but also many trees that offer ample shade.
Access to the beach is difficult and done via a winding dirt road if you own a private vehicle. The beach will reward you, though. It takes about 30 minutes to get there from Chora.