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Astypalea (Introduction): Astypalea, with its white houses, narrow alleys and windmills is an island with a more Cycladic character than Dodecanesen.
The name Astypalea means «old city». The «butterfly-shaped» island has a size of just 97 square kilometers with 110km. of coastline, while its population counts no more than 1,400 residents.
An ancient name of the island was «Ichtyonessa»-meaning «fishy island» and fishing continues to be very good. Carlos the pelican, the island’s mascot, would undoubtedly agree to that.
Astypalea is a delight to explore with rock coasts and many small pebble-strewn beaches. The rippled coastline is nothing more than a game between land and sea. In about the middle of the island, the land narrows so much that a strip of land, (100m. in width), connects the two parts. «Steno», as it is called, divides Astypalea into the eastern and western part.
Until the 19th century, Chora, the capital, was the only settlement of the contemporary years of the island. The biggest of Astypalea’s settlements are those of Livadi and Analypsi or Maltezana, both created during the Italian period. The airport of the island distances just 10km. from Chora.
Two of the most beautiful beaches, Kaminakia and Vatses, can be reached by the tourist boats which set off from Pera Yalos and Maltezana. In Vatses there is also a cave with stalactites and stalagmites.

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