1. Enjoy Astypalea’s beauties avoiding the crowds.
You do not need much to love Astypalea, usually a visit is enough. And what’s better than avoiding the summer madness of July and August, and discover the real, authentic Astypalea off the beaten track. Take walks around the little whitewashed cobbled streets of Chora amongst locals mingling about and chatting and get those magical photographs of the amazing sunrise or sunset from the top at the Venetian Castle of Querini, without having to dodge in between thickets of selfie sticks. Or just wander down to the sea and revel in the serenity of beaches seemingly made just for you.
2. Enjoy a sense of true island life.
Miles away from glitzy Mykonos and tourist-packed Santorini, Astypalean people pride themselves on their hospitality and love of strangers or foreigners visiting their island, honoring the Greek word “φιλοξενία” (Philoxenia = hospitality). It is not unlikely to end up to a local traditional café, known as kafenio, having tsipouro drinks with the locals, learning old time stories and discovering Greek culture at its best.
Especially for solo travelers, you are likely to be befriended by locals, who wish to show off their island. There’s nothing like an experienced and free tour guide when it comes to seeing the best parts of Astypalea, so take full opportunity of this solo travel benefit and enjoy your time away from the crowds.
3. Astypalea in colors you’ve never seen before.
Walking around colorful alleys turns into a pleasant experience thanks to flowers, thyme, basil and bushes blooming everywhere. Compared to the dry summer landscape, Astypalea turns into a greenish tapestry dotted with herbs and wildflowers during spring.
4. Perfect temperatures for alternative activities.
Are you fed up of long, cold, dark winters? April and May are considered by some, the best months to visit Astypalea as the weather is just perfect; not too warm, not too cold with an average temperature of around 20°C throughout spring.
The hiking and cycling seasons also start. The local hiking group called “Pardalo Katsiki” will help you explore the wondrous nature and beautiful landscapes of Astypalea. It’s the perfect time also to rent a bike (regular or electric) at Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel, the only certified bike friendly accommodation on Astypalea, offering a friendly environment and equipment to those who wish to explore Astypalea on foot or two wheels.
5. Witness and participate in unique local Easter traditions.
Easter is another period to consider visiting Astypalea for, the weather is warm enough, herds of tourists haven’t yet arrived, and locals are happy to welcome visitors to join the celebrations. Every night you will feel the energy in local churches, see fireworks, share smiles and cheers all around, and participate in delicious culinary traditions and dances and have lazy sunny days by the sea.
If you have never considered spending the Orthodox Easter in Astypalea, then you are missing a remote and unspoilt piece of heaven. Just keep in mind that like Catholic Easter, the date of Orthodox Easter varies yearly and this year it falls on 19th April 2020.
Article by Maria Mavroudi & Carolina Alkalai from Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel, Astypalea Island.