For an off-the-beaten-track beach holiday in Greece, head to Astypalea. This tiny Dodecanese island is known as the Butterfly of the Aegean, thanks to its distinctive shape and eye-popping beauty. Discover the best hotels before you visit, and book your stay with Culture Trip.
Astypalea is easily recognisable, thanks to its hilltop 13th-century castle, surrounded by sugar-cube houses and blue painted doors. If you’re looking for a lively party island, then this might not be the spot for you. However, if traditional tavernas, quaint cafes and near-empty beaches are more your jam, then book one of these hotels on this lesser-known Greek islet.
Pylaia Boutique Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Pylaia Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Pylaia Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia
There are few better ways to wake up in the morning than to the smell of freshly baked bread, straight out of a wood-fired oven. That’s partly why the Pylaia Hotel breakfasts are legendary, but the local ingredients also help. Try Astypalean delicacies, such as traditional yellow flatbreads and crispy peinirli (boat-shaped pizza, filled with cheese and bacon). The hotel balconies offer incredible views of the Aegean, whilst the spa’s body scrub with olive and grape seeds will leave you feeling completely blissed out.
Just 200yd (183m) away from Chora, the main town on Astypalea, the adults-only Oneiro Suites are made up of 12 luxury apartments, nine of which have their own Jacuzzi. If you really want to indulge, one suite has its own private pool with a panoramic sea view. Here, the focus is on relaxation, but, if you can drag yourself away from your balcony, which overlooks the castle, try the lobster at the Akti Restaurant close by.
Check out the Venetian castle, visible from the hotel’s pool, before wandering 400yd (366m) for a dip in the sea off beautiful Livadi Beach. The Cycladic-style apartments at the Tholaria Boutique Hotel all have powerful jet showers and a fully equipped kitchen. From here, you can enjoy a cocktail on the sun terrace or discover Astypalea’s nightlife in Chora, which is 350yd (320m) away.
The best way to soak up panoramic views of Chora is from your private Jacuzzi at the Astypalaia Palace Hotel – or your spacious veranda if you’d rather not get wet. Beyond your private spa suite, there are several attractions within walking distance of the hotel. After a day’s sightseeing, splash about in the pool, or enjoy a coffee from the coffee maker in your room. Plus, the ever-changing breakfasts are immense.
Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
courtesy of Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel / Expedia
More than just a hotel, as the name suggests, the ecofriendly Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel is also a gallery, exhibiting work from both new and established Greek artists. The pictures that adorn the walls are influenced by the Aegean Sea and Astypalea itself. If you’re feeling inspired, there’s an art shop on site. The hotel, which offers fully equipped apartments and studios, also holds wellbeing sessions by the sea and regular themed nights.
With just 12 light and airy rooms on offer, the Chrysalis Boutique Hotel was designed to be an intimate, blissful retreat. You certainly won’t go hungry with “mum” Nina serving up a generous breakfast of homemade delicacies, her own jams and freshly baked pies. Her honey-topped dumplings are worth the trip alone! The hotel is a five-minute drive from the centre of Chora and a 15-minute drive from the best beaches on the island.
At the Mourás Resort, you’ll be treated more like a family member than a guest. The owner, Nina, loves welcoming visitors into the kitchen to cook alongside her. All guests are invited to join the family for a pool-side dinner, but, if it’s space you’re craving, curl up with a book in one of the gorgeous wooden swings instead. The hotel has two elegant maisonettes, both of which have sensational views from their terraces.
With its central location, the Andromeda Resort is the perfect base from which to explore Astypalea. The resort, which has eight rooms, looks directly at the castle, so the views from the balcony are spectacular. If you want to explore the former Venetian fortress on foot, it’s just 450yd (412m) away. The Archipelago Cafe and Bar, where you can dig into delicious freshly made hazelnut pie, is also close by.
Stuffed with traditional antiques and artefacts, the four studios and four cottages that make up the Studios Kilindra are designed to resemble local mansions from the last century. Just a three-minute walk to the city centre, the hotel is practically hanging off a cliff below the entrance of the castle. Try the hot-stone massage with basalt stones or the gua sha facial to help you truly unwind.
You can expect a warm welcome at Anatoli Luxury Studios and a little surprise gift each day of your stay – from homemade treats to fresh fruit. Kick back in either a fresh, modern suite or studio. Both are self-catered, but a buffet breakfast is included and offers a huge variety of local specialities. Pera Gialos Beach is just 0.6 miles (1km) away.