Astypalea’s imposing castle was built by the Venetian Quirini family early in the 15th century. For the next 300 years, up to 4000 people lived within this ever-expanding precinct, sheltered from pirate attacks. Its last inhabitants left in 1956, after an earthquake caused the stone houses integrated into its walls to collapse. The only entrance is through a gateway that burrows beneath the Church of the Virgin of the Castle; the magical Church of Agios Georgios lies beyond.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dodecanese attractions

1. Archaeological Museum

0.33 MILES

Pera Gialos' small archaeological museum, set back from the sea at the start of the road up to Hora, holds treasures found across the island, from…

2. Livadi Beach


Astypalea’s most popular beach stands at the mouth of a lush valley in the first bay south of Hora. An easy 20-minute walk down from the old town, it’s…