One thing for sure is that in Astypalaia visitors will find fresh sea foods and fish in abundance. Apart from what the sea has to offer, here you will also find a great variety of local products from the cultivation of the land which yields to very tempting recipes to try. Do try the local Kakavia, the octopus balls and the “pougia” which is a pie staffed with cheese and honey. Also lentils with vinegar, staffed vine leaves and any of the great variety of local cheeses, such as anthotiro, mizithra and ladotiri. Last but not least don’t leave the island without buying a jar of the local thyme honey.
Visit Casa Di Vino next to the town hall, for a shopping spree of the local delicacies. Mrs Ellie Sabatakaki has become famous for her homemade marmalades (especially the mandarin flavor one which you will not find elsewhere!), the hand made preserved fruits in sweet syrup, the kitrinokouloura and the pastelli, various local sweet pastry creations, thyme honey and other types of rare honey too. Don’t miss out on the specially prepared liqueur with herbs of the island, the thyme liqueur and apple liqueur. Last but not least the homemade limoncello. (Chora, tel. 22430 61243, www.astypalia.gr)
To continue your shopping spree of local products and delicacies, visit also the Workshop of Traditional Products of Astypalaia “Eliana bakery” in Chora and at 300 meters from the main square. (Chora, tel. 22430 61633, www.eliana-bakery.gr).
In Pera Yialos a good choice is also the shop of traditional products “Glikia Astipalaia” (Sweet Astipalaia). For information call 22430 62122.
Local Customs & Festivities
The Festival of Astypalaia for the Arts and Civilization presents a plethora of theatrical films, concerts and exhibitions which you can gladly add to your agenda as a spectator while you are there.
The largest bazaar with stands selling products and souvenirs, is devoted to Virgin Mary and takes place during the most religious festivity of the year between the 14-16 of August around the Church of Panagia Portaitissa. Equally interesting the festivity bazaars of St. Elias (19-20 July), of the ‘Metamorfosis tou Sotiros” (5-6 August), of St. John (28 August) and that of Panagia Poulariani also dedicated to Virgin Mary (7-8 September).