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ASTYPALAIA ISLAND

GREECE

Astypalaia Island might not be as famous as Mykonos or Santorini but it is definitely an equally beautiful Greek island located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. There are numerous things that make this island an ideal relaxing holiday destination. When I say this, some of you might imagine long sandy beaches with fancy sun-beds, fancy drinks and a well-known dj playing some of the latest hits. This is far from reality.

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The beaches are beautiful but in a totally different way - in a simple way. They are small, cute, and full of sea-shells and there are barely any facilities. In most cases there isn’t even a proper street leading to them so they are kind of secret - and I am going to keep these secret so no beach names on this post, just ask the locals who are always genuinely happy and ready to help you! So explore and enjoy nature in the simplest way! Just grab a towel, your flip-flops and a bottle of beer from a local mini market.

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The quiet natural untouched landscape will allow you to forget everything and focus on the amazing crystal clear blue water. I rarely use the term amazing but in this case it is more than appropriate! The water is so transparent that you will most probably end up observing beautiful fish while they swim around you from the very first second you enter the water. 

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While driving from beach to beach – yes you definitely need a car in order to properly explore the island- there is no way to miss the wild thyme bushes which grow across the island. It is said that wild thyme indicates pure atmosphere so no surprise that entire hills of the island are ‘painted’ purple in summer. Bees love it too so before leaving the island don’t forget to buy locally produced thyme honey!

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And speaking about locally produced products, food is super tasty in a simple way as well! Don’t even try to find any Michelin-starred restaurants. Just choose family run restaurants by the sea. My favourite one is 'Astyfagia' for fresh octopus, local cheese and fish. 

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Try 'Krokodeilos’ restaurant in Livadi area for barefoot beach dinner under the stars and enjoy 'kokkini salad’. And try 'Akti’ restaurant for a romantic dinner with a magical view.  

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But if you are up for a more 'adventurous’ lunch go on a day cruise with some of the local fishing boats. If you are lucky enough you will enjoy a bbq on a remote beach with loads of freshly caught fish and octopus. There is no website to guide you regarding this as it is only the locals that can take you to those magical places - it would not be so authentic otherwise! So don't hesitate to ask when you are on the island. 

And of course you can finish your day in a peaceful stylish place for dinner, drinks or just a good night's rest, at Pylaia Boutique Hotel .

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Before going to bed, don’t forget to explore ‘Chora’ the main town of the island. Apart from the beaches, little towns are also very picturesque in their own simple way on this island. White and blue dominates. Everyday objects have been transformed into flower pots or door decorations. Shop handmade wooden signs are also a piece of art. 

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So yes, Astypalaia Island is my ideal holiday destination because it always reminds me that sometimes we might be too busy trying to create or find beautiful things but actually beauty is simply all around us. If you look, you see it!

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