Churches and monasteries are spread throughout the island of Astypalea that can definitely reward all visitors and adventurous travelers. The picturesque chapels of Astypalea lie hidden in the corners among the whitewashed houses and mark the historical past of this place. Most of the churches in Astypalea are dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The church of Panagia Portaitissa is the gem of Astypalea with its beautiful bell tower dominating the main town and one of the most beautiful religious sites in the Dodecanese. It appears on the foothills of the Venetian castle of Gouerini, in Rodia village and dates back to 18th century. Right next to the church is the Ecclesiastical Museum of Astypalea.
The church of Megali Panagia is built right at the castle in Chora and is part of a complex that consists of five small churches which offer an amazing view to the Aegean sea. Some kilometers from the main town of Astypalea, between two steep slopes, stands the picturesque monastery of Agios Ioannis overlooking the endless sea. After some meters, you will find a beautiful sandy beach.
The church of Panagia Poulariani is found on the way to Vathy and the saint protector of the sailors. According to the locals, the rock formation forms a shape of the Virgin embracing her child. This church can be accessed by boat or on foot.
Other chapels scattered in the island are Agios Dimitrios and Agios Panteleimon.
Monastery of Saint John
The Monastery of Saint John is located 12 km west of Chora. Nestled between two steep slopes and offering a fantastic outlook at the islets of Ktenia, Pontikoussa, and Ofidousa, the monastery stands on a hill next to an old castle. Gardens and streams below the church further enhance the beauty of the landscape.
Church of Panagia Portaitissa
The church of Panagia Portaitissa stands beneath the Castle in Chora. It is all white and it is considered among the most beautiful in the Dodecanese. The church was built in the middle of the 18th century and next to it, there is a small ecclesiastical collection with old icons.
Church of Panagia Poulariani
The church of Panagia Poulariani is located in a remote region on the eastern side of the island. There is a natural rock formation here in the shape of the Virgin embracing a child. This church can be accessed only by boat or on foot.