Astypalea is an isolated island with an area of 96.85 km2 with about 1600 inhabitants. While it belongs to the Dodecanese group, geographically and historically it is closer associated with the Cyclades. Chora is the larger town in Astypalea. It surrounds the Quirini castle.
The town is charming with its white washed buildings and many nooks and crannies. Many of the old buildings are in disrepair and, like in so many other Greek islands, are unfortunately not being repaired but are being replaced by concrete monsters. People have become too affluent to want to keep up the old houses. This is still a nice, off the beaten track island, well worth a visit.
Near the castle is the lovely church of Panayia Portaitisa. The view is wonderful. Walk through the old ramparts and then down through the town and back to Skala.