Several footpaths to follow, areas rich in diversity and magnificent sceneries… All these constitute the ideal choice for alternative tourism in Astypalaia! There are various paths even for those who have only recently decided that they are interested in sports such as mountaineering, hiking and rock climbing. A group of rock climbers from the Friends of Mountain and Sea Association did important voluntary work, highlighting all the alternative activities for the guests on our island!
The Negro’s Grotto in the area of Vatses, with its astonishing formations of stalactites and stalagmites. You can reach this place by boat, departing from Chora or the area of Analipsi and landing on the sandy beach of Vatses (the beach is quite steep, with intense wave action). Then, you have to walk to the cave up on the mountain. The course is quite demanding, especially for beginners.
The Cave of the Dragon, in Vathi. The route is quite difficult and it is only recommended to experienced climbers to explore the area on foot.
There are several interesting paths, such as the one heading to the Monastery of Panagia Poulariani, which is also accessible by car, and the remarkable pathway leading to the monastery of Agios Ioannis (St. John). This pathway ends to the homonymous beach, which lies at the foothill. Access to Agios Ioannis is also possible by car. From this point, you can descend the ravine and, in the end of the course, when you will have reached and enjoyed the lovely beach, one of the tourist boats can pick you up – if you timely arrange it. They depart for the arranged day-trips from the port of Pera Yalos.
Someone will find at least twenty climbing routes on the island, mapped caves and signposted footpaths, apart from the various other choices that this land ungrudgingly offers! The combination of excellent traditional food with relaxation, the beautiful scenery and the wealth of choices for alternative tourism constitutes a paradise for hikers, mountaineers and the lovers of nature!