It seems the further out from the centre, the better and sweeter the fruit. A slower pace, and calmness is the highlight of Astypaliai. You will have chosen to be here but you will not have known what your chosen accommodation will be like. The ferry arrived at 5am, and we were picked up by Kiki in taxi number 2 (there are only 2) and Katerina, our host welcomed us to a sparklingly fresh, clean and beautifully lit villa. Secret lights under the bed reflect from the stone floor, inviting a restful and passionate time.
We chose breakfast at 11am for the first day, as it had been a long ferry ride from Crete, via a number of ports. Katerina and Mikahlis built this group of independent villas (10) in 2007. Mikahlis is a builder and continuously maintains the apartments. Katerina is an islander, although originally born in New York - with excellent English (and Greek of course) our requests were gracefully met. Breakfast was a vast menu, but only an indication, as our host built separate Greek delicacies for us to try each day.
A couple of days resting in absolute comfort, with balcony overlooking the beach 200m below, then we were ready to explore.
Renting a little Fiat was appropriate and organised by our hosts, and delivered to the door. From there we explored the east wing of the butterfly island, and then the west. The longer one looks the deeper the understanding. Bee hives, goats, sheep, orchards, and stones, rocks and volcanic eruptions (some years ago admittedly) create and ongoing intrigue.
Comfortable lounges on the balcony and upstairs kitchen area, cooking facilities and two bathrooms, enabled graceful enjoyment.
Everything in the villa gives the sense of newness and comfort. Lighting, window, fresh air, close or open shutters to catch or avoid the sun, pillows of 3 category of softness to combine for your own personal comfort.
Wardrobe and cupboards to hide away your belongings make you all the more at home. You don't need much, just floppy shorts and a shirt.
Even now, (October) after the height of the season, there are half a dozen excellent restaurants in the main town, or down on the beach. Beware however: you must relax and siesta or explore the countryside during the afternoon, as there is little open during the 2.30pm to 6pm.
Then the sodium road lighting shines on the way to your chosen restaurant, and you can have that honey you say the bee collecting, or fetta from the goat, fish and other seafood fresh from the wharf to the plate.
You will feel like retiring to flop on the magnificent bed. It is surely much better than your own at home.
Should you wish to catch up on a show on Netflix, or listen to your own music from your collection in your Android or iPod, you will enjoy that with the strong wifi, free of charge. However, if TV is your fettish, I can only recommend a foot massage. Greek sitcoms and 1950s 'Bonanza' or other American westerns proliferate, and encourage avoidance.
Take the stroll down the hill to Livadi and have a lunch or dinner on the beachside restaurant(s), and watch the water sparkle.
Remember: you came here to feel the history and present grace of the Aegean and its people, and at Kalderimi, you can explore that.
Our hosts have some books (written and photographic) of the Dodekonise Islands: history, geography and culture. Also some prepared suggestions for touring and exploring.
The Castro (castle) at the top of the town is ancient and open and accessible; from there, you can (as Spike Milligan said) "look backwards to tomorrow".
As Spike also said: "Everybody got to be somewhere" - and if it isn't at Kalderimi, then it should be.
Did I mention the quietitude? One rooster in the Livardi sets the sun to bed and arouses wakening at about 8am - other than that, the wind in the groves sounds like rain on a tin roof and lulls one to sleep, and back to sleep if awakening should intervene at any time.
PAK from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. October 2017
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Kalderimi, a picturesque place with individual houses,witch represents our love and respect for keeping alive the tradition of Astypalaia. Seeing the view towards the sea and the serenity of the landscape fills your heart with joy.The owners has given a lot of love and care for this special place so the customers will feel like being in their own house.Everything to the last detail is taking care of, and awaits you to live in a dream. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kalderimi Hotel Astipalaia