Astypalaia (or Astypalea or Astipalaia, Αστυπάλαια) is a Greek island with 1.238 residents (2001 Census). It belongs to the Dodecanese, an island group of twelve major islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The coasts of Astypalea are rocky with many small pebly beaches. A small band of land of roughly 10 kilometres, almost separates the island in two sections: the outer (southwest) and inner (northeast) halves. The capital and main harbour of the island is Astypalea or Hora, as it is called by the locals. Other settlements include Analipsi (also known as Maltezana), Vathy and Livadi.
There is evidence that Astypalaia was colonised in the Minoan era. Later, the island would be colonised by settlers from Megara. It shared the fate of the other Dodecanese islands throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods and was captured by the Venetians in the early 13th century. The Venetians were succeeded by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century.
Astypalaia participated in the Greek War of Independence of 1821 but was left out of the Greek state when independence was actually achieved nine years later. It was taken by the Italians in 1911 ands was finally freed and became part of Greece, after World War II.