Review: Belvedere Studios, Astypalaia Town, Greece

In this review we will stay at Belvedere Studios in Astypalaia Town, the capital of the Greek island of Astypalea.

Arrival

Once I arrived at the remote port of Agios Andreas after an excellent boat journey from Naxos, the host of my accommodation on Astypalaia was already waiting at the dock.

For my three night stay on the island of Astypalaia (often spelled as Astypelea as well) I had reserved a studio at Belvedere Studios. It seemed to offer a boutique hotel-like experience with beautifully decorated rooms and commanding views over Astypalaia Town.

I’m a sucker for a good view, and although the freshly cooked breakfasts and great ratings and reviews were definitely a factor in my decision, in the end it were the pictures of the panorama over Astypalaia Town which was the deciding factor.

Maria, the owner and host of Belvedere Studios, kindly offered a complimentary ride to the accommodation. Given Astypalaia’s main port is located in the middle of nowhere, this was most welcome as I only planned to take a rental car on day two of my stay.

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The tiny port of Agios Andreas which is used by all the main inter-island ferry companies is literally located in the middle of nowhere. Astypalaia Town is around 7 kilometres away by road. ©Paliparan

Belvedere Studios

The building in which the studios are located a few steps down from the main road at the northern edge of Astypalaia Town. The path with the steps has to be one of the prettiest on the island with its red and purple bougainvillea!

Belvedere Studios is located on the left side of the steps, with the path going down further all the way to the small fishing settlement of Pera Gialos, which formerly was Astypalaia’s main harbour.

At the small complex, the entrance to each of the studios is located on a large, shared terrace which has absolutely stunning views over the fishing harbour of Pera Gialos and Astypalaia Town (Chora) with its hilltop castle (Kastro).

Each studio has its own table and chairs, which makes for a perfect spot to eat breakfast, have a nightcap, or just sit during the day to read a book and to admire the panorama.

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Belvedere Studios is located on a path which has to be one of the prettiest of the island. ©Paliparan
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Just look at those gorgeous red and purple bougainvillea! ©Paliparan
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Behind the bougainvillea, you can already see the old town (Chora) of Astypalaia and its famous windmills. Belvedere Studios is located directly on this path on the left-hand side. ©Paliparan
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The shared terrace of Belvedere Studios on which the actual accommodation units are located. ©Paliparan
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The terrace of Belvedere Studios. ©Paliparan
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View over Astypalaia Town from the terrace of Belvedere Studios. There are good reasons why a location just outside of the old town is better than smack bang in the middle of the old town – just look at this view! ©Paliparan
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View from the terrace of the small fishing harbour of Pera Gialos located downhill from Astypalaia Town proper. A Greek Navy ship can be seen in the bay guarding the entrance to the port! ©Paliparan

Studio

The studios are all designed in a kind of Cycladic style (yes, I know that Astypalaia is part of the Dodecanese). Think of whitewashed walls, round archways and touches of deep blue and you get the idea. I thought the studio was nicely decorated and certainly cosy!

For 70.50 euro per night, I had booked a triple room studio, which at the time of booking was the only option which was left. Belvedere Studios also has a full apartment for rent and smaller two-person studios.

Upon entering my studio, you first step foot into the small kitchen, which features a tiny cooker, fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and a sink.

Further down the long but narrow studio is a small dining table and a couch which can be used as a bed for one. Around the corner all the way in the back there is a raised double bed a couple of steps up from the floor.

Although I certainly liked the design of it and had a great night of sleep, it might be a bit narrow for people who don’t like to be too close to their significant other at night or who need a lot of personal space.

Power sockets were plentiful throughout the studio, even though there was unfortunately one missing directly at the double bed, which I always think is a minor negative point.

WiFi internet worked fast and was certainly reliable, both inside the studio and outside on the terrace. The studio also featured a small TV and air-conditioning, which I barely had to use given that the design of the studios already ensured natural cooling.

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The entrance to my studio. ©Paliparan
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A look inside my studio as seen from the kitchen. The couch which can be used as a bed for one can be seen on the left. The double bed is around the corner to the right. ©Paliparan
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The small but reasonably well-equipped kitchen of my studio. Given that Greece is all about dining out in the local taverns I didn’t really use it except for the fridge! ©Paliparan
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Looking from the back of the studio to the kitchen and front door. ©Paliparan
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In the back of the studio there is a couch which can be used as a bed for one. ©Paliparan
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Around the corner, some steps lead up towards a double bed, which basically is a mattress on a raised plateau. ©Paliparan
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The double bed was comfortable and certainly cosy, although some might find it too narrow. ©Paliparan

Bathroom

The bathroom door is located in the front of the studio right after the kitchen. Just like the studio itself, the bathroom was long and narrow, although that meant it had the advantage of the shower being located at the other far end than the toilet and sink.

As I wrote before, a common problem in many Greek accommodations is that showers do not have a good partition and are thus prone to the floor being flooded after you take a shower. Fortunately, that was not the situation here!

Just like the rest of the studio, the bathroom was perfectly clean.

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Bathroom of my studio. ©Paliparan
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Bathroom. ©Paliparan

Breakfast

Breakfast was not included with the room rate but could be added to the booking for an extra surcharge of 7.50 EUR per person per night. As online reviews were all raving about the quality of the breakfast, I decided to go for it as well.

The breakfast is served each morning by Maria at your time of choosing. You can either eat it inside your studio or outside on the large terrace, which was my preferred spot because of the great views. There is plenty of space on the terrace to move your table from the shade into the morning sun, if you like.

The cooked breakfasts certainly did not disappoint. There is no menu option, so you basically have to tell Maria in advance if you have any dietary wishes or if there is anything in particular which you like or don’t like. Given that I basically eat everything, I just told her to surprise me with some Greek delicacies.

Maria justifiably prides herself on the quality of her homecooked breakfasts, for which she mostly uses locally sourced, organic ingredients. In fact, most of them actually come out of her own garden what she told me!

On the first morning, my breakfast consisted out of a salad, some bread, boiled eggs, homemade jam and cookies, as well as some soft, feta-like cheese.

The second day, the breakfast served was entirely different, as this time I got some Greek yoghurt with banana, some kind of deep fried bread and a homemade chicken meat pastry – which was especially delicious.

It made for the perfect start of each day and I can certainly recommend taking your breakfast at Belvedere Studios for an authentic touch of homemade Greek breakfast foods.

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I loved eating my breakfast on the large terrace. ©Paliparan
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Breakfast at Belvedere Studios. ©Paliparan
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Breakfast at Belvedere Studios. ©Paliparan

Terrace

I absolutely loved my stay at Belvedere Studios. Sure, Maria’s homemade breakfasts and general hospitality as well as the nice studio all played a role, but what I loved most was the view, of which I simply could not get enough.

The view is perhaps even prettier in the night when the town lights reflect onto the whitewashed building walls and when the hilltop kastro shines in the floodlights.

It was simply an amazing place to sit down in the late evening with a bottle of wine, just taking in the surroundings.

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View at dusk over the old town of Astypalaia. ©Paliparan
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View from Belvedere Studios over the Aegean Sea. ©Paliparan
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Astypalaia Town at night. ©Paliparan
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Astypalaia Town at night. ©Paliparan
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Enjoying a good bottle of red (from Domaine Skouras, highly recommended winery) while enjoying the view from the terrace. ©Paliparan
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Selfie on the terrace of Belvedere Studios with Astypalaia Town as gorgeous backdrop. ©Paliparan

Location

Although Belvedere Studios is located on the northern outskirts of town and thus not smack bang in the middle of Astypalaia Town, I still loved the location.

First of all, you need to stay a bit out of the town centre if you want to have full panorama views like these. It is also more quiet and you can easily park your (rental) car nearby on the main road, a bonus given that the small winding streets and alleys of the old town are car free.

If you walk the steps down for some 10 minutes, you will find yourself in the small fishing settlement of Pera Gialos at the foot of Astypalaia Town (Chora). Although in distance this is actually the shortest path to Astypalaia Town as well, you would have to climb again all the way up from Pera Gialos to Chora at the end, making it rather unpractical.

You are therefore better off to walk along the meandering but flat main road to Chora, a pleasant walk which takes about 15 minutes on foot or just 3 minutes by car. A supermarket can be found a similar walking distance away in the opposite direction along the main road.

In short

If you are looking for a great accommodation in Astypalaia Town, look no further than Belvedere Studios, which is located a short walking distance away from the old town on a lovely bougainvillea-covered path.

The actual studios are nicely decorated and offer a charming, cosy and quintessential Greek décor. Best of all are the grand views from the terrace over Astypalaia Town, something which you will surely enjoy both in daylight hours and at night.

Another factor which clearly sets Belvedere Studios apart are Maria’s homecooked breakfasts, which make for a great way to start your morning. Maria in general is extremely hospitable and helpful when it comes to anything which you might need or want to know about the island.

Although there certainly are some other great accommodation options on Astypalaia, you really cannot go wrong staying at Belvedere Studios.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘A Dodecanese Dream: Summer Island Hopping in Greece‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Back in the Skies – My First International Flight in the Age of Corona
2. Review: Kimon Hotel, Athens, Greece
3. Exploring Plaka: Through the Winding Streets of the Old Town of Athens
4. Climbing up the Acropolis: Visiting Athens’ Most Famous Sight
5. Review: Skyserv Melina Merkouri Lounge Athens Airport
6. Review: Sky Express (ATR 42) Athens to Naxos
7. Review: Studios Zafiri, Naxos Town, Greece
8. Naxos Town: The Gorgeous Historic Heart of the Cyclades
9. Review: Blue Star Ferries Naxos to Astypalaia
10. Review: Belvedere Studios, Astypalaia Town, Greece (current chapter)

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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