Known as the ‘butterfly island’ for its characteristic shape that can be seen when viewed from above, the off-the-beaten-track island of Astypalaia in the southern Aegean region has grown in popularity over the past few years and even recently starred on Brazilian TV station Rede Mais Familia that reaches 90 million homes in the country.

Technically a member of the Dodecanese Island chain, Astypalaia more closely resembles Cycladic islands and has been an increasing draw over the past few years for tourists looking for ‘something different’.

With its picturesque whitewashed houses and windmills, large environmentally protected Natura 2000 area and commitment to electrification and sustainability through the ‘e-Astypalea program’, the island promotes the concept of sustainable tourism and living, and was promoted on the tv show for these characteristics.

Mayor of the island Nikos Komineas noted the 21pct increase in air arrivals year on year compared to September of 2022 and said that the island is now also visited by Americans, not just Europeans. In a bid to keep the balance, the mayor noted that the island resists mass tourism and instead embraces tourists looking for history, tradition, gastronomy, sustainability and natural beauty.