Perhaps Astypálea isn't known for its beaches, but I think there are several beaches worth mentioning:
To me the nicest beach is Kaminiakia, situated at the west part on the west wing of the island. About 100 meters wide and with nice sand it's a good choice for spending some hours. Unfortunately there is only one tiny tree where one person can get some shadow, but close to the beach there's a tavern, which offer some shadow. This tavern is closed out of season, maybe all season, because the building wasn't specially maintained. Clothing is rather optional, at least off season, and if you set the standard (I did!)
To get there you have two choices:
- Get someone to take you there by kaíki (usually a small fishing boat). The disadvantage of this is that you arrive way to late to the beach and spend only a few hours at the beach. But of course, if you are made of money, you can hire a boat by your self!
- Rent a scooter and drive on rather bad dirty roads. You have to drive pass Livádia and when you are on a level with Tzanáki beach, you take to the right towards the small village of Armenochori. Before you reach the village you have to turn to the left on another road, that leads to Kaminiakia beach. This last part is rather difficult to drive, because of the bad quality of the road, at least the season of 1996. They where trying to improve the road with a big excavator. Despite the difficulties I prefer this alternative, because you can decide what time you want to get there, and how long you want to stay!
If you like to visit a beach close to houses, you would choose the beach at Livádia. I've never tried it myself, since I prefer some seclusion, but if you keep your swimsuit on it is a nice alternative, with several taverns within close reach. The beach is mostly of sand.
By continue past Livádia, you will find Tzanáki beach, with pebbles and possibility to get shadows close to some rocks. On this beach clothing is very optional. A nice choice if you like to expose all of your skin to the sun and water.
At the end of this road you will find Agios Konstantinos beach, also with pebbles and her you also find shadows under some orchards. There is a tavern situated in connection to the beach, but I doubt that it is in operation, at least not off season. You have a very nice view towards Chora and belonging Kástro from this beach. If you reach this beach before anyone else and stay at the end, you can drop your swimsuit.
There are two beaches between Tzanáki and Agios Konstantinos, Moura and Papou, but I am sorry to say that I didn't find any road or path to those beaches. It seems likely that you have to pass some private property to get there. Of course a boat come handy if you want to investigate those beaches, but I can't advise you about the quality of those two beaches.
Not far from Skala, to the north, you will find several beaches close to the road. I never tried them out, because of the road only some meters away.
I've been told about a nice beach situated on the waist of the island, close to the airport. According to Nikolas Kontaratou this is the best beach on the island. I have to try it out someday.