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Forming one of the Dodecanese group of islands, the Greek island of Astypalea is located in the south eastern Aegean Sea. It is one of 12 islands that make up the Dodecanese and is around 18 km long and 13 km wide, at its widest point. The island's coast is rather rocky with a number of pebble beaches. The island it separated into two sections by a narrow strip of land, roughly 100 m wide, at Sterno. The island's capital and main harbour is the town of Astypalea, or Chora as the locals call it. A new harbour has been constructed at Agios Andreas where ferry connections to Piraeus and the other islands of the Dodecanese can be found.
The island is connected to the port of Piraeus and also to the other islands in the Dodecanese, the Cycladic islands and to Crete. The journey to the island will either be by a conventional ferry of by Highspeed ferry depending on the day of travel and the ferry company you choose to travel with. Journey times to the island are between 10-12 hours by conventional ferry or 6-9 hours by Highspeed ferry.
The Greek city and port of Piraeus is one of the largest ports in the whole of the Mediterranean, and the third largest in the world, and has become a major hub for the ferry network that spans the Aegean Sea. Piraeus is an important city in its own right despite the fact that it is frequently considered to be a suburb of Athens, the Greek capital, which is only a very short distance away. Despite its proximity to Athens, Piraeus' waterfront has its own distinct appearance and visitors will see that the most appealing parts of the city are located around its eastern quarter, alongside both Mikrolimano Harbour and Zea Marina. A popular event in Piraeus is the Ecocinema International Film Festival which is held annually in late February and is where a number of films are screened at the Atticon Cinema and the Cineac Cinema, which are both located in the city's Town Hall Square.
Full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, the waterfront district was greatly redeveloped in time for the Athens Olympics and as a result a new harbour front promenade was created that is lined with trees and passes the medieval city walls. The walls serve as a reminder and as an insight into the city's rich past.