europe, greece, dodecanese, astypalea island, vatses bay, beach
There’s only one proper road on Asytpalea, the westernmost island in the Dodecanese, and even that peters out in the middle of nowhere. Dirt tracks lead to isolated pebble beaches such as Vatses and Kaminakia. (In Kaminakia, stop by Linda’s for farm-to-table fare that includes an excellent lemony goat stew and stuffed vine leaves.) It’s a lovely hike from the Monastery of Agios Ioannis—the most sublime spot for sunset—through a lush ravine to a deserted cove. To really get away from it all, take one of the wooden boats from Pera Gialos to Koutsomiti and Kounoupes, two tiny islands connected by a double-sided beach with fluorescent turquoise waters. Locals go there to collect rock salt after a windy day.