Until the 19th century, Chora (City) was the only settlement of the contemporary years of Astypalaia. The other settlements which exist today were created in the uncultivated spots of the island.
The biggest of these settlements are Livadi and Analypsi or Maltezana, created during the Italian years. Most of the island's life is concentrated in Chora.
The rugged coastline of Astypalaia is nothing more than an endless game between land and sea. In the middle of the island approximately, the land narrows so much that a strip just 10 m wide connects the two sections. The Steno, as it is known by locals, divides Astypalaia into the eastern Mesa Nisi (middle island) and the western 'Exo Nisi' (outer island).