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Astros is a remarkably charming little beach town that's about 30 kilometers from Nafplio. As far as the description of the ride goes, it's the same route that you take when riding out to Leonidio. I'm doing a write up for it just to provide the map visuals and the ride data you see to the right. If you're not up for the Leonidio century route but still want to enjoy a dynamic, coastal ride with good turns and views, this is the one to do. And even if you have some reservations about a ride like this, there's a number of towns between Napflio and Astros to stop in and grab a snack, hydrate, and rest in.

Astros is very historically relevant, as it was built during the Greek war of independence. It is also the home of the Second National Assembly of Hellenes, a body representing the Greeks who opposed the Ottoman occupation. This body produced the first constitution of modern Greece.

Astros has a long coastline that runs southwest of the town, and is excellent for swimming as the quality of the waters is superior. The area just outside the harbor is almost like a boardwalk, with many bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as various tourist shops as Astros too is quite the summer destination. In fact I'll admit, it's got much more beach area than Nafplio does and it begins just outside where the small harbor enclosure ends.

From the info sign outisde the Castle:

"The castle of Astros was built on the Nissi peninsula during the Middle Ages (1256) and was initially called Castella de la Estella (star castle), due to the peninsula's asteroid shape. It was almost square shaped, had two gates, and was nearly impenetrable, thanks to the steep rocky relief. Its defensive character shows in the reminaing 6m tall wall, the battlement on the eastern side, as well as in the fillets for firearms in the south side. During the Greek Independence War (1824-1825) the castle was fortified by the three Zafeiropoulos brothers, merchants that build their homes there. From the three brother's homes, most important are of Panos and Constantinos Zafeiropoulos, as the third (Ioannis) is saved in a bad condition and looks like the second one typologically and morphologically."

It is truly beyond me why that last sentence is included in there, but..that's what the sign says. You can in fact ride up to the castle and walk around. Aside from the fact that you're inside an almost 800 year old castle, you also have 360 degree views of the dramatic landscape..270 degrees of which are sea with mountains in the background. In one direction you can see down the coast to Leonidio, in another you can look back and see Nafplio, and no matter where your gaze falls, you inhaling the spectacular and inspiring form of geological magnificence.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this page, the ride out to Astros is remarkable. In fact I remember the first year that I had my bike in Napflio, some locals told me to head out that way, and specifically said "You'll be dumbfounded." And I found that I was in fact, dumbfounded...amazed in the literal sense of the word by the expansive blue and the rocky coastline across the gulf. The road itself is of excellent pavement that makes for smooth, fast-rolling rides. And while I'd argue that the entire ride is a lookout point, there are a few areas with little wooden gazebos that you can stop at. In fact, not stopping at all for photos might be the hardest part of this route.

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