Amorgos is the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades island group, and the nearest island to the neighboring Dodecanese island group. Along with several neighboring islets, the largest of which is Nikouria Island, it comprises the municipality of Amorgos, which has a population of nearly 1,900 (year of 2001).
Due to the location of Amorgos opposite the ancient beaches of the Ionian towns of Militos, Alikarnassos and Ephesos, it became one of the first places from which the Ionians passed through to the Cyclades Islands and onto the Greek mainland. The existence of three independent cities, preserved to this day, with autonomous constitution and the same currency, the size and artistic works of the walls surrounding the city of Arkesini, the ancient towers whose remains are scattered all over the island, the ancient tombs, the stone tools, the inscriptions, the vases and other antiquities are all evidence of the size of the ancient civilization on Amorgos.
This photo of Katapola Bay, Amorgos is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Katapola, one of Amorgos’ two harbours, is a small, vibrant community, drenched in the cycladic sun. Its waterfront is lined with cafes, tavernas and moorings for fishing boats and visiting sailing boats. On the hill above Katapola, the excavations of the ancient city of Minoa are of great interest to the visitor as they provide the thread to a continuous 3000 year existence. Next to Katapola, you find the small hamlet of Rahidi, dominated by the large church of Agios Georgios. The most picturesque part of the bay is the hamlet of Ksilokeratidi, opposite Katapola, with its pretty narrow streets and its traditional tavernas.
Ormos Egialis is also called Aegiali and is the second port of Amorgos. It is set in a large sweeping bay, providing a view from Tholaria and the Aegialis Hotel above. There are frequent ferries to and from Piraeus, as well as a daily ferry to Naxos.
Chora of Amorgos
This is the medieval capital of Amorgos, situated 400m above sea level. It is an amazing village hidden behind the mountains, dominated by a 13th century Venetian castle, as usual in Greek called “Kastro”.
Surrounded by picturesque windmills and beautiful Byzantine and early Christian churches, whitewashed houses and rough stone paved little streets, this setting has a wonderful and special atmosphere.
The main square, Plateia Loza, is quite charming, with its little cafes lying under the shadow of the huge eucalyptus trees located in the middle of the square. Chora has the only post office on the island, an OTE building (Greek telephone company), a police and medical centre.
There are no hotels in Chora, so the only way to spend the night is to look for one of the many rooms to let. Chora also has some nice places to eat, with authentic Greek tastes, but also to drink and to enjoy a superb night. From Chora, buses depart for Hozoviotissa Monastery.
Things to see
The spectacular monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is situated on the cliff side, northeast of Chora. Opening time for visitors every day from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visitors have to be dressed decently in order to enter (no shorts, small skirts etc.)
Things to do in Amorgos
Hiking: The beautiful, rocky landscape of Amorgos with its sea-view mountains invites you to walk and hike and enjoy both the rich flora and fantastic views at every turn of your trail. You don’t need to be a mountaineer to experience the islands secrets and to discover the rich world of the herbs on Amorgos island.
Trail from the Monastery of Hozoviotissa to Aegiali port: This nearly 12km long trail is definitely one of the most impressive walks on Amorgos with beautiful views. It will take you around four hours of time and you can combine your walk with visiting the Monastery of Hozoviotissa (go there by bus from Katapola) and finish your day with a swim on Aegiali Beach and an evening dinner in one of the taverns at the harbour and return to Katapola with the evening bus (about 45 minutes) or with the Express Skopelítis boat (about 1 hour).
Diving: Located on the easternmost island of the Cyclades, Amorgos, you will find the dive centre which offers you the possibility to explore the crystal clear wonders of the “Big blue”.
Amorgos scuba diving centre was established in 2007, offering you fresh new dive equipment and state – of- the air fill station ensuring the highest quality breathing air. It is both a PADI and ANDI dive centre, and as such bringing you all levels or recognized dive education from novice to professional. They also offer a number of activities such as underwater photography, peak performance buoyancy, night diving and more.
The Big Blue
Amorgos was featured in Luc Besson’s film The Big Blue. The Big Blue (in French Le Grand Bleu) is a 1988 English-language film made by French director Luc Besson. The film stars Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, Jean Reno and depicts a fictionalized account of the sporting rivalry between two famed free divers.
The island was also featured in Giorgos Kordelas’ film Ariadni of 2002.