Amorgos Greece - Αμοργός - is a beautiful Greek island located in the Cyclades. It is one of the most easterly Cycladic islands, sitting south-east of Mykonos and Naxos, and north-east of Santorini. It is a long, narrow and hilly island with many beautiful beaches and rocky shores.
The relatively unknown island does not suffer from mass tourism, whilst still catering to travellers from all over the world, especially in summer. People come to enjoy the simple way of life, the quiet and the fresh air.
People come to simply sit at the beach and swim in the clear waters day after day. Others come to walk in the hills and visit the villages that preserve a way of life from simpler times.
The cube-white building style of the islands is so beautiful here, especially in the inland town of Chora, which makes special effort to retain the stunning crisp white streets and buildings, with spectacular results. The lime-rendered dwellings with minimal frontage, narrow lane ways or stena paved with large rock slabs A characteristic element is the vaulted arches connecting the upper floors of home. These elements form the core of the island's architectural style.
Katapola is the arrival point of the ferries. It is a small fishing village with its own natural rhythm. There are some good fish tavernas here and a few small hotels and rooms for rent. Yachts moor here from all over the world and yachties sit in cafés soaking up the sun. It is a picturesque bay, a perfect horse shoe shape and one of the most protected bays in the Cyclades. High in the hills above the town are the ruins of the ancient settlement of Minoa.
Aegiali (above) is one of the most tantalising and romantic seaside villages in the Cyclades. The combination of soft greens of the tamarisk trees by the water, against the intense blue of the sparkling Mediterranean, against the bright white sugar-cubed village is breath-taking. Aegiali beach and the longer Ormos beach have beautiful white sand plenty of wide open spaces.
Just 5 kms inland from Katapola is the island's largest town, known simply as Chora. The town clings to rocky mountains with a castle at the highest point. Old windmills are dotted about in various states of disrepair. The narrow streets are well worth exploring. In the main street there is the Mansion of Gavras, a beautiful aristocratic building of Venetian style of the 16th century. Today it houses the archaeological collection of the island.
Other inland villages to explore include Tholaria, Langada, Arkesini and Kolofana (or Kalofana).
Levrossos Beach is a small secluded cove just north of Aegiali, just around the bay. It can be reached by a walk and a hike 15-20 minutes from Aegiali or by car, take the road from Aegiali to Tholaria and turn off left before you reach Tholaria. There is a tavern and some rooms, a lovely tree-lined beach with sand and shade.
Agia Anna Beach is below the beautiful monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa, and is somewhat famous as the scenes for the film 'The Big Blue' were taken here. There is a regular bus service from Chora, which is more frequent in summer. The crystal clear waters and dramatic architecture of the monastery make it a uniquely beautiful spot.
The Big Blue or Le Grand Bleu by French director Luc Besson was released in 1988, it is an esoteric and truly metaphysical movie about sea diving that became a favourite of both water and nature lovers and a mini cult classic. It is really a treatise on the relationship between humans and the sea in a modern parable. The beautiful scenes shot in Amorgos took the imagination of many people who sought out the island, especially French alternate life stylers.
The Greek language film Ariadni by Greek director Giorgos Kordelas was released in 2002. The island of Amorgos contributes as a character in the film with her beauty and mystery. This is a modern day psychological thriller; intense and mysterious. Again this movie intrigued viewers so much that they sought out the island to experience her seduction for themselves.
The clear, clear waters around Amorgos make it a perfect location for endless hours of underwater exploration. In Aegiali see Dimitris Sinodinos at Amorgos Diving for a full range of snorkelling, scuba and boat trips.
The Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa (above) is remarkable for its juxtaposition against the harsh rocky cliffs, and bright pure white walls of the edifice. The original structure dates from 1088 AD.
It is said that an icon of the Virgin Mary was found in the waters off the rocks, in this place, many years ago, before there was any idea of the monastery. It is said that the icon came from the village of Hozovo in Palestine, so the -iotissa ending means 'she of Hozovo'. The construction of this place of worship and comtemplation must have been a true labour of love, situated as it is 300 metres up on a sheer drop above the sea.
At Cape Vathy near Katapola is the traditional Lighthouse of Amorgos which dates from 1882. A solid structure made from local stones, it sits lonely at the peninsula.
The Wreck of the Olympia is located at the western end of the island at Liveros. This stunning location featured in the film The Big Blue.
The Galaxy Pension (left) is 200 metres from the beautiful beach at Aegiali, offering crisp clean white spacious rooms and balconies and the relaxed Cycladic lifestyle at very reasonable rates.
In the busy season, flights are available to the nearby islands of Mykonos (six flights per day), or Santorini (Thira) (eight flights per day). For flight timetables and bookings check with Olympic Airlines and Aegean Air.
Olympic Airlines has one flight per day to Naxos in high season. Check timetables in other seasons.
A ferry ride, with various stops, will take around or about 9 hours from Pireaus, the port of Athens. This all depends on the route taken and how many stops in the islands the ferry takes.
Ferries are available from the Cycladic islands into Katapola port on Amorgos.
From Santorini, Sea Jet ferries offer a daily service to Amorgos.
One can also arrive into Aegiali from the Dodecanese island of Leros by ferry, with connections to Astypalea, and there are many other variations with smaller craft and the islands all around.
There are bus lines servicing Katapola, Chora, Agia Anna and the seaside village of Aegiali. Or you may choose a car & scooter rental, or a taxi. The buses are regular but infrequent. In summer there are more buses than in winter. Always check the timetables and talk to the locals, because timetables can change from week to week, depending on the season.
Here you can see a video colage of island scenes including the pretty harbours, mountain views and Chozoviotissa Monastery: