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, the fresh air and the expansive views.
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.
Αμοργός - Chora Village
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 (above) 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 (pictured above and below) 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 with plenty of wide open spaces.
Just 5 km 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 on Amorgos Greece include Tholaria, Langada, Arkesini and Kolofana (or Kalofana).
Levrossos Beach (pictured above) 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.
Further around the bay is Psiliamos Beach and then Xoklakas Beach.
Agios Pavlos Beach (above and below) is on the west coast of the island just over 5 km south from Aegiali, it is a pristine sand formation sitting in the middle of a picturesque natural bay formed by the island of Amorgos and the smaller island of Nikouria (see below). There are a couple of pensions and a taverna here, otherwise, stunning nature dominates.
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 (above) which dates from 1882. A solid structure made from local stones, it sits on the windswept 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.
Pano Gitona (below) is a small aparthotel with only eleven rooms overlooking the bay of Katapola - with such style and white crispness, it epitomised the Greek island experience - the time here will leave you feeling uplifted from the incredible views, crisp fresh air and expansive scenery.
Galaxy Guesthouse is just 200 metres from the beautiful beach at Aegiali, offering
crisp clean white spacious rooms and balconies and the relaxed Cycladic
lifestyle at budget rates.
Situated in quiet countryside outside Aegiali in Amorgos Greece is the Villa Handras (above and below), actually two villas with exquisite views, stylish charm and complete privacy whilst wanting for nothing from your host.
These completely modern environmentally-sound buildings have been created in the island style, with patios facing the exquisite bay and sunset aspect. Both villas sleep four with one bathroom each. From the houses you can see glimpses of the white villages of Tholaria and Laggada. Less than 2 km from the port and the beach, you are assured of a wonderful position from which to explore Amorgos Greece.
Amorgos is a little out of the way and more difficult to get to than other Greek islands. That is what keeps it special.
From Athens - in the busy season, flights are available to the nearby islands, for flight timetables and bookings check with Olympic Airlines and Aegean Air.
The ferry trip, with various stops, will take around or about 7 - 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. Most ferries to Amorgos depart Pireaus around 17.30. Ensure any flight into Athens arrives with plenty of transfer time. Costs are approx. 30 Euro or 45 Euro (business class is suggested). Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways and Seajets all run on these routes.
From Santorini - from Athens to Santorini (Thira) there are eight flights per
day in high season. Fast ferries then link to both Katapola and Aegiali in Amorgos.
From Mykonos - from Athens to Mykonos there are six flights per day in high season. Fast ferries then take the very scenic route to Amorgos through the Cyclades.
From Naxos - from Athens to Naxos there is one flight daily, the ferries depart daily at 14.00 and 23.00 for the 3 - 4 hour trip to Amorgos.
Amorgos Greece - Transport - 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 collage of Amorgos Greece - scenes including the pretty harbours, mountain views and Chozoviotissa Monastery: