Amorgos is the furthest east of the islands in the Cyclades group being xx Kms from its nearest large neighbour Naxos.
The island has two ports, Aegiali and Katapola. Chora, the main village of the island, sits upon a xxx 5 km from Katapola and 15 km from Aegiali. The southern part of the island is called Kato Meria or Arkesini and is less of a tourist destination than the central part near Katapola and the beach village of Aegiali.
Within the towns and villages walking is the best method of transport.
Cheap and reliable bus services operate between the villages. View the current timetable.
A number of independent taxis operate on the island and a typical fare between Aegiali and Katapola is around 25 euros.
Car hire is available in Katapola, Aegiali and Hora.
The island is criss-crossed with a good selection of hiking trails, many of them rough marble glazed paths still used by donkey riders. Sunrise and sunset are very good times to hike near Aegiali, taking the bus up to Langada and walking down to the beach is fabulous. Also the trail down from Chora to Katapoula is very good. Of course, you could join the adventure and retrace the same routes taken Theodore and Mabel by following the maps, GPS routes or KML files discussed in Bent in Amorgos.
Things to Do and See
The monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa
The monastery is situated on the cliff side, northeast of Chora. It was built early in the second millennium in order to protect a religious icon, dating from the year 812, from intruders. The icon is on public display inside the monastery. 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. Men have to wear long trousers and women a skirt or some long trousers and covered arms. As of July 2012, the monastery is active and houses three practising monks. Every Easter Sunday, the icon leaves its monastery home and travels around the churches of the island returning home on the Sunday following Easter. The processions are a wonderful spectacle and it was chiefly this that drew Theodore Bent to the island in 1883. See the section on Bent’s visit to the monastery.
The Blessing of the Ships
Aghios Giorgios Balsamitis
On a hill above the port of Katapola sit the remains of the ancient city of Minoa. The site is rarely open but a few tantalising glimpses of the remains can be seen from the perimeter fence.
The Chora is, in parts, beautifully intact and is one of the best preserved of the island Chora.
Sitting atop the volcanic plug, around which the houses of Chora are clustered, are the ruins of the Venetian Kastro. There are superb views across the island from the top.
If you’re visiting the south of the island, look out for the shipwreck of the Olympia sitting on the beach at Liveros Bay.
The Ancient Tower
of the Holy Trinity “??????
Try Rakomelo and Baked Raki
Rakomelo (derived from the words raki + meli, meaning honey) is an alcoholic drink usually served as a digestive (digestif or digestivo).
It is made by combining raki or Tsipouro with honey and spices such as cinnamon. It is produced in Crete and other islands of the Aegean Sea and on the Greek mainland.
The Amorgos speciality is baked raki, made from raki, sugar and spices and is served at room temperature. Baked raki contains more spices than rakomelo which usually only contains cinnamon.
Amorgos is blessed with many deserted beaches and coves. The port of Katapola itself has a narrow strip of beach with others within walking distance and the village of Aigiale is set upon an idyllic stretch of sandy beach.
Nikouria is a small uninhabited island P.
The island was featured in Luc Besson’s film The Big Blue (1988).
The population in the 2011 census showed a population of around 2000 with Chora having 400, Katapola almost 600 and Aegiali around 500.
Amorgos has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Old tombs were discovered, dating to as early as 3300 B.C. From the Early Cycladic Period, there were three major settlements, all on the long north coast of the island, and with each one being settled by different inhabitants. Modern day Arkessini, furthest southwest, was known as Kastri and was settled by the Naxians. Minoa, the ruins of which lie just above the port of Katapola, was settled by the Samians. The third settlement is near the present-day port of Aegiali (also with the same name) and was settled by the Milians. Throughout the centuries, the island came under the rule of many masters, most notably the Venetians who built the fortress in the capital. They held onto the island for three centuries from 1207, until it fell to the Turks. It was finally liberated in 1832 and then united with Greece.
For centuries, the exquisite embroideries made by the women of Amorgos fetched quite high prices and greatly added to the economy of the island. In fact, many pieces are on display in European museums, with some of the finest exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Simonides, the famous ancient Greek lyric poet, was born in Amorgos and was the writer of the Epitaph At Thermopylae on the Tomb of the soldiers from Sparta who fell defending Greece against the Persian invasion.