Amorgos, the easternmost island of the Cyclades, with its long and narrow shape seems its protecting the eastern small Cyclades. It proudly stands in the center of South Aegean Sea acting as a crossroad where North meets South. It is the “exit” of the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea to Asia Minor.
With Amorgos’ rich cultural heritage and particularly wild beauty, and its endless blue, can not fail to awe in the visitor’s eyes.
Geographical and morphological characteristics
Amorgos is located between the islands of Naxos and Astypalea and the imaginary line that connects Piraeus with Dodecanese. The shape is very elongated with a length of about 32 km. The narrowest passage has a width of 3 km., and the widest around 12 km., while the total coastline is 112 km.
It has an area of 121 square kilometers. It is the seventh largest island of the Cyclades, and the 25th of Greece.
What to do in Amorgos
Panagia Hozoviotissa: an Aegean miracle
Discover the rugged rocky southeast coast, the Monastery of “Panagia Hozoviotissa” which literally is hanging on a cliff 300 meter above the sea. Surely this is the most unusual monastery in the Aegean, and one of the most significant sights on the island. Impossibly tall and narrow, at first sight it looks painted onto the sheer rockface. In reality it’s slotted into it. You’ll have to climb 300 steep stairs, enter through the narrow door and trudge up another eight storeys, each only 5m wide. When you reach the main church a thousand years ago, and its Byzantine icons of the Virgin, you’ll know it was worth the effort.
The beach at Agia Anna
A twisty road leads to the beach at Agia Anna. With its endless view of the sea, you’ll know how Besson’s film The Big Blue got its name. Incredibly clear water and rocks to dive from at one of the most exciting beaches in the Cyclades. Now, you’ll be the star.
“Walking at a slow pace” in the mystical charm of Amorgos
The phrase belongs to archaeologist Lila Maragkou, who walked all over Amorgos for years, turning up archaeological treasures. Walking at a slow pace will reveal the real island to you, too. Things to look for: the remains of three ancient city-states, Arkesini, Minoa and Aigiali; women making fava (yellow split-pea dip), a Cycladic speciality; diviners searching for underground water; locals playing boules; Ai-Giorgis tou Varsamiti, where the “chattering brook” was thought to foretell the future; and the no-man’s-land at Krikelos, riddled with mines and gullies. The longer you seek the more you’ll find.
Hora and the castle, what the pirates missed
Enjoy a walk in “Chora”, the capital of the island, with its narrow winding alleys, whitewashed houses, charming squares and its big selection of nice and cozy taverns, cafés and shops. A naturally fortified rocky promontory rises above the Cycladic houses. Hidden from pirates’ eyes, the island’s Hora and its castle reflect their Byzantine and Venetian past. Hike up to the castle for a memorable view. Below you the lovely Voreina quarter is full of houses with their own wells and olive presses. You’ll want to investigate the abandoned windmills at Troulos, the shops and cafes at Platystenos, and relax in Monk’s Mill square (Kalogerikos Milos), a genuine balcony over the Aegean.
Mountain Village of Tholaria
Visit the picturesque mountain village of Tholaria near Aegiali where the village is known to have the best fava beans (lentils) growth in all of Greece because of its soil and get to enjoy several taverns where they serve food from local products within their village.
One of two harbors on the island where you can enjoy music and lounge bars on the sandy beach of Lakki at Aigiali.
Take a stroll in Katapola, the main port of Amorgos, and enjoy it’s waterfront cafes, taverns and souvenir shops. On the hill above Katapola, don’t forget to visit the excavations of the ancient city of Minoa.
Hidden gems of Amorgos
The rock drawings at Asfondylitis
Short-legged dancing figures holding violins… Learn the story of a handicapped child who left his mark on the rocks of Asfondylitis back in 1888.
Toasted raki and raki mixed with honey
Amorgos’s trademark schnapps-like drinks are inescapable. You’ll be trying them everywhere: in cafes, tavernas and bars. Bottoms up!
The Tower Of Gavras
A 16th century building of Venetian architecture found in the centre of Hora. Today, it’s a museum with findings from excavations from the surrounding area, with the sculptures and inscriptions standing out.