Amorgos! You step your foot on the island, having seen a bunch of pictures that have stunned your mind and are urging you to see for yourself! And you do it!
You arrive at Katapola, a natural, sheltered port with the three settlements, “Katapola”, the harbour, “Rachidi” in the middle and “Xylokeratidi “ across the bay. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in numerous shops that cover all your needs (supermarket, bakery, cafés serving breakfast, taverns, even laundry … see suggestions below) along with the renovated Municipal Camping. Stay here (“pension amorgos”– at the port) and you’ll have everything you need at hand! From here you will also take the boat that leaves every half hour for the nearby beaches of the bay. Later walk along the beach, enjoy the sunset on the benches along the coast and choose one of the picturesque taverns in “Xylokeratidi” to taste the Amorgian cuisine (try at “Youkali”). You will walk in the alleys of the settlement, walk past “Panagia Katapoliani”, a monument of the island and the fountain of Katapoliani that brings drinking water from the mountain !!!.
In “Rachidi”, you will see the neoclassical building of the Primary School and the imposing parish church of Ag. Georgios. And if you feel like walking a little further, then take the dirt path after the settlement of Katapola to the west, and you’ll arrive at Ai Giannis who sees over the whole bay, with the statue of Erato, gazing the sea every day. Walk east ways, crossing “Xylokeratidi”, with its houses descending into the sea, and you reach the picturesque chapel of “Agios Panteleimonas”, with the homonymous beach and the Maltezi beach just below (20’ easy hike- wear a hat though). Take your swimsuit with you! You might want to dive into the wonderful waters! Alternatively take the boat and reach Maltezi beach (boats in front of Cafe Kamari, for 4 € both ways) that is sheltered and organized, though small and crowded. You can take your dives in “Kato Akrotiri”, a 2nd beach at 150m. far from the port to the west.
Next thing you do is rent a car (we did so in (Αsset rent a car) and start to get to know the island. You can also get the KTEL (bus) of course. There are frequent routes to all destinations. See what’s in your interest!
Beaches 2 beaches left and right of the harbor with sand and some municipal umbrellas Maltezi (sandy – few deck chairs – from 20′ hike, 5’ by boat /4 € return ticket)
“Kamari” (must taste the handmade pies of Mr. Giorgos), “Honey and Cinnamon”, “Teleion” Sweets / Crepes “Pothiti’s sweets”, “Elychrison”
Explore Kato Meria
Scattered villages in the southwestern part of the long shaped island are spread depicting the strong rural element of the island. The road from Hora passes through “Agios Georgios the Valsamitis” and Markiani and suddenly you feel a scene change, away from the island’s touristic profile. On your left, the view of the endless blue of the sea and on the right, the hinterland with the dry fields, small valleys and the farmhouses. Drive through the villages of Kamari, Vroutsi, Arkesini (one of the ancient cities of the island), Kolofana and Kalotaritissa (26 km from Chora). On the way you will definitely stop to see “Olympia” ship wreck in the bay before Kalotaritissa. Carefully hike down the path to the beach. Don’t be lazy! It’s worth the effort! Driving further on, you reach the sheltered bay of Kalotaritissa. From here, boats take you to the islet of Gramvousa (uninhabited today) with the virgin beaches of crystal clear waters! In case you want to stay here for a swim, some sun loungers and umbrellas (8 € per set) as well as a canteen will make your stay more comfortable. Otherwise, you may need an umbrella of your own. The beach is sandy and the waters wonderful!
Close by is “Paradisia” bay and the chapel of Agia Paraskevi with its popular festival where the local dish “Patatato” (baked goat meat with potatoes) is served, a special traditional dish of the island.
Should you feel hungry, “Marouso” tavern at Arkesini will host you in their yard! Taste the rooster dish! It’s in a family portion! Mind your order! One serving suits for two! Prices are more than reasonable!
In the same area is the beach of “Mouros”, their “best” beach as they say. And they are right! Fine sand and pebbles on the beach, under high rock formations. A scenery unique in its entirety, with incredibly turquoise waters and sea caves for exploration. You will walk a bit on the path that goes down there. Take an umbrella with you! A free parking space and a fish tavern high on the plateau will serve your needs.
Kalotaritissa beach (sandy – few sunbeds – 8 € the set with umbrella / canteen) Gramvousa beaches (sand and fine pebbles – boat from Kalotaritissa) Paradisia beach (sandy – small canteen) Mouros beach (sand and fine pebbles – downhill path – 5 ‘descent / 10’ ascent – free parking and tavern high on the plateau)
“Marousso” tavern, in Arkesini
On the way to Aegiali you make a stop at “Agios Pavlos” bay with Nikouria, an uninhabited islet opposite the beach where you can get by a boat from the impressive beach of Agios Pavlos that resembles an earth tongue entering in the sea with the turquoise waters. A hotel is right on the pebbled, sheltered beach. Another 5 km distance and you reach the second port of the island, Aegiali, which is in fact a village complex. There is “Ormos” (otherwise Yialos – the center of Aegiali) with the harbor pier. Just over “Ormos”, on the slope, lays the settlement of “Potamos” with a breathtaking view, while above the hill, “Langada” and “Tholaria”. “Ormos” bay, with many hotels/cafes /restaurants/ souvenir shops and bars will cover your needs. You will sunbathe on the longest sandy beach of the island (there are no sunbeds but many “armyrikia” to offer you their shade if you like). Eat at the “Port of Kyra Katina” in the narrow alleys. Choose “Ormos” in the evening if you are looking for a bit of nightlife at a more intense pace! Do not imagine anything too intense though! The island is best suited for quite holidays and is ideal for camping lovers.
In “Tholaria” (3 km from Ormos), near the site of Ancient Aegiali, you will wander in the traditional arches, the narrowly whitewashed alleys with cafes and traditional restaurants and in “Langada” (4 km from Ormos) you will be urged to stop for a photo shot at every wonderful corner or door at the paved square on the eastern entrance of the village! Visit during sunset hour, when the panoramic view becomes even more magnificent. Driving down, the “Holy Trinity” chapel, wedged in a rock cavity, will surprise you on the way!
All villages are an excellent example of Cycladic architecture with traditional tavernas and local bakeries with Amorgian delicacies, traditional Amorgian roasted raki, accompanied by amorgian dishes such as goat, thyme honey and the famous Amorgian fava with capers.
Aegiali beach (sandy – inside the settlement – many shady trees) Levrosos beach (next to Aegiali beach – sandy – hike on the path after the long beach or drive Agios Pavlos beach (pebbled – hotel with beach bar- access by car) Nikouria Beach: (sandy – opposite Agios Pavlos – by boat / hour from Agios Pavlos or Aegiali
“The Port of Kyra Katina”, Ormos “The tavern of Nikos”, Lagada
The jewel of the island is “Hora”, with the 13th century Venetian castle, built at 65 meters height also hosting the church of Kyra Leoussa in it. Take the key to enter the castle (ask at café “Helios”, at Lozza Square) and carefully climb the narrow stone staircase. Admire the view from the loopholes towards Hora and the surrounding islands, especially near the sunset.
Walk on the narrow, cobbled alleys, up and down paved steps, past numerous churches and through the two squares, Lower and Upper Loza (very scenic) with all kinds of stylish shops to invite you to try their delicacies. Amorgian feasts such as the Savior’s (Christ’s) on August 6th and the celebration of the traditional Amorgian “pasteli” (sesame and honey sweet) are revived in these squares.
Go up to the Upper Neighborhood with the whitewashed houses, move to the east and you will find yourself in “Emprostiada”, a series of arches, head right and you find yourself in “Troulos” neighbourhood which is the entrance to the windmills on the breezy hillside of Hora. Located just opposite the castle, in a panoramic, prominent position they are proudly standing for hundreds of years against the winds that usually blow strong. Fabulous sunset view! Taste Amorgian dishes in “Arbaroriza” (at a nice quiet corner) or at “Καθ’ οδόν“ and “Tranzistoraki” (on the main street) and treat yourself a desert at “Callisto”.
At 5 ‘drive from Hora swim in amazingly clear waters in “Agia Anna”, with the homonymous chapel, reviving all the magical scenes from the movie “Big Blue” by Luc Besson. It’s not exactly a beach! Pick a rock (since there is barely any sand) and live the ultimate relaxation and freedom of diving in these waters!
Look up to your left! The monastery of “Panagia Hozoviotissa” (9th century AD) looks like a white dove on the steep rocks. You notice the road that leads there, shortly before turning to Agia Anna. On its five meters width and eight levels – floors, all the cells of the monks, the guest quarters, kitchens, bakeries, warehouses, cisterns and wells, are wedged into the rock that is transformed into a functional structure and a marvelous sample of functional local architecture. Walk from the bus station to the platform or leave your car in the space before the entrance. Climb the 300 stone-paved steps to the Monastery. What a fantastic view of the endless blue sea! Step up the stairs and follow the instructions to chapel with the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary and the treat of traditional roasted Amorgian raki. Caution! There is dress code as usual, specific visiting hours… and a shop at the entrance. A must see!!! (Visiting hours: 08:00-13:00 & 17:00-19:00)
And if you are fond of hiking, you will enjoy unique experiences following the well-designed network of trails with a variety of routes (almost 20) in the wild beauty of the island! Far from mass tourism Amorgos is the place where you will feel really free!
Agia Anna beach (rocky – few paved steps – café / canteen – free parking area) Syrma beach ( right of Agia Anna on the same bay – short downslope dirt path/ rocky)
“Arbororiza”, “Καθ’ οδόν”, “Liotrivi”, “Transistoraki” (tavern)
KTEL Amorgos (bus timetable) Check itineraries and prices / they change during the season
Asset rent a car tel. 22850 74301 35 € / day (18-20 July)
Port Authority – Katapola: 22850-71259
Police – Hora : 22810-71210
Health Center – Hora of Amorgos: 22850-71207
Doctor – Aegiali: 22850-73222 / Catapola: 22850-71805
For more information
25/7: Agia Paraskevi, Kato Meria 26/7: Roasted raki Feast, Katapola
19/8: Pasteli feast, Hora 8/9: Festival of xerotigana,Aegiali
Visitable winery “AMORGION“, Katapola
Traditional Guest House “Embrostiada” , Hora,