In the east of the Archipelagos, oblong and mountainous, is the beautiful island of Amorgos.
This little jewel is part of the island group of the Cyclades
According to mythology, King Minos of Crete ruled a second kingdom on Amorgos, on which remains of the ancient Minoan civilization has been found.
This island is where the French film maker, Luc Besson, filmed scenes of “The Big Blue”. This might explain why it’s a particularly popular destination for French tourists.
It is better to avoid going holidays in Amorgos during midsummer because it is usually crowded with tourists.
The island posses an amazing monastery wedged into a huge precipice at 300m from the sea called the Monastery of Hozoviotissa that became the emblem of Amorgos, and wonderful beaches with fine sand, palm trees, surrounded by huge cliffs; it is also an ideal island for walking because it is quite small.
Amorgos has two ports, Katapola in the south-west and the little port of Aegiali in the north-east, which you can reach by ferries from Piraeus or from other islands.
Amorgos’ central port is Katapola, boarded with white windmills, blue and white painted little houses, full of narrow streets leading to a gorgeous Venetian castle.
The main town is called “Chora” and is a pure marvel- situated in the Kastro (castle) quarter, the little village offers unique images to the lucky visitor; with streets giving the feeling of being in a labyrinth and a superb paved central square.
The local events are interesting to see and experience. Most of them take place during religious holidays or saints name celebrations, where big festivities take place after the evening ceremonies.
Amorgos’ architecture is very rich and diverse, a mixture of Minoan, Christian, Byzantine, Venetian, Neoclassical and typical Cycladic architecture (little round-roofed white houses with blue windows and doors).
Charts: Imray G33
Katapola Bay is a magnificent deep bay with steep cliffs dropping into the sea. The small village of Katapola is a pleasant relaxed spot and the harbour quite secure. Few tourists come here, although recently there has been an influx of backpackers. The Chora above (the island’s capital) is a typical Cycladic town attractive to all visitors.
With the meltemi (N-NW wind) there are strong gusts into the bay though these lift at Katapola.
To berth, go stern-to, or bows-to, the quay under the lee of the ferry quay. The bottom is mostly sand and weed with some rocks – good holding once the anchor bites.
The island proposes only one museum: the Archaeological Collection of Amorgos, located in Chora, which consists of a huge range of antiquities, from the Bronze Age and from the end of the ancient world.
The Venetian Castle of Amorgos, the 13th century Venetian Castle of Chora was built in 1290 by Ieremias Gizis for the protection of the Amorgos Island. It is situated on the Kastro (castle) rock that stands aloft out of the village of Hora like a protector of the village. The massive rock has a height of 210 feet.
The Monastery of Hozoviotissa in Amorgos. An 11th century structure built by Alexius Comnenus I, the monastery was created as an ode to the Grace of Panagia, known as the Virgin Mary, who is also the saint protector of the island.
History of Amorgos
In 1985, excavations revealed that organised life existed in Amorgos Greece (Cyclades) from the 4th millennium BC, at the end of the Neolithic age.
During the 3rd millennium BC, Amorgos Island participated in the development of the Cycladic civilisation: settlements and cemeteries have been discovered as well as twelve citadels..
The big quantity of small works of art (ceramics, metalwork, marble idols…) found on the island show the cultural advance of the people and indicate that they were in frequent contact with the other Cycladic islands as well as Crete.
At the end of the Cycladic period the Cycladic civilisation in Amorgos lost its vigour, due to the growth of the Cretan superiority in the Aegean.
From this time, Amorgos became an important sea-trade station for the Cretans who controlled and colonised her.
During the Archaic period (7th –6th century BC), Amorgos is colonised by the cities of Ionia, which gave to the island a fast political and social development of its three big cities, called the “city-states”.
During the Classical era (5th –4th century BC), the three cities of Amorgos (the “tripolis”) functioned as a federation, manufacturing, trading and shipping.
Amorgos took part in the Persian Wars, especially in the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC, in which she used one of her own ships.