“Widely accepted for being authentic and beautiful, the island is famous for its walking trails, its raki-loving spirit (a grape-based liqueur) and its aromatic herbs.” Anonymous.
A beautiful and unpretentious island at the end of a long journey, in solitude on a rocky coast, south of the Aegean Sea, perfect to disappear there, gliding in and out of the water, eating the most exquisite honey, marveling at the soft sunsets and living in a totally spiritual and natural environment. That means getting lost in the small villages hidden in the folds of the valleys, shepherds with huge smiles and chapels floating in the clouds. Down in the harbor, a map of the island in the shape of a playful seahorse announces: “Welcome to Amorgos, nobody will find you here.”
Far from everything and from all, there is the most beautiful island that Greece has. A virgin natural paradise, very different from other islands with a cliché characteristic with its cruises and sushi bars. Fortunately, it requires a certain amount of effort to get there, so not many people seem to bother. Even the high-speed ferry takes six hours from Athens to get to the island. This is a fantastic place for total privacy, often described as a paradise by visitors.
This island astonishes visitors with natural beauty, traditional architecture, and fabulous beaches. Its virgin beauty inspired filmmaker Luc Besson to film scenes from the movie The Big Blue on the beach of Agia Anna. The most famous sight on the island of Amorgos is the impressive Monastery of Hozoviotissa, built on the slopes of a rock with stunning views of the sea.
Chora is the capital village of Amorgos and it stands out for its traditional architecture, with white houses and a nice view of the sea. The other two main villages are Aegialis and Katapola, which also constitute the main tourist resorts of the island. It is full of charming alleys, water fountains, and many similar-looking churches.
Chora is also full of gastronomic life, here they serve zucchini croquettes and lemon vegetables behind a kitchen counter. Everything on the hand-painted menu costs one euro, you can eat something on the lace-lined shelves, where they serve the best meatballs of the Aegean. They do not show off the fact that their ingredients are seasonal and local; it goes unsaid.
Divers, walkers, solitaires or pilgrims, all those who go to Amorgos, visit the monastery of Hozoviotissa, embedded in a cliff 300 meters above the sea. It is eight stories high but only five meters deep, it is one of the most impressive and dramatic monastic destinations in Greece.
Do not let a large number of steps that lead to the entrance stop you; it is worth climbing fto get close to the imposing complex and the magnificent view it offers from its elevated location. Definitely plan to take a lot of water for the ascent, and avoid visiting during the hottest hours. A heavy door leads to a crenelated balcony painted a dazzling white against the deep blue sky. In the distance, far below, there are tiny twin bays with water so amazingly clear that you can see every ripple of sand and rock at the bottom of the sea. One hundred monks lived there in the eighteenth century; now there are only three left.
There are only four taxis in Amorgos, and the paved road did not reach Kato Meria, at the southern tip of the island, until the mid-nineties. When you get there, it feels more like the 1950s. Children jump as you pass by, woolly goats take naps on the road, grandmothers go to their gardens to pick up some tomatoes for a Greek salad.
One of the best places to stay is the Amorgos 1L villa. The five-bedroom house is designed around the view, with shaded terraces and sheltered corners to contemplate the sea. This idea extends to all the rooms, from where you can see the sea and the beautiful sky.
In Amorgos it is also very common to go hiking, in fact, the hiking routes are called blue routes because it is possible to see the sea wherever you are. Sage-scented slopes lead to secluded beaches (Ammoudi, Mikri Glyfada, Halara, Plakes) with smooth rocks made for sunbathing alone.
In short, the island is a wonderful place to spend some time disconnected from the rest of the world, living experiences that you did not even imagine living, meeting very warm and friendly people, an island that offers hospitality like nowhere else. It’s worth a visit.
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