Visit Athens | Your guide to the city’s amazing attractions
Athens doesn’t really need an introduction, it’s known as being the birth place of western civilisation and the Olympic Games.
So why visit Amorgos Island? It’s situated in the Aegean Sea close to Naxos and is the eastern most island of the cyclades group. We had thought that a five day visit may be too long but it turned out to be a good decision as this is such a beautiful almost unspoilt island. I’m sure like us you will not want to leave. Great hiking and beautiful scenery are two great reasons to stay a while but it does offer so much more.
We had originally thought, with it being one of the less well know islands that it may have a shorter season. There was no need to worry everything was in full swing in September when we were there, so I would say the season is the same as the more popular islands. So mid June to September. It was still in the high twenties to low thirties when we were there and full sun. The fringe season may and September would be my choice.
This was the third island in our little adventure. We had arrived from Paros and before that Milos. We booked our ferry tickets on Ferryhopper as with the other tickets. We also booked our ferry back to the mainland at the same time as we knew when we were leaving so it made sense not to risk the ferry being booked up.
The beautiful Amorgos Island does not have an airport so the ferry is the only option. One thing you do need to keep in mind is that the two main towns on the island Katapola and Aegiali both have ports. You will need to make sure you know which port you are going into and leaving from as they are twenty kilometres apart.
There are three main towns on Amorgos the two ports of Katapola and Aegiali, also Chora the capital of the island which is slightly inland on the other coast. We stayed in Katapola as it was where our boat came in. It’s a nice quite village with a handful of restaurants and bars a few shops and a small not so pretty beach beside the port. We stayed at Casaprimavera as it had great reviews. There are plenty of other choices around the village. We found the room to be quite small compared to the others we had stayed in but the location was good and we were not in there very much, just to sleep really.
Aegiali the other port is split in to two sections so be careful to check where you are booking Aegiali Bay which as you would guess is around the harbour and beach area and the main town of Aegiali which is on a hill behind the port. This would be a good choice for families and beach goers as it has a really nice sandy shallow beach with bars and restaurants and accommodations close by. It also has a Padi accredited dive centre and paddle board hire. The main town of Chora is in the hills away from the coast. Check out the search tool below to browse your options.
There is a bus service which connects the two main ports, Chora and some of the main attractions on the island. We decided though after our experience on Paros to hire a car and as it was the end of the season this worked out to be a cheap and convenient way to get around the island. If you are going to use the bus you will be quite limited to where you can go and when as the buses don’t start running till mid morning and are finished quite early. The bus runs from the main carpark in Katapola and take in Chora, Aegiali The Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa and Agia Anna beach. Look for the times of the buses near the bus stops.
There are some beautiful beaches on Amorgos some sandy and some picturesque rocky coves. Here are a few we tried during our stay. Agia Anna beach sits below the Monastery it is actually two rocky coves with pebble beaches separated by a headland with a small whitewashed chapel. It’s quite small but beautiful, we loved it here. Because of the high cliffs behind you do lose the sun quite early. There is a carpark and a bus stop just above and a small cafe. The beach itself is down some steep steps so you may want to take some refreshments down with you. The last bus back to Katapola is four o’clock don’t miss it it’s a long uphill walk to get back.
Mouros Beach is another pebble beach and again is down at the bottom of steep steps. We went in the car, there is a bus stop but I didn’t see the bus, so you would have to check if its running when you’re on the island. Above the beach is a nice restaurant. Agios Pavlos Beach is a small triangle of sand on just off the road between the two ports. You can get a boat from here across to the island. There are restaurants close by. Katapola beach is a thin strip of sand next to the road it has some umbrellas and the port, with its restaurants and shops, is close by. It’s convenient if you are staying in Katapola but I would not make a special trip to go here.
Kalotaritissa beach Is a sandy quiet beach quite a long way out from the main towns. It’s sat in an inlet so has calm shallow waters. It has a beach bar and sunbeds for hire. Last but not least the one we spent the most time on Aegialis Beach just at the side of the port the beach is a long sandy and shallow bay of clear water. It’s backed by bars and restaurants a great place to spend a nice relaxing day. It has a dive centre right next to it and you can also hire Kayaks and stand up paddle boards. There were families on the beach when we were there having a great time.
Probably Amorgos’s best known attraction. A spectacular white washed building clinging to a high cliff. This was the main reason for our visit to Amorgos and was as spectacular as we had imagined. First thing to say is that it is not as remote as you would think. Its just a five minute drive from Chora down a steep winding made up road to a carpark below the Monastery. You then have to climb the three hundred steps up to the Monastery itself. You can go inside but will need to cover up. There is a monk outside the door who can provide you with clothes to borrow for a small donation apart from that it’s free to enter.
You can also walk down to the carpark and theres a path that zigzags down from Chora and it takes about thirty minutes to get down to the carpark. It’s very steep with no shade so take plenty of water and don’t do it in your flip flops. You can also get the bus, they run roughly every hour from nine thirty until the last one at four. The beach of Agia Anna is below the monastery we combined the two to make a great day out.
Another reason we visited were the marked hiking routes that criss-cross the island. We did a couple for these and really enjoyed them. Be warned though it’s tough going in the heat so try and set off early and take plenty of water. You can buy a map in town or use an online app either way I think you would struggle to get lost. They are well signposted in the main.
We did route 2 from Katapola to Chora and then down to the Monastery. It’s a great walk through one side of a valley to the capital of Chora it took us about two hours a little longer than the time it says on the route marker.
We also did a walk marked as 4a. It sets off from the carpark in the hill town of Tholaria to the tiny beach of Mikri Vlychada. Its a short but spectacular route down through a gorge to a small pebble beach. You will need good walking shoes to get down safely and the hike back up is quite strenuous but not hard as its only just over a kilometre and the beach itself is worth and hour or two. We found it quite difficult to get in and out of the water, not the best place to take the kids.
Chora means capital or the main town on the island so it seems this town is nameless. It’s a medieval town overlooked by a series of ruined windmills set high above the coast. It is dominated by a rocky outcrop adorned with the church of Kera Leousa and built within it a Thirteenth century Venetian castle.
The town itself is a white washed maze of narrow streets with a very hippy feel to it full of quirky bars, restaurants and shops. It is the starting point for the walk down to the Monastery and it also has many beautiful churches and buildings itself, very photogenic. The steps up to the Castle are narrow and quite steep but you get a great view from the top.
Wrecked in 1980 the Olympia is mostly above water and close to the coast. It’s was used in the making of the movie Le grand bleu in 1988. You can park at the top of the cove and there is a short path down to the wreck. If you get there early in morning you should have the place to yourself. After that it get quite busy with tour boats and the like popping into the bay for a look. It’s the way to Kalotaritissa beach and you will need a car to get there as it’s not on the bus route. If you can its well worth a visit.
On a hill above Katapola are the ruins of an Minoan settlement. It was thought to have been occupied from the tenth century BC to the forth century AD as with the rest of the historical sites on Amorgos its not very well looked after. This can be a bonus if you like to just wander around without restriction.
You can drive up to the site on a winding paved road or you can take the hiking route 6 which passes by the gate to the site from there it’s a short walk to the base of the hill it sits atop. It’s worth a visit if only for the view from the top. To me it looks like the archaeologists walked away from it and thats how it was left, there are pottery shards all over the site and the remnants of information boards which have sadly long since gone.
Dotted round the island are other historical site that are of note. Unfortunately these to are not much loved and quite difficult to reach in some cases as, although they are signposted from the road, there’s no where to park and look to have been deliberately blocked off as if on private land. One such examples is The Pyrgos of Ancient Arkezini. There is a carpark for this site but that’s it and you may have to climb over a fence to get in. When we went you could just walk in though. There is a small museum next to the site which was boarded up when we were there.
The ancient Tower at richtis is another such site. If you want to get close you will have to look for the sign on the road between the two main ports. Then find somewhere to park on the road close by and walk back to the sign. Then you will have to unclip chicken wire that will gain entry to the the marked route. It then seems to be in the middle of someones small holding and again is fenced off upclip this and your in. I found it an adventure but in truth unless you really want to see it, it may not be worth all the trouble.
There are a small sprinkling of bars and restaurants in the main villages and ports mostly selling local Greek dishes, beer and local wine. There are one or two cocktail bars, bakeries and icecream parlours. The signature dish of Amorgos is Patatato, it’s a dish of potatoes and local meat usually goat, in a slowly simmered stew. We tried it in a restaurant in Katapola and really enjoyed it. It’s originally a festival dish. I also ate fish here but it can be expensive. Look around for the fish of the day and make sure it’s fresh not frozen before you commit.
Amorgos was our favourite island of the three we visited on this trip and probably my favourite ever and I’ve been to a few over the years. It has a laid back overlooked feel to it. You may even say neglected. We find this irresistible. I will be very sad if we don’t at some point get back to Amorgos. It is for me the perfect Greek island accessible but not spoilt, Yet!
We have always tended to use Booking.com having said that if your on a tight budget another good site to try as a comparison is Hostelworld, If your looking to compare different sites you can do that on Hotellook, we tend to look on here first to make sure we are getting the best deal.
You can book your visits as you go at the entrance to your chosen attraction or site. Or you could use the following links to book in advance or just to find out what your choices are in the area. GetYourGuide and Tiqets are our go to choices you could try Viator to see how they compare.
For a full list check out our resources page. Don’t forget always shop around to find the best deal for you. What works for us should be good for you but it’s always reassuring to check.
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Athens doesn’t really need an introduction, it’s known as being the birth place of western civilisation and the Olympic Games.
Sitting within the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea, Paros is the perfect place to spend three days exploring or longer if you have the time.
Beautiful beaches a spectacular rugged coast line and quaint white washed villages. Basically everything you look for on a Greek island.