What to do in Amorgos?
To visit Amorgos, in Greece, is to discover the best island of the Cyclades for hiking.
But that’s not all!
To help you organize your Amorgos itinerary, I have concocted this complete guide to Amorgos, with all the places of interest not to be missed. I also give you optimized itineraries to visit Amorgos in 1, 2, 3 days or more as well as my selection of the best accommodations.
Put on your walking shoes now and set off to discover the villages of Aegiali and Chora, the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa or even the most beautiful beaches on the island.
So what to do and see in Amorgos?
Visit Amorgos: the must-sees
The village of Katapola is definitely the first place you will visit on your trip to Amorgos.
And yes, this is where the majority of boats coming from Athens or the Greek islands dock!
Katapola is no exception to the rule of the typical small fishing ports of the Cyclades with its restaurants and shops by the sea. This is also where you will find rental car or buggy agencies (see my advice in the section “ Rent a car to visit Amorgos” at the end of the article).
The village is particularly lively when the ferries arrive and depart.
With typical Cycladic architecture, the place is quite cute with its small narrow streets and the green plain located just behind. You can take a pleasant walk there.
Above Katapola, and accessible by a hiking trail (or by car, but the road is in poor condition), you can see the remains of the ancient city of Minoa. It was there that many objects were discovered, some of which are now on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The city was the former summer residence of King Crete: Minos.
The site is best known for offering a magnificent panorama of the entire bay below.
Among the other places of interest in Amorgos, I advise you to go for a walk in Aegiali. The village is located in a very beautiful bay, about twenty kilometers north of Katapola.
Second port of the island, you will also find some restaurants and Greek taverns as well as a mini market. Family and authentic atmosphere guaranteed, far from the much more touristic islands of Mykonos or Santorini for example.
Aegiali is often preferred for a family stay in Amorgos or for beach lovers as it is one of the only places on the island where you will find a long sandy beach for swimming. And for children, there is also a playground.
Above Aegiali, I advise you to take a tour of the villages of Logada, Tholaria and Potamos. Typical Greek alleys, taverns and panoramic views of the bay, everything is there to have a good time relaxing.
Aegiali is also a good base for exploring the north of the island on foot because a lot of hiking trails start from there (see below for the details of the hikes to do).
Tips for your Amorgos itinerary:
As you can see, there are therefore 2 ports in Amorgos: Katapola and Aegiali. Be careful when booking your ferry tickets to check which port you are going to arrive at and which port you want to depart from. It is not a question of missing your boat the morning of departure!
If you rent a car in Katapola and have to return it to Aegiali, it is possible but you will have to pay ten euros more. And don’t be surprised if you’re told to leave the car in the parking lot with the key inside for return, apparently that’s okay.
Another village not to be missed in Amorgos, its capital Chora or Hora.
As you can imagine, when I say “capital”, it has nothing to do with Athens or Rome. The capital of Amorgos is in fact a typical Cycladic village with its white houses adorned with bougainvillea and its labyrinthine stepped streets.
Authentic and picturesque, the atmosphere is super quiet and soothing. You can eat in the taverns of the village which seemed to me really authentic (no tourist restaurants) and which seemed to serve good and typical dishes at a reasonable price. Bad luck for me, it was a bit early for lunch! 😀
From the main square of the village, you will have access to the 13th century Venetian Kastro. Erected on top of a rock, it offers a 360° view of Amorgos.
During your visit to Chora, do not hesitate to pass by the archaeological museum, the entrance to which is free. It brings together some objects from the Minoan civilization, discovered on the island.
Finally, do not leave Hora without going to see the mills, accessible by a path to the east of the village. From there, you will also have a superb panorama over part of the island.
4. Panagia Hozoviotissa Monastery
The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is undoubtedly the must-see tourist site in Amorgos. It is the emblem and the best known image of the island.
It is only 5 minutes by car from Hora. If you go by car, you can park at the parking lot below or along the road because there are not many places.
The particularity of this 11th century monastery is to have been built on the sides of cliffs, 300 meters above sea level. In a sparkling white color that contrasts with the cliff, the place is really impressive. . It is the second oldest monastery in Greece and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
You can reach the entrance of the monastery by a staircase of 300 steps, which allows you to realize all the beauty of the place and to take beautiful photos. The interior can be visited for free (donation appreciated) and the visit fairly quick because it is very small.
Tips for your Amorgos itinerary:
To visit the monastery, pants are compulsory for men and long skirts and covered shoulders for women. If you don’t have one or don’t want to cover yourself too much in the summer heat, no worries: clothes are available at the entrance.
After your visit to the monastery, go down to the very small cove of Agia Anna, the area is very photogenic with the small white and blue chapel at the edge of the water and the cliffs in the background.
5. Hikes in Amorgos
Hiking is the main activity to do in Amorgos. This is the most pleasant way to discover the island from end to end and enjoy splendid panoramas.
Many marked trails, mostly old trails used by mule drivers and now refurbished, allow you to walk all over the island and connect the villages to each other. The views over the Aegean Sea are definitely worth seeing.
There are a multitude of possible combinations for hiking in Amorgos but here are the 7 main trails:
- Palia Strata which starts from Chora and goes through the monastery then Kapsala, Asfondilitis, Potamos and ends in Aegali. Between 4 to 5 hours of walking. Difficult level.
- Fotodotis, a short walk of about 1 hour starting from Hora and passing through Milies, St Irini and ending in Katapola. Easy level.
- Itonia: Katapola – Minoa – Lefkes – Sivrisa – Kamari – Kastri – Vroutsi. Duration: 3 hours for an intermediate level.
- Melania, to explore the North of the island from Aegiali: Aegiali – Langada – Araklos Gorge -Tholos – Tholaria – Fokiotripa. Duration: 2 hours and easy level.
- Pan, which takes you to the highest point of Amorgos: Langada – Epanohoriani – Theologos – Stavros – Krikelos. About 2h30 of walking and difficult level.
- Valsamitis: Katapola Agios Georgios Valsamitis – Agia Marina – Minoa. Duration: 2 hours for an easy level.
- Evangelistria: Katapola/Xylokeratidi – Nera – Peristeria – Evangelistria. A short hike of 1 hour and of an easy level.
For more details on the hikes, see the official Amorgos website.
6. The Big Blue
In Amorgos, you can do a somewhat special kind of tourism: “film tourism”!
Fans of Luc Besson are indeed aware that Amorgos is the island where a large part of the film “Le Grand Bleu” was shot, with Jean Reno and Rosanna Arquette. Fans will therefore be able to discover the filming locations of this cult film released in 1988.
It is for example the village of Hora which represents the village where the children grow up.
The beach of Agia Anna, at the foot of the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, is the place where Jacques Mayol made his debut in apnea.
Finally, just before arriving at the end of the island, to the south, you will find the wreckage of the boat which was used to shoot the scene where Jacques saves an American soldier.
7. Beaches for Swimming in Amorgos
Where to go to the beach during your vacation in Amorgos?
Here you will find a detailed list of the beaches of Amorgos:
- Aegiali Beach: the longest sandy beach on the island. Ideal with children because shaded.
- Agia Anna Beach, below the monastery, is actually a tiny cove of pebbles. Parking at the top with a small snack. Worth a look.
- Mouros beach: small beach well sheltered from the wind. Just above, there is a restaurant with a nice view. Pretty good and inexpensive meal.
- Paradise beach: tiny and not very pretty.
- Kalotaritissa: for me the most beautiful beach on the island. Shaped like a cove with fine sand and turquoise water. Well sheltered from the wind and with a snack.
- Mikri Glifada Beach, accessible only on foot via a path starting from Tholaria
- Agios Pavlos Beach: a long stretch of sand located between Katapola and Aegiali
- The beaches of the islet of Nikouria that you can reach by boat from Agios Pavlos
- The beaches of Levrossos, Psili Ammos and Chochlakas, they are located one after the other and are accessible by a path or by boat.
- Maltezi beach 20 min walk from Katapola: small cove
- Plakes beach, 45 min walk from Katapola.
Tips for your Amorgos itinerary:
To discover some of the most beautiful beaches and the most beautiful places to swim, I advise you to book a snorkeling trip.
The excursion lasts 2 hours and allows you to snorkel in the most beautiful snorkeling spots on the island, including the caves of Nikouria, Agios Pavlos or Aegiali Bay.
To book directly by clicking here.
8. Boat Trip from Amorgos
And to finish this guide to the island of Amorgos, I now offer you an idea of activity to do to discover the island from another angle: a boat trip.
Several service providers, whether in Katapola or Aegiali, offer to take you on day cruises around the island, with swimming stops on beaches accessible only by boat. You can swim and snorkel in the translucent, turquoise water.
You can also choose to take a sunset cruise if you’re in a romantic mood.
Finally, day trips are also organized to see the small Cyclades, the islands closest to Amorgos.
Which Cycladic islands to visit around Amorgos?
After touring Amorgos, why not visit the other Cycladic islands around?
- The small Cyclades are between Amorgos and Naxos, they are the closest islands. If you are looking for peace and quiet, this is an ideal destination to continue your vacation in the Cyclades.
- Naxos, only 1h15 by express boat. The largest of the islands offers you charming mountain villages and lots of beautiful sandy beaches.
- Paros, 2 hours by ferry. Here too, swimming and the beach are on the program.
- Santorini, only 1 hour to reach Amorgos by ferry. It would be a shame to deprive yourself of a visit to the most famous islands of the Cyclades.
- Ios, for its young and trendy atmosphere.
Find all the islands to see in the Cyclades, in our article: Which islands to visit in the Cyclades?
How many days to visit Amorgos?
If you only want to see the main villages of Amorgos and spend some time at the beach, 2 days is enough to visit the island.
If you come to Amorgos for hiking, you can of course stay longer to discover the island on foot and follow the many marked trails.
1 Day in Amorgos
To visit Amorgos in 1 day, I suggest the following program:
- Stroll through Katapola, the island’s main port
- Visit of the capital, Hora and its mills.
- Lunch break in one of the taverns
- Ascent to the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa
- Photo of Agia Ana cove
- Follow the road south to Kalotaritissa where you can swim. Before arriving or on the way back, be sure to see the wreck of the Big Blue.
2 Days in Amorgos
In 2 days in Amorgos you can resume the previous program and add:
- Walk in Aegiali
- Visit of the villages of Logada, Tholaria and Potamos. You can also do it on foot in hike mode.
- Lunch break
- Choice: Afternoon on one of the beaches or coves near Aegiali or a hike on the island. You can also reverse the program and go for a hike in the morning to be less hot.
3 Days in Amorgos
In 3 days in Amorgos, take the itineraries of the previous 2 days and add:
- A boat trip around Amorgos or in the small Cyclades
- A snorkeling trip
- Or hiking on one of the many marked trails.
If you really like hiking, you have the time and you also want to take a tour of the small Cyclades, there is enough to spend 4 or 5 excellent days or even a week on the island and around!
Accommodation in Amorgos
To visit Amorgos, I advise you to sleep in one of the 2 main towns: Katapola or Aegiali. I recommend you choose between the 2 depending on your departure port when you leave Amorgos.
To help you, I have prepared a selection of the best hotels to sleep in Amorgos.
The best hotels in Katapola
- Amorgion Hotel: Located 1 km from the port of Katapola and 8 minutes walk from the beach. Double room with private balcony and some views of the Aegean Sea from €50 per night, breakfast €8. Most: the swimming pool, the free private car park, the warm welcome. This is the only hotel with a swimming pool in Katapola!
- Pension Barbara: Located 5 minutes from the beach and right next to the port of Katapola. Studio equipped with sink and fridge and having a balcony from 55€. Most: cleanliness, calm, very nice owner.
- Diasino Studios Apartment: Located near the port. Modern and recent studio or apartment with terrace or balcony from €60, breakfast €5. Most: the calm, the situation, all the restaurants nearby. It is our favorite for its price/performance ratio.
- Hotel Landeris: Located 3 minutes from the beach and a few meters from the port. Rustic style room, studio or apartment with wooden furniture, from €60, breakfast included. The pluses: the friendly owners who speak perfect French, the delicious breakfast, the good advice.
- Hotel Minoa: Located 100 meters from the beach and next to the port. Bright and spacious room with balcony from €80 per night, breakfast included. Most: the friendliness of the staff, the exceptional breakfast.
Best hotels in Aegiali
- Pelagos: Located 3 minutes from the beach and 100 meters from the port of Aegiali. Double room with balcony overlooking the sea from €35, breakfast €5. Most: the view, the reception at the boat, the hearty breakfast.
- Aelia Studios Apartment: Located right by the beach. Modern and warm studio with kitchenette with oven and hotplates from €60 per night. Most: the decoration, the charm of the establishment, the location. It is our favorite for its price-performance ratio in Aegiali.
- Vigla Hotel: Located 10 minutes from the beach, in the village above Aegiali, in Tholaria. Modern, bright and spacious room from €110, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the hearty breakfast, the comfort, the calm, the good restaurant. If you are looking for a nice hotel with a swimming pool to sleep in Amorgos, the Vigla is an excellent choice!
- Aegialis Hotel & Spa: Located on the heights of Aegiali. This 5-star hotel (the only one on the island) offers comfortable rooms with balcony from €140 per night. Most: the huge swimming pool, the magnificent view of Aegiali and the sea, the Spa, the tranquility of the place.
How to get to Amorgos?
To get to Amorgos, there is no choice: it will be by ferry.
Unlike Santorini, Naxos or Paros, the island does not have an airport.
From Athens, the departure is from the port of Piraeus. Buses regularly connect Athens airport to the port, so it is very easy to reach it. Depending on the company for your journey, count 5 to 10 hours by boat to arrive in Amorgos.
If you are already on another island of the Cyclades and want to go to Amorgos, boats from Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros or Santorini also shuttle but it is not said that there are all of them days.
As I told you in the article, be careful because Amorgos has 2 ports: in Katapola and Aegiali. So you may arrive at one but have to leave at the other. Don’t be fooled the morning of departure, it would be a shame to miss your boat!
It is best to consult the timetables before, and to book your tickets directly on the internet to plan your circuit in the Cyclades correctly.
And you? What are you planning to do in Amorgos?
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