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Amorgos: a wild island little touched by tourism

The island of Amorgós (121 km², 1,860 inhabitants) is the easternmost island of the archipelago of the Cyclades islands, it is located southeast of Naxos and northeast of Ios. The island has an elongated shape from south-west to north-east. The capital is the village of Chora (Hora) located almost in the center of the island. Amorgos is the seventh largest island in the Cyclades. The island covers 121 km² of surface, is about 33 km long, while its width varies between 1.9 km and 6.5 km.

The main port, where the ferries arrive, is that of Katapola, other ferry lines also arrive in Aegiali (Egiali). Both ports are located on the north coast of the island. The territory of the island, as indeed in all the Cyclades, is arid and barren. In the western part of the island there are numerous small valleys and inlets with sandy beaches. The rivers of the island are short and torrential.

A single road crosses the island from north to south and connects all the main towns of Amorgos. The only cultivated areas of the island are found in the coastal plain of Egiali and in the alluvial valleys of Xylokeratidi and Katapola. In these areas the cultivation of cereals and olives is practiced. Another agricultural area of ​​the island, where cereals and feed are grown, is the internal plateau of Kolofana and Kalotaritissa.

A BARE AND MOUNTAINOUS ISLAND

Formed by barren reliefs, cultivated with olive and fig trees, along the entire length. The island is crossed by a mountain range, which descends steeply to the sea, in particular along the south-east coast. Along the north-western coast there are several small uninhabited islands whose total area is less than 5 km². The largest of these islands is that of Nikouria which rises up to a height of 346 meters. The small island of Gramvousa is located at the southwestern end of the island.

The island exceeds 800 meters in height in its northern part, with Mount Krikelos (821 meters). In the center of the island is Mount Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elia). The mountain dominates from its 698 meters high the monastery of Hozoviotissas which is perched on its slopes. In the southern part of the island is Mount Korakas which reaches 530 meters in height.

Amorgos has been inhabited since ancient times. The island was probably already in the III Millennium BC, an important commercial center along the routes of the Aegean Sea. Colonized by the Ions, it followed the historical vicissitudes of Greece, during the Roman Empire it was used as a place of exile of Roman nobles. Entering the Byzantine orbit, it later became a possession of Venice. Subsequently the island was occupied by the Turks between the 16th century and 1830.

AN ANCIENT MONASTERY

Amorgós is famous for the ancient Byzantine monastery of Hozoviotissas (Panagia Hozoviotissa) from which you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the island and the sea. This monastery houses an ancient miraculous icon, and is perched, about 300 meters high, on a rock wall in the center of the southern coast. The monastery, founded in the early 9th century and rebuilt in the 11th century, is considered one of the most architecturally interesting monasteries in the Aegean Sea.

The island is dotted with characteristic villages nestled among the hills. Almost in the center of the island is Chora (Hora), the ancient capital of the island. This village is about 400 meters high and has a small archaeological museum and a 13th century Venetian fortress. Other interesting inhabited centers are those of Katapola with the archaeological remains of Minoa. The port of Aegiali (Egiali), the remains of the monastery of Aghios Ioannis Theologos and the small towns of Tholaria and Langada, located at the northern end of the island. The beaches of Amorgos are small and pebbly, among the most beautiful those of Agia Anna, Agia Pavlos, Paradisi and Mouron.

HOW TO GET TO AMORGOS

FERRIES: Amorgos is connected by regular ferries to the port of Piraeus (a few km west of Athens). The time taken for the crossing varies between 7 and 9 hours. The island is also connected by ferries with some Cycladic islands such as Naxos, Paros, Patmos, Milos, Santorini, Folegandros, Syros and Schinousa. There are also ferries connecting Amorgos with Rhodes (10 hours crossing), Leros (3 hours by ferry), Kos (5 hours by ferry) and Patmos (2 hours crossing) in the Dodecanese.

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