It was the 1988 film “Le Grand Bleu” which put Amorgos on it the map and, as I dock on the tiny port of Katapola, the one different vacationers are talking French.
The harbour has a cluster of straightforward eating places and tiny guesthouses, reminding me of how life within the Greek islands was once. It’s located on a gorgeous horseshoe bay, actually a group of three separate villages – Katapola correct on the south facet, Xylokeratidhi on the north shore, and Rahidhi within the center.
Behind, the mountains stand up into one lengthy ridge reaching 800m at its highest level and so they’re lined in a community of well-signed trails. The panorama is the star right here, somewhat than the seashores, and one of the best ways of discovering the delights of the island is on foot. Even higher you’ll be able to actually recognize the magnificent settings of the traditional cities.
The bus climbs upwards to the centre of the island. Surrounded by rocky hills topped with decapitated windmills, Chora, the island’s capital was constructed as safety in opposition to pirate assault.
The ruined 13th century Kastro perches precariously on an upright volcanic plug, wrapped with a chapel or two. It’s surrounded by low white homes, linked by a labyrinth of slender lanes, sprouting purple bougainvillaea.
From right here I take a path downwards in direction of the ocean after which begin to climb 350 steps to the 11th century Moni Hozoviotissis monastery. The dazzling white sheer construction is embedded into the cliff face and eight flooring, related by slender stone staircases, are carved into the rock.
Solely a few monks occupy the fifty rooms now however they nonetheless provide conventional hospitality. Each visitor is handled to a sugary lump of loukoúmi, a warming shot of raki, with honey and spices, and a cool glass of water.
Suitably fortified, I comply with a well-signed path northeast alongside the excessive backbone of the island. This can be a barren treeless panorama however within the distance, I could make out tiny white villages. I quickly drop right down to Aegiali,
Amorgos’ second port, even sleepier than Katapola. Resisting the temptation to relaxation in town’s sweep of sand, I take a round path upwards by way of the beautiful villages of Langada and Tholaria. After one other three hours, I’m again on the shore and take a well- earned dip.
The subsequent day I set out in the other way and climb out of Katapola on the steep highway to succeed in the traditional metropolis of Minoa in about 40 minutes. Like most issues on the island, it’s very low key, with no data on show, however the setting is spectacular. I see fragments of wall, the foundations of an Apollo temple, and trays upon trays of unsorted pottery shards.
The monitor follows the shoreline south-west, descending virtually to sea stage earlier than climbing up by way of deserted terraces to succeed in the positioning of Historical Arkesini. It’s in a commanding state of affairs, perched precariously on the clifftops, surrounded by water on three sides. It dates from the ninth century BC however was later deserted due to pirate raids.
Tower of Agia Triada
A brief distance inland is the Tower of Agia Triada, constructed within the 4th century BC to provide residents protected haven. It’s one of many largest and best-preserved towers of the Cyclades, fairly spectacular in measurement. This rectangular fortress, constructed of native limestone, is a attribute instance of Hellenistic structure and stands out within the panorama.
Not like the north of the island, the south is way extra fertile with plentiful olive bushes, and I descend steeply to a slender bay. The seaside is abandoned, missed by an previous chapel, and the ocean beckons. After a ultimate dip, I make my approach again inland to Kolofana and tuck into great native specialities at Apanemo restaurant. In fact, every part right here is natural, picked from the proprietor’s gardens and I notably get pleasure from mom’s slow-cooked goat.
Additionally Learn Greek Island Hopping – Paros
FLY: Wizzair has low cost flights from London Luton to Athens.
GETTING AROUND: Most ferries from Piraeus go through Naxos. There are additionally hyperlinks with Mykonos and Santorini. Use the restricted bus companies on the island to discover on foot.
STAY: Diasino Studios, simply behind the port in Katapola, makes a cushty base.
EAT: Mouragio Taverna serves up glorious seafood proper on the harbour.
Expertise Amorgos has details about the island
Go to Greece has details about the nation.
PACKAGE: On Foot Holidays provide 7 days strolling in Naxos and Amorgos from £645.