I suppose we are all familiar with Luc Besson’s 1998 flick “The Big Blue (Le Grande Bleu)” with Jean Reno and Jean-Marc Barr.
Amorgos was, of course, one of the filming locations. Apart from this small piece of trivia, Amorgos is one of those islands in the Cyclades that used to be off the beaten path – although this seems to have changed in the last couple of years. As far as tourism goes, Amorgos is mostly popular with the French -because of “Le Grande Bleu”- and with Italians -probably for the same reason. Greeks have just started noticing Amorgos in the last five years or so , as far as I know.
Until now we had not paid a visit to Amorgos because of the dreadful ferry service. This has improved now and Amorgos has daily ferry service both to Piraeus and the nearby islands, so you can imagine that six hours with a ferry is a relatively good travelling time to go to the island.
So we started from Piraeus at midnight with something like 30 degrees Celsius and we arrived to Katapola in Amorgos, at 6.00am, where the temperature fell to 19 or 20 degrees. We actually felt cold up the hill, in Hora, where the wind (“meltemi”) is constant and relentless in August.
The second pleasant surprise was the front porch of our room, on a terrace overlooking the bay of Katapola. What else can anybody ask? Good food and a nice swim!
As if avoiding the heat in the middle of a heatwave and having a great and reasonably-priced room wasn’t enough, the island also has some nice beaches for long swims, namely Mourou, Agia Anna, Nikouria, Aigiali and Maltezi – in order of preference. There is also Plakes beach, but I am not the one to tell you about it, as we did not have time to go there. We also did not get a chance to visit other (supposedly) good beaches, because they were at the mercy of gale-force north winds during our stay at the island.
I think Amorgos is not the island for crazy sightseeing, but there are many things that can easily fill six days. Hora is of course beautiful, and a visit to Hozoviotissa monastery is worth the while [even though they try to dress you funny if you want to go inside and you are not “appropriately” dressed for their taste – click here to see for yourself what I mean].
As far as eating out is concerned, there are many good restaurants in Hora, Katapola. I would recommend also a visit for dinner to the traditional villages near Aigiali, Lagada and Tholaria where you can enjoy local food in the atmosphere of the old village. Especially in Tholaria, there are many restaurants with good and cheap food.
Overall it was great, relaxing, fun and also a surprise, because I expected to see something similar to other Cyclades islands. Fortunately Amorgos has not lost the traditional atmosphere as opposed to other islands -like Mykonos or Santorini- and is still a place to enjoy good hospitality and a lot of chilling out.
Enjoy our photos!