Amorgos: Great Vibrations
Like a gift that keeps on giving, the Cyclades are constantly throwing a spanner into your summer plans. Just when you’re about to hit return and book that dope-ass holiday to a Greek island, you notice the ad with a picture of a beautiful sun drenched, turquoise water bay. And of course that means you just have to inspect it further. And that means you’ll invariably be back to square one. The Cyclades have much to offer. In their uniformity they stand like a beacon. Amongst the many Cycladic islands that pop up on your feed, Amorgos will no doubt be one of them.
Amorgos, like its sister Cyclades consists of the holy trifecta of Greek holidays: food, culture, sun. Some islands have more, some islands have less, but the constant theme in the Cyclades is that you’re gonna get tanned (or crimson if you’re a Brit), stuffed, and culturally richer. Because Amorgos hasn’t featured as much you’ll get the added bonus of having wide expanses to yourself.
One of the things that Amorgos is famous for is the Hozoviotissa monastery. Built in the 11th century by none other than Alexius Comnenus I, one of the fabled Byzantine emperors, the Hozoviotissa monastery is a testament to the human spirit and determination in the face of great odds. It is essentially a structure built into the cliff face, high up a mountain, and visible from afar like a gleaming gem. People make the pilgrimage to see it and look at some of the seminal artefacts inside it, such as the 15th century Theotokio portrait and the Gennadios Prayer from 1619.
The charming capital of Chora is as enchanting as Choras come in Greece. Built on a mountain 400 meters above sea level and accentuated with a 13th century Venetian castle, it is dramatic as it is breath taking. White cubed houses vie for attention with Byzantine churches and Christian monasteries, in between the labyrinthine cobbled paved streets. For a shot at even more quaint-ness and authenticity, head to the lesser known villages of Tholaria, Potamos and Lagada. You’ll know you’re in Greece.
When you’re done with all the sightseeing, you’ll want some r&r. The beaches are superb and your first task should be to locate them and get on a recon mission. We wholeheartedly suggest the picture perfect Agios Pavlos as a starting point. This sliver of white sand sticks out like a finger into the sea like it’s man-made. Its wanderlust overload. Psilli Ammos also gets a shout out for its pure clear water and inaccessibility. And then after that there’s a litany of amazing beaches such as Mouros, Maltezi, Agia Anna, Nikouria and Paradisia amongst others that are just too good to miss. A day of beach hopping is definitely in order for those who seek the vitamin D. One could see as many as 3 or 4 beaches a day and it probably wouldn’t be enough.
It should go without saying that water based activities are de rigueur, with a couple scuba diving centers on the island ready to take you on. Plus, there’s a neat trail network that crisscrosses the island, if you find you need to shake off some of that saganaki off your circumference.
Amorgos should be on your bucket list. If it’s not you clearly haven’t been paying attention. This island has all the advantages of Mykonos, with none of its drawbacks (unless of course, your ideal holiday involves around getting a glimpse of the Kardashians on one of their annual trips).