The oblong shape of the mountainous and barren island
of Amorgos, 121 Square Km. in area and having a population
of 1650, lies on the eastern edge of the Cyclades. It
is 138 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus. In some
places, the coastline is steep and rocky, while elsewhere
it forms quiet, shady bays. The ruins to be found all
over the island and the important archeological finds
discovered there (some of which are in the National
Archeological Museum, Athens), are testimony to the
fact that Amargos was inhibited in prehistoric times
and was a place of great importance during the period
of the Cycladic civilization.
In antiquity, there
were three flourishing and independent cities on the island: Aegiali
in the north, Minoa in the center and Arkessini in the south.
At Katapola, the main harbor of the island today and the location
of the interesting church of Our Lady "Katapoliani"
(built on the site of a temple of Apollo), traces of ancient Minoa
have come to light. Swimmers will be delighted at the superb beaches
to be found at: Kat'Akrotir, Maltezi, Plakes, Treis Ieararches,
Agios Panteleimonas, Finikies, Tyrokomos and Agioi Saranta.
The whitewashed houses of
the capital of the island, Hora, spread out beneath the
Venitian castle, which stands on the peak of the hill. Hora's
archaeological museum, the windmills and its many churches
are well worth visiting. The typical Cycladic architectural
style of the double or "twin" church is much in
evidence here. To the northeast of Hora, at the foot of
a rock, is the Byzantine monastery of Our Lady "Hozoviotissa"
one of the most important monuments of its kind. Visitors
will also admire Hora's nearest rocky and pebbled shores
of Agia Anna and Kambi.
The second port of Amorgos,
Aegiali, is a pretty village famed for its superb sandy beaches
and consisting of three distinct "traditional quarters":
Laganda, Tholaria and Potamos. It is easier to reach Aegiali by
sea than along the road linking it to Hora. Swimmers will enjoy
Aegiali's fine beaches, its central beach, Fokiotrypa, Levrosos,
Psili Ammos, Chochlakas, Agios Pavlos, Nikouria islet shores.
In the south of the island, the "Kato Meria" Arkessini
stands near the site of the ancient city of the same name, amidst
a group of picturesque whitewashed hamlets. Setting from Katapola
and traveling to Arkessini, the vistor passes through the villages
Lefkes, Kamari, Vroutsis and Agio Saranta. Further on, in the
district of "Kato Meria", are the plains of Kolofana
and Kalotaritissa, and the picturesque beaches Ammoudi (near Arkessini),
Mourou Bay, Paradeisia, Kato Kambos and Kalotaritissa Bay (Agia