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Amorgos - The Big Blue

Did you know that the 1988 movie “The Big Blue” with Jean Reno was shot on the island of Amorgòs, at the south eastern edge of the Cyclades? Parts of the island reach a considerable height above sea level, offering superb views out over the Archipelago, Amorgós is one of the most impressive Cycladic islands, boasting marvellous beaches with azure waters, gorgeous caves, ideal spots for diving, scenic bays and ancient footpaths leading through its steep rocky terrain… Inhabited since the Protocycladic Era, as indicated by archaeological finds brought to light in the area, Amorgós has a long cultural history and tradition. Step off the beaten track and visit an island that has preserved its traditional colour, where the locals welcome you with a smile on their face and make you feel at home!
Town of Amorgós (Hóra)

Built at the centre of the island and surrounded by rocky hills, the maze-like Hóra of Amorgós is considered to be one of the most picturesque in the Cyclades! Here you can admire a breathtaking setting with scenic squares, traditional Cycladic houses with Bougainville trees in their court yards and Lilliputian whitewashed alleys. In the morning you can wander around the narrow streets, visit the 13th century castle and the monasteries or relax at a local coffee shop; in the evening pick one of the cosy bars and tavernas scattered around Hóra’s streets and squares and enjoy local specialties accompanied by a shot of “psiméni” raki! Don’t be surprised if you come across a big group of people enjoying an impromptu feast - it is a very common event on the island- feel free to join in!

Katápola

Katàpola is the main harbour of the island as well as a haven for boats and small cruise ships. Set off on a boat trip from Katápola and explore the island’s sun kissed beaches!

Eyiáli

Eyiáli, the second harbour of Amorgós, is popular with young people as it is the site of the island’s camp site. Along its lively waterfront you will find plenty cafes and restaurants. Perched on a mountain behind Eyiáli there are three picturesque villages: Tholária, Lagkáda and Potamós; visit them at the end of the day – the sunset is beautiful.

Itineraries

There are seven footpaths on the island, mapped and sign-posted, along which you can discover the island’s diverse flora and fauna and its rich cultural treasures. They also all offer superb sea views!

1. Paliá Stráta (Hóra- Eyiáli bay): not an easy route to follow – it’s 11.5 km long! This 4-hour-hike starts from Hóra, continues past the Monastery of Chozoviotissa, goes half way across the island to Potamós and on to at Eyiáli Bay.
2. Fotodótis, connecting Hóra with Katápola, is an easy one hour’s walk along a cobblestone path with beautiful views to the sea…
3. Itonia (Leukes, Agioi Saranta, Kamari, Kastri, Vroutsi, Rahoula, Arkesini) is a 3-hour walk and it’s considered to be a difficult one (10 km). Discover sites of cultural interest, such as the ancient Acropolis, and let the history of the island unfold before your eyes!
4. The footpath of Melania (Eyiáli Bay, Lagkada, Stroumpos, Panagia Epanohorini, Tholaria) is a 4.5 km. route which goes past traditional settlements and ancient Cycladic ruins. The views of the bay are stunning. It is an easy two-hour walk.
5. The footpath of Pan (Lagkada, Agios Ioannis, Stavros, Krikelos) is a 6.5 km. two-hour route which goes past the Byzantine Monastery of Ioannis Theologos and Stavros Chapel and up to the highest point of the island, Mount Krikelos, 812 m. above sea level. Although it is considered to be a difficult path, the superb sea views make it well worthwhile.
6. Valsamitis is an easy one-hour trek. It goes past Ayios Georgios Valsamitis and ends at ancient Minoa, where you can admire preserved parts of the stadium, the gymnasium and the Temple of Dionysus.

Tip

Wear a pair of comfortable shoes and start early in the morning. Don’t forget to take plenty of water with you and a coat to protect you from the wind – at some points it can be unbearable!

SourcE: Visitgreece.gr

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Thursday, August 15, 2013