The island was first inhabited during the Neolithic period and 14 sites dating from the Early Cycladic period have been excavated so far. In antiquity, there were three main cities on Amorgos, all founded in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. Remains of all three can still be seen. The island played an important role in antiquity, due to its special geographic location. During the Medieval era, Amorgos was ruled by the Dukes of Naxos, but after the Byzantine Empire was restored in Constantinople, Amorgos was recaptured in 1268. Before the end of the century, however, the Venetians and Genoese defeated the Byzantines and Amorgos returned to the rule of the Dukes of Naxos until the Ottomans captured the island in 1566.
TRAVEL FROM ATHENS TO AMORGOS
We suggest visitors should arrive one day earlier in Athens or book a flight arriving before 14.00 so that they are at the port on time – most of the ferries to Amorgos leave at 17.30. There is one daily connection to Amorgos Island (except on Saturday during winter) from Piraeus port, Athens. Ferries dock alternately at the two ports of Amorgos Island: Katapola and Aegiali (closest to the hotel)
All options for your transfer from Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos to the port of Piraeus:
Bus: Express bus X96 leaves every 20 minutes during the day and every 40 minutes at night from the Athens International Airport Arrivals Level (between Entrance 4 and 5) to “Karaiskaki Square” in Piraeus, right outside the ferry port. The ticket costs 5.00€. The trip takes from about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and a half.
Metro: The subway will take you from the airport to Monastiraki station. There you will change to line 1 (green line). The end of line 1 is Piraeus station, just outside the entrance to the ferry port. The journey time from Athens International Airport to the port of Piraeus is about one hour. Trains are every half hour (:00 and :30), with the first service departing the airport at 05:30 and the last service at 23:30.
Taxi: This is the most hassle-free way. The drive from the airport to the port takes 45 to 60 minutes.
During summer season, from the middle of June until the middle of September, Amorgos ports can also be reached with high speed vessels departing from Piraeus and Rafina ports. Vessels like Seajet Superjet and Hellenic Seaways deliver services to Amorgos during that period.
FROM SANTORINI TO AMORGOS
During summer season, it is possible to fly to Santorini, from where there are daily high speed vessel connections to Amorgos.
In the area of Aegiali Bay: Tholaria - Stroumbos - Langada This hiking path connects two traditional villages with different atmosphere, Tholaria and Langada, and passes through a small village, Stroumbos, amid the seducing Amorgian nature. It is an excellent way to discover the lifestyle of the inhabitants, their traditions and the typical ambiance of the Kafeníon (traditional café). This hiking route is located in the most beautiful part of the island and offers fascinating views combining sea, mountain and local vegetation. Along the way, one can see whitewashed chapels from all periods, sometimes built on ancient sites; the remains of a tower of the Hellenistic period; terraced fields, lined with magnificent dry stone walls and an overview of a small canyon, Araklos. The paths have been made using a variety of paved stones, ranging from deep black to bright white. This trail offers the opportunity to reap a nice sample of the famous aromatic and medicinal plants of the island. Minimum number of participants: 10 Duration:
2 hours continuously - 3 hours with stops and visits
GUIDED ISLAND TOUR (IN COACH OR MINIBUS)
The full day island tour introduces participants to the most important sites of the island of Amorgos : *The Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa: The 1000 year old Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa, built in the cliffs 300 meters above the sea, is an impressive landmark and a monument of vernacular architecture. Home to the miraculous icon of the same name, it is one of the most remarkable Monasteries in Greece. * The picturesque capital of the island, Chora, has 40 churches and 12 windmills, beautiful squares and houses of the 17th century. A labyrinth of typical Cycladic alleys leads to the Kastro (castle) built on the top of an impressive rock. Located in a 16th century mansion house, the Archaeological Museum of Amorgos presents interesting findings from the island. * The Monastery of Saint George Valsamitis is built upon the ruins of an ancient water oracle. “Lalon Idor” - in English “water that speaks” - was one of the most important oracles in antiquity, along with the oracles of Delphi and Dodoni. Coming from all parts of Greece, visitors would find in its waters mental clarity and answers to their questions. The sacred spring still runs in the Monastery today. Duration: between 3 and 4 hrs
HERBAL TOUR: INTRODUCTION TO THE AMORGIAN HERBS
The island of Amorgos has over 600 species of herbs and aromatic plants, including 40 endemic! The use of the medicinal plants of Amorgos is part of the healing traditions of the island since ancient times. Due to the island’s micro-climate and unique geo-magnetic characteristics, the Amorgian herbs have an essential oil yield significantly higher than the average. Plants such as sage can be smelled on the island all year long, while others such as thyme represent an outstanding food source for the bees that produce high quality honey, awarded in international exhibitions. You will learn to distinguish aroma and appearance of the herbs and how to use them for your well being and as a gastronomic ingredient. Depending on the seasonal activities related to herbs, the walk will bring the participants to the essential oil distillery of the island or to our organic garden.
Dance holds a special place in the traditions of the island. All year long, there are many opportunities for local people -men and women- to wear their traditional costumes and dance until dawn, to the sound of the lute and violin. A convivial dinner is often the occasion of spontaneous dances, such as Kitsos or syrtos... Learn the steps, take part to the festivities and discover the art of living.