INFORMATION ABOUT AMORGOS
Amorgos, is an island with vast natural beauty and deep blue beaches. It is located in the south-eastern side of Cyclades and abstains 136 nautical miles from Peiraeus Port. It’s the natural gateway and link between the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands. Amorgos allocates two natural harbors, Katapola in the centre of the island and Aegiali in the northern end. Most of the coasts are rocky and lead abruptly into the sea.
Aigiali is known for its steep mountainous terrain. There, there is the island’s highest peak ,Krikellos, of 821 m. altitude. In the center of the island, we have Profitis Ilias of 698 meters altitude and Aspro Vouno (or Vouno or Korakas, of 528 meters altitude. Among these mountainous areas small valleys and plains lay between these three peaks harbour settlements like Kolofanas on the west, Katapola in the center, Aegiali in the north, as well as smaller ones like Kamari, Arkessini, and Agios Pavlos.
The largest part of the island is covered with rock formations that come from the ancient times and the limestone, which between them cover most of the land. The island’s current shape is roughly 700,000 years old and was set with the sinking of large sections of its interior and the formation of its mountain masses. The flora here is similar to the rest of the islands of Cyclades. It is sparse, mostly shrubs with mastic shrubs, kermes oak, broom, and phrygana beyond the fertile plains at Katapola, Kato Meria, and Aegiali that are thick with olive groves and other fruit-bearing trees. Vines, top quality vegetables, and some cereals are cultivated in terraced fields throughout the island. The more the island lacks in size and in the density of its vegetation, the richest the diversity of endemic flora is, especially rare herbs with therapeutic attributes.
The island is protected from the cooling northerly winds, or meltemia in August because of the nature of the ground and its morphology. Aegiali is quite warm during the summer months.
Amorgos is connected with Piraeus, Dodekanisa and Cyclades with many itineraries, mainly during the summer months. The island has transportation with a lot of bus itineraries mainly during the summer period.
Amorgos was known in antiquity as Pagali, Psychia, Karkissia, and Melania. According to ancient geographers and lexicographers the island constituted three cities, Arkessini (located in place Kastri), Minoa (located in place Moudalia in Katapola) and Aegiali (located in Vigla at Tholaria).
Important archaeological discoveries that have been found, testify that the island was first inhabited during the 5th millennium. Excavations on the island discovered the background of a Cycladic Culture and the relation of Amorgos with Naxos, Paros and other remote islands.
The Cycladic culture flourishes in the island during the 3rd millennium B.C. and leaves indelible traces with the familiar marble figurines. There are also signs of Minoan influence. The island was subsequently colonized by Miletus and Naxos and became a member of the first Athenian League or Athenian Confederacy. In the third and second centuries B.C., the island found itself under the dominion of the Macedonians, the Ptolemies, the Samians, the Rhodians, and the Romans. Hellenistic worship rituals predominate through the fourth century A.D. when ancient temples are converted to Christian places of worship.
Later, raids by Saracen pirates force the population to retreat inland and barricade themselves inside settlements at Kastro, Kastri, and in the 23 watchtowers of the island.
The icon of the Virgin Hozoviotissa arrived on the island from Palestine during the Iconomachy, the period when icons were rejected as encouraging idolatry. Extensive renovations to the monastery in 1088 were made under the Byzantine Emperor Alexis Comnenus.
Many architectural vestiges from the Venetian era have been found on the island. Some of them are the Gavras tower (o pyrgos tou Gavra), Kato Lakkos, and the stone-paved Lozes.
During the Turkish rule, Amorgos reaches its economic peak and experiences an ecclesiastic renaissance. In 1822, following the Greek independence revolt, the island becomes the seat of an eparchy of the nascent Modern Greek state. In 1829, one of the first Greek schools is established with funds from the Monastery of Panayia Hozoviotissa.
After World War II the population of Amorgos decreases due to a large number of islanders migrate to urban areas or abroad.
The last 20 years have seen rapid growth in tourism.