Its name has been identified with peace and remoteness. It is located on the south eastern side of Cyclades, very close to the islands of Naxos and Ios. However, Amorgos has managed to keep its pace quiet and traditional.
In the ancient times, the island flourished with Minoan civilization, as excavations have shown. Then, it followed the route of the other Greek towns. In the classical times, it had three city-states that would function as a federation. These city-states based economically on fishing, trading and shipping. In 487 BC, Amorgos lost its autonomy and became a member of the Delian League, which was controlled by Athens. The island was made to pay a yearly tax to Athens, which led into its financial decline.
In the 2nd century BC, Amorgos was conquered by the Romans. That time, Christianity was introduced to the inhabitants. In the Byzantine times, the first chapels were built and some of them exist till today all over the island. In 1207, the Venetians took over Amorgos and built strong castles to protect the island from pirates. However, in 1537, the Turkish pirate Barbarossa conquered the island and destroyed it, before handling it over to the Ottoman Empire. Amorgos was set free in 1829, after the end of the Greek Revolution, and formed part of the first Greek State.
Today the permanent inhabitants of Amorgos are few. A lot of residents immigrated in the 1950s and 1960s to mainland towns or abroad in search for a better life. The remaining residents deal mostly with agriculture, fishing and tourism.
The most popular tourist resorts in Amorgos are Katapola and Aegiali, one on the southern side and the other on the northern side. They both work as the main ports of Amorgos, receiving ferries from Piraeus and other islands and also hosting many fishing boats and yachts.
Chora, the capital of Amorgos, is built on the slopes of a hill, about 400m above the sea level. The main colors dominating the village is certainly blue and white, the typical colors of the Aegean. The remains of a Venetian Castle are found on top of a huge rock above Chora, from where you have wonderful views to the surrounding area.
The top site to visit on Amorgos is the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, built on the slopes of a rocky mountain. This Byzantine monastery was built in the 11th century and played an important role in the cultural development of the island, establishing the first secondary school on Amorgos in the 1830s. Very close to this monastery, there is the beach of Agia Anna, which provided the setting for the famous movie “Big Blue”.