Visit Chora, Amorgos Island

Visit Chora, Amorgos Island

Everywhere you go, you will hear the same thing about the capital of Amorgos Island – that it’s the most beautiful Chora in the whole wide Cyclades archipelago and the Greek islands!

No wonder – once you walk its narrow alleys, brush your shoulders off the whitewashed corner houses, and admire its chapels and churches, dressed all in white and adorned with lush flowers, you will become hopelessly in love with this Aegean village.

I went there in the peak of the summer and it was not crowded, actually – it was just perfect. Follow my steps and discover all the things to do, see, and experience in Amorgos Chora.

Map of Amorgos

Map of Amorgos island, Greece
Amorgos map

Amorgos Island

First things first – what does Chora mean? Every island has its capital and its official name is usually the same as the name of the island.

However, to the islanders, Chora, meaning town/village, is the name of any island’s capital. So, Amorgs Chora refers to the capital village of Amorgos Island.  

Amorgos is the easternmost island of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. Adorned with wild beauty, rugged terrains and without an airport, it is a place difficult to reach (around 7-10 hours ferry ride from the Piraeus port of Athens).

The Monastery of Hozoviotissa, Amorgos Island

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However, this guarantees there won’t be crowds of tourists and an opportunity to experience an Aegean island like the islands used to be before becoming international summer destinations.

Amorgos is an elongated crescent-shaped rugged rock in the middle of the Aegean and the only island that has two official ports – Katapola to the south and Egiali to the north.

This is because until just recently, one part of the island was not connected to the other with a road network, so each port serviced villages surrounding it. The island still has only one road.

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The single most stunning thing on Amorgos (and perhaps all of the Aegean) is the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa on its eastern side.

It is a cliffhanging monastery built more than a thousand years ago to safeguard an icon of the Virgin Mary, who is the protector of the island.

Facing the open sea, with holy relics, unparalleled views and unique architecture, the Monastery has a towering architectural and spiritual presence over the island and is a must for every visitor.

Amorgos is known as “The Big Blue” after the eponymous Luc Besson’s 1988 movie shot around its shores, praising the Aegean Sea surrounding it.

🏝️ Amorgos Island Travel Guide

One of the most picturesque villages in the Greek Islands

It is common knowledge among the Greeks that Amorgos Chora is not only a quintessential island capital, but the most beautiful of them all.

Beautiful Amorgos Chora
Beautiful Amorgos Chora

This has to do with its village squares, domed churches, medieval houses, miniature chapels scattered on the hillside, whitewashed houses with colorful flowers along the cobbled streets, churches of early Byzantine years, Venetian castle and sleepy windmills in the distance.

Chora is a home to around 400 people and it originates in the 13th century, when the Venetian lords that dominated the island built this hillside settlement to protect themselves from the frequent pirate raids.

Another gorgeous cafe in Chora Amorgos
Another gorgeous cafe in Chora Amorgos

The village deliberately can’t be seen from the sea.

The ultimate protection came in the form of a Venetian fortress (the Kastro) that, although in ruins, still reigns from the highest rock of Amorgos Chora and the village grew out around the Kastro

What to see

Amorgos Chora is a beautiful place for cosmopolitan island experience, but it is not near the beaches.

Agia Anna Beach, the closest beach to Chora
Agia Anna Beach, the closest beach to Chora

If you are spending more time on the island, make sure to stay in Chora of Amorgos for one or two nights then head to the beaches.

Chora is a car-free zone.

TIP: The closest beach is also one of the Amorgos’ most beautiful – Agia Anna Beach.

Village Squares

The life of Chora is organized around two village squares (plateia).

The main one – Plateia Loza (from Latin for market – “loggia”) – is also known as the Upper Square, and the second one, called the Lower Square, is where the Holy Metropolis church of Amorgos is.

Loza Square, Choa Amorgos

The Upper Loza is a dreamlike piazza with a huge eucalyptus tree in the middle and café houses, traditional bars and shops around. From Loza you go up to the Venetian castle.

Narrow alleys

As with any other traditional village in the Cyclades, Amorgos Chora is organized around very narrow alleys that protect people against the winds.

Narrow Alleyways, Amorgos Chora
Narrow Alleyways, Amorgos Chora

More importantly, the alleys confused the Saracen pirates that raided the lower neighborhood in large numbers, enabling the locals to jump the roofs and reach the safety of the castle.

Nowadays, it is a postcard-perfect maze of sugar-cubed whitewashed houses and passageways with arches housing pastry shops, traditional handcrafts, rare holiday homes, museums, bars, and restaurants.

I loved the smells around the alleys, where summer flowers of bougainvillea, jasmine, and mint blossom in the tin pots that once were big Feta cheese containers.

Amorgos Cathedral, Chora Amorgos
Amorgos Cathedral, Chora Amorgos

I loved the sounds of donkeys going up and down with groceries (cars do not fit the narrow streets) and bells going on in one of its many churches.

Above all, I love the locals going about their own business like these beauties are business as usual.

Churches and Chapels

The post-Byzantine churches in Amorgos Chora are everywhere, embedded in the urban fabric among the houses, courtyards, and squares.

Church of Ascension and Annunciation of Virgin Mary with Amorgos Cathedral behind
Church of Ascension and Annunciation of the Virgin Mary with Amorgos Cathedral behind

You will never have enough time to visit them all, so enjoy their imposing presence from the street and concentrate on a couple of them:

⛪ Church of Zoodoho Pigi (Mother of God of the Life-giving Spring).

⛪ Church of Ascension and Annunciation of Virgin Mary for its all-in-white appearance and beautiful dome.

Church of Zoodoho Pigi, Chora Amorgos
Church of Zoodoho Pigi, Chora Amorgos

The Castle of Amorgos

The Venetian Fortress is the highest structure in Chora Amorgos, just behind the Plateia Loza. Fortified by Ieremia and Gyzi brothers in 1207 it marked the rise of the settlement.

View of the Chora from the entrance to the castle
View of the Chora from the entrance to the castle

The entrance to the castle is via the village’s oldest church, the whitewashed chapel of Kyra Leousa, which is locked.

Ask in one of the bars of Plateia Loza for the key (still a huge medieval key) and don’t forget to bring it back!

Entrance door to the chapel that leads to the Fortress
The entrance door to the chapel that leads to the Fortress

Chora and several other inland villages are where the villagers retreated to when the Saracen pirates raided the island in the 8th Century AD.

This Kastro and the old watch towers around the island were built in the 13th Century by the Ghizi brothers. They had been granted the island by the Venetian, Marco Sanudo, what was the Duchy of Naxos.

TIP: Best visited during the late afternoon for a magnificent sunset but you can enter any time of the day before sunset.


The windmills of the eastern cliff of Chora Amorgos are proper reminders of the olden days of the island when, for over 300 years, 35 windmills turned in the wind on the ridgetops.

Panorama of Chora with the windmills in the background
Panorama of Chora with the windmills in the background

The line of whitewashed windmills is a perfect setting for photographs as the whole Chora village, the Fortress and the Aegean Sea roll out to the horizon.

Most of them are ruins or locked, and they haven’t operated for over 40 years, but you can visit a couple of them.

Café, bars, restaurants, taverns, museums, hiking

Amorgos is known for its alternative lifestyle visitors, who make the best crowd once the sun sets.

Impromptu live performances, Rebetico music on the squares, jazz sessions and Greek folk music and dances fill the cool night air of Chora of Amorgos. My favorites are:

Pastry shop – Kallisto

Amazing baklavas under the medieval arches.

Kallisto pastry shop, Chora Amorgos
Kallisto pastry shop, Chora Amorgos

Restaurant – Transistoraki

Greek food with a twist

Transistoraki Restaurant, Amorgos Chora
Transistoraki Restaurant, Amorgos Chora

Gourmet restaurant – Apospero

Apospero restaurant, Chora Amorgos
Apospero restaurant, Chora Amorgos

Tavern – Photodotes

Fantastic lamb stew and chickpeas.    

Music bar – Kath’odon

Music under the stars at Kath'odon, Chora Amorgos
Music under the stars at Kath’odon, Chora Amorgos

Café – Ilios café bar

Ilios café bar, Amorgos Island
Ilios café bar, Amorgos Island

TIP: Try the Amorgian grappa and liqueur (called psimeni), raki and rakomelo! 

Archaeological Museum (Archaeological Collection of Amorgos)

Housed in the impressive 16th-century Gavras mansion, the museum narrates the past of the island through inscriptions found on the island, and statuary.

The Amorgos Idol, Amorgos Archaeological Museum

Amorgos has some of the best Cycladic figures in all of Greece and you can see some of these at the museum.

The historical Roussos mansion, surrounded by a series of arches called “Embrostiada” is also worth checking.


Amorgos is a hiking heaven with 8 official hiking trails. Paths no. 1 and 2 start from Chora. Give yourself 4 and a half hours to get from Chora to Aegiali Bay on Path No.1.

Hiking on Amorgos Island, Greece
Hiking on Amorgos Island, Greece

A much shorter hike is the one-hour-long Path No. 2 from Chora to Katapola.

🥾 Hiking Trail 1: Chora – Chozoviotissa Monastery – Kapsala – Ksenodochio – Agrilas – Asfodilitis – Ekso Mera – Potamos – Aegiali Bay

🥾 Hiking Trail 2: Chora – Milies – Aghia Irini – Katapola

Where to Stay in Chora Amorgos

Our TOP 4 picks!

Oasis Apartments

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Pension Ilias

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Irida House

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Dream House Little Villa

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