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Opinions & guidance please!

Athens, Greece
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Opinions & guidance please!

I'm trying to plan our next few trips, one of them being a return to the Cyclades & I would definitely like to include Amorgos for a few days, the exact number will be dictated by ferry timings & where we come from & go to. We would be travelling in the very early, or very late season

Usually I can choose quite quickly where I want to be based on an island, but I can't decide where on Amorgos. As it's so small the distances to other places aren't a consideration. We would explore during the day & need a choice of a few tavernas within a short walking distance for the evenings. Nothing fancy, basic, traditional food & relaxing is all we need.

Proximity of beaches are not a priority. Basic, clean & preferably cheap accommodation is required, a view would be nice, but not essential!

Where have any of you stayed & why that choice of location? Would staying in Chora be a good idea? I know accommodation is limited there.

This would be very early, or very late season

Philadelphia
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1. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

Yiassas, I was only there for 4 days, but as people had told me, it's so peaceful you'll feel as if you've been there twice as long. And I simply lucked into a congenial travel companion and a nifty place to stay... It was late may 2003? I believe. And i've been thinking of going back ever since.

Just a couple of weeks ago, there was this thread about places to stay, eat, etc. so I won't repeat myself: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189423-i4634-k407…

I took that "rust-bucket" Skopelitis from Naxos, that stops at every islet on the way... long bumpy ride, lots of spray too (there now are better, faster ferries from Piraeus, and from Naxos too). And an English "instant friend" and I just decided, let's get off at Aegalis. We had no place to stay, but she said a friend told her, everyone eats at Katina's under the flowering tree so just go there, sit down, and say loudly "I wonder if anyone knows of a room?" We did, and this couple bustled up and said, "Come with us!" and we followed them to Askas pension. Clean, bright, cheap (about 25€ double), just 50 meters behind the beach, looking across an open field to the water, then up to the hills. We 4 all ate at Niko's up in the hill town and I have a view of us at table, looking down at sunset, which I treasure. Katina's was our favorite Aegalis taverna, but there were at least 4 others and probably more now ... and some we could see would open in high season.

We found that Chora (gorgeous!) felt very empty ... almost like a ghost town at 11 am ... can't imagine it at night. Island bus service is abysmal. You can take a bus up to Chora, but either taxi or hike back down. FRom Chora you cn head down a steep ravine (fending off goats all the way) to get to the famous monastery built into the rock. You cannot see it from above at all. We got 2/3 of the way there (in the broiling mid-day sun) and thought we were misdirected and gave up! Only later realized our mistake.

Also spent part of a day in Katapola, but were not that intrigued, perhaps it has its charms in the evening.

There were people who spent all day hiking the truly cruel hills ... but I think they were mostly Germans. (They would have 2 alpenstocks) . The landscape is truly dramatic, bleak, steep hills... very photographic -- Yiass you'd love that!

Lindesnes...
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2. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

My wife and I have stayed twice in Chora on Amorgos, and would not hesitate to do so again. The town may be empty during the day, but wake up in the afternoon and evening. It is very different to stay there, apart from just visiting. We stayed once in pension Elias and once in Traditional Greek Guesthouse (look up in Lonely Planet for View to Big Blue, it is the same place). They both pick up in Katapoula (and maybe in Aegali). Its not a problem to take the the bus to either Katapoula or Aegali. It is an easy walk to the monastry.

I do not find the Scopelitis to be a rust-barge, but a charming local boat that support the islands with all their needs. Six days a week all year round. Every second day it calls in at Dounosa and Eagali. These days it is a long travel, perhaps with a lot of spray. The other days it goes directly from Koufonissi to Katapoula on Amorgos. The arrival is in a decent time of day. The Blue Star from Pireus arrives in the middle of the night.. In high season yu may find a high-speed ferry, but with less charm.

Oslo, Norway
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3. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

For the record: Skopelitis was totally renovated before the season started this year:

http://tinyurl.com/38hvhcn

Edited: 30 December 2010, 13:58
Philadelphia
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4. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

I agree that Skopelitis is OK if doesn't make all the stops ... we took it back from the island, & it was a faster ride. Also got to sit up top, not as much spray.

Molaoi, Greece
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5. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

As far as I recall, the Express Skopelitis doesn't run in the very early or very late season so you might be dependent on the' regular' ferries like the Blue Star.

As far as choosing where to base yourself is concerned, I've stayed in both Aegiali and Katapola and would go with Katapola every time. It's got more ferries stopping there, is in a lovely location and better for exploring the island. Aegiali has a better beach but that isn't one of your considerations.

Getting around by bus isn't all that difficult but services are limited and a car would be necessary to get the most out of your visit.

Newcastle upon...
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6. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

Amorgos will be nice to visit early or late in the season.

My preference would be early/mid May when the mountain sides shrubs & bushes are in bloom. Also there is more daylight at that time of year. The sea would be a little cooler then but as the beach is not a priority then that would be ok.

As the beaches are not a priority then you could consider staying in one of the picturesque village near to Aigiali. Langada is very nice & has a wonderful donkey track down to Aigiali bay. I prefer the village of Tholaria which has a few nice tavernas but this is only my personal view & others may disagree.

On the mountainside, above Aigiali is Ano Potamos, which also has great views of Nikouria island & Aigiali bay. There is a new road up to the village now which saves walking up the steep pathway, if you have transport. Before the road was completed the village was only accessible on foot or by donkey.

There is however more going on in Aigiali itself where there are several nice tavernas, a bakers, a couple of tourist shops, ATM etc. & of course the ferry terminal is in the bay.

As Jan says, the Askas is conveniently situated for the beach but I prefer being a little higher up the mountain side where the beautiful bay & sunsets can be better appreciated.

The buses are a bit of a problem at both ends of the season as & last time I was on Amorgos there were no buses buses from Aigiali to Chora/Katopola on a Sunday.

The Chora is a great place to stroll around & being quiet is no disadvantage, especially if you are a photographer.

There is a better bus link from Chora to get around the island. By the way Amorgos is not that small & is the seventh largest island in the Cyclades.

Many folks prefer Katopola to those places previously mentioned & it is larger than Aigiali with more tavernas, shops etc. but unless you have your own transport you may be reststricted as to where you can visit because of the local bus schedule.

If you are a keen walker then I think that the Aigiali end of the island has the better options/ footpaths. If you do use the footpaths be wary of the signs which show the destinations in hours. These timings are very ambitious & whoever measured the timings must have been related to a mountain goat.

Whenever you decide to go I am sure that you will be delighted with what Amorgos has to offer

I have several photos of the island on Flickr.com which you can see at this link :

http://tinyurl.com/359gwxt

Athens, Greece
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7. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

Certainly some food for thought there, thankyou everyone!

I have taken particular note of this:

<<<If you do use the footpaths be wary of the signs which show the destinations in hours. These timings are very ambitious & whoever measured the timings must have been related to a mountain goat.>>>

I smoke too much, weigh too much & have a bad back, so although I enjoy a walk it would be a slow one!

As far as the villages are concerned I am building up a better picture now. Somewhere to eat & drink in the evening & a small shop is all that is necessary, living in a small Greek town I am surrounded by villages with far less so will feel right at home!

Although it's not a small island compared to many, it is very small in area compared to the prefecture we live in, so easily manageable, especially with a car.

We would be likely to have a car, so the bus problems shouldn't have any bearing on our choice either.

Exeter, United...
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8. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

Hi

We have stayed in Eigiali many times and we love it. We are planning to go back this year in June. If you are planning to go in May it will be lovely with all the lovely wild flowers. It is a pity that you don't walk as the walk up from Eigiali to Tholaria and across to langada is absolutely beautiful. However, if you are not used to walking then I don't think that is an option. However, getting the bus or driving to Chora and other places will also be beautiful. And driving up to one of the villages in the evening will also be lovely.

We have stayed in a few places in Eigiali - but mostly in Pelagos studios/apartments and Sofia and Dimitri have always been very good to us. They (and all the other accommodations) will drive to Katapola to meet the ferries to drive you back across the island (on the evenings when the Blue Star/Skopelitis only goes in to Katapola). If you are travelling off season it is not important to book your accommodation beforehand. You can ask the owners what they have on offer when you get off the ferry.

We have stayed on over 50 differrent Greek islands and we just can't make up our minds whether Amorgos or Sifnos is our favourite (and on Amorgos it would have to be Eigiali).

Enjoy. Happy New Year to you and your family.

NT

nc usa
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9. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

We stayed in Aegiali at the Karkisia Hotel a couple of years ago. A very nice location with some really good restaurants. We spent one night at the beginning of our trip at Christina Pension, but were so unimpressed that we moved house and I'm glad we did. It's an uphill hike to most of the hotels in Aegiali, but Karkisia isn't too far and it really is a lovely hotel. Loved Aegiali's location- nice hikes to Tholaria, Langada and Potamos. Thought Chora was charming, but we're beach people so the inland site didn't work for us. Drove though Katapola one day, but liked Aegiali much more. We took the Blue Star both ways- saw the Skopelitis a few times, but never had the pleasure of a ride.

Athens, Greece
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10. Re: Opinions & guidance please!

Greetings to all,

Amorgos is relatively small, almost just one straight road connecting one tip to the other - however a car is an excellent idea to get you connected, as off season the bus schedules will be rather limited,

Aegiali is an excellent idea, as well said, well located for Langada, Tholaria and Potamos, the latter being the most traditional and offering great views.

Re-accommodation, come and choose, off season there is no reason to pre-book or to worry. Most choices will of course be in Aegiali or Katapola.

As advised, early in the season is wonderful as Amorgos offers an abundance of herbs and spices.

Chora I agree may be a little more isolated off season, and in parts it is rather unsheltered from the winds, thanks to its altitude.

Hope this helps,