Amorgos, where the Big Blue legend lives on
For a throwback to a simpler, almost monastic way of living – a far-cry from its overly touristic Cycladic neighbours, Amorgos, with its hidden coves, unhurried charms and timeless intrigue still captures the romantic nostalgia of the film that shot it to international fame. But quite frankly, its psimeni raki, that island elixir that makes the world a rosier place, should alone be reason enough to visit this remote, seahorse-shaped island.
“Welcome to Amorgos. Nobody will find you here,” reads a sign on this fair Cycladic isle’s harbour. That pretty much captures the vibe of this perfect recluse’s sanctuary. Amorgos’ fame flared brightly in 1988 when it was the backdrop for Luc Besson’s cult diving classic The Big Blue (then briefly again this year with the film’s 30th anniversary tributes). But this most eastern of the Cycladics infinitely prefers the quiet life. Dramatic shipwrecks, sea caves and to-die-for swimming and diving locales make it hard to beat for aquatic types. Swim all you like but compulsory viewing for all is the mind-blowing 11th century Monastery of Hozoviotissa, carved into a vertiginous cliff and once home to 100 monks. Take your pick of Amorgos’ beautiful hiking trails, with the sea as your constant companion. The star spot for sunsets is lofty Kamari village but you’ll have to work for it: it’s reached by scaling hundreds of steps from Ano Potamos.
Where to Stay:
Perched 170 metres above Aegiali bay in the quaint mountain village of Tholaria, Vigla Amorgos combines an inviting pool deck with delicious home cooking. Doubles with breakfast from €85 (+30 228.507.3288, vigla-amorgos.com)