Hiking on Amorgos
We should finally add that Amorgos is the right place for hiking. The modern road network follows a different route from that of old paths. Therefore, most of the old farming and mule paths have been entirely preserved. There are five types of paths: a) dirt roads unsuitable for vehicular traffic, b) large conspicuous stone-paved paths, c) large paths (these are the most), d) rough inconspicuous paths for experienced hikers, e) paths following the brow of hills and the natural passages. They have been organized in a network of 16 routes (taking from 45 minutes to 5 hours to cover). They begin from or end at one of the modern settlements and cover many places of the island, which are of environmental, ecological and historic interest. Therefore, they satisfy hikers and visitors that want to become acquainted with the island in an alternative way.
Right next to Katapola, this ancient town, you will meet the ruins of the ancient town “Minoa”, believed to have been named after King Minoa of Crete, as he is thought to have ruled on Amorgos too. Various findings and the ruins of a settlement prove that this was one important town hundreds of years ago. A stroll through the ruins and the aura of the past will take you over here too as in most archeological sites in Greece.
Monastery of the Virgin Mary (Panayia) Hozoviótissa
The island’s top attraction is the 10th century cliffside monastery of Panayia Hozoviótissa, dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin, a spiritual haven and one of the most important ecclesiastic monuments in Greece. Set high up on the steepest rock of Mt. Profitis Elias, 300m above the Aegean, the building resembles a “chest of drawers”, according to the French explorer Pitton de Tournefort. Visible only from the sea, the monastery is an example of human triumph over nature, a wonder that will leave you awestruck.
According to tradition, the monastery was founded by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in 1088, during the period of Iconoclasm, when the icon of Panayia was sent by a woman from Hozovo from Palestine and miraculously made its way to Amorgós. According to another version, the Monastery was founded in the 9th century by monks from Palestine and was later renovated by the emperor Alexios I Komnenos.