This morning Sea Cloud dropped anchor in the calmer waters of Katapola, the main harbor of Amorgos. This island is renowned for the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, a shining white edifice that clings to the cliff face and is only accessible by a donkey path of switchbacks from below. The monastic community received royal patronage from the Byzantine emperor in the 11th century, being bestowed special privileges and lands. Their life of solitude was sheltered at the top of several hundred steps.

After exploring, we head across to Chora, an idyllic little medieval town with whitewashed houses and meandering paths. Unlike earlier settlements, in the 9th century Chora was established up in the hills, far from the shoreline as a defensive measure. In those days, piracy was an ever-present threat to their lives and livelihoods, and concealment was favored over accessibility. The streetscapes here are like an artificial canyon, as we enjoyed some free time in the peace and tranquillity.

The rest of our day was spent relaxing ashore with free time at Katapola – souvlaki, coffee, cocktails, beers, and swimming.