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The island of dreamily languid ambience, craggy rocks and traditionally picturesque villages

At a glance

It is all about amazing sunsets, clear, cobalt waters, wild and rugged mountains, dazzling beaches and a very, very laidback attitude that’s easy to develop pretty much on arrival.

This island of dreamily languid ambience, craggy rocks and traditionally picturesque villages became a hugely coveted destination after the release of Luc Besson’s 1988 deep-sea romance/drama hit movie The Big Blue, starring Jean Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, Jean Reno and a magnificent school of dolphins. It had been a “known secret” among unconventional Greeks who craved authentic island beauty without the bustle and crowds, and the film introduced the island to foreign visitors too.

Amorgos is the kind of place to enjoy days of long swims, coffee overlooking colourful bobbing fishing boats, homemade-style meals, immersive games of backgammon and endless carafes of “rakomelo”.It is authentic because much of the landscape is rugged and undeveloped, and its gleaming Cycladic architecture remains traditional. There are no big hotels or resorts and most of the beaches don’t have a soundtrack of the summer’s dance hits pumping across deckchair-and umbrella-lined sands.

Here, you will listen to the sea crunching gently against the shore, the wind blowing across the mountains, church bells resounding down valleys and donkeys braying their frustrations to anyone who cares to listen, while fishing boats chug off into the sunset to drop their nets.

Like many good things in life, getting here demands a concerted effort, but once here, you’ll find the kind of place where you can switch off your smartphone and immerse yourself in the bedazzling blues of the sea and the sky by day and the light of a myriad of stars by night. As the days wax and wane, colours play subtly with shadows and light fizzles off the sea, surrounding Amorgos in an unconquerable, timeless halo.

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