Looking toward Egali from the far end of the town beach. There’s a strip of tavernas just off the beach, behind the row trees at left, plus more restaurants in the town, of course. The two villages on the mountainside are Lower Potamos, left, and Upper Potamos at upper right. The restaurant we were keen to visit, Kamara Café, is situated in Upper Potamos.
A view of Lower and Upper Potamos from outside our room at the Yperia Hotel.
A pre-dinner walk up the mountain
After taking a late afternoon break to enjoy a cold beer on our hotel room balcony, we felt re-energized for one more walk before dinner.
I can’t recall why we started heading up the hill behind our hotel. We were probably expecting to take just a quick look around Lower Potamos, which looked reasonably close by, and leave Upper Potamos (where Kamara Café is located, a much longer walk up the mountainside) to explore another day. But one step led to another and, as we climbed higher up the hillside, the views kept getting better and we wanted to see more. Before we knew it, we were approaching Upper Potamos, and a sign for Kamara Café caught my attention. “That’s the place Diana recommended!” I said, recognizing the name.
We reached the restaurant a few minutes later, and climbed the stairs to the terrace to take a quick peek. The dining and lounge areas looked inviting, bathed in the golden glow of the evening sun, while the views were simply astounding — possibly the best scenery we’d seen, from a dining terrace, anywhere we had been in Greece so far. “We’ve definitely got to come back here for dinner,” I said. We weren’t planning to eat at Kamara Café that very night, though, since we were wearing only shorts and T-shirts and thought we’d freeze if the terrace got windy once the sun went down. So we agreed to come back for a meal the next day.
A road sign points the way from Egali to the Potamos villages
Some of the hillside houses in Lower Potamos
A sign on the path indicates the way to the restaurant
One of the conversation areas at the Kamara Café. The restaurant has three separate terraces and one lounge area.
The terrace where we had dinner three times. There’s another terrace behind the railings in the upper rear area of the photo, and one off to the right of that (not visible in the picture)
Looking in the direction of Egali from the far side of Upper Potamos, a short walk past the Kamara Café on the trail that leads to Hora
Heading up some steps on the hill just past the Kamara Café
The view from a little farther up the path
Looking toward the Kamara Café (center) from a viewpoint higher up the mountain. A large bamboo roof shelters the restaurant’s main dining terrace.
The restaurant has three separate terraces and a lounge area, plus guesthouse accommodations — two kitchen-equipped rooms that visitors can book.
Already there … why not stay for dinner?
After taking a look at the restaurant, we continued along the path that leads from Potamos all the way to the village of Hora, which is four hours away by foot. We walked for about 10 more minutes. The hill kept rising higher, while the sun kept sliding lower in the sky, and we realized we should probably start heading back to Egali so we wouldn’t be going down the mountain in the dark.
When we passed Kamara Café on the way down, Dan suggested we stop in for dinner after all. “We’ve already up here and the sun’s going down. We probably won’t get back to Egali in time to see the sunset from down there anyways,” he pointed out. “If it gets cold sitting outside, we’ll deal with it,” he said. So we took a table on the terrace, ordered a carafe of red wine, and sat back to watch the sunset and magnificent scenery. With relaxing lounge music in the background and the spectacular views in the foreground, it was a perfect place to unwind and cap off a full day of hiking and sightseeing.
Waiting for drinks at our sunset-view table on the edge of the terrace
Terrace view of a building farther up the hillside on the “outskirts” of Potamos. The footpath that took us to the restaurant continues on for miles, leading as far as Hora village, a four-hour walk away.
One of the comfy lounge areas on the café terrace
You don’t have to climb hundreds of steps to reach the restaurant — you can also drive or take a taxi most of the way. This road winds up the mountainside to a parking area situated about 200 meters down the path from the café.
Kamara Café terrace view of Nikouria Island, left, and Naxos in the distance
The early stage of the first sunset we saw from our table on the Kamara Café terrace
As sunset approached, the sky filled with haze and developed a pale orange hue. This was our view of the north coast of Egali Bay.
Another view of Nikouria island, increasingly obscured by the haze and clouds moving in
Our pictures don’t do justice to the intense hues of orange that filled the sky at sunset
Delicious feta pie, imam and moussaka really hit the spot
Kamara Café is a family business, operated by Sophie and Christophoros Theologitis. I told Sophie we were looking forward to their patatato, since we’d heard so much about it, and felt more than a little disappointed when she said it wasn’t on the menu that night. But they had other home-made dishes which she was certain we would enjoy just as much. She beckoned us to follow her to the kitchen, where Christophoros showed us the various appetizers and entrees we could choose from, and explained what each dish contained as well as how it had been prepared. Everything looked so good, we had trouble deciding what to order. We ultimately chose the feta pie, imam, and moussaka, and were completely satisfied with our selection — we loved every bite.
We were comfortable in our shorts and short sleeves almost until the end of our meal, when a cold wind started blowing across the terrace. It was going to be too cold and gusty for us to linger for an after-dinner drink, so we settled our bill and began making our way back down to Egali. It was a chilly walk to town, but it took less than 20 minutes.
Back at the hotel, we both agreed that all the step climbing to Potamos, followed by all our shivering in the cold breeze on the way down, had been totally worthwhile. We had enjoyed the views and food so much, we were already looking forward to returning for another meal.
The evening sun bathes the whitewashed buildings of the Potamos villages in a golden glow as we make our way up the mountain for our second dinner at Kamara Café
I have no idea how many of these big steps we climbed to get to the taverna, but there must have been hundreds. Thankfully, the walk down is easy and fairly fast.
The café’s patatato was outstanding
We had dinner at a taverna in Egali the next day, but went back to Kamara Café on our third night. Christophoros seemed pleased to see us again so soon, and told us we were in luck — they had patatato on the menu. Served with potatoes in a nicely spiced sauce, the goat was exceptional, though we did feel a tinge of guilt eating it since we had seen dozens of cute goats during the day while driving around the island. But we could see why Diana had urged us to order the patatato, and it instantly became one of our favourite Greek dishes. And once more, we got to watch one of the sensational sunsets she had told us about.
As before, there was relaxing lounge music that helped us chill out after a busy day of sightseeing. But there also was some unexpected live entertainment — the family’s pet African grey parrot, which was sitting in a cage on one of the terraces. It had a hilarious repertoire of squawks, whistles and bizarre sounds that kept all the restaurant guests cracking up with laughter.
This time, we were prepared for any wind and temperature changes that nightfall might bring. We were wearing jeans and had brought along our windbreakers — which we wound up not needing, because it didn’t get breezy or cold that night. We also had brought our travel flashlights, which came in handy for the walk back down the mountain. (Although streetlamps illuminated most of the path, there was one long section that was in total darkness. I had nearly stumbled on steps I couldn’t see the first night we walked down, so I was glad to have the flashlight this time.)
Another sunset view from the Kamara Café
Back for another meal on our final night in Amorgos
We spent our final day on Amorgos doing more hiking and looking forward to another dinner at Kamara Café. Sophie and Christophoros looked a little surprised to see us walk in for the third time in only four days. For our final meal on Amorgos we ordered zucchini balls, an eggplant salad (actually more a dip than a salad), roasted stuffed eggplant, and pastitsio. As expected, everything was delicious and we were glad we had gone back to the café instead of trying another taverna in Egali.
The sunset that accompanied our meal was incredible. Actually, it was one of the most breathtaking sunsets we have ever watched — the sky was completely clear and the mountains of Naxos island were outlined in total silhouette as the sky turned a vivid orange behind them. As luck would have it, neither of us had brought along a camera that night, and I felt like kicking myself for leaving mine back at the hotel. Although I still regret that I wasn’t able to capture photos of the spectacle to post here on my blog, that striking sunset is forever burned into my memory. So is the restaurant.
When we told Christophoros how much we had enjoyed the food, he looked a little relieved. He said the café normally has a cook on staff for the summer season, but that person wasn’t due to arrive until three days after we had left Amorgos. In the meantime, he and his mother were preparing all of the food themselves. We couldn’t imagine how the food could possibly have been any better, but we did wish we had more time on Amorgos so we could have gone back to sample the cook’s creations.
Back at the Yperia Hotel, I had a chat with our host, Antonis, who asked what we had done during our visit and, in particular, what we had liked most about Amorgos. When I told him that our three dinners at Kamara Café were a highlight, he looked incredulous. “You went there three times? But you had a car only one day!” I said we had walked up each time — I had returned our rental car before we went to the café for our second meal. Judging by the look on his face, I’m certain Antonis thought we were crazy for climbing so many steps to have dinner. I’m sure plenty of other people would have thought the same thing! Antonis then mentioned that he and Christophoros are cousins. We had enjoyed staying at the Yperia, and we of course loved dining at the Kamara Café — it seemed obvious to us that the members of this Amorgos family were well-suited for the tourism and hospitality business!
To this day we still talk about our meals at Kamara Café. We would return to Amorgos just to have dinner there — but we’ve got a long list of other reasons why we would like to revisit the island sometime.
Below is a series of photos showing some of the scenery from our walks to and from the café.
Stormclouds pass above Upper Potamos. Our first morning on Amorgos was mainly cloudy, and we expected rain, but the sky cleared and we had beautiful weather the rest of our visit.
A telephoto view of part of Upper Potamos. Kamara Café is out of view in this photo; it’s a little farther up the mountainside, off to the right.
This was the view from one of the windows in our room at the Yperia Hotel. Part of Lower Potamos is visible at the top right corner of the photo.
A cat sits in a lane in Egali. Part of Lower Potamos is up ahead on the mountainside.
The mountains and the Blue Horizon Studios building glow in the evening sun as we make our way from Egali toward Lower Potamos
Amorgos boasts a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills and verdant valleys. This is a spot just above Egali, where a path leading off to the left will take you to the hillside village of Lagada, while a path off to the right is the route to Potamos and points beyond.
A view of houses in Lower Potamos, including a large stone building (center) that appears to be undergoing extensive restoration work
Red geraniums add a pop of colour outside a rustic building in Lower Potamos
The stepped path winds its way past houses on the mountainside
The entrance gate outside a big church in Lower Potamos
A row up steps leading up the hill from the church
A view of the church with its three blue domes
A house on the hill next to the path
A balcony on a house in lower Potamos
Another view of the church with three blue domes
The path up the hill offers excellent views of the Egali area below
A closer view of Egali beach
A balcony with a terrific view of Egali bay
One of the previous photos showed a big house undergoing renovation in Lower Potamos. This picture shows part of the great view its residents will enjoy once the building its restored.
This Amorgos man and his donkeys passed us on the stairs one of the three evenings we trekked up the mountain to have dinner at Kamara Café
A container garden on a terrace overlooking Egali bay
This local taxi is parked about a 200-meter walk from the Kamara Café. It’s as high as vehicles can drive up the mountain.
This curious goat watched us from the roof of a shed we walked past in Upper Potamos
Spring flowers line the pathway on the hillside a short walk past the Kamara Café
A telephoto view of the café from the hillside farther up the path
Another sign indicating the distance to the Kamara Café
Another photo of the spectacular sunset we watched during our first dinner at Kamara Café