Samos is an island with a town of the same name in Samos Prefecture in the North Aegean Sea. The island lies very close to the Turkish mainland and is a popular stopping off point for travellers between the two countries as it lies on the route between Athens and Izmir. High season in Samos, when you can expect much higher prices, begins the first week of May.
Samos was the birthplace of Pythagoras although he left before beginning his explorations into mathematics. Consequently, the island is littered with various things named after him from the town of Pythagoreion, the ancient capital, to hotels and tavernas.
From the second week of May, two daily ferries from Kusadasi in Turkey. The trip takes two hours and costs €35 one-way. Ferries depart at 0830 and 1730. In low season, one ferry only departing Kusadasi at 0830 and returning from Samos at 1630.
You can fly into Samos from Athens and other Greek islands. Flights arrive near the old capital of Pythagoreion.
The island has buses although these will not operate on some public holidays e.g. May 1st. There are numerous rental agencies near the port in the city of Samos which rent out cars, motorbikes, scooters and quadbikes. Many of these are open late and so it is possible to rent a motorbike from early morning until 9 or 10 pm for €10 per day. With your own transport, you could explore much of the island in a day or two. There are also taxis.
The main town of Samos can easily be explored on foot although there are some steep roads/steps away from the sea front as the town reaches the foot of the hills.
- The Tunnel of Eupalinos can be visited from the town of Pythagoreion.
- There are beaches, both sandy and shingle, all around the coast so swimming and sunbathing are popular activities. The water is very clear but cold up until May. The nearest major beach to the town of Samos is Gagkou Beach, a fifteen minute walk with the sea on your left from the ferry port. This is a pebble beach but there are areas of sand in the water. You can rent sun loungers and there are bars/cafes on the seafront although you may not be able to consume their food and drink on the beach itself.
- Walk the coastal path from Gagkou Beach (see above for directions) through beautiful flora and see the crystal clear coves. From Gagkou beach head over to the half-finished concrete building. Head up the steps of this, cross the first floor and you'll see a path off into the heather from here. You can follow this path for a couple of kilometres until it leads you back to the road. It's a great place to watch the sunset and you can get down to one or two deserted although very small beaches via this path.
- The Garden restaurant serves good value Greek and western food and is very close to the centre of Samos. It's on, Manolis Kalomiris Road, the second street back from the sea front and is well-signposted. The restaurant is outdoors under vine leaves with a fountain and some songbirds and traditional Greek music to add atmosphere. Children will enjoy being photographed on the concrete donkey in the corner too. The Greek Salad for two is good value at €6 and a generous glass of wine is the cheapest drink on the menu at €1.50. Be aware that the bread placed on your table (toast in the evening) is not included in the order and will be charged for at €0.5 per person.
- The seafront has a range of restaurants with typical Greek fare as well as pizzeria.
- There are numerous places to get a drink along the seafront and these get very busy in the evenings.
- The main square of the town has open air cafes where you can get a coffee and enjoy the sun.
Off season (i.e. Oct-May) you can bargain rooms down to as little as €20 for a double.
- Trova Guesthouse has nice rooms with shared bathroom. Some of the rooms have lovely views down over the bay.
- Dreams Hostel has comfortable clean rooms with ensuite including one large room with kitchen facilities for self-catering. All other rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, TVs and fridges.
- Pythagoras Hotel out of town towards Gagkou beach and opposite the hospital is a dated concrete slab, although this may be where you can get the cheapest room in high season. Be prepared for negligible service though and make a note that although they claim breakfast, lunch and dinner can be served "anytime," the Internet is unavailable between 10:15 and 11PM while the owner has his evening meal. Rooms facing the hospital are cheapest at €22 per night in low season without breakfast. During high season, rooms with two single beds facing the harbor are €30.
Ferries to other Greek islands are numerous including many to Piraeus (for Athens). Usually, there's an overnight ferry leaving at 2230 and arriving in Piraeus 9 hours later via Ikaria and possibly Mykonos. Prices for Piraeus start at €42.50 on the comfortable Hellenic Seaways boats. Travel agents clustered around Samos port can sell you tickets.