Earth : Europe : Greece : Greek Islands : East Aegean Islands : Samos
Samos is an island in the North Aegean Sea and one of the East Aegean Islands. Its capital is the town of Samos, formerly known as Vathi. 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. Tourist 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.
The principal port of Samos is at Vathi, also called Samos. The other two ports are Karlovassi and Pythagoreion. Ferries from Piraeus and and the Cyclades usually stop at both Vathi and Karlovassi. There's a daily overnight ferry, the 'Nisos Mykonos' to Karlovassi and Vathy from Piraeus, Syros, Mykonos and Ikaria.
Hydrofoils to the Dodecanese islands depart regularly from Vathi and Pithagorion. Samos is also connected with all the islands of the North Aegean and the Dodecanese islands once a week through the shipping route from Alexandroupoli to Rhodes. Finally, Samos is connected on a daily basis more or less thoughout the year with the port of Kusadasi in Turkey with two Greek and two Turkish boats. The trip takes two hours and costs € 35 one-way. Ferries depart at 8:30AM and 5:30PM. In low season, one ferry only departing Kusadasi at 8:30AM and returning from Samos at 4:30PM.
From May till October charter airlines fly directly to Samos from several European airports.
- Air Berlin flies from many airports in Germany and from Austria and Switzerland;
- Jetairfly flies from Belgium;
- SmartWings flies from Czech Republic;
- Transavia flies from the Netherlands;
- Thomson Airways flies from the UK.
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 10PM for €10 per day. With your own transport, you can 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. This is a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town and is well signposted.
- Temple of Hera (Heraion of Samos), (6 km southwest of the ancient city), . The Heraion of Samos was a great sanctuary in the southern region of Samos, 6 km southwest of the ancient city, in a low, marshy river basin near the sea. The Late Archaic Heraion of Samos was the first of the gigantic free-standing Ionic temples, but its predecessors at this site reached back to the Geometric Period of the 8th century BCE, or earlier. The site of temple's ruins, with its sole standing column, was designated a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Pythagoreion in 1992.
- 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.
- There is an attractive beach at Psili Ammos, about 8 kms east of Pythagoreio. It gets very busy in season, but visitors tend to concentrate at the western end, nearest to the tavernas; the eastern side is more open. It is popular with families as the sea is shallow for quite a distance. However, beware of stronger currents farther out. The Turkish coast is just under 1 km away. There is an area of salt marsh and a small lake to the west of the beach area, which dries out into salt pans in the summer. This is a good bird spotting area and flamingoes can be seen early in the season.
- Samos has excellent watersports facilities to be found on the long pebble beach at Potokaki which are open all season. Including waterskiing, inflatables and jetski hire.
Wine is the main product of the island. The famous muscat wine is exported all over the world. The sweet Samos Vin Doux, a muscat wine, is a very popular dessert wine. Have one after dinner and you will probably want to take some bottles home.
- 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.
- 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 in both Vathi and Pythagoreio and these get very busy in the evenings.
- The main square of Vathi has open air cafes where you can get a coffee and enjoy the sun. The tavernas and restaurants stretch in an arc around the harbour of Pythagoreio; take a seat in the early evening and watch the yachts and the BCBG of Europe parade up and down. There are small stretches of sand at either end of this arc.
Off season (i.e. Oct-May) you can bargain rooms down to as little as €20 for a double.
- Arion Hotel, (Kokkari), . The hotel consists of 108 rooms, divided between the main building and a bungalow complex. Their large verandas overlook the deep blue Aegean Sea and the lush green surroundings.
- Kokkari Beach Hotel, (Kokkari), . A friendly family run front beach hotel.
- Saint Nicholas Hotel, (Psili Ammos), . Situated directly on Mykali beach.
- Pythagoras Hotel (Out of town towards Gagkou beach). 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.
- Armonia Bay Hotel, Kokkari, . A wonderful, small hotel with stunning views, infinity pool and very friendly staff .
- Olympia Beach (Olympia Beach), Kokkari beach (On the main beach road of Kokkari going towards Tsamadou), ☎ +30 22730 92420, . checkout: 12:00. On Kokkari's main beach in a two storey building, Twelve double rooms which all feature en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV and controllable air-conditioning, All the rooms have balconies offering an unobstructed view of the Aegean Sea. Cleaning and change of linen is daily. € 60. (37°46'43.11N,26°53'17.50E)
- Astra Village Hotel, . hotel with amazing view located at Pythagorion
- Stratos Hotel, . low cost hotel at Pythagorion.
- Fito Bay Hotel, Pythagorion – Samos GR 831 03 Hellas, ☎ 0030-22730-61314, 61582 ([email protected]), . Hotels in Samos: Samos Hotel Fito Bay: We welcome you to Fito Bay Hotel in Samos and we wish you enjoy your holidays! The hotel is located on the south eastern side of Samos, 800 meters from the cosmopolitan village of Pythagorion. It is the ideal location, convenient and warm, which welcomes you to discover the beauties of Samos Greek island!
- Ino Village Hotel, 69, Samion Agoniston street, ☎ (+30) 22730 23241, (+30) 6932441118 ([email protected]), . Ino Village hotel is located in Kalami, just 15 minutes by foot from the center of the island, and it has 65 rooms offering all the comforts.
- Nafsika Villas, Kerveli Samos, ☎ +30 22730 25175, . Information, facilities, rates for Nafsika Villas located in Kerveli Samos € 45.
- Ledra Samos Hotel (hotel in Samos), Kambos, Marathokambou, ☎ +30 2273037505, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery and natural beauty the apartments of Ledra Samos Hotel are ideal for families and couples who are looking for relaxation, it is also the ideal base for exploring the beautiful island of Samos. (26.662949,37.707311)
- Leto and Lemos Hotels, (Kokkari), . Seaside Hotel and Budget Hotel located at Kokkari Village.
- Polyxeni Hotel, (Pythagorion), ☎ +30 22730 61590, . Sea-front hotel and cafeteria located at Pythagorion Village.
Ferries to other Greek islands are numerous including many to Piraeus (for Athens). Usually, there's an overnight ferry leaving at 10:30PM and arriving in Piraeus 9 hours later via Ikaria and Mykonos. Prices for Piraeus start at €42.50 on the comfortable Hellenic Seaways boats. Travel agents clustered around Samos port can sell you tickets.
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