If you’re wondering what might be a perfect location for your next vacation, the answer is Samos, the lush Greek island with a thousand faces! Getting there is particularly easy, both by plane and by boat, as the island is served with several airlines from numerous European destinations as well as by ferry and boat routes from Athens and nearby islands.
Samos lies in the Eastern Aegean Sea, just a breath from the shores of Turkey, and enjoys of large tourist traffic during the summer period. It has rightly been declared as one of the most beautiful and green islands of Greece. Dense forests, silvery green olive groves, gorgeous vineyards and beautiful orchards cover almost entirely the distance that separates the mountain tops from the lovely beaches. The capital of the island is Vathy, although especially the Greeks call it simply Samos.
The island of Samos was the birthplace or place of residence for a number of famous ancient Greek people, like the philosopher & mathematician Pythagoras, the astronomer & mathematician Aristarchus, as well as the philosopher Epicurus. Even Aesop, whose fascinating fables we still read to our children today, lived in Samos for a good part of his life. No wonder, many consider it a cradle of civilization within Greece.
Samos was extremely famed as a lively commercial and cultural center of the antiquity. The island was, and still is, famous for the Hera’s temple, called Heraion, which according to Herodotus was the largest in Greece, and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for the “8th miracle of the ancient world”. Samos can also boast an ancient engineering marvel, the so-called Tunnel of Eupalinos or Eupalinian aqueduct, a tunnel of 1,046 meters through a mountain, near Pythagorion. It served as the city’s aqueduct and for millennia has attracted worldwide admiration because of its engineering precision and excellence.
Samos offers its visitors a great variety of activities and we can guarantee you will never get bored in this island! If you enjoy exploring new places and cultures you can taste the local traditional dishes and the famous wines of Samos, or you can attend a performance at the Samos Cultural Festivals. If you want to admire the most romantic sunsets, head to Karlovasi. If you are a nature admirer you can go swimming in picturesque bays with crystal clear waters, like Votsalakia and Kokkari, or you can go hiking amidst the lush vegetation of Kerkis and Karvounis, the two highest mountains of Samos. If you like water sports you can practice windsurfing in Mykali and all the other water sports like wakeboard, kayak, water ski and diving in Pythagorion Beach. If you want even more powerful experiences, then fill your free time testing your skills on one of the 60 climbing routes, try canyoning in one of the 27 small gorges or explore one of the 85 natural caves, most with stunning stalactites hidden within them!
Samos can best be summed up in three expressions: endless green, crystal blue colour and warmhearted locals! However, the island of Pythagoras has even a thousand other ways to make you fall in love with it… Are you ready to discover Samos and lose your heart?
I was in Samos about a decade ago and reading this site really woke up my desire to board a plane and spend a week or two there. I do not know how much Samos has changed since those days but judging from these pages, the island has managed to retain most of its beauty, and can still be termed somewhat peaceful. I myself do some painting and was wondering whether there are some organized painting vacations available?
How about the refugee situation in Samos, are there some areas that an average tourist should avoid? Last summer friends told about refugees hanging around the port and the beach, stating it was impossible to have a swim there. I suppose the authorities have done something about the issue by now, gathered them to a hot spot or allowed them to continue through Athens to other European destinations. If someone has recently returned from Samos, it would be great to know what is going on.
This summer the situation in Samos is rather relaxed and quiet, just like it used to be. The refugees have either be taken to the mainland or are in the local refugee camp. I heard of some restlessness between the refugees groups, by nationality or religion, but that was limited to the camp area.