Samos, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea, has had a rich history stretching as far back as ancient Greece and has quickly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Greece. Home to some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches, lush greenery and exotic wildlife, Samos offers the perfect island getaway for those looking for a slice of heaven. Looking for the best wine in Greece? Look no further than the Samos Wine Festival every August, where you can sample wine the Catholic Church still uses for communion and other sweet offerings. The center of Ionian culture, Samos is the birthplace of some of ancient Greece’s most famous philosophers, mathematicians and historians; including Pythagoras and Epicurus.
History of Samos
Samos was the center of Ionian culture in ancient Greece, renowned for its wines, red pottery and luxury. A strategic trading location, being so close to Turkey, many fought for control of the island. In the 6th century BC, the engineer Eupalinos built the most innovative, hidden, aqueduct through Mount Kastro and creating what some call the eighth wonder of antiquity, the Pythagoreion. The remains of Pythagoreion, and ancient fortified port, the aqueduct and the temple of Hera, can still be seen today. Tradition states the goddess Hera was born and raised on the island of Samos, and so the ancient Greeks built the Heraion temple in her honor, the largest in antiquity. Today, many history enthusiasts flock to Samos to see the wonder of ancient Greece and the brilliance of ancient engineers.
Always Somewhere New to Explore
Samos is an island of wonder, with overwhelming vegetation, mountain ranges, shining beaches and unique wildlife. Every step you take leads to something new and exciting for the adventurers to explore. Take a few moments to wander the settlements of Samos to explore the rich past of the island, including the beautiful monastery of Timios Stavros. This monastery holds one of the greatest fresco’s of Saint’s Constantine and Helen and elegant artwork depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. For those who enjoy a thrill, take a mountain bike to see rare plants, many endemic to the island; you may even get the chance to see a pink flamingo. After a long day exploring, and in need of cooler climate, travel to the Karlovassi waterfalls; tourists are encouraged to climb the steps to take in the panoramic view of the waterfall. No matter where you are on the island of Samos there is always something new and exciting to explore!
Samos International Airport “Aristarchos” lies four kilometers west of the village of Pythagorion, with daily connections to a number of countries. However, the easiest way to reach Samos by air is to first fly to Athens, then catch a connecting flight to Samos. Ferries connect Samos with the post of Piraeus, the largest of Athens, and the trip takes about 12 hours.
Sights & Activities
Ruled by legend and beauty, Samos has something to offer everyone. Ranging from cosmopolitan to remote, the beaches of Samos offer beach lovers the most exquisite views from their loungers. Kokkari Beach offers adventures in windsurfing for those who want a rush. For those looking to explore the ancient past, the ruins of the Temple of Hera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provides a glimpse into legend. Tourists looking for more of a thrill while on vacation should swim, hike or repel down to the Potami gorge to see beautiful waterfalls and experience the local cuisine at the tavern below. So no matter if you are looking for thrills, history or just a chance to relax, Samos provides a unique getaway for any type of traveler.
Become a Local
The people of Samos welcome tourists with open arms, hoping they will engage in local festivals and traditions. In the summer months locals revive old traditions including, the Ai-Giannis Klidonas, where they light bonfires in the square of Vathy and burn floral wreaths and twigs to throw away misfortune. There are also a number of festivals tourists are encouraged to explore such as the Fisherman’s Festival where you can enjoy free wine and fish dinners, accompanied by lively music and dancing. At night, there is a sense of calm and romance in the air as people enjoy a long dinner and delicious local wine at a tavern of choice. No matter the destination in Samos, you will find unique adventures!