Greece stripped bare
Samos operates according to a ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ philosophy. While lots of its Greek Island neighbours have added big hotels and man-made tourist attractions to their offerings over the years, Samos’ landmarks are still its vineyard-coated mountains, traditional villages and inland orchid fields.
The beach scene
Days on Samos tend to revolve around the coast. You could easily spend all your time on the well-serviced beaches in Kokkari and Pythagorion. The stretches of sand here are long, wide and white, and they’re bordered by tavernas and cafés. If you want a bit more room for manoeuvre, it’s worth venturing south to the stretches of sand in Possidonion, Psili Ammos and Kerveli.
Walking is a bread-and-butter activity on Samos. During the summer months, the nature trails are spritzed in a wild jasmine perfume. The most challenging trails wind their way around Mount Ampelos and Mount Kerkis, while the paths between Potami and Megalo Seitani serve up great sea views.
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This easy-going fishing village on the northwest coast of Samos is a cluster of pretty, terracotta-roofed Greek villas that stretch out along a triangle-shaped peninsula. At its apex is a tiny harbour with a row of bars and restaurants that are lapped by the Aegean Sea. And behind the village, the tree-capped peaks of Mount Karvouni make an imposing backdrop.
On Samos’ southeast coast, Pythagorion is the island’s most popular holiday destination – a picturesque town of whitewashed buildings with terracotta roofs. It was named after the great mathematician who was born here some 2,500 years ago, though, in truth, not much has changed since then. The harbour is still dotted with boats, the beaches are the same shade of pale gold, and the fishermen still supply the town with fresh fish. In fact, the only major difference is the healthy nightlife, which may not have appealed to a teetotaller like Pythagoras.
Samos Town sits on the northeast corner of the Aegean island of Samos. Chic boutiques, a bustling market and friendly bars and tavernas lie along its narrow, colourful streets. It comes fused to the capital, Vathy, making it a rather lively place. Samos Town itself has more of a traditional village feel, though – many of the locals still make their living from the olive groves in the surrounding mountains. As for a beach, there’s a great little one set in a bay.
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