The island of Samos is characterized by its lush vegetation, crystal clear waters and many centuries of history. In the Northeastern part of the Aegean, only 1.68 km from the coast of Turkey, Samos is the 8th largest island in the Aegean with the two large towns of Karlovassi and Vathy making up most of its population.
Karlovassi is a modern town with a rich and important history. A strong community made up of, five sections, a central square, nearby villages and the University of the Aegean, it is always developing and growing. Apart from the neoclassical buildings, folklore museum and historical tanneries, you will have the opportunity to appreciate the picturesque alleyways, hillside chapels with panoramic views, as well as divulge in shopping amongst the many boutiques.The central square of Karlovassi is a brisk walk, only 1.5 km, from the port that aside from its charm is also a connection by way of ferry to many other islands in the Aegean as well as Athens and Turkey.
“Its natural wonders are under Europe’s Natura 2000 protection”
Traveling West from the port is an area within the protection of Natura 2000 known as the botanical heavens of Greece due to the 1400 species of rare and endemic plants. More pleasant surprises that you will find along this natural wonderland are the waterfalls. A short path through a forest leads to small lagoons separated by climbable waterfalls, the largest being about 5 meters high. The waterfalls end into the popular Potami beach with shores that look upon the extinct volcano of Mount Kerkis. With an altitude of 1433m high, this mountain offers many activities such as rock climbing, hiking and canyoning. By way of a hiking trail from Potami beach you can bask in the sun on the secluded Seitani beaches.
The diverse terrain offers adventure for the thrill seeker with many outdoor activities to choose from. Because of the geological composition of its soil, Samos has more than 80 caves, sea caves and chasms which are a rare phenomenon for an island. To learn more about these caves you can visit the Speleologyl Association of Samos at http://samos-caves.gr and http://www.miningreece.com/ .
Travel back in time to authentic Greek villages.
Traveling to the east side of the island you will continue to experience nature’s glory. Along the northern coastal road, you can easily reach many points of interest such as Kokkari, a fisherman’s seaside village also known for its water sports, and Manolates Village known for its remarkable beauty and valley of the nightingales. At about 35km from Karlovassi you will reach Vathy, the island’s capitol characterized by its mansions and natural port. The famous statue of Kouros stands in the archeological museum of Vathy at 5.5 meters high astonishing its visitors. In the large square filled with cafes and shops you will find the famous lion statue marking the unification of Samos with Greece in 1913.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Traveling south from Vathy, is Pythagoreio the island’s most popular spot that will both entertain and amaze you with its ancient history. The Roman baths, archeological museum, Temple of Hera, Eupalinian Tunnel Aqueduct, monasteries, and art museum are all a must for any visitor to witness while the many cafes, restaurants and bars offer entertainment all through the night. It was once known as the ancient city, later Tigani and finally named after the famous philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.
Although Pythagoreio has his name, Marathokambos is where he lived and spread his teachings. To the west of Pythagoreio traveling through many wonderful villages you can reach the famous site of Pythagoras Cave. The hike up the mountain side is worthwhile as you stand inside the caves and admire the panoramic view as he would have centuries ago. Marathokambos is also known to have some of the longest stretches of sandy beaches as it lays on the south of the island protected from the “meltemia” winds that often create rough seas. Enjoy quiet moments on the golden beaches, entertainment at the beach bars and fresh seafood at the many taverns.