The island of Hera and Pythagoras, more beaches than you can count and a famous wine to sweeten your evenings combine to create a unique setting
Samos On this luxuriantly green island on the northeastern edge of the Aegean, covered by pine forests, olive and citrus groves and vineyards, myth and history take on a special allure. This was the birthplace of the goddess Hera, Zeus’ wife; of Aristarchos, the celebrated astrophysicist who first expounded the theory of the earth’s rotation; and of the great mathematician Pythagoras. On this island in the North Aegean, you will see traces of their presence, as you discover Samos’ cool, clear waters, untouched mountain villages, delicious local foods and superb sweet wine.
What to do on Samos
“An archaeologist’s treasure chest” Samos has more than its share of antiquities and attractions for you to unearth. Among them, the walls of Polykrates, the Ancient Theatre and Roman Baths, and the amazing tunnel of Eupalinos, one of the great engineering feats of all time. Finally, the Temple of Hera, and the sanctuary around it, in the supposed place of her birth, was one of the largest temples in Greece.
Have a wander round the old part of Samos’ main port-town, built on a hillside overlooking the sea. The narrow streets and handsome two-storey houses with tiled roofs and charming individual features, will give you a glimpse of pre-20th-century life. Some homes attract your attention with an elegant stone staircase, others will have interestingly carved wooden doors, or the enclosed balconies typical of Anatolia. But walk down to the waterfront and you’re back in today. The town extends around the deep bay that gave it its name.
Here you’ll have an embarrassment of riches and the fun of searching for the one you like best. Do you prefer organised or private and pristine? ? Vast sandy stretches or intimate coves? Crowded and sophisticated or remote-and-bring-your-own-picnic? Sand or fine pebbles? Beaches of every type skirt the island. On the north coast, you could start with popular Kokkari and the quieter beaches next door (Lemonakia, Tsamadou, Tsambou) as far as Agios Konstantinos.
Near Karlovasi there’s Potami, a big, beautiful strand, with a selection of bars and restaurants behind it. At Vathy, everyone flocks to Psili Ammos (‘fine sand’) and Mykali, a beach that goes on forever. The south coast offers Kambou, Votsalakia (‘little pebbles’) and gorgeous Chrysi Ammos (‘golden sand’). Take your pick or try them all.