Samos Sightseeing

Churches and Monasteries
Samos has more than 1000 churches, monasteries and chapels! This means that at every location, you will find multiple churches around. The main characteristic of the Samos’ churches are the light blue domes and the, usually, white or stone walls.
It is difficult to choose between so many different beautiful churches and monasteries; however, the Monastery of Panagia Vrondiani or Kokkariani in Kokkari, the church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa in Karlovasi, the church of Saint Nicholas in Ormos Karlovasiou, the church of Virgin Mary in a cave at 1 km. from Pythagorio, the Monastery of Prophet Elias in Karlovasi, and the Monasteries of Agia Zoni and of Zoodochos Pigi in Vathy are not to be missed!

Archaeological Museum of Samos
It is situated in Vathy and it hosts amazing findings from antiquity, including marble, ceramic, bronze and ivory statues and objects, ancient jewels and many more. The most impressive exhibit is a 5.5 m. high “kouros” statue! The museum is open to the public Tuesday to Sunday from 08:30 to 15:00 and the ticket costs 3 Euros.

Archaeological Museum of Pythagorio
It hosts equally important and impressive exhibits, mainly from the Ancient and Roman Times, including Archaic columns, portraits of Roman emperors, ceramic objects from 7 centuries (9th to 2nd century B.C.) and amazing marble statues of various sizes devoted to Hera and other gods. This museum is also open to the public Tuesday to Sunday from 08:30 to 15:00 and the ticket costs 3 Euros.

Museum of Natural History/Paleontological Museum of Samos
This exceptional museum is located in Mytilenioi and it is a very interesting museum, since it hosts a plethora of paleontological findings, including about 300 kinds of minerals and rocks, shells and 350 species of fish, 40 species of birds, 30 species of animals, reptiles and amphibians of Samos and 3000 Greek herbs. This amazing collection is organized in separate sectors and the museum is open to the public from April to October Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 14:00. For the rest months, visitors should call the museum and arrange a visit (service available for groups).

Samos Folklore Museums
There are three Folklore Museums at Samos: one in Karlovasi, one in Pythagorio and one in Pagondas.
In Karlovasi, the “Historic and Folklore Museum” hosts everyday objects, handmade furniture, porcelain objects, embroideries and rural tools from 1870 to 1955. The museum is open to the public from 8:30 to 13:00, Tuesday to Sunday. 

In Pythagorio, the museum is hosted in the Doryssa Bay resort and it offers an amazing representation of the life in Samos in the 1940s! Visitors may see how rural life and households were organized, tools from the life of shepherds and smiths, a barber shop of that period and of course embroideries, furniture, etc.
The Pythagorio Folklore Museum, also called Folklore Museum of the Demetriou Foundation, is open to the public every day from 10:00 to 13:00 during the summer months.
The Pagondas Folklore Museum is a smaller, but quite interesting museum, exhibiting the interior of a traditional village house and the way of life of the Pagondas’ inhabitants. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 and the remaining days from 17:30 to 20:30.

Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum
The Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum of Samos is situated in Vathy and hosts ecclesiastical objects, costumes, rare books and manuscripts from the 10th century B.C. and Orthodox images. It is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00.

Samos Wine Museum
The Samos Wine Museum located in Malagari (close to Vathy) is definitely worth a visit, since it offers a tour in the way wine used to be produced until a few decades ago. Exhibits include tools, barrels, tanks and lab instruments. The museum buildings are specifically designed so that visitors experience a journey in time and at the end, visitors can buy the amazing local “Moschato”.

Tannery Museum
Located in Karlovasi the Tannery Museum proves the long tradition of Samos in tannery which goes back to the Ancient Times. The museum represents the tools and methods of leather processing and visitors may also see a map with the dozens of tanneries situated in Samos during the 20th century. This museum is open to the public every day and there is no entry fee.

Villages and Areas of Interest
Samos is a very big island with many villages, both coastal and mountainous. Apart from Vathy, Karlovasi, Pythagorio and Kokkari which also host museums, public services and shops, there are quite a few mountainous villages that should be visited.
Hora is a picturesque inland village that used to be the island’s capital until 1854. It is situated at 3 km. from Pythagorio and it maintains some of the old charm of the Greek traditional villages with beautiful white houses with blue doors and windows, paved streets, old-fashioned cafes and traditional taverns. Hora has about 1500 inhabitants and offers traditional accommodation.

Vourliotes, at the north-western part of Samos (20 km. from Vathy), is among the oldest villages on the island. It was established at the end of the 16th century at an altitude of 300 m. and it is situated within a forest of pine trees. The village has a traditional large square with tall trees, some amazing traditional houses with roof tiles and tall colourful windows, a stone fountain with a fresh water spring and the Church of Saint John the Baptist nearby. There is also the stone fountain of Pnaka next to the church and the Monastery of Panagia Vrondiani. 

Platanos is also a quite old village established in the early 17th century. Easily deduced by the village’s name (“platanos” is the Greek word for “plane tree”), this village features tall plane trees that provide shade and dew to visitors. The area around the village is full of vines and the overall landscape quite resembles to the peaceful countryside landscapes of Tuscany in Italy. 

Another picturesque traditional village is Stavrinides situated at 400 m. of altitude in northern Samos (24 km. from Vathy). This village boasts an amazing view to the Aegean Sea and to the village of Manolates and has traditional taverns and gorgeous paved narrow alleys. And, naturally, the temperature is at least 4 degrees Celsius lower than in other places on the island.

Finally, Kontakeika is a beautiful village with roughly 400 residents found at 4 km distance from Karlovasi. This village is unique and famous for its running waters that supply the entire island. Kontakeika features traditional houses with tile roofs, tall colourful windows and beautiful gardens, along with paved alleys and a traditional tavern. 

Archaeological Site of Ireo
The most remarkable archaeological site at Samos is Ireo, in the homonymous area (3 km from Pythagorio). Archaeologists discovered in this location one of the most imposing and most important ancient temples which was of course devoted to goddess Hera. Visitors may sea part of the temple, the ancient altar and the road that connected the temple with the ancient city of Samos (i.e. Pythagorio).

Efpalinion Orygma Archeological Site
Another amazing archaeological site is Efpalinion Orygma (or the trench of Efpalinos) at about 2 km. from Pythagorio. This ancient tunnel was specifically designed by Efpalinos and constructed in order to transfer water from the “Agiades” source to several places in Samos. Its length is 1036 m. (!) and it traverses the mountain “Kastro” from the northeast to the southwest 189 m. beneath the mountain peek. What is amazing is that the tunnel construction began simultaneously on both edges and workers met in the middle of the distance, with only 5 m. of divergence! The aqueduct was used until the end of the Roman Period.

Samos Towers
Samos has two impressive towers which are also of great historic interest: 
The three-floor Tower of Sarakinis at 8 km. from Pythagorio, which was built by the captain Nickolaos Sarakinis in 1577. Sarakinis received this part of land as a gift from Kilitz Ali Pasa thank to his great help in order to attract inhabitants to Samos. 
The Tower of Lykourgos in Pythagorio was built by the leader of the revolution in Samos, Lykourgos Logothetis. It was used as a shelter and a stronghold against the Turks. Next to the tower there are archaeological findings and the beautiful church of the Transfiguration.

Pythagoras Cave
Another place to visit in Samos is the Cave of Pythagoras, on the foot of mountain Kerki. It is a quite impressive cave where Pythagoras used to go when he needed isolation. This cave was also used by him as a hideout when Polycrates accused him of corrupting the youngsters of Samos. The cave is situated at about 3 km. from Kampos Marathokampou but the two thirds of the road are not covered with asphalt and the last 200 m. require climbing up more than 300 stairs. In the entrance of the cave, there is the picturesque chapel of Virgin Mary, built by Saint Paul Latrinos about a century ago.

Agios Isidoros’ boatyard
Last but not least, the boatyard in Agios Isidoros is one of the two boatyards of Samos which have been preserved. Here there is one shipwright who still uses the traditional techniques of building and repairing wooden boats. The boatyard is situated at about 5 km. from Kallithea in western Samos, but the last 4 km. are not covered with asphalt.

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