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Samos Travel Guide
Samos Island Name

There are several theories concerning the name of Samos. According to one of them, Samos comes from the ancient Ionian word “sama” which means “altitude by the beach”, as there are two very high mountains on the island.
Others suggest that the name Samos comes from the region Sami in Kefalonia, from which came the first inhabitant and king of Samos, called Agaios. According to another version, the island was named after Agaios’ daughter who was called Samos. Other researchers have found in ancient texts that Samos was named after the son of Hermes and Rini, whose name was Saos. Finally, some historians believe that “Samos” comes from the ancient inhabitants of the island, the Saios.

Prehistoric times

It is believed that Samos was inhabited around the 4th or 3rd millennium B.C. Findings from this period are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the island. It is not clear whether the Saians (“Saioi”) were the first island’s inhabitants or, as in other islands of the Aegean Sea, the Pelasgians were the first to settle here. Next to arrive were the Phoenicians and the Carians.

Ancient & Classical Times

The Ancient and Classical Times constituted a period of glory and scientific development for the island. Around 650 B.C., the Ionians arrived on the island and brought their technological know-how and their commercial spirit. The period of prosperity continued and reached its highest point when Polycrates became the tyrant of Samos, in the 6th century B.C.
Samos was by then an important commercial centre of the Aegean thanks to its wine and ceramic pots, but it was also a key player in shipping as it was exporting its own products and transferring products to and from Egypt, Asia Minor, Corinth and the Black Sea.
At that time, scientific and technological progress were evident on the island, where magnificent projects were completed like the temple of Hera, the Eupalinos’ tunnel, the castle of Lykourgos, theatres, imposing palaces and the magnificent ancient port. Moreover, the island had its own currency, sample of which are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the island.
It is not by chance that many renowned ancient philosophers, scientists and artists were born, educated and/or worked on Samos. Among them, the famous mathematician Pythagoras who founded geometry, the astronomer Aristarchus who first suggested that the sun was the centre of the universe, the gifted fables author Aesop, the philosopher Epicurus, the famous painter Agatharchos, the architects Roikos and Theodoros, Damo who was the daughter of Pythagoras and among the first women philosophers, and many others.
The decline of Samos began with the death of Polycrates in 522 B.C. The island resisted to the Persians, but was conquered by them after Polycrates’ death. In 379 B.C. the Samians led the revolution against the Persians.
Samos was part of the Athenian Alliance, but during the Peloponnesian War it left the alliance and was forced to return. After the end of the War and the loss of Athens, the Persians came back on the island until 366 B.C. when Athenian authority was restored.
During the Hellenistic Period, Samos was semi-autonomous.

Roman & Byzantine Times

During the Roman period Samos was quite prosperous as a part of the “Province of Asia” of the Roman Empire.  In 189 B.C. it became part of the Kingdom of Pergamos, in approval of the Romans. Later on, it belonged to the “Province of the Islands” along with other Aegean islands. In 40 B.C. Cleopatra and Anthony spent an entire winter on Samos. The pirates attacked Samos many times in the Roman Era, but the island managed to survive and retain part of its glory.
In the Byzantine Period, Samos was the capital of the “Samos Region” although it was under decline. It was first attacked by the Syrians and then by the Cretans. In 1204 Samos resisted to and defeated the Russians who tried to dominate the Aegean Sea.

Venetian Times

Samos’ decline continued in the Venetian Period, when the vast majority of the inhabitants left the island and went to Chios.

The Ottoman Period

The Ottomans arrived on the deserted island in 1549, when the admiral Kilitz Ali Pasa passed by Samos and requested the island’s authority by the Sultan. Apart from the Ottomans, who consequently came to the island, Kilitz Ali Pasa invited Greeks to come back to Samos, offered them many privileges and insisted that they could keep their religion, the Orthodox Christianity. 
The Ottoman admiral who loved Samos managed to gather inhabitants from all over the Aegean, Asia Minor and even the Peloponnese. Samos was quite privileged compared to other Greek territories that were part of the Ottoman Empire as it was mainly autonomous. 

The Greek Revolution

Samos resisted to the Ottomans during the Greek Revolution and managed to stay autonomous until 1830, when it was eventually granted to the occupants. In 1835, it became autonomous again but still belonged to the Ottomans. A big revolution against them was organized in 1849 and many Turks arrived on the island. Samos became part of the Greek State at the end of 1912.

Recent history

Samos is among the biggest and most beautiful Greeks islands. The island’s economy is based on fishing, agriculture, tourism and mining. The Samian wine is excellent and it is exported all over the world. 
During the past decades, Samos has been increasingly attracting visitors both from Greece and abroad, thanks to its dazzling beaches, its organized touristic services and infrastructure, its diversified landscapes and its unique monuments and places of exceptional beauty. 
The island has approximately 36,000 inhabitants and features a hospital and a university, facts that prove that Samos is a lively island throughout the year.


The goddess Hera was massively worshiped on Samos as proved by the glorious ancient temple on the island. According to the Greek mythology, Hera was born and raised is Samos, where Zeus also proposed to her. There is a myth according to which Hera washed her hair in the river Parthenos. This is why many ancient texts refer to Samos as “Parthenia”.


Agaios was, according to mythology, the first king of Samos. He had his own vines but was very cruel to his slaves. One of his slaves put a curse on him: that he would never drink the wines produced in his vineyards. So, Agaios called this slave, when the wine was produced, and ironically told him that he was about to drink wine from his own production. Agaios did not get the chance to drink the wine, because a wild boar was destroying his vines and he went to fight against him but he was killed.
Another version of the myth suggests that the boar was sent by goddess Artemis, who was mad because Agaios did not offer her his wine. 

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.

Eat & Drink
TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Votsalakia / Kampos Marathokampou

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Italian cuisine
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Mediterranean & International Cuisine
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Fresh Fish & Seafood
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Alternative
Location: Votsalakia / Kampos Marathokampou

TYPE: Beach Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Fresh Fish & Seafood
Location: Vathy

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Fresh Fish & Seafood
Location: Votsalakia / Kampos Marathokampou

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Fresh Fish & Seafood
Location: Limnionas

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Traditional Greek Cuisine
Location: Drakei

TYPE: Café & Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Beach Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Agios Ioannis Eleimonas

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Italian cuisine
Location: Kokkari

TYPE: Restaurant,   STYLE: Mediterranean & International Cuisine
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Taverna,   STYLE: Greek Music
Location: Vathy

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Lounge & Atmospheric
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Bar - Restaurant,   STYLE: International
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Beach Bar,   STYLE: Jazz & World music
Location: Pythagorio

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Rock Music
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Café & Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Café & Bar,   STYLE: Cafeteria
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Rock Music
Location: Karlovasi

TYPE: Café & Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Agios Ioannis Eleimonas

TYPE: Bar,   STYLE: Mainstream
Location: Karlovasi

Practical info
General Info

The climate in Samos is Mediterranean with mild winters and warm -but not too hot- summers, full of sunshine. During the winter, there is plenty of rain because of the island’s high mountains, who hinder clouds from leaving the Samos territory. During the summer, the main characteristic is the strong northern winds, which mainly affect the northern part of the island. 
In general, the northern part of the island is more humid than the northern part. Samos has about 2885 hour of sunshine per year, with the months May to September having a least 300 hours each. From April to October there is rarely any rain. Due to the strong estate winds, the temperature is usually 30 °C during the summer. In general, the weather in Samos is pleasant and mild all year long.

The national prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad.  All numbers in the capital Athens start with the prefix 210 and are followed by 8 digits (e.g. 210-3227400). 
The Area Code for Samos is: +30 22730. If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialling the other country’s national prefix (i.e. 0049 for Germany, 0044 for England etc.) and continue with the area code and the number where you wish to call.
Euro €
Euro Coins: 1 and 2 euro coins (gold and silver color), 10, 20 and 50 cents (gold color) 1, 2 and 5 cents (copper color)
1 euro = 100 cents / centimes.
Euro Bank Notes: Are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is not always easy to receive change for 200 and 500 Euro Notes.

Getting There

Samos has an airport, which is connected to the Athens International Airport and several airports around the world (with charter flights during the summer). The flight duration is about 45 minutes. During summer Samos is also connected by air to Thessaloniki, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and Crete.

Samos Airport Tel: +30 22730 87800

Samos is connected by boat and high speed boat with the port of Piraeus. The conventional boat trip lasts about 12 hours (the boat stops at various islands in between). The high speed boat trip lasts 6 to 8 hours. Moreover, Samos is connected by boat to Kavala, Northern Greece, and many Aegean islands: Chios, Lesvos, Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros, Ikaria, Fournoi, Patmos, Kos, Leros, and Kalymnos. It is also connected by boat to Kousandasi in Turkey. 
For accurate timetables and ticket costs, please visit: 

Nel Lines: www.nel.gr 
Aegean Speed Lines: www.aegeanspeedlines.gr

Local Transportation

Samos is a big island with a quite well organized network of public transportation means. There are buses that connect Vathy and Karlovasi to most of the beaches and to the biggest island’s villages. There are also monthly bus cards available with a discount of 30%, whereas the local buses’ company organizes special tours upon request.

KTEL of Samos Tel: +30 22730 27262, www.samospublicbusses.gr 

Taxis are available at multiple spots on the island: 
Samos Taxi Services: +30 22730 28404
Vathy Taxi Services: +30 22730 91100
Karlovasi Taxi Services: +30 22730 30777
Marathokampos Taxi Services: +30 22730 31000
Pythagorio Taxi Services: +30 22730 61450
Kokkari Taxi Services: +30 22730 92585
Mytilenioi Taxi Services: +30 22730 51400
Samos has some amazing isolated beaches, especially on the western coast of the island, which are accessible only by boat. Boats trip services are available at Karlovasi.

Local Services

There are many bank branches at Samos (also hosting ATMs), situated in Vathy and Karlovasi. So visitors should not have any problem in case a bank and ATM is needed as banking services on Samos are more than abundant.
Money can be exchanged at all bank branches.   
The Greek post office is called ELTA and you can find the main post offices of the island in Hora where there is also a branch of the Hellenic Post Bank. Post Boxes in Greece are YELLOW for normal post, usually with 2 slots for INTERNAL POST (meaning inside Greece) and post for ABROAD. RED Post Boxes are rarer and they are used for URGENT mail. You shouldn’t expect to find such boxes in the island. REGISTERED mail is always handled and given a receipt for at the POST OFFICE.
The Post Office in Samos is quite organized and has branches in several places: 
Samos (Vathy) Post Office: 151 Themistokli Sofouli Street, Tel.: +30 2273027304
Neo Karlovasi Post Office: 23 Themistokli Sofouli Street, Tel.: +30 22730 35444
Pythagorio Post Office: Despoti Kyrillou Street, Pythagorio, Tel.: +30 22730 61304

There are also post offices in Marathokampos, Mytilenioi and Pyrgos Samou.

POLICE STATION                                   
Samos (Vathy) Police Station, Tel.: +30 22730 22100
Karlovasi Police Station, Tel.: +30 22730 33333

The Municipality of Samos has an excellent website in terms of information provided: www.vathy.org. 
Tel.: +30 2273050112

Useful Numbers

Samos Hospital Tel: +30 22730 83100
Vathy First Aid Tel: +30 22730 22222
Karlovasi First Aid Tel: +30 22730 32222

There are about 20 pharmacies on Samos, situated in Vathy, Karlovasi, Pythagorio, Marathokampos, Pagondas, Mytilenioi, Pyrgos, Hora  and Kokkari.

A magical sunset
Location:Votsalakia / Kampos Marathokampou

Three kilometres (!) of golden sand and small pebbles await visitors in this beautiful beach, situated in the bay of Marathokampos in the south-western part of the island. The waters here are crystal clear and visitors may choose to relax on the sunbeds or underneath the tamarisk trees. The natural beauty of this area is amazing, since the beach is surrounded by beautiful hills. When the sun goes down, Votsalakia offers one of the top sunset views in the Aegean Sea!

For tranquility seekers

Kampos is a tranquil beach in northern Samos with large white and light brown pebbles and usually big waves. It offers a refreshing swim in its cold, deep waters and attracts visitors who prefer serenity and relaxation as it is not organized. There are taverns and cafeterias near the beach and there are also other beautiful beaches next to Kampos, like Tsampou and Agios Konstantinos.

The awe inspiring beach

With turquoise waters and imposing rocky cliffs, the beach of Aspres certainly fascinates visitors at first glance. Although it is not an organized beach, it hosts a tavern where swimmers can buy refreshments, water and snacks, or enjoy a meal by the sea. The waters here are almost always calm and the morphology of the sea bottom is perfect for snorkeling explorations. Around Aspres there are many isolated beaches, accessible on foot.

Swimming in a tiny natural port
Location:Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a small, cozy beach on the northern part of Samos, right next to the homonymous settlement. The beach is small and picturesque, while a series of large rocks creates a tiny port, which however does not protect swimmers from the strong northern winds. There are taverns and cafeterias very close to the beach, but the beach itself is not organized.

An exotic coast in the Aegean Sea!
Location:Agios Ioannis Eleimonas

Hidden between green hills that end in abrupt rocky cliffs, this gorgeous, turquoise waters’ beach strongly resembles to exotic beaches on isolated islands. There is golden sand on the beach and white pebbles at the first meters of the sea bottom. The amazing beauty of the beach is completed by the triangle-shaped rocky islets quite close to the shore. The rocks surrounding the beach are ideal for plunging and the beach is suitable for nudism.

For a rejuvenating experience

Avlakia is a small beach with homogenous grey pebbles and deep, cold waters. The beach has tamarisk trees that offer natural shade and is ideal for a refreshing swim. The beautiful view of the hills covered with pine trees, the lovely color of the sea, the transparency of the water and the privacy at Avlakia guarantee a lovely and relaxing swim.

An Ionian-like coast in the Aegean!
Location:Mikro Seitani

Mikro Seitani is an idyllic beach with turquoise waters, at the end of a small bay which is surrounded by pine trees. The area around the beach is a beautiful sea park, where lucky visitors can see Monachus-Monachus seals.  Mikro Seitani has white pebbles and a rocky islet, and of course crystal clear waters. Access to Mikro Seitani, which strongly reminds the picturesque Ionian beaches, is possible via a path that begins at Potami (close to Karlovasi) or by boat.

Where Monachus-Monachus seals shelter
Location:Megalo Seitani

At about 6 km. to the west after Karlovasi, Megalo Seitani compensates visitors who have walked down a path for longer than 3.5 km. The landscape is gorgeous with pine trees all around and the beach has golden thick sand. The wider area including Megalo Seitani and Mikro Seitani nearby is a sea park that hosts Monachus-Monachus seals. This beach is isolated and visitors should make provisions for water, snacks and hats, but it is definitely worth it.

The solution for windy days

Iraion is a picturesque beach in the southeastern coast of Samos, very well protected from the summer northern winds. The beach has sand and pebbles, and offers many amenities to visitors including sunbeds, umbrellas, taverns and cafeterias by the sea. Moreover, Ireo offers various accommodation choices as hotels and apartments are available at a walking distance from the beach. Last but not least, qiute a few interesting places to visit, like Pythagorio, and beautiful beaches like Potokaki are found very close to Ireo.

The definition of wild beauty

Varsamo is an isolated beach on the western coast of Samos. It is a fascinating beach with pebbles and rocks and transparent waters. Varsamo is ideal for tranquility and for those who seek wild beauty, untouched by the human hand. Since the west part of Samos faces the open sea, usually at Varsamo there are tall waves. Also drivers should be careful at the last 3 km. of the road leading to the beach, which are not covered by asphalt.

Everything is easy at Gagou!

Gagou is a beautiful sandy beach with azure waters in north-eastern Samos, very close to Vathy. Here everything is easy; the waters are calm and shallow, access is very convenient (2 km. from the island’s capital), there are umbrellas and sunbeds, beach taverns and there are also varied accommodation options. Because of the easy access and services offered, Gagou is often preferred by families. 

Shaped like the number "3"

Potami is a large, tranquil beach in northern Samos, which has a unique shape; the beach is shaped like the number “3’, with a narrow piece of land entering in the sea and forming two unequal bays. The waters are crystal clear and have an amazing azure color, whereas there are no amenities offered on the beach. However, not very far from Potami there is a canteen and a restaurant. 

For water sports lovers

Pythagorio is among the most famous holiday resorts in Samos. Its pebbled beach is not very large, but offers many amenities, including umbrellas and sunbeds and the option for various water sports (windsurfing, kayak, waterski, wakeboarding, etc.). At Pythagorio there is also a scuba diving school and the sea bottom is very interesting and attracts divers from all over the world. So, Pythagorio is the place to be for a fun and active vacation. 

Dozens of tamarisk trees lead the way to the beach

Among the longest beaches of Samos (3 km. long), this spacious sandy and pebbled beach usually has calm waters and offers many amenities. There are beach taverns and a cafeteria by the sea, umbrellas and sunbeds, different accommodation options nearby and water sports facilities. But what is truly astonishing at Potokaki are the dozens of tamarisk trees that lead the way towards the beach. A truly unique feature!

Under the shade of imposing rocks

Strangely hosting a beach tavern, this tranquil beach creates the impression that you are on a virgin island. There are high rocky cliffs and impressively shaped rocks all around the coast, the area and in the sea, whereas the sea water is deep, cold and crystal clear. Being situated within the Marathokampos Bay, Pefkos is protected from the summer winds and offers an amazing swim in its tranquil transparent waters.

The grey pebbles' beach

At Poseidonio the pebbles have an amazing uniform grey color! Visitors may choose to rest under the tamarisk trees or to lay on the sunbeds under the umbrellas. After a refreshing swim at the calm and transparent waters, visitors may have a delicious meal in one of the beach taverns serving traditional dishes. The area around the beach offers many accommodation choices, whereas right next to the beach there is a little port that welcomes boats and yachts.

A small dose of adventure!

Plaka is an isolated beach on the western coast of Samos, where access requires patience. Not only is it located at 63 km. from the island capital, but the last 5 km. of the road are a quite rough earth road. However, the wild beauty of Plaka with its huge rocks and its big waves compensates visitors, who of course need to make provisions for water, snacks and umbrellas. Plaka is one of those beaches worth discovering.

A beautiful beach with a lighthouse

Balos is probably the only beach in Samos that features a lighthouse, which lies at the end of the beach on a jetty. The beach has thick pebbles and cold, clear and deep waters. There are a few sunbeds and some tamarisk trees, while the mountain on the right side of Balos creates a gorgeous scenery and a lovely sunset. Visitors need to make provisions for water and snacks.

A little bit of everything…
Location:Ormos Marathokampou

Ormos Marathokampou is a picturesque fishing village in north-western Samos, featuring a little port and a small sandy beach. Next to the beach there are fish taverns and cafeterias, while it is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. Around the beach, there are accommodation options, the beautiful church of Saint Nektarios, gorgeous houses of traditional Aegean architecture and a quite well organized nightlife. Ormos Marsathokampou has a bit of everything! 

You cannot miss it!

Karlovasi or Limani Karlovasou is a 1 km. long sandy beach on the north-western part of Samos, right next to the port of Karlovasi. The easy access makes it quite popular for Karlovasi inhabitants and for visitors that choose to stay in Karlovasi. The beach is very much affected by the northern winds and it is not organized, but there are taverns and cafeterias around. However, gazing to the endless blue horizon makes the Karlovasi beach worth a visit.

The perfect starting point for explorations

Limnionas is a medium-sized beach with thick sand and transparent waters. The beach is protected from the northern winds and its calm waters are ideal for a little boat trip and an exploration of the little isolated beaches next to it. In terms of amenities, Limnionas has sunbeds and umbrellas, and beach taverns that offer food and snacks. There are various accommodation options around the beach and the wider area is beautiful, with pine trees and rocks. 

A calm green paradise

This gorgeous beach in the eastern coast of Samos is surrounded by hills full of pine trees whose reflection colours the sea water with an amazing emerald hue. The waters at Kerveli are usually calm, since the beach is situated in a beautiful bay. This beach is not organized, but there is a beach tavern serving food and snacks. 

A scenic beach that offers everything

Lemonakia is a medium-sized beach with white pebbles and azure, crystal clear waters. The beach is organized and offers many amenities, including a beach tavern, sunbeds and umbrellas. Even the umbrellas and sunbeds are blue, a fact that makes the beach colored in blue and white, just like the Greek flag. Access to Lemonakia is easy, by car or motorcycle, and there is a beautiful path of about 200 m. among pine trees at the end of the itinerary. 

The windsurfers' favorite!

Deep, clean waters and huge waves are the main characteristics of this lovely beach with sand and pebbles in the northern coast of Samos. Kokkari is the favorite destination of surfers, due to the strong winds and perfect waves. The beach is organized and hosts beach taverns, cafeterias and of course sunbeds and umbrellas. The area around the beach is among the top holiday resorts on Samos, offering different kinds of accommodation.

For nudists and not only!

Tsamadou is a dazzling beach with crystal clear, azure waters and pebbles, while the pine trees around seem to hang right above the water. The beach is organized and also hosts a beach tavern. In order to arrive at Tsamadou, visitors must walk down a lovely path among pine trees. At the two edges of the beach, visitors should expect to run into nudists, since Tsamadou is included in the list of nudists’ beaches in Greece. 

Nestled within huge rocks

Tsampou is an impressive beach with thick pebbles, where on both edges of the coast there are abrupt rocky cliffs. The waters here are deep and crystal clear and quite often there are high waves. Tsampou is organized offering sunbeds and umbrellas, plus the ability to buy water, refreshment and snacks or have a meal at its beach taverns. Right next to the beach there is a smaller, isolated beach, which is also suitable for nudism. 

The narrowest bay of Samos

Nestled in a long and narrow U-shaped bay, this stunning beach is totally isolated and requires organization on behalf of visitors, which must bring water, umbrellas and snacks with them. Access requires about 7 km. of earth road, but there is always the easier way of arriving at Tsopela by boat (tours that include Tsopela depart from Pythagorio). The waters here are calm, transparent and turquoise and swimming here feels like being in paradise.

The definition of golden sand!
Location:Hrisi Ammos

It is not by accident that this beach is called Hrisi Ammos, since the phrase hrïsi ammos" means "golden sand" in Greek. This wide beach with light brown thin sand is surrounded by pine trees and offers many amenities. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the calm waters and then taste the local cuisine at either of the two beach taverns. Hrisi Ammos often attracts nudists. 

The family friendly beach
Location:Psili Ammos

Psili Ammos, which should not be confused with Hrisi Ammos or Psili Ammos in south-western Samos, is a 200 m. long beach with thin sand and very shallow calm waters, ideal for children. The beach offers sunbeds, umbrellas and the option of a meal by the sea, whereas the area around the beach offers various accommodation options. This is the ideal beach for a relaxing family vacation.

Long and diversified

Mykali is a 3 km. long beach with beautiful, thick, light grey pebbles. A part of the beach is organized hosting umbrellas and sunbeds, while there are also canteens and taverns. But the beach also boasts parts (like on the left edge of the beach) that are almost never crowded and visitors may enjoy a tranquil swim. Moreover, several water sports are available at Mykali; this really is a diversified beach!

Infinite deep blue

Svala is a quite long beach with pebbles, while at the right end of the beach there is a strangely shaped heap of rocks. The waters here are cold and very deep while there is no protection from the northern winds. Svala ia found at about 19 km north-west from the capital (Vathi) and you will find a canteen offering coffee, refreshments and snacks while it is mostly organized with umbrellas and sunbeds. One of the most charming coasts when no winds are blowing except you are an adventure lover!

At a walking distance from the island's capital

In order to reach Roditses, visitors may park their car at Vathy and walk for a few minutes. Because of its proximity to the island capital, this beach is strongly preferred by the inhabitants of Vathy. There are sunbeds and umbrellas, whereas various dining and accommodation options are available around the beach. The waters here are quite shallow and the lovely white color of the sand combined with grey pebbles create a beautiful landscape.

Playing with the waves

Kedros is a beautiful pebbled beach in northern Samos, accessible via a dirt road. The beach has some colorful umbrellas and sunbeds, whereas it hosts a great tavern. At Kedros, there are medium height waves, a fact which makes them ideal for family fan. This beach is close to the capital and there are many gorgeous beaches around it, so visitors can combine a visit to Kedros with a visit to Kokkari or Tsamadou. 


Local Specialties & Recipes

Wrapped in handmade dough and filled with a mixture of yellow pumpkin, onions, cinnamon, sugar, feta cheese and olive oil, “bourekia” are fried in a pan with olive oil and they constitute an excellent appetizer, both salty and sweet!


For this dish, the veal is sautéed with onions, fresh tomatoes, fresh mint, pepper, sugar and salt, and then it is wrapped in slices of fried eggplants. Apart from an amazing taste, this dish has an impressive appearance.


Made with potatoes, pumpkins, eggplants, tomatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper, which are first fried and then boiled, this is a truly tasteful dish mixing all summer flavours!

Crayfish “giouvetsi”

The crayfish are first sautéed, with onions and red and green peppers, and then baked in a baking casserole with lid along with the pasta (could be spaghetti or any kind of pasta). The great taste is guaranteed by the fresh crayfish from the crystal clear sea of Samos while the special baking casserole preserves the aromas and flavours of the crayfish and diffuses them in the pasta.

Katimeria (pancakes)

This dessert probably goes back to the time when Samians left the island and went to live on Chios, since it uses a mixture of oil with crushed mastic that creates a unique aroma. The other ingredients are flour, warm water and yeast, olive oil, one egg and sugar. Once the katimeria are fried, syrup is poured on them and they are accompanied by cheese.

Local Products
Products of Samos

Samos was renowned from the Ancient Times for its wine and for certain other products, which were even then exported in Asia, various places of Greece and Egypt. The most famous Samos’ products you should definitely try and take home with you follow.


This excellent quality wine, called “Samos”, is exported all over the world and it is highly appreciated even in France. Demand for the Samos wine is increasing, but unfortunately the quantity of local production is restricted. Visitors should absolutely take a bottle of “Samos” with them.


More than 13.000 hives exist in the forests and plains of Samos producing more than 85.000 kilos of excellent quality honey. Great taste and high nutritional value in a jar!

Ouzo and raki

Going back to 1910, when a woman established the first ouzo distillery in Samos, the production of ouzo on the island is still important while it is still perfomed by using the traditional techniques. Compared to the ouzo of other places, the ouzo of Samos has a lighter and finer taste. Another similar product is souma, which is a type of raki that can be found on the Aegean Islands. Do not drink too much though because dizziness is sure to come!


Samos has a long tradition in dairy products and visitors should taste the local myzithra and anthotyro (cream cheese). However, the most renowned, exceptional cheese of Samos is called “armogalo” which is made of fresh goat and cow milk and it has an amazing taste.

Olive and olive oils (hamades)

On Samos great quality olive oil and olives are produced. The most renowned olives of the island are called “hamades” (“hamo” means down on the floor), because they are gathered from the ground once they fall off the trees and consumed right away without any processing. They are hard to find and have a soft sweet taste. Find them and try them!

Local herbs

Samos is the paradise of herbs and, as such, the perfect place to buy oregano, fresh mint, basil, laurel, lavender, and many more. They add exceptional aromas in most dishes.

Ceramic pots

The art of pottery in Samos goes back to antiquity. Ceramic objects are produced today in laboratories using traditional techniques. This is a great chance to buy a decorative object or a useful utensil. 

Citrus trees and fruit

Samos is renowned for its citrus tree and especially for its oranges with a fine aroma. Oranges, lemons, tangerines, etc., are incredibly juicy and they are tasteful either fresh or in jams.

Events in Samos

There are several events organized in Samos every year especially in summer. Events cover a wide spectrum of interest, including events related to agriculture, cultural events and religious feasts. In general, visitors of Samos during the summer have the opportunity to attend and participate in many events. Relevant information is available via the municipality of Samos.


During the Carnival period many festivities are organized in Karlovasi and in the surrounding villages when the locals wear costumes and walk around the area. There is the custom of “Kadis” which satirizes the Turkish judges and the custom of “fratzolia” (the word comes from “fratza” that means decoration) where participants wear anything they find and end up looking ugly and funny. On the last day of the carnival period there is a big parade with thematic carnival floats.

Orange Festival

In mid-March local producers organize the Orange Festival which is held at the village of Myloi (close to Ireon). The festival includes free fresh orange juice, jams and candies made of orange. There is also a small outdoor market where visitors can buy oranges and tangerines at half price, but also other products like jam, honey, olive oil and hand-made jewels. This event is held at the village’s primary school’ yard with the participation of students!

Ireon Music festival

During the summer, there are quite a few events, some of which are regular, like the Ireon Music Festival that is held on 7, 8 and 9 August at Ireo beach. The festival started in 2004 and many famous rock and reggae musicians and groups have participated so far. This is actually an amazing event with live music on the beach…a genuine beach party!

Karlovasia Festival

Another regular summer event is Karlovasia. It is a three-month festival, lasting all summer long, and it includes concerts, traditional festivities with live music, theatre plays, folk dancing by groups from several parts of Greece and sports’ events. The events are held in Karlovasi and in villages/areas nearby.

Religious Celebrations

As in every Greek island, religious feasts are quite important and very joyful. The most interesting among them are the feast of Agia Paraskevi held on July 26 and the feast in honour of the Assumption of Virgin Mary held on August 15 in Hora, the feast of Agia Marina in Vourliotes on July 17 and the feast in honour of the Birth of Virgin Mary held at the amazing Monastery of Panagia Vrondiani.

Cycladia Tips
Useful tips for a Pleasant Stay

Samos is an island with dazzling beaches, two high mountains, diversified landscapes and a strong local tradition and culture. Visitors should not miss the opportunity of discovering these beauties by walking around the island. There are many walking guides of Samos available in various languages, but along with them, water, sport shoes and hats/sun blocks are indispensable.
Moreover, since Samos is affected by the strong northern winds of the Aegean Sea (“meltemia”), usually the real feel of the temperature is lower than 30 degrees Celsius. Therefore, light jackets are required.
Finally, Samos is connected by boat with many other Aegean Islands (Chios, Ikaria, Fournoi, and islands of the Dodecanese). Combining a vacation in Samos with visits to those islands is certainly a great idea!

Choose a calm beach when it is too windy

The northern part of Samos is mainly affected by the strong estate winds, whereas the southern and eastern coasts have calm waters. When the wind is too strong, it is wiser to choose one of the island’s calm beaches.

Rent a 4x4 vehicle for a day

Samos is a big beautiful island that has numerous beaches many of them only accessed through difficult earth roads. Moreover, the roads leading to some mountainous villages are rough. So renting a 4x4 vehicle is not a luxury, but a prerequisite in order to fully discover and utterly enjoy the island beauties.

Scuba diving

The sea bottom is fantastic in this part of the Aegean Sea. The Samos Dive Centre in Pythagorio awaits visitors who want to live this unique experience.

Take a boat tour

Several isolated beaches, most of them located in the virgin western part of the island, are only accessible via boat. Moreover daily boat tours to the Turkish coasts are organized on a daily basis. Do not miss this opportunity and do not forget to carry your passport with you!

Visit the waterfalls

At about 3 km. from Karlovasi, in the area of Potami, the amazing waterfalls of Samos are found. Bathing suits and athletic shoes are required, along with water, hats and snacks. The first waterfall is easily accessible; however, the second one (5 m. high) requires a little climbing and possibly swimming in cold river water. The second waterfall is remarkably spectacular and it is definitely worth the trouble.

Discover the wetlands

It is almost unbelievable but Samos features 4 wetlands which host a vast variety of birds, reptiles and mammals species. The wetland of Aliki in eastern Samos consists of a lake and a marsh, and hosts more than 125 species of birds during the summer months. The wetland of Glyfades is situated near Pythagorio and consists of two lakes (Mikri Glyfada and Megali Glyfada) that have water all year long and are interconnected. Moreover, the marsh of Mesokampos nearby (at 4.5 km from Pythagorio) is a quite big wetland that hosts migratory and endemic birds. The marsh of Hora is about the same size with the marsh of Mesokampos and also hosts endemic and migratory birds. It is a protected area boasting an amazing natural beauty.

Shops & Galleries
Shops & Galleries in Samos

The majority of shops are located in Vathy and Karlovasi, but there are also shops in Pythagorio and on the island’s resorts.
Find below some remarkable art galleries.

Kallilsti Gallery
Located in Pythagorio, this gallery houses the work of living Greek artists, including jewels, ceramics, sculpture, hand paintings, glass objects and silk paintings. 
55 Lykourgou Logotheti Str.
Pythagorio, Samos
Tel.: +30 22730 62155

Plaisio Gallery
Plaisio is an art gallery hosting interesting art objects.   
Gorgyras Str.
Vathy, Samos
Tel.: +30 22730 30855