Samos Mini Guide
Why is Samos a popular holiday destination?
Samos is popular because it’s a lot quieter than many of the other Greek Islands. Located just off the coast of Turkey you have the option of a short ferry ride to the Turkish mainland for a change of scenery or can stay on the island enjoying its lush green landscape and attractive beaches. The island has a lot of history to recommend it too and those that want to leave the beach for part of the day will find plenty of interest. For most though, the attraction of the island is being able to lie on the uncrowded beaches and read a good book before heading out in the evenings for a delicious meal in one of the waterside tavernas.
How do I get to Samos?
Samos has its own international airport, just outside the main town of Samos with seasonal flights operated by all the main UK
tour operators. If flying to the island out of season, you’ll need to first fly to Athens
or Larnaca and make a connection there. Transport to the resorts is usually by tour operator’s coach although taxis and rental cars are also available.
What is there to see and do on Samos?
There are the wonderful beaches, a lot of them are pebbly though, but they’re great for relaxation. If you’re not one for the sun, sand and sea, try a trip to the Heraion of Samos, a sanctuary to the goddess Hera that in its time was one of the main places of worship for the goddess. Today, it all lies in ruins apart from just one of the gigantic pillars that supported the roof of the temple. Still, it’s possible to get an idea of the scale and majesty of the place in its heyday. From there, a very interesting visit is to the Tunnel of Eupalinos. Constructed millennia ago it’s a kilometre long aquifer designed to bring a safe source of water to the main settlement in a manner that couldn’t be destroyed or adulterated by attackers. It’s a mathematical work of art as the tunnel was begun from both sides of the hill and missed being centred on each other by less than a centimetre.
What can I buy to take home to friends?
The main purchase that tourists make is a bottle of the delicious and heady sweet Muscat dessert wine that the island is famed for. If you have room in your luggage, there’s no better gift to take home from the island.
Are there any festivals or celebrations on the Island?
Apart from the main religious celebrations like Easter and Holy Week, the island is pretty quiet as befits its reputation. You’ll find occasional weddings taking place and the families often don’t mind tourists watching the festivities and taking photographs, sometimes inviting you to join in.
Samos is an island of varying geography, from the quiet sandy coves of the coast you can drive through the arid coastal plains and up into the mountainous heartland, swathed with pine and cypress trees, where Mount Kerkis rises to 5,000ft.
On the way you’ll pass vineyards heavy with the scent of ripening Muscat grapes used to make the island’s excellent wine or small farms where the locals eke out an existence growing citrus, figs and olives. Ferries also depart regularly for the Turkish coast if you want a change of culture.