Sit on the Left!
Favorite thing: If travelling on a daytime flight to or from Samos, try & get seated on the left hand side of the 'plane (clear of the wing of course!) both ways.
The views really are spectacular - not just of Samos, but also of many other islands as you approach & depart. Well worth remembering this if you can!
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Principality without a palace
Favorite thing: A walk at Vathy is one of the most enjoyable things one can do while on Samos.
Samos used to be an autonomous principality under the Ottoman empire in the late 19th century. Unfortunately the palace of the local ruler does not exist anymore - a hotel (now derelict) was built in its place. But the capital town, known as Samos (official) or Vathy (as locals call it), became quite important during those times.
Until about 1800 Vathy was inhabited only on the hillside, at the quarter now known as Ano Vathy ("Upper Vathy"). Settlers gradually inhabited the seaside grounds and the wonderful natural harbour gradually got developed into a more organized seaport. The town has maintained much of its traditional colour, with the tile-roofed homes.
I find Vathy and its surroundings as one of the most enjoyable places for a walk, especially on a summer afternoon and evening. One can start from Ano Vathy's narrow winding streets, continue through the Prosfygika ("Refugee Settlement"), past the old prince's garden (now a small park), along the commercial or the seaside street (try both), then to the northwest for a few kilometres into the rural area of Kalami.
Fondest memory: In my teen years I used to spend most of the summer on Samos, at my uncle's home at Vathy. It was kind of a ritual for me every evening to get in town around 9 pm and just start walking along the main seaside street, from the customs house to the main square. No activity and no rendezvous were planned beforehand but after two or three rounds back and forth from customs to square I got to meet most of my friends and an activity (movie, eating, drink, clubbing, party or just plain chat) was agreed on the spot. Everything was within reach on foot; life was simple and nice.
bcc8's General Tip
Fondest memory: Enjoying the gentle Aegean sun while relaxing on the beach is easily my fondest memory of Samos. The sun just shines a little differently over there I think...
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