Pythagoras Cave is at the foot of Mount Kerkis. It is where the mathametician sought refuge from prosecution when he was accused of corrupting the island's youth. It is a steep walk up to the cave as you can see by the pictures. It is advisable to wear rubber soul shoes for the walk plus take a bottle of drinking water. The views looking out at the sea as you get to the top is incredible
When choosing the right resort in which to base yourself for 2 weeks which suits your families personal requirements, it is always difficult to decide just by reading the guide books & travel brochures (& VT of course!) We had no idea where to plump for when booking a Samos trip - we just knew we wanted to go there! Luckily we came home knowing without a doubt that Pythagorion had definitely been the right choice!
If you like fairly lively evenings eating & drinking around a pretty harbour, quiet walks in the daytime, easy access by car to the rest of the island, long pebble/shingle beaches, various watersports, quite a few tourist & local shops, an abundence of diverse restaurants, some archaeological interest........then don't hesitate to choose Pythagorion!
Everyone has heard of this guy & here he is in Samos - well he was born & brought up right here around 580BC! He later died in Italy. He is known for being one of the most famous mathematicians ever! So great that they named a whole resort on Samos after him; 'Pythagorion'.
This monument depicts the mathematical theory discovered by Pythagoras & which he is ultimately famous for sharing with us all! I won't even begin to try & explain it - read all about it here!
Samos seemed to me to have many sites of archaeological interest.
Some were mereley left open for anybody to wander in & look around. I found it strange that they were not protected by fencing in any form & that entry to the sites was not supervised. All were signposted in English as well as Greek.
Samiopoula is a very small island very near the south coast of Samos. It has 2 sandy beaches & a hotel, a few restaurants & some rooms to rent. It can be visited by boat from Pythagorion daily.
After chatting to a holidaying neighbour at our villa, we decided against a visit ourselves. He had spent the previous day on Samiopoula & warned us that unless you don't mind being bitten & harrassed constantly by large flies, DON'T go! Maybe this was a temporary thing due to the result of the spell of particularly hot weather, but it put us off!
We saw the whole island from above when we travelled through Samos by car. The elevated position made for a spectacular sight - it's the nearest I fancied getting to the 'fly' island!
Fresh oranges are squeezed daily & sold bottled in most supermarkets - also in some smaller shops too! Just 1.5 Euro for 500ml or 3 Euro for 1litre, it is sealed immediately after bottling & kept on ice until purchased.
Truly refreshing & such a bargain - it's a great way to enjoy your daily Vitamin C intake!
Vourliotes is on of the oldest villages, built at the end of 16th or beginning of the 17th century. It’s named after its first inhabitants, who came from Vourla in Asia Minor.
It lies on an altitude of 340 metres above the Aegean Sea and is surrounded by lush pine forests, vineyards, olive trees and numerous wild flowers. I suppose the village has been built on this place because there is an abundance of water. At the entrance of the village along the main road you can see the old spring.
There are spectacular views of the mountainous scenery and to the sea.
The village looks like a labyrinth with its narrow and winding roads lined with whitewashed houses which have different coloured window and door frames. The church however is decorated in traditional white and blue.
Shops are very small and seemed to be very authentic; we found just one with the common touristy knick knacks.
All roads do lead to the picturesque square with a couple of cafés; a perfect spot for a rest while hiking around in the mountains of Samos. If you are not a hiker, at least make some shorts walks out of the village (towards the cemetery or into the direction of Pnaka) and enjoy the rich coloured wild flowers.
This has to be one of the most unusual landings there are in the world, presumably because of the surrounding hills and being so close to Turkey .
The planes approach the runway at an angle of well over 90 degrees very low and close to the surrounding hills, at the last minute the planes turn very sharply to the right and then your down.
We all thought it was a great experience, its probably not the best landing if you dont enjoy flying though.
Also an old village in the mountains, named after ‘Manolas’, the surname of first family which settled here. The village lies on an altitude of about 380 metres. The views of the sea and the mainland of Turkey are stunning.
Due to cloudy and rainy (yes, even on Samos) we went by car through the Valley of the Nightingales with impressive trees, vineyards and a little stream. After a couple of serious hairpins we reached the car park, just outside the village.
We walked uphill along the ‘main’ road, which has some potteries, galleries and souvenir shops. It is obvious that Manolates attracts more (foreign) visitors than Vourliotes. It has the same old whitewashed houses often decorated with colourful flowers. Flowers are also painted on the streets.
There are some little squares with restaurants and cafés. We were rather early in the morning and just one of them was open for a cappuccino; made with warmth, but with a bad taste.
We heard and read about the ‘Lucas Taverna’, signposted and located above the village. It should have spectacular views, but we didn’t visit because of the increasing clouds; for sure something for our next visit.
Kokkari is located on the north coast of Samos, about 10 km’s west of Vathy.
It lies on a peninsula with the houses, shops, hotels and apartment buildings of the village, which has about 1000 inhabitants (in the summer most probably many times larger with guests). It once was a fishermen village, but has developed into an important tourist resort.
Just opposite the beautiful church it has a small pedestrian area with some shops and towards the two picturesque harbours a lot of bars, cafés and restaurants. During our visit in May they were waiting for guests, but it already had its charm.
On one side of the peninsula is the so called Long Beach, a pebble beach lined with bars and cafés; nice for some swimming, windsurfing, sunbathing or just having a drink in the Greek sun.
Kokkari is also a very good starting point for walks into the green hills of Samos. There are many paths and trails leading to one of the mountain villages or monasteries on the slopes of the Ambelos Mountain.
Kokkari is ‘well known’ for its cats, which are walking and sleeping almost everywhere in town. Cute to see when they are playing together, but rather annoying when they are begging for food when we were having dinner.
The combination of beaches, mountains and its more or less authentic charm makes Kokkari a pleasant town for a stay on Samos.
After visiting Ayia Zoni Monastery we passed the settlement of Kamara (with a taverna) and turned to the left. This is a real mountain road with some hairpins and on a couple of places cut out of the rocks. During the drive we had some stunning views of the Vlamari valley and the beach of Mourtia. If you are lucky you can see rock climbers on the sheer rock cliffs along the road.
Almost on the top of the Rabaidoni mountain stands the Byzantine Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi on a height of approximately 300 metres. The massive and austere buildings, built in 1756, are surrounded by nice smelling pine trees. The monastery used to accommodate monks, but from 2002 it is inhabited by four nuns whose main occupation is hagiography.
Unfortunately we were too late (or too early) to visit this monastery. According to a sign next to the ‘gate’ decent clothing is obligatory inside the monastery.
In front of the monastery stands a monument on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the coastline of this part of Samos with amazing views of the Mykale Straits and Minor Asia (Turkey).
Photo from: Alex @ Faraway.
We intended to stay a full day in Pythagorio, before heading to Patmos, but due to a strike in Greece our flight was postponed. We just had some hours for a first glance of the town.
Pythagorio is located close to the airport of Samos and nowadays a popular tourist resort with lots of hotels, guesthouses and apartments. Before 1955 it was named Tigani, which means ‘frying pan’; although it wasn’t that hot during our stay, I can imagine why.
It is just fun walking along the steep cobble stoned narrow roads with lots of flowers and whitewashed houses or the main road, leading from the airport to the harbour with lots of shops; among them an amazing number of nice jewelleries.
Along the waterfront of the harbour are many restaurants, bars and Greek ‘tavernas’, all furnished with comfortable chairs. It is a really excellent place for a drink, lunch or dinner and watching other tourists and locals. In the harbour fishermen boats and luxury yachts are tied up, which creates a colourful scenery.
We missed other highlights, like the Hera Temple, Tunnel of Efpalinus, Monastery of Spillani and the Castle of Likourgos. Enough reasons to come back again.
Pnaka is a small settlement on an altitude of 200metres, halfway between the Aegean Sea and the village of Vourliotes. Pnaka has a spring with ice cold water, close to the local taverna with some lovely terraces; all in the shade of some hundreds of years old plane trees. There are really amazing views of the Kambos plains, the Aegean Sea and Turkey. This tavern is ideally situated for a lunch during a walk in the mountains or just for a relaxing drink.
Climb the steps at the tavern at you will reach a small 15th century church; another is located on the little square of Pnaka.
Pnaka is surrounded by great scenery: olive trees, vineyards, pine forest with cypresses and numerous wild flowers and dark red poppies.
The Efpalinio tunnel was a spectacular project for its time. It served to bring water to the ancient town of Samos from a source beyond the hill. Visitors can now walk a few hundred metres inside the ancient project. Truly worth a visit and also refreshingly cool during a hot summer day!
Nowadays the town of Pythagorio is named after Pythagoras (about 580 – 495 BC), the famous philosopher, mathematician and musician from Samos. He died however in Italy.
On the pier of the harbour of Pythagorio stands a statue to honour this great son of Samos. The monument shows one of the mathematical principles Pythagoras is known for: ‘the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles’. On the bottom of the statue is a text with a preferred translation of ‘Pythagoras of Samos’.
On the pier are two other monuments; one seemed to be a war memorial (Greek language is so difficult to understand) and a modern ‘European’ monument with a text referring to a ‘woman of Europe award’.