Located in the eastern Aegean, not far from the coast of Turkey, Samos is an excellent choice if you want to spend a quiet and relaxing summer holiday.
Compared to other Greek islands such as Crete, Rhodes or Corfu, Samos is less popular and therefore never too crowded with visitors.
At the same time, here you will find everything you need to spend a top quality summer break.
The island combines clear and irresistible blue waters, pristine beaches, lush and forested mountains, monasteries, secluded rural villages, picturesque coastal towns and wonderful climate.More from Greece:
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Here’s what not to miss and what to do if you decide to spend your holiday here:
1. Spend a day in the village of Vathy
Vathy is a charming port village located on the shores of a beautiful and quiet bay in northern Samos.
It is nestled at the foot of green forested hills.
You should definitely plan an entire day to explore the lively town and its numerous sights.
Vathy is a place with beautiful architecture.
The first thing you will probably notice is how colorful and shining most of the buildings are.
One of the most beautiful of them is the building of the town hall.
While walking around, there is no way to miss out on how many great restaurants and cafes are there.
2. Enjoy the secluded Mikro Seitani Beach
Mikro Seitani is a very small beach but its beauty is irresistible.
It is located in the northwestern part of the island and is surrounded by steep rocks.
Forested mountain slopes reach almost the beach itself.
It is covered by small ivory-colored pebbles, and the water is very clear and sapphire blue.
The most amazing thing is that you can find here the privacy you need.
The chance to see other people here is actually really very small, even in July and August.
The reason is the remote location of the beach.
3. Swimming and snorkeling at the Kasonisi lagoon
Kasonisi is a small deserted island which lies around 60 meters off the east coast of Samos.
It is a quiet and secluded place but what attracts tourists in the area is the breathtaking turquoise lagoon separating Kasonisi and Samos.
The secret heaven is, however, a bit isolated.
The easiest way to get there and to get the most of your time at Kasonisi is to rent a boat.
Thus you will be able to enjoy the limpid water which somehow reminds of the tropical seas and oceans around the world.
The visibility under water reaches more than 40 meters in good weather conditions.
4. Spend a day at Megalo Seitani Beach
Megalo Seitani is one of the most attractive beaches on the island of Samos.
It is located on the quiet and secluded northwestern coast.
It is relatively remote and difficult to access.
The easiest way to get there is by boat.
The other option (also recommended) is to take a long walk through one of the most beautiful Aegean forests.
This pristine beach is known for its clear emerald water and fine golden sand.
5. Potami – Paleo Karlovasi forest trail
The forest trail between Potami and Paleo Karlovasi is considered one of the most beautiful on the island.
It passes through the dense mountain forests in the northwestern part of the island.
Because of the large trees, most of the trail is shady and pleasant to walk even in the height of summer.
Not far from Potami you will find a beautiful waterfall of the same name.
Don’t miss also the monastery of Agios Panteleimon which is located in this part of the island, not far from Potami Waterfall.
6. Visit the village of Pythagoreion
Full of history and numerous places to visit, the village of Pythagoreion is one of the most popular tourist centers on the island of Samos.
Here was born the popular philosopher Pithagoras.
The coastal village is known as the oldest man-made port in Southern Europe.
Not to mention the irresistible beach that stretches west of the city.
What is unique here is that a large number of Mediterranean species of trees are planted on the sand itself, which offer a pleasant shade to the beach lovers during the summer season.
7. Visit the Pythagoras Caves
The Pythagoras Caves are located in the mountainous and sparsely populated western half of Samos Island.
The caves are two – the first one is named Pythagoras and the other is known as Santa Maria.
The famous Greek mathematician Pythagoras spent a certain period of his life in the caves.
Here you will also find two chapels – Saint John and Santa Maria.
Christians believe that the water in the caves is actually holy water and is charged with strong positive energy.
8. Visit The Tunnel-Aqueduct of Eupalinos
The Eupalinos Tunnel, also known as Eupalinos Aqueduct, is one of the most valuable archaeological excavations on the island of Samos.
It is located northwest of the village of Pythagoras and dates back to the 6 century BC.
Eupalinos Aqueduct was in operation for 11 centuries (about 1100 years).
With a length of 1040 meters, it is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
The construction was quite complex for its time.
In 1992, the Eupalinos Aqueduct-Tunnel was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
9. Visit the Vathy Archaeological Museum
Considered one of the best in the country, the Vathy Archaeological Museum is one of the recommended places to visit on the Aegean island.
Indeed, here you will find unique artifacts that are hard to see even in the capital Athens.
Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction in the museum is the statue of Kouros, which is impressive not only with its exquisite workmanship but also with its size.
The marble monolith sculpture rises to a height of over 5 meters.
10. Visit the sanctuary of Hera
Known as the sanctuary of the Greek goddess Hera, the ancient settlement of Heraion is under the auspices of UNESCO since 1992.
As part of the World Heritage Site, Heraion of Samos is considered one of the most important archaeological sites on the island.
The old archeological excavations are a clear evidence about the presence of a developed society during the early Bronze Age.
The center of the entire archeological site is considered the altar of Hera.
11. Don’t miss the Byzantine Museum
Opened in 1978, the Byzantine Museum of Samos is an important landmark on the island.
Located in an area rich in landmarks, beautiful buildings and old churches, it is well-known for its authentic collections.
Here you will find a wide variety of Byzantine and post-Byzantine items, including household items, decorations, books, clothing and many others.
The collections include artifacts of precious rare metals that impress with the beauty of their craftsmanship.
12. Windsurfing at Kokkari
Kokkari is a picturesque tourist town on the northern coast of Samos.
It is famous for its clear sapphire waters and wide beach covered with small pebbles.
The village enjoys the glory of the windsurfing mecca of Greece.
If you are a fan of the popular water sport, you will find the perfect conditions here, as the northern sea breeze is practically permanent.
Sliding over the smooth sea surface, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery dominated by green, forested mountain slopes.
13. If you are a fan of scuba diving, don’t miss out
If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, Samos Island is the place for you.
Basically, the places that are considered the best in this respect are located along the southeast coast of the Aegean island and are scattered between Kyriakou to the west and the lighthouse in the easternmost part of the island.
Here you will find wonderful reefs, a huge variety of marine life, as well as ancient trading vessels which have sunk in the area over the centuries.
Depending on your skills, you can choose the proper places according to the depth.
Don’t forget that it is advisable to dive with an experienced guide only.
14. Watch the birds near Mykali Beach
If you find the birds watching enjoyable, the water-reserves in the eastern part of Mykali Beach is a must for you.
The area is covered by water-loving vegetation and attracts a number of species of migratory birds.
They temporarily stop here during the months of April and May.
But the large number of migratory waterfowl is just a small part of what you can see here as they attract some rare species of birds of prey.
15. Discover the Mikri Lakka Beach
Mikri Lakka is a small pebble beach located in a sparsely populated area on the eastern coast of the island.
It is a great choice if you want to find some privacy because the beach is remote and isolated from the main tourist centers.
Because of its smooth turquoise waters, this is the perfect place to swim in Samos. It attracts visitors from April till late October.
It is a good spot for nature lovers because the area is covered with lovely subtropical Mediterranean forests.
16. Snorkeling at Lemonakia and Tsamadou
Lemonakia and Tsamadou are located on the northern shore of the island of Samos.
They are just next to each other and offer the most emerald waters you can imagine.
Lush vegetation reaches the coast itself so the refreshing shade of the trees is just a few steps away from you.
The water is very clear so Lemonakia and Tsamadou attract lovers of snorkeling as a magnet.
The visibility under water reaches up to 40 meters in quiet and sunny weather.
The variety of species of fish and other sea creatures is great.
17. Bird watching at Glyfada Lake
Glyfada Lake is located not far from the airport of the tourist village of Pythagoras, on the southern coast of Samos.
It is formed as a result of seepage of seawater and this is why it usually does not dry up even in very hot and long summers.
To the north of Glyfada you will find a lovely wetland area which, together with the lake, forms an important habitat for many rare species of waterfowl.
The place attracts many nature lovers, and the best thing is that it retains its lush natural beauty year-round.
18. Kayaking along the coast
If you love to spend your time outside, especially along the coast, don’t miss to experience one of these kayak adventures.
You just need to select a day with perfectly smooth and quiet sea and to hire the kayak for a few hours or a day.
It is recommended to join a group or to be with a friend or a partner.
The best place to kayak in Samos is along the north coast, especially the coastline between Kokkari and Tsamadou Beach.
Don’t forget the strong sunscreen and take your sunglasses as well as a proper hat.
19. Boat trip to Samiopoula
One of the places you definitely need to visit while in Samos is the small neighboring island of Samiopoula.
It is located just one kilometer south of the main island and is accessible only by boat.
One of the most beautiful lagoons in the eastern part of the Aegean is here.
The place is known as Psalida Beach and offers shallow and warm sky-blue waters.
Local travel agents from Samos organize day boat trips with included lunch and drinks. The experience is really worth it.
20. Spend a day at Pappa Beach
Pappa Beach is a wonderful beach in the southern part of Samos.
It attracts visitors with its emerald green water and snow-white small pebbles.
Its clear waters are great to swim and snorkel, and the surface is almost always very smooth.
In the area there are some great beach bars and tavernas (traditional Greek restaurants).
Here you can try some local specialities and to get a refreshing drink after a long day of swimming and beach entertainments.
21. The monastery of Megali Panagia
Founded in 1586, the Megali Panagia Monastery is a unique architectural treasure.
The building is completed with a large courtyard, which is a typical feature in the construction of monasteries.
In the inner courtyard you will find a beautiful church in Byzantine style, which was built in 1593, seven years after the monastery itself.
From the inside, the church itself is beautifully decorated, and a visit to the whole complex creates a sense of calmness and inner peace.
22. Visit a local winery
One of the most special moments when visiting a Greek island is to try a glass of local wine, and Samos is not an exception.
Here you will find some of the best wines you have ever tasted.
It is recommended to visit some of the smaller local wineries because this is a guarantee of authentic taste and top quality.
One of the opportunities is to visit the small family owned Vakakis Winery.
It is situated amidst a wonderful area to the south of Karlovasi and is well-known for its fragrant wines.
23. Buy a traditional souvenir
Every time we spend a holiday abroad, there comes a time to think about what souvenirs to buy for our family and friends but also for ourselves and our homes.
It should be something traditional, something to remind us about the place even after a long period of time.
If you spend your summer break in Samos, the best choice is to buy a traditional ceramic item.
Actually, the beautiful Aegean island has always been well-known for its high quality pottery and you can find numerous craft shops.
Depending on your preferences, you can buy something practical (such as a flower pot for example) or some decoration for your living room (such as a classic ceramic amphora with traditional local motifs).
24. Visit Livadaki Beach
Livadaki Beach is situated in a small and narrow cove on the northern coast of Samos.
To reach this quiet and isolated place, you should follow the road to the north of the village of Agia Paraskevi.
The beach is unique because of its specific location.
In summer it attracts a number of visitors from all parts of the island.
The water in the cove is shallow and limpid.
It offers the most irresistible azure color.
25. Walk to Kusadasi
Over the last few decades the coastal city of Kusadasi has gradually transformed into one of the best tourist destinations in Turkey, along with Marmaris and Antalya.
It is famous for its beautiful beaches and its unique holiday atmosphere.
During the summer season, a daily ferryboat service operates between the port of Vathy in Samos and Kusadasi on the Turkish Aegean coast.
A short day trip to Kusadasi would make your vacation even more enjoyable and varied.
It usually takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes on average to reach from the port of Vathy to Kusadasi.More from Greece: