Five days in Samos, the island of Pythagoras

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Samos is as sweet as its wine. It’s the island of Pythagoras, the father of mathematics, and the birthplace of the Goddess Hera.

It’s the place where you will get to see the tunnel of Eupalinos, the great engineer, and the home of the philosopher Epicurus and the astronomer Aristarchus.

An island that wins you over and that makes you want go back again, to explore more of it. Beautiful beaches, gastronomic pleasure and very hospitable locals.  Is there anything not to like?

Shall we take a walk, day by day, together around the island that is located in the eastern Aegean sea?

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Day One

Explore Pythagorio, the cosmopolitan municipality of Samos, with the great pieces of history. There, you will find the Eupalinian aqueduct. Eupalinos, through great mathematical calculations, organized the digging of a tunnel on both sides of a mountain. The fact that the digging was completed with (almost) no deviation, is considered to be miraculous.

Then, you should dive into Potokaki beach and enjoy the crystal waters. There are a few beach bars there, where you could grab a fresh juice, a coffee or a snack. Later on, stroll around the alleys of Pythagorio and discover its lovely corners. You can end your wandering with a cheesecake or milkshake in the cute café ‘Two Spoons’.

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Day Two

What do you think of scuba diving? If you are a fan, it’s a chance to enjoy this amazing experience once again. If not, that’s your chance to get familiar with it. Antonis and his wife, Patty, are the owners of ‘Samos Dive Center’ and they are more than happy to introduce you to the magic and tranquility of the undersea world.

Otherwise, you can do some snorkeling and enjoy the ride! Antonis will take you to very picturesque creeks with blue and green waters.

After five, approximately, hours- that’s how long the ride lasts- trust me, you will be so hungry! The choice is simple. Fresh fish in ‘Maritsa’ tavern. The place is owned by a fishermen family and they have a strong tradition in the island.

End your gastronomic pleasure with an ice cream, while walking in the main street of Pythagorio, at the port, towards Tarsanas. There, in the left side, you will find a cool spot with benches, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the place or just stare at the sunset. At this time of the day the sky resembles a canvas of great pieces of art!

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 Day Three

I think it’s time to explore other parts of the island as well. Why not visit Marathokampos? In contrast to Pythagorio, the place is known for its isolated character. There, you will find the beaches Votsalakia, Limnionas and Psili Ammos; all of them are lovely and you will definitely feel relaxed. Furthermore, in Psili Ammos there is a tavern where you could grab something to eat.

Coming back from Marathokampos, make sure that you stop at the ancient Ionian style temple of Hera (Heraion of Samos), the queen of the Greek Gods. It is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites of Samos. The ruins with the sole column (the one that survived and it is still standing) along with Pythagorio were designated as Unesco World Heritage Sites.

End your day with a lovely dinner in Elia restaurant. Accompany the elegant dishes with local wine- after all, the island has a great reputation for its sweet wine, known for their rich and fruity aromas.

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Day Four

Get in your car and drive towards Karlovasi, the second largest city of the island. Karlovasi, which is divided into five sections; the Old, the New and the Middle Karlovasi, the Bay and the Harbour- it sits imposingly and waits to reveal its treasures.

Near Karlovasi, there is an area called Potami and there you must visit the waterfalls. Don’t expect an extraordinary spectacle, but a tranquil and beautiful natural sight.

Lastly, you should end your day at Manolates, one of the most picturesque villages of Samos. It has lovely spots and vibrant courtyards, which will offer you a trip into the past. At the village, you will find tasty food, good wine and of course, Greek coffee at the most traditional places. I have been told that there is a tavern owned by a lady, who only cooks a few dishes per day. She doesn’t have menus and she is a great cook. Try to find her, as I didn’t have the time, and while you are at it- let me know about your impressions!

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Day Five

Well, this is your last day and I suggest that you should relax and avoid the long hour drive. Start your day by eating a ‘mpougatsa’ (pastry consisting of either custard, cheese or minced meat filling between layers of phyllo) the Greek breakfast that is said to originate from Thessaloniki. To be honest, people in Thessaloniki are experts in the making of it. So, in Pythagorio, in the main street that ends to the port and on your right side, you will find the place that I am talking about and yes, of course a family from Thessaloniki owns it!

Relax at the beach, order a cold beverage at the sun bed and let yourself get captivated by the island breeze.

As the night falls, why not do something different? For example, visit Mytilinious, a well known and active village of Samos, which has one of the most atmospheric open air cinemas that I have seen on an island. Watch a movie under the moon and end your day perfectly.

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It is true that Samos island has many interesting parts, many things for the traveller to discover and various options of sightseeing. Besides the idyllic beaches with the crystal waters, one gets to explore the little villages, experience the different faces of the island, the cosmopolitan and the isolated ones, visit Vathy and the main city of Samos, whilst at the same time you can visit monasteries with great history and archaeological sites.

So, five days are not enough to get to know Samos the proper way, but still, there are definitely enough to get seduced by its charms!

Maria Petropoulou


Maria Petropoulou is a Greek journalist currently working in a leading Greek news site. She loves culture, travelling and writing and she has combined all these in order to create her own key to happiness. She was born in Athens, studied there and continued with a Master’s degree in UK. London. She also owns the travel blog My Landing Runway, where you can find all her travel stories and wanderings. Now she begins her trip with GCT as our European cultural correspondent; she would like to welcome you all on board.

1 Comment
  1. Hi Maria. The name of the restaurant on the top of the mountain in Manolates is called Loukas. It is a “farm to table” type restaurant. The view is amazing, as you feel you are on top of the world, and the food is even better.